Hey guys, some of the questions I get in the gym are prompting this post. There are some misconceptions surrounding lifting programs, so below I've listed some principles backed by hard-core science to help you navigate an effective lifting program! Below I've listed 6 general principles of any effective resistance training program. These principles, if understood and incorporated will put you on the speedway to results and the speedway to overcoming plateaus. Some of the wording is a little science-y so I wrote a "take home message" for each principle hopefully helping it make more sense. I'd love to hear your thoughts or experience with any of these principles. If nothing else, it's some good food-for-thought for your exercise regimen. Happy training!
SPECIFICITY OF TRAINING: States that only the muscles trained will adapt and change in response to a given program. For this reason, resistance programs must target all muscles for which a training effect is desired.
Take home message: To become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. Or, to get stronger shoulders, do shoulder exercises. Also, you won't get stronger biceps by doing lunges.
SPECIFIC ADAPTATIONS TO IMPOSED DEMANDS: This principle states that the adaptation of the muscles will be specific to the demands that the exercise place upon the individual. For example, if a high number of repetitions are used, the muscles will increase their ability to perform a high number of repetitions.
Take home message: Place on your body the demands of your desired result.
PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD: As the body adapts to a given stimulus, an increase in the stimulus is required for further adaptations and improvements. Thus, if the load or volume is not increased over time, progress will be limited.
Take home message: Keep your training sessions challenging (this absolutely essential if you want to gain muscle mass).
VARIATION IN TRAINING: No one program should be used without changing the exercise stimulus over time.
Take home message: Don't keep doing the same thing.
PERIODIZATION: The phasic manipulation of the training variables (volume, intensity, frequency and rest) as a means of optimizing desired outcomes while concurrently reducing the incidence of overtraining.
Take home message: Have a plan that will maximize your gains AND reduce your chance of injury.
PRIORITIZATION OF TRAINING: It is difficult to train for all aspects of muscular fitness at the same time, thus one needs to focus or prioritize the training goals for each training cycle.
Take home message: Prioritize what results are most important to you now and train for that.
Don't let this info overwhelm you. It's very challenging to incorporate all of these principles seamlessly into a lifting program. And they are especially useful when there is a very specific goal or desired outcome in mind and maybe a bit less helpful if you're just looking to maintain or you really don't have specific goals . If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!
I love movement and habits that promote health and lifetime wellness. I also like stretchy pants, being outside and good-for-you food! Follow me on Instagram @DawnBrownCoaching for more frequent updates.