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  • Michael Keane

The 3 Principles of Training



Have you ever been guilty of going to the gym without a plan? Do you just go from one machine to the next? Or do you ever repeat the same workout over and over with the same weight and reps? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, the next couple of paragraphs are going to be very important for you. If you can’t, the next couple of paragraphs are still going to be very important for you!


If you want to get better at training to see results you should treat it like any other sport or craft in life you want to perfect. That all starts with learning the fundamentals.


The three fundamentals or principles of training are specificity, overload, and progression.


1. Specificity: This can be broken down and defined as “You get what you train for”. If you want to get stronger you must do strength training. If you want to lose weight you must train in a fashion that is going to do just that such has high intensity interval training or some type of difficult cardiovascular exercise


2. Overload: This principle is continually increasing the demands on your body in order to continually make muscular gains or change the shape of your body(lose weight). For example, if you do 3 sets of 10 reps for bench press at 135 lbs. every Monday for 5 weeks, you will not get any stronger or see a change on your body because your “load” is always the same. There are five different ways to overload your muscles.


  • Increase the resistance or weight you are lifting

  • Increase the number of total reps you do each set

  • Increase the volume which is the sets multiplied by reps multiplied by the resistance or amount of weight used

  • Increase the number of times your train a week

  • Decrease the amount of time you rest in between each set


3. Progression: This principle refers to the way in which you should overload your training. Progression in training should be a gradual process. The FITT Principle describes how to safely apply overload and progression.


  • Frequency: How many times you train

  • Intensity: How hard you train during one period of exercise

  • Time: The length of time of one period of exercise

  • Type: The type or specific exercise chosen to improve in that area of health

If you want to get results whether it is gaining muscle of losing weight, start by applying these three principles to your training. This will allow you to complete a safe and effective training program.

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