When you go to the gym and train, it is a very systematic process, essentially all one does is lift, push, pull the weights. However, it is damn enjoyable. When one is training, there are certain principles one should consider when heading off to the gym or going for a run.
Law of Overload
The principle of overload is perhaps one of the most important and obvious concepts - if one does not push themselves harder (i.e. lifting more weight with proper form, running further) the body has no need to adapt, and thus one will not make any desirable gains in strength and/or endurance.
One can ‘overload’ themselves by adjusting one of the following:
- Frequency – how often
- Duration – how long
- Intensity – how hard
Law of Reversibility
Simply stated, “If you don’t use it, you will lose it”. If you are not training consistently, the body has no need to adapt. So the gains that you have made in the gym will slowly start to relapse.
It is also important to note that one shouldn’t train so frequently that the body goes into a state of over training. Rest is needed for the body to recover.
Some symptoms of over training:
Irritability and moodiness
Altered sleep patterns
Loss of appetite
Loss of motivation or competitive drive
Persistent muscle soreness that does not go away
Fatigue not relieved by rest
Increased incidence of minor illness or injury
Principle of Variety
Doing the same thing over and over again gets boring rather quickly. Incorporating different exercises for each body part will keep your body guessing, and not grow accustomed to the routine you are using. Instead of doing low rep squats; try doing light weight 20 rep squats. Or instead of barbell shrugs, try dumbbell shrugs.
Law of Specificity
The exercise or training that you do will elect a certain and specific response and adaptations. Specific anaerobic exercise stress (i.e. strength-power training) induces specific strength-power adaptations; endurance exercise stress elects a specific aerobic system adaptations. There is only a limited interchange of benefits between strength and cardiovascular training.
So if you have a single goal in mind, train specific for that goal and not something else. If you want big legs don’t go continually training biceps.
Law of Individuality
Everyone is different. Different training routines affect each person in a different way. Some people will respond very well to high reps and light weight exercises, while others will only respond to heavy weight and low rep exercises. So if someone says “You have to try this new routine, it worked wonders for me.” Feel free to try it out, but don’t get disappointed if it doesn’t work out for you.
Kurt Kuhn - www.FUSIONBodybuilding.com