Sports Medicine Advice: Laws of Training Part II

by Jsantos, June 7, 2013

Sports Medicine Advice: Laws of Training Part II

The main focus of this space is to inform our community of patients the different aspects related to the orthopedic world. Being athletes one of our main group , it is a clear benefit to always post articles related a healthy lifestyle as well as how to avoid injuries so they do not have to call us. Improving performance information is a great add to this equation an can benefit a huge spectrum of people.

Following that order of ideas, in our last post we talked about the laws of training and described how its principles apply to the majority of other principles published out there. The principle of individual differences, the overcompensation principle and the overload principle initiated the list we will continue with principle number four.

4-) The SAID Principle

Your muscles and their respective subcellular components will adapt in highly specific ways to the demands (adaptive stress) you impose upon them in your training. This applies well to various bodily systems and tissues other than your muscles. This is the SAID Principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands). If your training objectives include becoming more explosive, then you have to train explosively. If you desire greater limit strength, you must use heavier weights than if you were training, let”s say, local muscular endurance. If your objectives include deriving cardiovascular benefits, then you must tax the heart as well as the oxygen-using abilities of the working muscles.

In fact, the SAID Principle is so uncompromising in its highly researched tenet of training specifically that problems frequently arise if one possesses more than one training objective at a time. The specific training required for one will frequently detract from the expected gains in the other. For example, training for aerobic strength endurance (aerobic power) will severely limit the level of limit strength one can attain. Simirlaly, stressing one”s ATP/CP energy system call for different training methods than does training one”s glycolytic (lactic acid) or aerobic (oxidative) anergy systems.

Your specific adaptive responses to exercise can change dramatically over time. This is particularly true as you age. But it is also true if you successfully improved your body”s recovery abilities. Simply,  your body has become a different body.

5-) Use/Disuse Principle

The principle of use/disuse applies to both training and cessation of training. Putting it another way, “use it or lose it”. If your stress your body and its systems enough, it will adapt to meet the stress. For example, in a bodybuilding training program, hypertrophy, or increase in size, occurs in the trained muscle. If you stop stressing it, maybe because of an injury, it will adapt to meet the lowered stress. In other words, when you stop your bodybuilding training program, atrophy (decrease in size) occurs in the previously trained muscle.

unfortunately, it takes much less time to become detrained that it does to become trained. The detraining  effect is know as the “law of reversibility.” Fortunately, some training-related changes in your neuromuscular system remain over long periods, also known as the famous “muscle memory”, which allow you to regain your strength or size more quickly that starting from scratch.

6-) The Specificity Principle

The Specificity Principle States that you must move from general training to specific and highly specialized training as you move closer to your ultimate goal.

This principle relates to factors involved in both neuromuscular adaptation as well as technique “functionality”. Neuromuscular changes will occur over time as an adaptation to repeating a specific moving pattern. For example, you will get stronger in squats by doing them as opposed to leg presses, and you will achieve greater endurance for the marathon by running long distances than you will be cycling long distances. Just mother nature playing its best card.

7-) The GAS Principle

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) is comprised of three stages: 1) The Alarm Stage, caused by the application of intense training stress (The Overload Principle); 2) The Resistance Stage, when our muscles adapt in order to resist stressful weights more efficiently (The Overcompensation, SAID and Use/Disuse Principles); and 3) The Exhaustion Stage, where, if we persist in applying stress we will exhaust our reserves and be forced to stop training.

The GAS Principle states that there must be a period of low-intensity or complete rest following periods of high-intensity training. The reason for this is that the stress you have applied is traumatic, forcing your “injured” muscles to heal and then adapt. The recovery and overcompensation time must be taken so that further stress does not continue the downward spiral caused by repetitive bouts of trauma.

Confusion frequently arises in applying this principle. Some tissues and cellular components may have been stressed very little or not at all, and are therefore in need of little or no rest. In fact, if you do not work these tissues, owing The Law of Reversibility, some atrophy will occur. For example, when heavy negative training is performed, much rest is needed because this form of training is highly traumatic to muscles. On the other hand, if the same resistance and speed but the eccentric stress is removed, the rest period needed would be far less. The most frequent misuse of this principle is seen among those who insist on training each body part once weekly, for example, just because it works. This is generally not advised, as it is far too infrequent and too much rest. Inevitably, either time is wasted or detraining results in some system”s tissues or cellular elements.

Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201  Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119


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