Within the iron game, nothing is as confusing as the riddle of adaptation to exercise. It is both the crux of problems, the hidden success of many small victories and a constants source of confusion.
As within any action, the learning curve varies within from highly complex to relatively steep. In the initial stages of learning, in this case an exercise, the individual will lack the technical experience and not perform the movement in the most efficient manner possible. Through dedicated practice, the skill set is developed and along with proper movement patterns, the individual will build the desired muscularity from the exercise.
Once the movement is mastered, or at-least performed with relative proficiency, there are a number of peculiar points to consider. Firstly, the movement will gradually become a "skill", whereby the muscular benefit will degrade to some varying degrees as the technical knowledge on how to perform the movement is learned. Examples such as throwing, catching or kicking a ball or any repetitive action are noteworthy and the same concept applies within the resistance training.
As a personal example, given I perform Squats on a daily basis the "stimuli" is not the same, as it relates to hypertrophy, as someone who is less frequent and in-fact, my benefit from an individual training session is significantly different that most.
In this situation, the question is raised is whether I am “exercising” or “practising” a movement, as in the case of a sport and certainly an argument can be make on either side with varying opinion on the benefit. This however voyages into murky waters because as once you have perfected the movement you are equally stimulating the manner in which the action was intended and equally assisting areas of general mobility, work-rate and possibly muscular recovery. Clearly, this is circuitous problem because while you want to execute the lift properly, you have to be careful of the efficient use of time as well as avoiding monotony in your training regime.
One winning strategy for those dedicated within the training world is to circumvent the adaptation curve by varying exercises, mediums, settings or tempo on a regular basis. By varying exercises approaches the individual develops a broad base of general athletic attributes that can serve as the footing for highly specialised skills and does not suffer with a similar rate of diminishing returns. Ultimately these choices are not complicated and summarily provide one of the great benefits of the iron-game few seem to mention; it’s fun.
Prepared by John Davies
The information provided in 'Instant Training Improvement Tips', as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.