Specific Adaptation

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) Stages

Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID) Stages

  • Stress (stimulus)
    • Exercise / Physical Activity
  • Adaptation (response)
    • Specific responsive biological adjustment to stress
    • If stress is too great, or sufficient recovery time not allowed
      • adaptation may be inhibited
      • decrement in capacity of physiological systems
  • Accommodation
    • Adaptation response will begin to slow if the exact same stimulus is continued for a prolonged period of time.
  • Exhaustion
    • Adaptation is complete after limited time span
    • Continued stimulus no longer elicits adaptation

Other Examples (epidermis):

    • Sun: sunburn or increase melanin
    • Friction: blister / abrasion or callus

Training Specificity

Sports Conditioning Running

  • Training effects are specific to the muscle groups used during training and the type of training program implemented (Fox 1975).
  • Training specifically for the movement pattern, speed, joint position, speed, and type of contraction produces improvement, specifically in those movement parameters (Kreighbaum 1996).
    • Specific sport or activity yields greatest improvements
    • Supplement activity or sports training with resistance, cardiovascular, plyometrics, flexibility exercises
    • Utilize progression and periodization techniques
    • Also see Adaptation Criteria.
  • Adaptation is specific to :

Fox E, McKenzie D, Cohen K. (1975). Specificity of training: metabolic and circulatory responses. Med Sci Sports, 7(1):83.

Kreighbaum, E., Barthels KM (1996). Biomechanics; A Qualitative Approach for Studying Human Movement, Allyn & Bacon, 4.

Identical-elements Theory

  • Transfer of learning between various skills and exercise routines can occur if the main elements underlying different skills or situations surrounding performance are identical and similar in nature.
    • Eg: Gymnastic training aimed at practicing complex exercise maneuvers complement (positively transfer) to the springboard diving.
  • As the degree of similarity between stimuli and responses decline, conflicting consequences may be experienced.
    • Transition from gymnastic to diving may not likely transfer because of the dissimilarity between diving and gymnastic somersaulting techniques.

Slobounov SM (2008). Injuries in Athletics, Causes and Consequences, Springer, 25-43

Range of Motion

Lever Push Pull

  • Perform every weight training exercise through a full range of motion
    • Recommended by leading authorities
    • Develops strength throughout full range of motion
    • Maintains flexibility (Morton 2011, Souza 2013)
      • necessary for ideal mechanics, function, and joint integrity
    • Joint adapts to full extension and flexion
      • Less susceptible to injury at extremes after adaptation
      • Unless range of motion will never be used
      • Consider unintentional or accidental range of motion in real world situations
    • Conditions stabilizing muscles
  • Full range of motion varies from person to person.
  • For elderly adults, perform the maximum range of motion that does not elicit pain or discomfort (ACSM 1995)

American College of Sports Medicine (1995). Principles of Exercise Prescription, William & Wilkins, 5.

Morton SK, Whitehead JR, Brinkert RH, Caine DJ (2011). Resistance training vs. static stretching: effects on flexibility and strength. J Strength Cond Res. 25(12):3391-8.

Slobounov SM (2008). Injuries in Athletics, Causes and Consequences, Springer, 25-43.

Souza AC, Bentes CM, de Salles BF, Reis VM, Alves JV, Miranda H, Novaes Jda S (2013). Influence of inter-set stretching on strength, flexibility and hormonal adaptations. J Hum Kinet. 36:127-35.


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