Scientific Rules That Lead to Fitness
In the study of exercise science, there are several universally accepted scientific exercise training principles that must be followed in order to get the most from exercise programs and improve both physical fitness and sports performance.
These rules apply to all athletes from beginners to elite competitors. Of course, you don’t need to follow every one of them all the time, but if you want to get in better shape, improve your sports performance, get better at a particular fitness discipline, or avoid stalling and back-slides, these fundamental rules are the hidden force behind your ability to change your fitness level.
To design an optimal exercise program, workout, or training schedule, a coach or athlete should adhere to the following six fundamental principles of exercise science.
The Principle of Individual Differences
The principle of individual differences simply means that, because we all are unique individuals, we will all have a slightly different response to an exercise program. This is another way of saying that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to exercise. Well-designed exercise programs should be based on our individual differences and responses to exercise.
Some of these differences have to do with body size and shape, genetics, past experience, chronic conditions, injuries, and even gender. For example, women generally need more recovery time than men, and older athletes generally need more recovery time than younger athletes.
With this in mind, you may or may not want to follow an “off the shelf” exercise program, DVD, or class and may find it helpful to work with a coach or personal trainer to develop a customized exercise program. Some things to consider when creating your own exercise program include the next batch of exercise science principles.
The Principle of Overload
The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength, or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly.
In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is accustomed to.
To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are accustomed to or at a higher intensity level. This could mean lifting more weight or doing high-intensity interval training workouts.