General Training Principles

In this article I briefly explain some of the most widely know principles in the fitness community specifically as applied to our HIIT Transformation program. They are good to know, accept and understand in order to train properly and maximize efficiency. Feel free to research them on your own.

Progressive Overload – The process of gradually adding more resistance than the muscles have previously encountered. While the degree of overload should be individually determined a general guidelines is to increase the load in 5% increments. For example, once 12 repetitions can be completed of a weight, say 100 pounds, increase the working load 5% to 105 pounds until 12 repetitions can be achieved, then increase it again.

Reversibility – Few maxims hold as much truth in the fitness world as “use it or lose it.” Adults loose about 3 pounds of muscle every 6 years from lack of resistance training and will loose strength gains at about half the rate it is gained.

Diminishing Returns – The Row Boat Effect. As you approach your genetic potential of muscular size and strength, the rate of development decreases accordingly. Regardless of the quality and quantity of training, genetic limitations leave little room for further improvement.

Specificity – This principle has many training applications but of primary importance is to exercise the specific muscles with the appropriate time, load, duration, intensity, intervals and motions necessary to accomplish a specific task or goal. Do exercise similar to the specific goal or task you want to accomplish.

Periodization – This refers to a planned progression of resistance exercise that intentionally varies the training stimuli, especially with respect to the intensity and volume of work being done. Systematically changing the *exercise variables is more effective and efficient at attaining both strength development and peak performance than standard resistance-training protocols. The frequently changing demands force higher levels of positive change and stress adaptation.

*Exercise variables include but are not limited to: distance, duration, force, intensity, intervals, load, recovery, repetitions, resistance, rest, rounds, sets, reactivity, agility, speed and time under tension.

Muscle Hypertrophy – This is an increase in the size of skeletal muscle thought a growth in size of its component cells. Research indicates you can gain as much muscle lifting lighter loads as you can by lifting heavy loads as long as you go to failure. Failure is the point where muscles are fatigued so that no more or almost no more repetitions can be completed. Research suggests that maximal hypertrophy gains are achieved with repetition ranges of 6 to 12 repetitions per set with rest intervals of 60 to 90 seconds between sets. Multiple-set training appears to produce superior hypertrophic results when at least some of the sets are preformed to muscular failure.

Coach Tim Garrett

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