Every remarkable workout needs to count towards your goal
This philosophy applies to every area of life. No one wants to repeat the same actions without making an impact or making some noticeable change. Setting goals keeps us moving forward. Every single time you engage in fitness pursuits, remarkable, noteworthy changes must be the inevitable result. If not, it’s simply a waste of time.
Although there are many types of exercises to participate in, and just as many training techniques to choose from, the principles of gain stay the same. When applied properly, every workout will be effective and transforming.
Here are the principles of exercise:
Overload represents the idea that for a muscle to strengthen it must be broken down. Each muscle group contains small muscle fibers. There are different kinds of fibers, but for this article, we’ll keep it simple.
When you put stress on a muscle, it breaks down. Nevertheless, human bodies are very efficient at repairing themselves. After the muscle fiber damage is repaired, the newly improved strengthened fibers cause an increase in size and strength.
Repair usually happens when the body is at rest. Rest phases usually take at least 24 hours.
The degree to which you put effort into every action is how to measure its intensity. If your workout does not challenge you, the intensity is low. HIIT is a great example. During the intense interval of HIIT, pushing out of a comfort zone is the only way to achieve the ample overload needed to raise heart rate and strengthen the cardio and strength systems. During the rest interval of HIIT, the intensity drops to moderate for the rest phase to have its effect.
Intensity can be increased with speed, resistance, rapid changes in movements but mostly with a perceived rate of exertion. When a workout is more challenging, you can feel its intensity.
Time and duration are closely related. The amount of time you spend on any given exercise will have an impact on your overall endurance, strength and general fitness level. However, this doesn’t mean you need to spend hours at the gym. It means your workout must be effective and contain all the elements in the time necessary for overload, and intensity to take place.
Duration also includes the rest period following a workout. Rest or recovery phase allows the body to repair itself. While these repairs in broken muscle fibers take place, your metabolism is working hard on these tiny muscle reconstructions. Metabolic boosts result from these elements.
Frequency measures the number of times during a week dedicated to exercise. This principle can be abused resulting in overuse and burnout, not to mention injury. The importance of maintaining a schedule cannot be stressed, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of overall health and well-being. Every day is a day to listen to your own body. Hear it when it tells you it’s not at peak performance today. Listen when you didn’t sleep well and can’t lift more or do more reps than last week. Some days we feel better and some days just okay.
One thing is certain about exercise regimens and life in general. Our bodies are a tool. We are not our bodies. Keep yourself strong and healthy so you can sustain all the tools necessary for as long as possible to accomplish in life what your soul needs to give to the world. That is why we stay fit. It’s the main reason we are here.