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Principle of Varying Training

The Training Process
       Training is a systematic process designed to improve an athletes fitness to meet the specific demands of their sport. Training consists of short. intermediate, and  long-term goals that progressive increases the individual level of fitness and conditioning.

       The process of training is a cyclical - tear down, recovery, super-compensation, and buildup or adaptation. Training involves both general and event-specific exercises to develop the necessary skill sets an athlete requires to be successful in their sport.

       No matter how good a training program, the athlete will become bored and complacent with the training exercises. The sameness of the routine acts as a disincentive which affects the expected improvement.

       The goal of the training is to challenge the athlete by introducing new training exercises. The body response is renewed enthusium that produces a response to the increased stress load. This adaptative response can be stimulated through the process of changing the focus of the exercises after six or eight weeks.

       The initial response to training is fatigue after each exercise session. When the exercise sessions ends, a period of rest or recovery must occur prior to ccommencing another session. Each session of recovery and adaptation takes the athlete's body to a higher level of fitness. The stress load is should be increased in a slow, systematic manner to allow gradual adaptation of the body.

If the training load is not great enough there is little or no increase in fitness level or athletic performance. A loading that is too great can result in injury or illness to the athlete.

The Variation Principle
     The Variation Principle suggests that minor changes in training regimens yield more consistent gains in sport performance. Training programs for virtually every sport include variations in intensity, duration, volume, and other important aspects of practice.

  The most well known method of practice variability concerns training in phases. Typically, an annual sports training program includes phases of training for conditioning, intensive sport-specific work, in-season maintenance, and an off-season regimen. Training in phases, or periods, is called periodization.

  Periodization was used by Eastern Europeans for about 50 years.


  • Macrocycles one competitive season - approximately a year
  • Mesocycles - approximately a month
  • Microcycles - approximatelya week

Note: include anticipated planned changes in exercises, intensity, volume, and other training variables that target the athlete's goals for peaking during the competitive season.

    Adjustments in training are very effective when used for skill learning, as well as for fitness training. Changes within a range or class of skills is well supported by Schema Theory. Refer to Variation in Training.

   This principle does not conflict with the Specificity and Overload Principles. Specificity is about how the athlete's body adapts to the type of training program used, and training should be similar to the demands of a sport. Practice variability simply suggests that athletes should not perform exactly the same regimen each day. It supports specificity because competitive conditions present different situations that demand slightly different responses. The Overload Principle implies that gradual and progressive changes in training must occur in order for improvement to take place.

Variation Training Tips:

  1. Set up a sports training plan for the entire competitive season using phases for specific purposes.
  2. The training activities need to form a cohesively plan to build from the off season that peaks for games or competitions during the competitive season.
  3. In each week of each training phase, coordinate the intensity of fitness training activities with technical and tactical work to allow ample recovery.
  4. For weight training, adjust exercises, sets, reps, rest, and volume within a range that fits the training cycle.
  5. For aerobic training, adjust distance, speed, duration, recovery, and volume within the training cycle.
  6. When signs of overtraining occur, change workouts by reducing intensity and allowing longer recovery time.

Principles of Sports Training:

Mental Training:

Developing A Training Plan


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training
Transferring Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Training Considerations
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment
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