Getting the standard of exercise is not kept

Getting the
best out of training requires great planning. Training plans are predominantly built
up of the five principles of training; Specificity, Overload, Progression,
Recovery and Adaptation and Reversibility. Using these principles, it will help
the athlete to improve on their performance, skills, fitness and ability. To
give the plan more detail, we can incorporate FITT; Frequency- how often,
Intensity- How hard, Time- How long and Type- which methods.

Specificity is one of the key training principles in fitness
training. The traditional definition typically discusses about the body’s;
muscles, joint involvement, range of motion, and movement velocity. However,
other than these few key factors, there is actually no criteria. A simple way
of explaining specificity is to match the skillset that the sport you are
practicing requires. ( Jeffreys, I. and Moody, J. (2016))

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is when your adaptations are lost due to reduced training or stopping training
all together. The results that you acquire doing exercising can be easily lost if
the standard of exercise is not kept up. The time and intensity that one puts
into the sessions when they train triggers adaptations in the muscles in your
body, along with your heart. This then allows your body to tolerate high
intensity during the exercise and to increase the duration of exercise.  Even some of the adaptations that your body
will have gotten used to can vanish of not training properly. (Murray, B. and
Kenny, L. (2016))

Overload is
when you “must do more than what you’re body is used to” (Martens, R.

and Martens, J. (2011). Complete guide to slowpitch softball. Champaign,
IL: Human Kinetics.)

 Overload allows your body to
adapt to higher demands. When an increased demand is forced upon your body,
your body will adapt to these demands to try and meet them. Many people are
mistaken when they think overload can only be achieved by an increase of said
weights when weight training. This is untrue. Overload can be introduced by
lengthening time, the intensity of training, or both. (ACPE Blog.


“Fatigue is
the inability to continue a task.” This inability could be not being capable of
finishing a marathon, not being able to curl back a dumbbell on the last
repition, or simply maintain pace. Recovery is key. “Muscles are built in rest,
not in the gym.” is a true fact. Recovery is key. Recovery can not only just
include rest days, but fueling your body with the correct nutrition, or just
the correct amount of sleep. (Hoffman, J. (2006))

plans should always get harder, and that’s where progression comes in. If a
task no longer becomes challenging, that is because your body has fully adapted
to it. Progression for example, would be developing a workout from extensive to
an intensive workout. Progression requires long term planning and always
knowing what the next step to make the training more challenging is going to
be. This is a vital training principle as if progression is not implemented your
body can not progress. (Hoffman, J. (2006.))

practitioners agree that Specificity is a key issue- even if not agreed how
it’s defined.” (Jeffreys, I. and Moody, J. (2016). Strength and
conditioning for sports performance. New York, Routledge.)

develops fitness by doing just that; perfecting the necessary skills. The body
creates hypertrophy from exercising suitably to how the body is trained.

Specificity is crucial as applying this rule properly will allow these athletes
to have a concentrated, effectual program that leads to desired goals. ( EXACT Sports. (2018). Principle
of Specificity: Are you training right?)

For an
example, if Steve comes to a personal trainer and tells him that he wants to
start getting better at hiking, he will need to incorporate specificity to his
training. This will mean his muscles will adapt to the goals he’s trying to
achieve through the specific training he will be enduring. Although there are
exercises that are going to help Steve increase his skills in hiking, the best
method would be to hike, as he is performing that skill he requires and putting
it into practice.

