PRINCIPLES ARE FEW – METHODS ARE MANY (part 1)

With a click of a button you can find the latest most promising way to train, the “most effective” fat burning method or the running program which offers the “most incredible” results ever. We all fall for it. We all find ourselves starting one of these programs just to find ourselves disappointed, once again, when “they” fail to deliver. But have you ever asked yourself, “Is it really the program that failed or did I make a mistake somewhere along the way?”

There are many reasons why most of us fail trying to follow these programs, but one of the biggest reasons is the fact that most of us do not follow the basic training principles.

Some of training principles are:

1. Principle of Readiness

2. Principle of Individual Response

3. Principles of Specificity

4. Principle of Adaptation/Variation

5. Principle of Progressive Overload

6. Principle of Consistency

7. Reversibility

1. Principle of Readiness states that the value of training depends on maturation (physiological and psychological readiness) of the individual. Many of us try to do a program that is too far advanced for us physically and/or mentally. Why would you want to follow a running plan just because Galen Rupp (U.S. Olympic silver medalist in 10K) is on that exact same plan? Why would you want to do same things in the weight room that current Mr. Olympia did 16 weeks prior to wining his title? Why would you want to eat the same things Paleolithic man used to eat? Well, if it worked for him/her it will work for me, you may argue. If it was only that simple, why do you think you are not as fast as Galen or ripped like a Mr. Olympia? And how did that diet work out for your buddy Paleoman?

2. Principle of Individual Response states that we all have somewhat different responses to an exercise program. You could do the same exact program as your twin brother/sister and still not get the same results. This is most obvious if you are part of any group training plan. Walk into any CrossFit facility and you’ll see everybody doing the same exact WOD (Workout Of the Day) and yet not everybody is getting same results. Some people are volume responders; meaning that they will have to do a lot of work or train often in order to respond to a training plan, whereas some people are intensity responders; meaning that they need to workout hard, but not often, in order to respond to a training plan. Then you have age, sex, and body types differences.

3. Principle of Specificity states that in order to achieve any specific goal, we need to do things that are specific to that goal. If you want to be a faster runner you need to run, run fast, and do things that will specifically help you to achieve that goal. You will not run faster by playing tennis. You will not be a faster runner even if all you do is run same speed all the time. You still need to do other things (run fast, strength training to name some) in order to stress mechanisms which will make you a faster runner. If you want to build muscles you need to lift weights, lift weights often, eat right, eat right often, and do things that will help you achieve that goal. You will not build muscles by playing basketball. You will not build muscles even if all you do is lift weights all the time and your nutrition is subpar. Get it?

If you enjoyed this post come back and read part 2 (coming soon)

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