Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘principle of specificity’

Dance Conditioning

Posted by terrepruitt on November 4, 2010

One of my San Jose Nia class students lent me a book*.  With all that is going on I haven’t gotten to get into it in depth but I read the beginning and I love it.  I was very happy to see that this particular book addressed whole body conditioning.

The author, Eric Franklin (yes, THE Eric Franklin), says that aerobic training is necessary for dancers.  Yet, he states that dancers are able to achieve what they do because their training involves presence and awareness.  He is talking about the mind body connection.  In Nia we call it body mind connection because we go to the intelligence of the body.  Either way the idea is that they are both connected and when exercising the benefits are greater when they are working as one.

This book is wonderful because it states much of the same information that is incorporated into Nia.  That your state of mind and attitude has an effect on your movements and results.  That is just a small example.

It also states the same information we actually apply to personal training.  Such as, training specifically for a specific result—the Principle of Specificity.  Also it talks about the Principle of Progressive Overload–how you need to increase the intensity in order to improve.  But it also advises you to listen to your body and learn to work with it.

I need to spend more time reading it to see what else he has to say.  I will definitely do another post on it because it has much more information in it and it is so exciting to see that it mimics so many other things I have learned.  It matches up with so much information from other fitness modalities and the information they are saying.  It is nice to hear that so many people are recognizing the mind-body / body-mind connection.  It has been happening for awhile now, it is just nice that it is getting so “mainstream”.  It is exciting to see we are all on the same page—whole body conditioning is better conditioning.

*Conditioning for Dance you can purchase through Amazon, its under “Interesting Reading”.

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Getting What You Want

Posted by terrepruitt on August 28, 2010

So what is it you want? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build strength? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be able to lift a 15 pound weight 100 times? Do you want to touch your nose to your knees? Whatever you want, whatever your goal the best way to reach it is to train for it specifically.

There is a principle of specificity.  If your goal is to run a marathon running ten miles every day is not going to get your body ready for the 26 miles that make up a marathon. If you want to build up strength lifting a 15 pound weight 50 times a day will not build strength. You actually have to give your body what it needs in order to allow it to reach your goal.  You must train the specific physiological system.

Losing weight requires your body to burn more calories than you consume. Not that doing that is always easy, but that is the simple fact. How you burn the calories is up to you. If losing weight is your primary goal then your options for burning calories is almost limit less.

If you want to build strength, then the key is to use more resistance than you can presently move. This type of goal usually has some limitations, but still, there are a lot of options out there that will enable you to build strength. There are several factors to take into account, but once you have those things accounted for you can go from there.

Running a marathon takes a lot of training, but eventually if you are planning on participating in one you would be better prepared if you included some 26 mile runs in your training.  As I mentioned previously you can’t run for 10 miles — even if it is everyday — and expect to be able to complete 26 miles during the marathon.

If it is muscle endurance you want, then you need to train your body in that manner.  Doing cardio for a hour or lifting the heaviest weight you can lift a couple of times will not allow your muscles to grow accustom to the repetitiveness required for muscle endurance.  Likewise, if you want to become flexible enough to be able to touch your toes or touch your nose to your knees, jogging three miles a day will not help you reach that goal.  Specificity, that is how you get what you want.   That is how you reach your goal–work the specific system specifically.

So what is it you want?  And what type of activity are you doing to get it?

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