Five Fundamental Training Principles

When it comes to training and exercise, there are some common principles that hold true. This short post is designed to provide you with a “quick read” introduction to five training principles (or fundamentals).

Training Principles

1. Overload Principle

Improvements are driven by stress. By this principle, physical stress is applied to the system to stimulate an adaptive response. For example, if you were new to weightlifting, physiological changes in the body would occur over time as a response to weightlifting so that the body will be able to do the same workload for less effort in the future. However, this also means that more stress is required for further improvements, hence the need for ‘progressive overload’.

SUMMARY – Stress is required for physiological change. More stress is required to continue stimulating improvements.

2. FITT Principle

To ensure that the body continues to adapt we want to consider modifying the following training variables: frequency, intensity, time and type. By altering these four areas, we can produce a conducive environment for progressive overload by changing the amount of physical stress.

SUMMARY – Control the amount of physical stress using Frequency [How often?], Intensity [How difficult?], Type [What activity?], Time [How long?] to optimise overload.

3. Specificity Principle

The physiological, neurological, and psychological adaptations that occur are directly related to the activity performed during training. For example, sprinters should be training in a manner that targets their sprint performance and whilst a sprinter may find benefit to their cardiovascular system with swimming, it may not necessary improve their 100-metre sprint time.

SUMMARY – The more specific the training is to a goal, the better.

4. Reversibility Principle

Most people have heard the phrase “Use it or lose it” and the adage holds true when it comes to the conditioning of skeletal muscle. When we’re referring to ‘it’, we are talking about a loss in strength, neuromotor recruitment, flexibility & endurance. It’s more than just the size of muscle we are losing!

SUMMARY – Activity needs to continue at the same level to keep the same level of adaptation.
‘Use it or lose it’.

5. Rest, Recovery & Periodisation

It is necessary to consider proportionate amounts of rest and recovery in relation to training to control the amount of stress on the system. A systematic approach to exercise programming is to divide training into blocks to allow for optimal rest and recovery as a method to avoid overstressing the system. Whilst this training principle of periodisation is more common with advanced to elite level athletes, it can still be applied to most training programs as well.

SUMMARY – Adequate rest is important to recovery.

Want To Know More?

This article was written by Precision Physio Exercise Physiologist Brando Liu, if you would like to know more, feel free to reach out to him or book an appointment with any Precision Physio Exercise Physiologist.

How Do I Book An Appointment?

We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call any of these numbers to schedule a session:

Online Consultations

Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!

To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.

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