Performing various forms of resistance training augments the criteria for improving general and specific forms of strength. A well know criteria and principle for strength training is the SAID principle (Specific Adaptations to the Imposed Demands). This principle is well documented and states if one wants a specific change/adaptation to occur a training regimen must stress a muscle/group of muscle utilizing a specific energy system.
Examples of this are:
- Strength – designing a program to target a specific type of strength (absolute/ maximum strength, speed-strength, starting-strength, endurance-strength, strength-endurance, skill-strength, core- strength, flexibility-strength, etc)
- Endurance – what type of endurance? Aerobic? Strength? Speed? Skill?
- Hypertrophy (muscle growth) – must tax the muscle with a certain level of stress (number of sets/repetitions/exercises per muscle groups – this is referred as Volume of training), length of rest periods between sets and exercises, and number of workouts per week/exercise/muscle groups. Research indicates that moderate intensity is standard for muscle growth, but it is the VOLUME of training that elicits that optimal overload for muscle growth, especially in intermediate/advanced trainees. Genetics also plays a substantial role in one’s ability to maximize muscle growth.
Bottom line – if you want a specific adaptation you must physically train a specific way to achieve a specific outcome.
The Basics of Program Selection
One must gather data for client: initial interview, HHQ, Par-Q, posture, basic strength levels (NOTE: this is not maximum strength. This is specific strength referring to flexibility/muscle strength imbalances at all joints that may impede/prevent quality and/or efficiency of movement), basic real life functional movement patterns, selected balance tests (Note: this is only used to determine if a strength deficit exists unilaterally and/or bilaterally. This is not a determination of balance deficiency in the inner ear – this determination is for a medical professional only).
This term is often misused in the fitness industry. According to Webster’s optimize simple means “to make the most effective use of.” Therefore, NESTA uses this term for:
- Use all test data in the most useful and efficient manner possible to optimize all individual training programs.
- Reference and utilize all scientific data/applications for addressing the multiple categories of strength used in developing a training program.
- Proper selection of exercise to increase efficiency and effectiveness of movement (what is the optimal type of exercise at any time during the program?).
- Proper/optimal sequencing of every exercise in a training session, optimal selection for every phase/cycle of training and optimal selection of volume (sets, reps, # of exercises, rest periods, etc) within a session as well over the course of each cycle of the training plan.
- Optimizing transference of effect from exercises to real life (NOTE: this may include using machines first in order to teach basic movement patterns, since some clients experience motor-potential difficulties. The trainer should first attempt to evaluate basic, goal-oriented human movements using bodyweight, then add external load. If a client has difficulty learning these basic motions, work backwards (i.e. ground-based movements on stable surfaces then work backwards to machines).
- Optimize style of technique for EVERY exercise!! This seeks to resolve the myth that there may be one standard technique for each exercise; in reality, every person is proportioned differently. Limb segments (arms and legs) are in different proportions or ratios, relative to trunk length or overall size. These ratios are different for every person.
Refers to the use of time within the training session (optimal use of the simple and complete concept of program design: simple – few exercises as possible; complete – utilize ground-based, multi-joint, multiplaner, large muscle group movement that relate to normal human movements (when applicable). NOTE: optimization of exercise mechanics, sequencing, etc. can maximize efficiency and effectiveness of transference/adaptation capabilities of all exercises and programs as a whole, to reach said goal(s).
Addressing optimization of technique, program design, proper selection and sequencing of all exercises minimizes the risk of injury, not reaching goals (non-productive time usage) and maladaptation.