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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

The principles of training


The principle of 'overload' states that the body or system trained adapts to the training stress or stimulus if it is worked harder than normal or longer than normal. If overload is featured gradually and regularly, then the body adapts such that the increased stress can be tolerated.

Improvements and adaptations cannot occur without an overload in effort or intensity of sessions. If the training effort or intensity is low, then detraining could actually occur (Izquierdo et al, 2007). On the other hand, if the overload is too great and completed too soon following the last training unit (see Figure 14), then the body may not adapt positively and breakdown may occur (Bompa 2000, 2005). Thus, it is important that any overload is applied in a gradual and progressive manner.

Figure 14: Theoretical placement of appropriate overload (green arrows) with subsequent improvement in performance and excessive or too frequent placement of overload (red arrows) with subsequent deterioration in performance.