I hope your 2022 has started off with a bang and you are all smashing your goals and sticking to those resolutions you set yourself.
We are 3 weeks into 2022 and I'm sure for some of you we are getting to the stage where you're thinking what's next? Or some of you may be stuck on how to progress your fitness program. Today we're going to talk about basic training principles you should look to incorporate into your program in order to get the most out of it. These are the basic principles needed to be successful, there are several others but sometimes a simple program with the right principles can achieve the best results.
There are 5 basic principles that can help you to achieve success.
Principle #1 - Progressive Overload
This principle is centred around adaptation and our body. In order for our body to adapt and improve whether that be with running or strength, we need to exert/train ourselves at a limit that is beyond our normal levels of training. This is thought of as 'overloading.' However, it is not possible for us to train as hard as possible in every session. We just need to make sure that we are pushing ourselves. Additionally, we should also be tracking each session and what we do in order to achieve 'overload.' A well structured program will gradually expose you to higher or harder intensities in order to create adaptations and improve on your fitness. A simple example is during week 1 you perform a bench press with 40kg's of weight. During week 2 you increase that weight to possibly 45kgs and aim to get a similar rep range as you did the week before. Thus overloading your body and exposing it to a higher intensity.
Principle #2 - Recovery
A well structured program should allow you to have adequate amount of time of recovery between sessions. During the recovery period your body begins it's adaption and adjusts to the new stimulus you are putting it under. It is impossible however to completely recover between each training session. It is normal and ok to feel sore, tired and fatigued for your next session. If you wanted to complete a full recovery it would be very difficult for you to improve your fitness as recovery times do take quite awhile. A good example is completing 4x gym sessions weekly, but training opposite muscles on the following day. A good example is if you train triceps your upper body on Monday, you could train your legs/lower body on Tuesday which would allow for recovery while still training.
Principle #3 - Specificity
This principle is quite simple. In order to get better at what you're doing. You need to train for what you're doing. For example, if you want to get better at running, you should run. If you want to get stronger, you should get into the gym and lift weights. There's no point in being a marathon runner and spending all of your time in the gym lifting heavy weights as it's not specific to the sport you are training for. There are several forms of training that can help you with your chosen activity, but you should look for the one that best replicates your chosen activity or sport.
Principle #4 - Reversibility
Use it or lose it! If you don't regularly follow your training program any results achieved during the training block or after could be lost! Even during your rest periods it's important to keep somewhat active!
Principle #5 - Individual Response to Training Stimulus
Every person is different. Just because you see someone getting great results with a certain training method, doesn't necessarily mean you will get the same results. Everyone adapts and responds differently to a stimulus. If you find you aren't getting results, changing up your program to something else could work. An example is some people prefer Pilates/Body weight training compared to training in a gym. Both are forms of strength training, they just incorporate different movements.
Listed above are the 5 basic training principles if you are looking to start your program. Take your time when trying to incorporate them. As you continue to train you will become better at understanding when you can incorporate each principle in your program.