San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
Weight Training SpecificityHow You Train is What You Get
The Principle of Specificity is based on the body responding to specific exercises of the training program. The body's adaptations will occur to the same muscles and systems targeted in the exercises. Whatever exercise you do, your body will adapt accordingly. This applies even when the exercises are performed under different environmental conditions
For example, performing heavy biceps curls causes the biceps to get stronger and larger, without affecting any other parts of the body. However, after exercising at high altitude for a few weeks causes your entire body make physical changes to adjust to the the thinner atmosphere.
The Principle of Specificity is that when you train with weights your body's natural mechanisms automatically respond to make your muscles stronger.
Muscles increase in size (called hypertrophy),
but the lack of testosterone in
women limits their increase in muscle. Refer to Gender
1. If your training goal is
general fitness with a focus on
improving posture, emphasize strengthening the extensor muscles in
the upper back and shoulders
while increasing flexibility
in the front of the shoulders and chest. Be sure to get specific
direction from a physical therapist or qualified health professional.
Check out Training Principles Applied to understand more about the training principles used a former Soviet coach.
There are many high quality programs based upon sound training principles that are generally effective in achieving their stated goals, but each program must be adjusted for individual and gender differences.
An Ineffective Weight Training ProgramWhen an athlete begins to lift weights they will experience results due to overloading and feel good about the early increase in strength; however, without a weight training guide or mentor to direct you, you could experience one of these possible scenarios:
1. The expenditure of large sums of money only to end up with poor results.
2. The use improper technique and/or not following recommended safety rules, can result in injury.
3. Following the more is better philosophy, the result is overtraining which can result in depression, illness, or injury.
4. Undertraining will result in little or no improvement.
5. The development of muscle imbalances will cause soreness, pain, and injury.
6. Hit a plateau sooner than you expected, followed by very slow improvement after that.Difficulty in adhering to a weight training or exercise program can become a source of frustration. This is usually followed by discontinuing the program, preventing the steady progress necessary to make lasting, healthy lifestyle changes.
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:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.