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Principles of Exercise

--by Dale Bogle

In developing an effective physical fitness program, you must adhere to basic exercise principles, regardless of your fitness level. These principles can best be remembered by the acronym "PROVRBS."

  • PROGRESSION - The intensity and duration of exercise must gradually increase to improve the level of fitness.
  • REGULARITY - A regular fitness program requires exercising the four components of fitness at least 3 times a week. The four components are: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility.
  • OVERLOAD - In order to obtain a training effect, the work load of each exercise session must exceed normal demands placed on the body. Find your one rep max lift for each exercise, then set the amount of weight used during each exercise at a level that will cause muscle failure with 8-10 repetitions.
  • VARIETY - Variety is the key to a lasting program because it relieves boredom and increases motivation and progress. Your muscles' "memory cells" will stop growing if you don't shock them occasionally with a change in your routine.
  • RECOVERY - Alternating muscle groups every other day, or alternating hard and easy days for each component of fitness, allows muscle repair and growth. Recovery can help avoid burn-out and injury.
  • BALANCE - Overemphasizing one component of fitness inhibits your overall progress. Include all four of the components on a regular basis to achieve proper balance.
  • SPECIFICITY - Plan your training towards your specific goals. For example, increase your 2 mile run time using specific cardiorespiratory activities such as interval training

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