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Principles of exercise


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 for the martial artist.


These basic principles of exercise must be followed:
  • Regularity. To achieve a training effect, you must exercise regularly. You should try to exercise 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 to bring about a training effect.
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