Seven Principles of Sports Training and Exercise

To maintain or achieve a healthy lifestyle, sports training and exercise are a given, but what are the basics?

Importantly, medical professionals are understanding the benefits of physical activity, and there are key principles to follow before you embark on a programme which will suit you.

1. Individual

The most important aspect of any training programme is that it must suit you as an individual, depending on your age and aims and current fitness levels. Figure out what works for you.

2. Specific

You should create a programme which suits your sporting goals. Different sports require distinct abilities and body strengths. If you are a hockey player, your needs will be different to a distance runner, and so a hockey training drill will be needed. If you want to review hockey training drills click here.

3. Progression

Any training programme should develop so that you are hitting your targets. Running the same distance or exercising for the same time will not help you to reach your maximum ability – nor will it help you progress. Either aim to get your time down for the same distance or run further. Add more weights in the gym or increase repetitions. Always look to improve.

  1. Overload

Just like progression, overload involves increasing the effort you put in, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Lift more weight, swim further, increase speed towards the end of a run or stay on the pitch carrying out an extra hockey training drill.

5. Adapting

To achieve the two goals outlined above you need to understand how your body adapts to your training regime and the role muscle memory plays. You will become accustomed to a certain level of exercise, and you must have the mental strength to push beyond your original targets. As your body adapts, efficiency increases and the regime involves less effort.

6. Recovery

As you make progress in your regime, it is important to understand the need for recovery. Even professional athletes sometimes fail to understand that the body needs rest. You will not make improvements if you do not allow your body time to recover from strain.

7. Reversibility

Remember that if you stop exercising you will soon lose the ability to achieve your previous targets.

It’s a good idea to maintain your levels and enjoy your exercise programme.