The Wellness Center
Exercise Science

Exercise Science - The Science Behind The Workouts Recommended by your Medically Assisted Weight Loss Trainer

We all know what exercise basically is, but here’s what you need to know about the universally accepted scientific principles that should be understood to get the most from any program you embark on:

1. The Principle of Individual Differences

Because we all are unique individuals, we will all have a slightly different response to an exercise program. This is another way of saying that "one size does not fit all" when it comes to exercise. Your trainer will design an exercise program specifically based on your differences and responses to exercise. Some of these differences have to do with body size and shape, genetics, past experience, chronic conditions, injuries and even gender. (For example, women generally need more recovery time than men, and older athletes generally need more recovery time than younger athletes.)

With this in mind, you may or may not want to follow an "off the shelf" exercise program, DVD or class and may find it helpful to work with the personal trainer to develop a customized exercise program.Most hormone replacements out there use synthetic versions of naturally occurring substances.

2. The Principle of Overload

The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly. Your trainer will lead you through this progression, safely.

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 or at a higher intensity.

3. The Principle of Progression

The principle of progression 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 is unlikely, but overload that is increased too rapidly may result in 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 proper rest and recovery, and your trainer will ensure that you don’t continually stress and overload your body. 

4. The Principle of Adaptation

Adaptation refers to the body's ability to adjust to increased or decreased physical demands. Repeatedly practicing a skill or activity makes it second-nature and easier to perform. Adaptation explains why beginning exercisers are often sore after starting a new routine, but after doing the same exercise for weeks and months they have little, if any, muscle soreness.

Additionally, it makes an athlete very efficient and allows him to expend less energy doing the same movements. Your trainer understands this and will vary a workout routine so you will see continued improvement.

5. The Principle of Use/Disuse

The Principle of Use/Disuse implies that when it comes to fitness, you "use it or lose it." This simply means that your muscles hypertrophy with use and atrophy with disuse. This also explains why we decondition or lose fitness when we stop exercise. This is why exercise is included when we talk about anti-aging.

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