training principles

7 Training Principles You Need To Know

The 7 training principles form the basis for your optimal and successful training planning and design. Sounds complicated? But it is not.

Principle of the training stimulus

Without the right intensity in training, there will be no adaptation reactions in the body. For example, you don’t build muscle, improve your endurance or your running pace.

The basic principle is the principle of supercompensation: Without training, your body is in equilibrium. The right training leads to a disturbance of the balance.

Your body is not up to the stimulus. He tries to restore balance by adapting to the stimulus. You will become stronger, faster, more enduring or more muscular.

The optimal intensity of the stimulus depends on your performance and training level. You can orientate yourself on the stimulus level rule.

According to the stimulus threshold law, 4 stimulus levels are distinguished:

  • Subliminal stimuli = ineffective, no adaptation reaction -> The training does not strain you.
  • Subliminal weak stimuli = maintenance of the functional level -> not too difficult, not too easy.
  • Over-threshold strong stimuli = optimal, trigger symptoms of adaptation. The training makes you exhausted. The final repetitions are difficult for you.
  • Too strong stimuli = damage the function -> The training is too difficult, you cannot do the exercises properly, you have pain during training.

Principle of progressive overload

Constant stimuli lose their effectiveness in the long run. Your body has adapted to the stress. You stagnate in training. In order to make further progress, you should increase the training load at certain time intervals.

The training load can be increased in different ways:

  • Increasing the frequency of training (training units per week).
  • Increase in the scope of the load.
  • Increasing the load density (e.g. shortening break times).
  • Increasing the intensity of exercise (e.g. more weight).

Depending on the training level, the load can be increased gradually or suddenly.

Beginners should increase the load in small steps (gradually). The rule here is: scope before intensity.

Advanced or competitive athletes have to increase the training load by leaps and bounds in order to make any further progress. Since an increase in scope is hardly possible, the intensity is increased.

Principle of varying loads

Even exercises and training methods that remain the same can lead to a standstill. Break through the monotony of your training and bring a breath of fresh air.

The training load can be varied in different ways. You have the following options to change the stress monotony:

  • Integrate new exercises.
  • Choose other training methods.
  • Change the duration of the exercise (time under tension).
  • Shorten break times.
  • Increase training intensity (e.g. volume, density).
  • Change movement dynamics.

The variation in training can also increase your motivation for training.

Principle of optimal relation between stress and recovery

Another important principle is the relationship between exercise and recovery. No matter what training goal you pursue, your body needs enough time to regenerate.

Recovery phases that are too short not only reduce your training success, but can also lead to injuries and motivation problems.

There is a risk of overtraining. Regeneration phases that are too long lead to the loss of adaptation reactions.

You can significantly influence and support your regeneration through the right diet.

Principle of durability and continuity

A one-time training does not lead to success. In order to achieve and maintain your training goal, the training must be repeated several times over a longer period of time.

If there is no stress, the body falls back to its starting level. You look like you did before training.

Principle of periodization and cyclization

You can’t be in top shape all year round. For professional and competitive athletes in particular, it is important to divide a training year into different cycles. So they manage to be in top form in the competition phase.

In fitness training, too, it is necessary to systematically change the training plan at certain time intervals. For example, exercises, sentence numbers, repetitions or break times can be changed.

Periodization can improve performance over the long term. Phases of intense physical exertion should alternate with phases of reduced physical exertion.

Principle of individuality and age

The physical requirements and needs also play a major role. For example, age, anatomy, injuries and experience must be taken into account when planning.

Your training plan should suit you and your needs.

Overview of the training principles

  • The 7 training principles make your training more effective and efficient.
  • Your training load should be strenuous.
  • Increase yourself at regular intervals.
  • Switch training methods every now and then.
  • Bring a breath of fresh air into your training with new exercises.
  • Give your body enough break to regenerate.
  • Exercise regularly and continuously.
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