Most fitness instructors strive to provide a total body workout in their classes. However, sometimes enhanced results can be achieved by training with more specificity, whether it be isolating muscle groups in strength training, or by training one aspect of physical fitness, such as cardio, flexibility, or muscular endurance. For this reason, Fitmotivation created an upper body specific workout and a lower body specific workout to more effectively train specificity in muscle groups. This allows instructors to provide their students with more in-depth and specific training.
PRINCIPLE OF SPECIFICITY
The principle of specificity is commonly referred to as the SAID principle, which stands for "Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands." The SAID principle states that the body will adapt to the specific demands placed upon it. In other words, your body will respond by improving in whatever you are training it for. An athlete will train with exercises that replicate their particular sport or activity in order to get better at it. Individuals experiencing weakness in their arms would want to train with more specificity in upper body strength. If you are getting winded easily while walking or performing daily activities, then you might want to focus on cardio training.
Gym-goers have long embraced the SAID principle with Split System Training, a program of weight lifting that divides the body in regions, usually upper and lower. For example, you may do a lower body workout on Tuesday and an upper body workout on Thursday. Many experienced Gym Rats take the concept a step further by training specific muscle groups on certain days. For example, “push” upper body muscle groups, which include chest, triceps and shoulders, are often performed on the same day. The “pull” muscle groups, which include back, traps and biceps are performed on another day. And then of course there is Leg Day.
Targeting specific muscle groups in a training session with multiple sets and reps has been proven to provide greater strength gains. A Split Training System also allows muscle groups to rest and recover between training days, which is essential for muscle growth. In the Water Exercise Upper Body Circuits, I split the upper body into anterior and posterior regions. The anterior workout was similar to a gym “push” day because the muscles in the front of the upper body are targeted by pushing the water’s resistance FORWARD. The muscles in the rear or posterior of the upper body are targeted by pulling the water’s resistance BACKWARDS, behind the body. WATCH Mark provide more tips on training upper body.
The principle of Progressive Overload is also hugely important for continued fitness results. This principle basically states that if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. It is important to progress your workouts by changing up variables, such as duration, frequency, modality or intensity/resistance. For example, progressing resistance in the pool can be as simple as applying more force to the water’s resistance, or it can mean adding equipment to create more resistance. Drag equipment, such as webbed gloves or the Aqualogix Upper & Lower Body Training System, are the most effective way of increasing the water’s resistance. WATCH Mark explain the importance of progressive overload.
Enjoy the Water Exercise Circuit series. Aside from providing your students effective workouts and enhanced fitness results, you are furthering their understanding of how to specifically target muscle groups in the water. Fitmotivation is committed to producing pool workouts that provide results AND an enjoyment in exercising.
Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.