Updated: Jun 4, 2021
Building a successful training program is not a simple matter of deciding which exercises you want to do, decide how many sets and reps you are going to apply, and how much rest you are going to take. When building a training program you also need to know why you are making all these decisions. Therefore, having a basic understanding of the scientific principles behind the training is of utmost importance. Fortunately, the scientific principles are quite simplistic. The most fundamental of these principles is consistency. For a successful training program to be successful, athletes need to train regularly. Of course, consistency alone cannot make you a top elite athlete. The quality of the training program is also important. Still, the principles that the training program should be built on are quite simple to follow.
In the book outliers, Malcolm Gladwell states that to become an expert at something, you need to practice for 10,000 hours. The accuracy of this statistic is of course greatly debatable as several different factors might affect this number such as natural talent and genetics. Still, if we take this statistic as a general guideline, to reach 10,000 hours requires training 2 hours every day for 14 years! This highlights the importance of consistency. However, even though this principle may sound obvious, it continues to astonish me how many people fail to be consistent. For example, many people continuously change their training program as they follow the “latest” fads. How much money was spent on the latest machine that is supposed to make you look sculpted like a Greek god statue in just a few weeks? How many people change their diet to follow the latest vibe?
Fads are not the only thing that affects consistency. Many people train too much which results in overtraining and fatigue that cause us to alter the intensity we put into the training program. Many athletes also continuously keep changing goals or training plans. All these things affect consistency and it is very easy to make any of the above mistakes. Sometimes, there are even some changes that are beyond the athletes' control such as the sports club changing the coach, which brings his/her ideas.
Granted, it does not mean that changes can’t be positive as some changes are sometimes required. However, these changes should also be based on scientific research and implemented gradually.
These blogs will target the science behind training. Stay tuned for more blogs.
Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!
Cleather, D. J. (2018). The little black book of training wisdom
Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: the story of success
Verkhohansky, Y. (1998). Organization of the training process. New Studies in Athletics, 13, 21-32