Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What are You Adapting To?

One of the things that has been in the back of my mind since the Functional Range Conditioning seminar is the idea of adaptation.

Adaptation:  The process of adapting or being adapted.

That is the dictionary.  How can you use the word in the definition?  I never understood that.  Synonyms may give you a better understanding.

Alteration, reworking, revamping, remodeling.

The idea of taking something and creating something a little different, is adaptation.  That is why you train or not train.

Why do you cast a broken bone?  To allow it to heal, to adapt to a bone without a break.  If you were to keep moving it, it would never heal.

So my thoughts lead further down to what am I adapting my body for.  How often do my hips drop below my knee and for how long?  If you never use the range of motion you are capable of displaying, over time, what is the difference between you not moving into that range and having a cast on your body that doesn't allow it?

What's the difference between the man that can't read and the man that doesn't read?  Nothing

Tissues adapt at different rates.  This is an important concept that many endurance athletes fail to understand.  Why do most plans call for an undulation in volume and distance?  Because while your cardiovascular system will adapt quickly, your muscles will lag behind.  Lagging even further down the chain will be your connective tissue.  So if you can run 3 miles without being winded, but your muscles can handle two and your connective tissue can only handle 1, that's a recipe for injury.  Understand that not everything adapts at the same chronological rate.

While this is a very simplistic view.  It portrays the importance of rest.  Letting your connective tissue ADAPT to the demand to run three miles.  So no, while you are resting, it's not cool to go do a 1.5 hour step class and claim it's active rest.  That is not recovery for your connective tissue.

Sitting at a desk is a form of adaptation.  I don't know to many people that can sit comfortably for 8 hours after working a job that requires no sitting and vice versa right off the bat.   It can be a very good adaptation to allow you to work though.  When is the last time you've reached as high as you can to touch the ceiling, testing the maximum shoulder movement that you can.  Use it or lose it is a powerful law of adaptation.

SAID: specific adaptation to imposed demands.

It's maybe one of the few training laws that will never change and can't be argued with.  What are you imposing on your body?  What specific adaptation are you creating knowingly or unknowingly?

Adapt to what you want to happen, not to what you are  unknowingly allowing.  Understand adaptation and make the SAID principle work for you.

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