1/11/2013 0 Comments
7 principles of conditioning
Principles of conditioning
‘High performance sports conditioning” by Bill Foran (2001) discusses about the 7 principles of conditioning. It may be of relevant interest to athletes, coaches, trainers, physical educators and fitness enthusiasts. It gives us a simple and comprehensive explanation on each principle and how to apply it practically.
I have summarized the 7 principles as close as possible to the actual intention of the author and also add in some of my own views. Please read the book for further explanations.
1. Body reaction to stress
a) Reaction to acute bout of exercise (acute stress)
- e.g. , running for the bus, random running
- Takes place anytime, regardless of level of fitness
b) Reaction to particular bout of exercise repeatedly with regular frequency on different days (chronic stress)
- e.g. regular running
- considered to be training as it is done purposefully
- A desirable training effect takes place which leads to new fitness level
2. Predictable rate of improvement
- Exercise at a higher level of stress leads to higher level of fitness
- Rate of reaching this new level is not linear
- Diminishing returns set in until the new level is reached
- Further training at this new level of stress will not lead to further improvement in fitness level
- To further improve the fitness level, continue to increase level of stress (intensity, frequency, volume, recovery etc.)
3. Limits to improvement
- Individuals has different limits to how much improvement and level of performance he/she can achieve
- May not improve given a certain time frame (current season)
- However, he/she may improve only in the next season
4. Diminishing returns
- At a certain point of point, as stress of training increases, benefits of training become lesser. The greater the rate of stress, the lesser the rate of benefits
- If increasing training stress does not lead to better performance or even lead to worse performance, athletes should re-evaluate and may need to back off from training for the time being
5. Accelerating setbacks
- Relatively minimal training stress is associated with few problems (such as injuries or overtraining)
- But at some point of increased stress, even a small amount of additional stress leads to greater chance of problems occurring
6. Specificity of training
- Part of body that is stressed is the part that stands to benefit from that stress
- Training specifically towards your goals without sacrificing your functional fitness
7. Ease of maintenance
- States that once an individual achieves a certain level of fitness, the degree of stress necessary to maintain it is not as great as was necessary to reach that level in the first place
+ Due to elevated level of confidence
+ Due to physiological adaptations
- Athlete can then emphasize more on other possible weaker aspects of his/her fitness without losing that level of fitness i.e. using lesser stress level
- For e.g., if the athlete is competent in performing 20 pull-ups, he can use lesser amount of training to maintain this quantity. He could then spend more time and effort on improving his push-ups
Bill Foran (2001). High Performance Sports Conditioning. Chpt 10.Pg 199-203. Human Kinetics.
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