FITT Principle

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Specificity: Specificity is the principle of training that states that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.

Overload: The principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. The body will adapt to this stimulus. Once the body has adapted then a different stimulus is required to continue the change. In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to. To increase endurance, muscles must work for a longer period of time than they are used to. If this stress is removed or decreased there will be a decrease in that particular component of fitness. A normal amount of exercise will maintain the current fitness level.

Adaptation: Adaptation is the way the body ‘programs’ muscles to remember particular activities, movements or skills. By repeating that skill or activity, the body adapts to the stress and the skill becomes easier to perform. The Principle of Adaptation explains why a beginning exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but after doing the same exercise for weeks and months the athlete has little, if any, muscle soreness. This also explains the need to vary the routine and continue to apply the Overload Principle if continued improvement is desired.

Progression: Adaptation is the way the body ‘programs’ muscles to remember particular activities, movements or skills. By repeating that skill or activity, the body adapts to the stress and the skill becomes easier to perform. The Principle of Adaptation explains why a beginning exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but after doing the same exercise for weeks and months the athlete has little, if any, muscle soreness. This also explains the need to vary the routine and continue to apply the Overload Principle if continued improvement is desired.

Reversibility: Reversibility is when training stops and the effects if the exercise done is lost, it takes less time to lose fitness than to gain it.

Variation: The Variation Principle suggests that minor changes in training regimens yield more consistent gains in sport performance. Training programs for virtually every sport include variations in intensity, duration, volume, and other important aspects of practice.

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