The principles of training
There are several principles to take into consideration when it comes to training. We went through the principle of overcompensation in my previous article. In this article, we'll mention a few extra principles of training you should follow if your goals include seeing regular improvements.
Principle of overload
You might want to reach a certain level of training stimulus if you want to trigger some biological adaptation (like changes in your autonomic nervous system, in your cardio vascular system, in your muscles / tendons, ligaments) and get more efficient.
The following fundamentals apply:
a training stimulus which is below normal for the body remains ineffective
a training stimulus which is equal to normal for the body will lead to stagnation
a training stimulus which is beyond normal for the body will trigger physiological and anatomical changes and is hence optimal
a training stimulus which is much beyond normal might negatively impact your performances and cause injuries.
Principle of progression
As we have seen above, constant loads will no longer lead to a reaction and an adaptation of the organism because its reserves for those loads are enough so as a consequence, your performances will stagnate. In order to keep on performing, you can use the following methods to increase the training stimulus:
increase the number of training sessions per week
increase the volume (more repetitions of an exercice, more sets, more load)
take shorter breaks between your sets
increase the intensity of your training (make sure that this method comes up last after you have applied the other three).
Principle of variation
Varying your training regularly will help you stay on tracks and avoid stagnation. Change your training routine from time to time. Here are some possible variations:
new exercices / new movements
new equipment / new machines
new recovery habits (active / passive). See my article about recovery.
new training methods (continuous, interval, etc...)
Principle of individual stimulus
Training should be specific to every individual according to what kind of sport they are doing or to their personal goals. Not every individual reacts the same to a stimulus so it is necessary to adapt the level of stress. You can use the rating of perceived exertion scale (RPE) to measure exertion during physical activity (scale from 1-10).
Principle of stimulus order
If you train all your motor skills during a session, it is recommended to apply this order:
Principle of overcompensation
See my article about that topic.
Principle of continuity
In order to reach an optimal adaptation, it is important to repeat the stimulus with taking into consideration the relationship between stimulus and recovery. Training every now and then, won't allow you to see major improvements compared to an individual who has been training frequently over years.