Training Principles, Part Two - Principles Of Exercise Science

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

There are quite a few scientific principles that apply to training. I will list some of my favorites that I use daily.

1. Central Nervous System Training (CNST) – is made up of the brain, spinal cord, nerve pathways, and sensors to the muscles and organs.

·      The impulse or signal to the muscles from the spinal cord is called neural drive, involving motor or efferent neurons, nerve fibers, motor units, motoneurons, and muscle fibers.

·      Things that interrupt and obstruct neural drive are poor posture, improper form, flexibility and strength imbalances, nerve injury, and scar tissue.

·      Demonstrate-ROM with proper vs. poor flexibility, seated rotation or elbow retraction

2. Critical Drop Off (CDO) – after the first set If the rep number drops by more than 2, e.g., from 6 to 3 reps or 20-30%, the particular exercise should be discontinued.

·      This drop off indicates neuromuscular exhaustion so stopping will prevent over training, reduce the possibility of injury, and allow the super compensation process to begin. So move on or continue with the next exercise.

3. Exercise Variation (EV) – by varying the exercises for each cycle over training and muscle imbalance can be significantly reduced.

·      For example during workout cycle one a flat chest press can be performed and for workout cycle two an incline press can be done.

·      Exercise variation may include changes in exercise selection, or changes in hand, foot, limb angle, or body position, and in apparatus type.

4. Faulty Muscle Recruitment (FMR) and Loading Patterns – faulty muscle recruitment occurs as a result of performing a task incorrectly and may be caused by:

·      Scar tissue present within the muscle which impedes its ability to function normally.

·      A muscle imbalance that effects the neural drive to the muscle.

·      Using too heavy a load so that the appropriate muscles can not perform the task.

·      Continuing to train while not addressing any of the previous issues or several other factors.

·      Remember how you practice will influence how you play and perform.

5. Faulty Loading Patterns (FLP) and Muscle Type Response – stability muscles also known as postural or tonic muscles tend to shorten and tighten under faulty or improper loading.

·      Their composition seems to be mostly slow twitch or IA type fibers.

·      While the dynamic, explosive, or phasic muscles tend to lengthen and weaken under faulty loading.

·      They seem to be made up of a predominance of fast twitch IIB and IIA fibers.

·      This is the general rule but some muscles may have dual roles and have a composition of several fiber types.

6. Muscle Action Response (MAR) – most muscles will be comprised of both fast and slow twitch fibers, however the percentages or ratios will vary based on genetics, and muscle group but training will affect it’s development.

·      E.g., fast vs. slow ratio may be 40:60 or 50:50 or 60:40 or 70:30, this will determine your athletic preference and possible physical training potential.

·      Muscles that flex joint angles like the arm and leg biceps tend to be comprised of mostly fast twitch fibers.

·      While muscles that extend the joint like the leg quadriceps and lower back erectors will have a greater endurance capacity.

·      Remember this is the general rule, individuals need to be tested to determine their specific muscle response.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’