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Chapter 2 Lecture

Principles of
Exercise for
Health and

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Learning Objectives

Understand the overload principle, principle of

progression, specificity of exercise, principle of
recuperation, and reversibility of training effects
Outline the physiological effects of a warm-up and cool-
Identify the general principles of an exercise
Understand the concepts of progression and
maintenance of exercise training
Explain the importance of individualizing the workout
Understand what is required to reach the threshold for
health benefits

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Principles of Exercise Training

Overload principle

Principle of progression

Specificity of exercise

Principle of recuperation

Reversibility of training effects

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Overload Principle

Overload is the major component of all conditioning

To improve fitness, the muscular and
cardiorespiratory systems of the body must be
Overload is achieved by increasing
Intensity of exercise - low, moderate, vigorous
Duration of exercise - time
Examples of overload via duration include
Working a muscle longer by increasing the number of
Holding a stretch for a longer period of time, or
stretching the muscle to a longer length
Overload does NOT mean engaging in painful or
exhausting workouts
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Overload Principle

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Principle of Progression

An extension of the overload principle

Overload is increased gradually over the course of an
exercise program
Slow, gradual overload increase first 46 weeks of a
program (starter phase)
Steady, progressive overload increase next 1820
Once desired fitness level is achieved, develop a
maintenance program to sustain the benefits

Ten percent rule: a common-sense guideline to improve

physical fitness without injury
Training intensity or exercise duration should be
increased by no more than 10% a week
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Principle of Progression

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Principle of Specificity

States that exercise training effect is specific to

those muscles involved in the activity
Underscores the importance of varied exercises
and overall fitness improvement
Determines the types of adaptations that occur
within muscles that undergo exercise
E.g., strength training via free weights will not
significantly improve endurance

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Principle of Recuperation

Recovery periods between exercise sessions

allow adaptation to exercise stress
24 hours of rest is essential for achieving
maximal benefits from exercise
Failure to rest can lead to a fatigue syndrome
known as overtraining
Overtraining can lead to injuries or chronic
To remedy overtraining, increase the period of
rest between sessions, or reduce the intensity of
the workouts, or both
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Principle of Recuperation

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Principle of Reversibility

The loss of fitness due to inactivity

Going too long between exercise sessions, or
having an inconsistent routine
The speed at which fitness is lost depends on
the nature of the exercise
Stopping strength training will result in slow,
gradual loss of muscular strength
Stopping endurance-related exercise results
in relatively swift loss of muscular endurance

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Principle of Reversibility

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Exercise Prescription

For each person, there is a correct "dose" of

exercise, tailored to meet their individual needs
Based on general health, age, current fitness
level, musculoskeletal condition, and body
Exercise Prescriptions include
Setting fitness goals (short-term and long-
Mode of exercise
Primary conditioning period (the workout)
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Setting Fitness Goals

Establish short-term and long-term fitness goals

Visualize goals to increase motivation
Achieve goals to improve self-esteem and
provide incentive for lifetime commitment to

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Mode of Exercise

The specific type of exercise to be performed

Can be classified by
High-impact exercises (puts more stress on joints)
Low-impact exercises (less stress on joints)

Due to the high correlation between high-impact exercise

and injury, low-impact modes are usually recommended
for fitness beginners

Examples of high-impact activities are

Running, basketball, some types of aerobic dance
Examples of low-impact activities are
Walking, cycling, swimming
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A brief period of exercise that precedes a

Usually light calisthenics or low-intensity
Often includes stretching
Designed to elevate muscle temperature and
increase blood flow to targeted muscles
Reduces potential strain on the heart that would
result from rapidly engaging in heavy exercise
May reduce the risk of muscle and tendon

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The Workout (Primary Conditioning Period)

Major components are frequency, intensity, and time/duration, known

as the FIT principle

Frequency = number of times per week you exercise

Recommended 35 times per week

Intensity = amount of physiological stress (overload) placed on the

Methods of measurement include heart rate, counting
repetitions, or degree of tension in a stretch

Time/duration = length of time actually performing exercise

Does not include warm-up or cool-down
30 minutes per exercise session (at 3+ sessions per week) is
minimum time necessary to improve fitness
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The Workout (Primary Conditioning Period)

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A 515 minute period of low-intensity exercise

immediately following the workout

Lowers body temperature, and allows blood to return

from the muscles to the heart

Failure to redistribute the blood after intense exercising

may cause fainting or lightheadedness

Best method is to do low-intensity exercises using the

same muscle groups used in the workout

Example of a cool-down exercise: slow walking following

a running workout
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Personalizing Your Workout

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How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Threshold for health benefits: the minimum level of

exercise required to achieve significant health benefits

Most fitness experts agree on this formula to exceed the

threshold for health benefits and reduce all causes of
3060 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise
performed 35 days per week

Current public health recommendations are lower,

recommending a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-
intensity activity daily, although this dose of exercise may
not be adequate to prevent weight gain
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Relationship Between Physical Activity and
Improved Health Benefits

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Removing Barriers to Physical Activity

Four major barriers contribute to low levels of

Lack of time
Social and environmental influences
Inadequate resources
Lack of motivation/commitment
Most important barrier to establishing regular
exercise program
Lab 2.4 can assist you identifying/overcoming
personal barriers

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The overload principle is the most important principle of

exercise training
The principle of progression, specificity of exercise,
principle of recuperation, and reversibility of training
effects also play key roles in developing physical fitness
Components of an exercise prescription include fitness
goals, mode of activity, warm-up, workout, and cool-
All exercise programs should be individually tailored, and
should consider a person's age, overall health, current
fitness level, musculoskeletal condition and body
The threshold for health benefits is the minimum activity
level required to achieve significant health benefits
2014 Pearson Education, Inc.