To promote continued fitness gains, one must consistently subject the body and its respectivesystems to progressively greater work loads. This progressive overload can be in terms of longerdurations of training, increased intensity levels, greater amounts of resistance, increasedfrequency of training, or a combination of one or more of these variables.These progressive increases are necessary since the body constantly adapts to exercise. If youremain at one activity level, you will not continue to improve.Such increases must be gradual, since doing too much too quickly can lead to injury or a state of overtraining.
Simply put, more is not always better. Too much, too soon will have a profound negative effecton your fitness program and goals. Indeed, your body's adaptation abilities are limited in thisrespect.When increasing the intensity or volume of exercise and activity, it must be done progressivelyand carefully. As you adapt to a certain level of fitness training or performance, one or more of your exercise program variables can then be modified. In this manner, you can avoid injury andovertraining.
Rest and Recuperation
In the context of fitness training, these terms have great importance. Each activity or exercisesession provides a specific stress to the body's systems. The body then requires rest in order torecover and recuperate between such sessions. This is necessary if you want to adapt to the stressof exercise and eventually improve your fitness and conditioning level.This principle is especially important with respect to resistance training, due to the physiologicalstress your muscles experience. Your muscles recover and grow stronger during these restperiods, not while you are exercising.This is why one should not train the same muscle group two days in a row during a resistance orweight training program. Such practices will often lead to a state of overtraining and eventualinjury.
As explained above, your body's ability to adapt to new stimuli and increased levels of exerciseis limited. If these adaptative capabilities are pushed beyond their limits too quickly or by toogreat an increase in activity levels, a state of overtraining can result.Many overenthusiastic people tend to believe the old adage "no pain, no gain." This could not befarther from the truth. Yes, you must work hard to improve, but that hard work must always bewithin your individual capabilities.