In order for performance to improve, you must train the body to go beyond its current capacity. In order to do so, the S.A.I.D. principle needs to be understood. S.A.I.D. stands for – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. What this means is that if you want to get stronger, you need to lift heavier than you currently can, or if you wish to increase endurance you need to run longer than you currently can at a given speed.
The way this is accomplished in training, is to train hard, beyond the level you have been training at and then allow the body to adapt to the excess stress placed on the body. So if you continually lift heavier weights the body will adapt to handle the stress under the right conditions. It will do this for instance by improving neural drive to the muscles, increasing muscle size etc. However, this will only occur if the body has adequate resources for the adaptations to occur. These resources include:
- Adequate rest and sleep
- Minimal stress (physical, mental and emotional)
- Adequate hormonal status
- Adequate nutritional status
With the correct conditions in place, training fatigue leads to an adaptation in the tissues and improved performance ability.
In order to ensure adequate recovery, a training and recovery diary should be kept including full details of the exercise programme, levels of muscle soreness, general energy/fatigue, ability to maintain technique and expected performance, bodyweight, appetite, resting heart rate, sleep patterns and levels of motivation, concentration and confidence.