It’s time for another Austin-area family medicine 101 class!
There are six principles of conditioning in the field of exercise science that every athlete or trainer should follow when prepping for the optimal workout or exercise program. These principles are universally accepted and should be followed so that those participating can make the most gains and improvements in their fitness and performance levels.
The third of the six principles is the Principle of Progression, which implies that there is an optimal level of overload that should be achieved, and an optimal time frame for this overload to occur. A gradual and systematic increase of the workload over a period of time will result in improvements in fitness without risk of injury. If overload occurs too slowly, improvement isn’t likely to happen; while overload that is increased too rapidly may cause injury or muscle damage. For example, the weekend athlete who exercises vigorously only on weekends violates the Principle of Progression and most likely will not see obvious fitness gains.
The Principle of Progression also stresses the need for adequate rest and recovery. Continual stress on the body and constant overload will eventually lead to exhaustion and injury. You should not train hard all the time, as you risk overtraining and a decrease in fitness.