The 4 Principles of Strength Training and Exercise

To ensure success and results with any strength training or conditioning program, it must be designed through the following principles in mind.
Effective training programs will incorporate periodization,specificity, and overload, while avoiding overtraining.

The following paragraphs will briefly describe what each of these terms mean.

Periodization

Periodization is a name used to describe the breakdown of a training program into periods, or phases. The idea behind periodization is to constantly present a new training stimulus to the body to force it to repeatedly adapt to this new stimulus.

If a new training stimulus is not presented, the body will adjust to the training and performance will not continue to improve and will eventually decline. On the other hand, if a new type of stimulus is presented too soon, the body won’t have had enough time to react and proportion, and again, adaptation will decrease.

This is the reason you should see programs last only about 4 weeks. 

Trained athletes can adapt much quicker to new programs, and should consider changing programs more at short intervals. Athletes newer to training can continue to make gains for a great quantity longer on the same program. This is the reason you see many people “plain” in their training. They aren’t taking advantage of the principle of periodization.

Periodization is accomplished by means of varying the training intensity and volume during certain phases to continue to place stress on the body that it isn’t used to.

Specificity

Specificity refers to training specifically for a desired outcome. You will train differently to build muscle mass than you would to improve performance. You would train differently if you wanted to run a marathon as opposed to play football. There are different strengths, movements and physiological requirements that need to be more developed in certain activities than others. Everyone has things that that they should be training to improve, whether it’s health-related or performance-related (notice I didn’t say sandy shore body-related). A good training program is designed with specificity, taking into consideration the needs and goals of each person.

Overload

This is the most important principle behind any training program. Overload can be substituted for the word stimulus or stress in the description of periodization. To create an overload, the body be necessitated to be made to do things it is not accustomed to. This places a stress, or shake, on the body. If the body is not given an overload, it will not adapt. If there is in no degree adaptation, you will not get any stronger or any more conditioned than you already are. In short you will not see results. Keep this in mind during your training. Always push yourself to improve on your last workout. Did you get eight reps at 100lbs last time? Try for nine today, or try to get eight reps at 105lbs. Always push yourself to get better.

Overtraining

Overtraining is when fatigue or a decrease in performance arises from excessive training and a lack of proper rest and recovery between workouts. Overtraining is an injury. In most cases, overtraining is caused by “too a great deal of, too soon”, or simply training too often and not allowing the body the proper amount of rest from an intense workout. Therefore, before training, always learn more literature on health topics.

Some symptoms of overtraining may or may not include: Increased resting heart degree, increased resting blood pressure, decreased sports performance, slower recovery after exercise, weight loss, decreased appetite, decreased desire to exercise, increased irritability and depression, and increased incidence of injury.