“Adaptations are most evident
in elite athletes- the effects of years of vigorous training clearly
distinguishes the bodies of distance runners from Olympic throwers.” (

(2018). How the Specificity Principle Applies to Sports Training.)

for sports are all unique. Using distance runners again for an example, to be
successful at their sport they require a stronger heart and an increase in
blood vessels to source oxygen to the specific muscles needed to run. (Sports
Training Adviser, 2018)

“Overload during highly demanding competition phases were
evaluated in elite male football players. In two studies with the same
objective, periods of high (HE: >270 min during 3 weeks before testing)
and low (LE: <270 min) match exposure were compared over the course of an entire season." (Meister, S., Faude, O., Ammann, T., Schnittker, R. and Meyer, T. (2011). Indicators for high physical strain and overload in elite football players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 23(2), pp.156-163.) The overload principle is introduced to allow the athlete to improve on skills. It improves ones fitness levels by tapping into the body's mechanisms. The constant repetition of the skill being practiced until failure means the body is constantly trying to adapt. In an experiment ran by Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science, the team applied overload to 76% of 37 studies. For example, if a power lifter needs to be able to lift a certain weight for a competition, he will apply overload on his training plan to be able to eventually meet this skill level. If a rugby player needs to improve his upper body for tackles etc. he could lift progressively heavier until fatigue, increasing the load until the body if fatigued. "To obtain overload, a muscle must act greater than normal to ensure appropriate stimulation and adaptation." (

(2018). BBC – GCSE Bitesize: Principles
of training.)

until failure each time ensures that the workout provided creates a stimulus in
the body, which targets the muscles. If the stimulus is not satisfactory, the
muscles will have a minimal, if any, improvements in the scenario of the body
builder trying to increase his muscle strength.

a gradual increase in training to prompt improvement.” (

(2018). The 3
Principles of Training: Overload, Specificity & Progression.)

training has been proven to be an effective way of increasing ones strength and
ability. Progressive overload is only effective if you use the progression
principle suitably. For example, if you are a long distance runner trying to
progressively increase your time, there’s no use increasing the track time by a
minute each time, as it is too far away from the original timing and not
practical. Progression is key as you must always be looking to develop your ability.

If you do not progress in your skills, they will always remain the same
standard. For example, let’s go back to the long distance runner. Runner’s
World had previously done a progression experiment where the 8 mile run begins.

They start at 70 seconds per mile slower than normal- at about a half-marathon
pace. They then go and increase the mile time by 10 seconds evert mile passed.

(THE WORKOUT: Progression run.” Runner’s World, Jan. 2012, p.

038. General OneFile.)
This is an excellent example of progression, as they are progressively allowing
their body to get faster and adapt. It’s incredibly easy to get stuck and
demotivated while training if you aren’t seeing an improvement on results. (Fleck
and Kraemer, n.d.) Progression
can be inflicked in each sport; increasing weight and repetitions for body
builders, minimizing seconds for runners, less rest between sprints, more
distance, etc.

important principle is recovery. Some believe that rest from the workout is
just as important as the workout itself. “Athletes need adequate time from
training and competition.” ( (2018). The
Recovery Principle for Sports Training.) It’s vital that in sports we monitor recovery and fatigue to avoid
becoming seriously ill or obtaining an injury, especially during on seasons. “This
requires a suitable battery of tests that enables sport scientists to make
informed decisions on each player’s health status.” (Turner, A., Walker,
S., Stembridge, M., Coneyworth, P., Reed, G., Birdsey, L., Barter, P. and
Moody, J. (2011). A Testing Battery for the Assessment of Fitness in Soccer
Players. Strength and Conditioning Journal)

 Recovering from exercise allows
our bodies to adapt to the stress that has been given. Not only does it have
physically benefits, but mental too. Having time off from training gives the
athlete time to mentally reflect on their training and process if they need to
change their plan or if they’re reaching their goals. You may notice that when
you run, your heart continues to beat fairly fast afterwards for quite some
time. This is called Metabolic recovery. This natural recovery method happens
to our body as it appears back to its normal resting state, homeostasis.  Although running is an obvious example of
needing rest, powerlifters also need rest between sets, not just for multiple
days. This allows the stress on the muscle to adapt and accepts them to
continue lifting high demanded weights. However, rest days aren’t the only way
to recover. Long periods of sleep, massages and proper nutrition to replenish
your body are also critical ways we recuperate. (Fleck and
Kraemer, n.d.)

To conclude
this essay, my research has shown that it is vital to include training methods
into a workout plan to ensure that the results are at maximum capacity. 


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