Fitmark Ambassador Lindsay Kent explains how change challenges the body that promotes growth
I wanted to write a post about a comment I received during a personal training session about why we incorporate different movements, use different pieces of equipment and often change the sequence of the designated exercises and/or circuits during the course of our workouts. As always, I welcome questions, and trust me, there is always a method behind the madness!
There is a specific principle used in exercise and program development called the SAID principle, which stands for ‘Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.’ Challenge the body in one plane of motion, with one specific contraction, one type of speed, one type of resistance and a certain piece of equipment and/or environment, and the body will adapt to complete that task. In order to treat/train the whole working machine, we must create different challenges, which is the simplified version of this principle. It’s counterpart, Progressive Overload, states that to continually increase the work load, we must add different intensity techniques to progressively overload the body and force change; this may be increased volume, increased load, different types of resistance, or time vs. rep completion as an example.
The interesting thing about the human body is its amazing ability to adapt to unusual circumstances and situations. Going to the gym to lift weights for the first time you will notice a strain in your muscles after a few hours. This is due to the “shock” your muscles have received prior, however, after repeatedly lifting weights utilizing the same patterns and loads, you will no longer feel a strain in your muscles subsequent to working out. This is because your body has adapted to lifting the weights.
As a result of the body’s uncanny ability to adapt to unusual circumstances, you will not get the most out of your workouts unless you switch things up. It does not have to be anything drastic. Many persons wonder why they stop making progress in building muscle or losing body fat after a while, but in order to build muscle you have to continually challenge and stimulate your muscle tissues by putting them under new and unusual circumstances that they will have to adapt to. You should always try to incorporate different routines into your workout so that your body never becomes stagnant.
Your body is constantly adapting to new equipment, terrain and schedules, and different energy systems. And as you get fitter, you’ll actually increase the total work you do. This is the best way to improve your overall conditioning and burn sufficient calories. And after all, variety is the spice of life—enjoy your body and use it every way possible!
Fitmark Ambassador 2013