The human body is the most adaptable machine we know of. It typically takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks to adapt to a new movement pattern and/or cardiovascular machine. As an evolutionary response it is important we adapt quickly to new physical (and mental) scenarios because adaptation preserves energy (calories) thus increasing our survival rates. The better adapted you are to an exercise regime the less calories you burn. The gross neural demand of a stagnant exercise program lessens significantly over time due to your body’s efficiency at conserving energy. In some cases you might burn half the calories with the same exercise after you adapted to it! One reason you should be aware of this axiom called the SAID principle (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands) is because once you adapt to a routine and stick to it you will lose less fat and likely hit a plateau. In order to keep your brain and muscles guessing, change your exercises, motor patterns, balance requirements, planes, speeds and rest periods. Obviously, in other parts of your life the SAID principle is advantageous. If you practice a musical instrument or sport it is pragmatic to repeat the skills and movements until they become second nature and less difficult. Once you master a skill you can continually make micro improvements while utilizing less energy as when you first learned the activity.
1. Silva, John. “An analysis of the training stress syndrome in competitive athletics”, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology; Vol. 2 Issue 1, 1990.
Doug Joachim – NYC www.JoachimsTraining.com