Fitness & Life Coaching

Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (S.A.I.D Principle)

By Danny Wallis Personal Trainer & Online Fitness Coach

March 10, 2016

S.A.I.D is an acronym which stands for ‘Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands’ and, if you’re struggling reaching your goals, it could be the reason you’re not progressing with your workouts. But what does it mean?

We Adapt to What We Do

Basically, the body is clever and will adapt specifically to what you to do it; Sit all day eating cheeseburgers and chocolate, and your body will cleverly become a perfectly formed fat storing machine. Conversely, start running and eating healthily, and your body will get better at running longer distances and burning fat.

Running however, won’t make your muscles bigger, fix your lower back pain or make you more flexible. Those goals all require a different approach, hence the need to train specifically for your individual needs.

Fitness Specific Training

You wouldn’t expect a marathon runner to enter a bodybuilding competition in the same way you wouldn’t expect a 100 meter sprinter to be able to swim the English Channel. Fitness can be extremely specific to individuals goals. S.A.I.D is a principle which basically means your body will adapt itself to the specific tasks at hand.

If your own training isn’t properly thought out, addressing this one area could completely turn your achievements around.

Let me explain. Someone starts running 6k and burns around 400 calories. If they kept the speed and distance variables the same, in time the amount of calories they burn while doing the run would decrease. This is because the body has adapted to running meaning it has learned to do the same job with less effort.

Building Body Efficiency

Efficiency is key. It’s no coincidence the majority of the people you know have now given up on their New Years resolutions to get fit this year. We are actually programmed by our own brains to be inherently lazy.

Physical hard work hard creates lots of effort which results in the consumption of calories and breakdown of muscle. Exercise is tough and it takes a lot of effort on each body part to repair and recover from training. Therefore, what the brain wants to do is make life as physically easy for us as possible.

This means two things; 1) Your workouts will get easier over time by making your body more efficient completing them. 2) Your brain will tell you to stop when your workouts start getting tougher than usual. This fact can be a massive hindrance at moving your fitness forward.

Understanding Your Own Motivations

Your training should be specific to your goals and avoid the easy route. A cardio session will get you hot and sweaty, but it won’t transform your body or increase your performance like strength training can. On the other hand, distracting yourself by sitting on the weights machines playing on your phone between sets also won’t help you achieve any personal bests either.

Spend a few minutes thinking about your training. How long have you been doing the same routine? How close are you to where you want to be? What changes could you make to start achieving again? Are you even doing any exercise?

Make Appropriate Changes

Small adjustments make big differences. Plan to rest less, time your rest breaks to keep them strict. Aim to put your hour workout into 45 minutes. Adjust the speed on your cardio. Aim to push your repetitions higher while increasing the resistance you are currently using. Eat a little less and think about your food choices before you take a bite.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you really put your mind to it. Get focused, get specific and get the rewards of all your hard work!

About the author

Danny Wallis is a Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, NLP Life Coach and Nutrition Advisor, with over 20 years experience in helping people achieve their goals.

Danny Wallis

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