Adherence to certain basic exercise principles is important for developing an effective training program. The principles of exercise apply to everyone at all levels of physical training, from the Olympic-caliber athlete to the weekend jogger, and also for the martial artist.
These basis principles of exercise must be followed:
- Regularity. To achieve a training effect, you must exercise often. You should try to exercise each of the four fitness components at least three times a week. Infrequent exercise can do more harm than good. Regularity is important in resting, sleeping, and following a good diet.
- Progression. The intensity and/or duration of the exercise must gradually increase to improve the level of fitness.
- Balance. To be effective, a program should include activities that address all the fitness components, since overemphasizing any one of them may hurt the others.
- Variety. Providing a variety of activities reduces boredom and increases motivation and progress.
- Specificity. Training must be geared toward specific goals, as becoming a better fighter.
- Recovery. A hard day of training for a given component of fitness should be followed by an easier training day or rest for that component and/or muscle group to help permit recovery. Alternating muscle groups will also assist in recovery.
- Overload. The workload of each exercise session must exceed the normal demands placed on the body in order to bring about a training effect.