|Snowmen don’t shiver, but if they did it
would be homeostasis at work.
Okay, so that probably sounded more like this: “blah blah science blah sciencey-sciencey-science”. Basically, when you apply a stress to an organism, its will adapt to coexist with that stress. Lower the temperature in the room? Your internal thermostat kicks in to maintain your body temperature. Forget to drink enough water? Your kidneys down-regulate output to maintain hydration. Play a sport that involves a lot of running? Your muscle cells make more mitochondria (the organelles responsible for making ATP), the muscles and tendons in your legs get stronger, and your nervous system gets more sophisticated at coordinating your efforts. The end result? You get better at your sport and play with less effort. This is all adaptation. As you can see, some ways in which we adapt are temporary. However, in the face of constantly applied stress, the adaptation can become more permanent.
|Just because your boot camp makes you sweaty and
sore does not mean you are making long term adaptations.
|Throwing rocks can be a lot of fun, but unless you compete
in Highland Games, may not be the best training tool.
|Tendons are important.|
Yes, there is. It may not be sexy, but there is a lot of value in using consistency in the workouts you program for your trainees. The coordination it takes to execute perfect form under load takes a long time to develop. Practicing good form makes one stronger due to the increased neural coordination. However, consistent practice under load is what develops secondary adaptations that reinforce the structures that support the movements. Tendon and ligament strength, muscle growth, and bone density take months to develop. If you are not consistently practicing the same movements under load, you may get stronger, but the supportive structures may not adapt as well. Constant variation without a strength base can predispose you to injuries simply because your body did not receive enough overload stimulus to make your body structurally sound enough to handle the activity.
To use adaptation to your advantage, you must begin with consistency. Overload done right takes a very long time to adapt to and in the beginning, simply increasing training loads on a small set of movements will give you the strength base, both neurological AND structural, to handle more diversity in your training or competition plan. As trainers and coaches, we are also business people and its hard to retain clients if they aren’t having fun. However, its relatively easy to put together a smart consistent program with just enough play to keep your trainees happy and eager to come back for more. I’ve found that when my trainees discover that they really can be strong, they find that consistency and practice isn’t really that boring at all.