Specific Adaptation

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Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) Stages

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) Stages

  • Stress (stimulus)
    • Exercise / Physical Activity
  • Adaptation (response)
    • Specific responsive biological adjustment to stress
    • If stress is too great, or sufficient recovery time not allowed
      • adaptation may be inhibited
      • decrement in capacity of physiological systems
  • Accommodation
    • Adaptation response will begin to slow if the exact same stimulus is continued for a prolonged period of time.
  • Exhaustion
    • Adaptation is complete after limited time span
    • Continued stimulus no longer elicits adaptation
  • Other example (epidermis):
    • Sun: sunburn or increase melanin
    • Friction: blister / abrasion or callus

Training Specificity

Sports Conditioning Running

  • Training effects are specific to the muscle groups used during training and the type of training program implemented (Fox 1975).
  • Training specifically for the movement pattern, speed, joint position, speed, and type of contraction produces improvement specifically in those movement parameters (Kreighbaum 1996).
    • Specific sport or activity yields greatest improvements
    • Supplement activity or sports training with resistance, cardiovascular, plyometrics, flexibility exercises
    • Utilize progression and periodization techniques
    • Also see Adaptation Criteria.
  • Adaptation is specific to :

Fox E, McKenzie D, Cohen K. (1975). Specificity of training: metabolic and circulatory responses. Med Sci Sports, 7(1):83.

Kreighbaum, E., Barthels KM (1996). Biomechanics; A Qualitative Approach for Studying Human Movement, Allyn & Bacon, 4.

Identical-elements Theory

  • Transfer of learning between various skills and exercise routines can occur if the main elements underlying different skills or situations surrounding performanc are identical and similar in nature.
    • Eg: Gymnastic training aimed at practicing complex exercise maneuvers complement (positively transfer) to the springboard diving.
  • As the degree of similarity between stimuli and responses decline, conflicting consequences may be experienced.
    • Transition from gymnastic to diving may not likely transfer because of the dissimilarity between diving and gymnastic somersaulting techniques.

Slobounov SM (2008). Injuries in Athletics, Causes and Consequences, Springer, 25-43

Range of Motion

Lever Push Pull

  • Perform every weight training exercise through a full range of motion
    • Recommended by leading authorities
    • Develops strength throughout full range of motion
    • Maintains flexibility necessary for ideal mechanics, function, and joint integrity
    • Joint adapts to full extension and flexion
      • Less susceptible to injury at extremes after adaptation
      • Unless range of motion will never be used
      • Consider unintentional or accidental range of motion in real world situations
    • Conditions stabilizing muscles
  • Full range of motion varies from person to person.
  • For elderly adults, perform the maximum range of motion that does not elicit pain or discomfort (ACSM 1995)

American College of Sports Medicine (1995). Principles of Exercise Prescription, William & Wilkins, 5.

Slobounov SM (2008). Injuries in Athletics, Causes and Consequences, Springer, 25-43

Sports Conditioning

...it is a common practice in collegiate athletics that divers and swimmers utilize similar heavy resistance workouts for upper body, particularly during preparation period. This is inconsistent, at least, with the principle of specificity. Coaches should be aware that "what is honey for a swimmer could be poison for a diver".

Slovounov SM 2008


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