This article goes out to all the fitness nerds. Because today we are going to be looking at the back end of what makes a fitness program, and the principles that are utilised to improve performance.
The principles are:
- Progressive overload
- Training thresholds
- Warm up cool down
Known as the godfather of fitness principles, progressive overload is when the workload progressively increases as the person adapts to training. This is done to maintain intensity of training after adaptations have occurred, i.e. muscle growth or fitness gains. This can be achieved in a number of ways, namely by:
- increasing the frequency of training, workload, weight lifted, or
- utilising more difficult exercises that work the same muscles.
This is when the training you are doing is specific to the sport you are playing. For example, a runner would have a fitness based running program. The gym work she would be doing may be leg strengthening exercises rather than working arms, or doing a lot of bench press. Basically, replicating the movements done in the person’s sport to provide the best specific adaptations.
The basic law of use it or lose it! Reversibility means if the training stops the adaptations you’ve made are lost or begin to decrease overtime. They are typically lost at a similar rate that they were gained. Here’s a general idea of how long it takes to see the effects of reversibility – or fitness, it takes about 2-3 weeks to see a decrease and for strength about 1-2 weeks.
This is ensuring training sessions use multiple training types methods and exercises. It not only prevents boredom, but also ensures a complete and full development of fitness. By training with a range of exercises, the whole athlete is trained with a better focus on fully strengthening muscle and joints. Take for example a rugby player, by including swimming into their program they not only improve their overall fitness, but they also work their muscle groups in unfamiliar ways ensuring its full development.
Training thresholds refer to the level of intensity needed to stress your body enough for the specific type of fitness or strength you are trying to achieve. For long endurance fitness you’ll want to be training at a heart rate of about 70-80% for an hour. For shorter fast pace work over 80% heart rate for no longer than 30mins. In terms of strength gains, strength and power is 1-6 rep max, strength 8-12 rep max and muscle endurance 12-15 rep max
Warm up, cool down
A warm up is the process of getting your body read for exercise. Typically this moves from low intensity to high intensity specific movements for the exercise, preparing the body for physical activity by increasing the heart rate which leads to move blood flow to the muscles. Cool downs are essentially the opposite of a warm up. Taking the body from high intensity to low intensity, slowly reducing heart rate and getting the body’s recovery systems to begin functioning.