Muscles adapt specifically to the nature of the stimulation. Specific exercise elicits specific adaptations, thereby creating specific training effects. As a result, the closer the training routine is to the requirements of competition or to the individual’s fitness goals, the better the performance outcome.
The principle of specificity becomes important not only where skill acquisition is essential, but also with regard to the intensity that the individual trains at.
It seems that endurance type of exercise is more general in terms of improving cardiovascular function, although the peripheral effects, i.e. muscle strengthening, are confined to the muscles predominantly used during that exercise.
The exact physiological response of one individual to a training programme may vary considerably from that of another individual undergoing the same training programme. There are a number of factors that influence individual performance, most of which are genetic.
As a result, training benefits are optimized when exercise programmes are specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the individual. Accordingly, the programme should be modified and adjusted based on individual progression.
Regular training produces a variety of beneficial physiological adaptations, which unfortunately are transient and not permanent. Reductions in training, or periods of sustained rest decrease the positive response to exercise, and lead to a decrement in performance. Variations in the activity levels of different individuals make it difficult to quantify the actual rate of decline. It is however possible that the higher the initial fitness level achieved, the longer the fitness benefits may persist.