Principles & Training
Let's set some concepts straight before we go down the rabbit hole, namely what is a principle and what is not - A principle is a guideline that changes with the individual and the environment, unlike a rule that is static and has to change by force over time. To give you an idea what this means in relation to training let's sketch a situation; A principle for training like getting a stress peak response can always be achieved no matter how fatigued you are, a rule like doing 60 minutes of exercise at an average heartrate of 110 beats per minute will at times be impossible.
Another concept we'll have to clarify is the act of training, what it means in terms of you the person. Training is in simple terms intentional behavior with the intent of improving oneself, this is often in relation to future events - You might want to ready yourself for a physical altercation or improve your ability to run away from a threat.
''Principles adapt whereas rules are static''
Training in relation to principles
Our lives are incredibly complex and dynamic, we are continuously affected by the outside world and change ourselves accordingly. With this in mind it only seems logical that your exercise regime should reflect this, what works one day might not work the next day.
When starting out with fitness you will come across plenty of dogmatic approaches that show you that there is right and wrong way of doing things. I myself think in terms of better and worse, as there is never complete certainty. Keeping an open mind when it comes to your own approach.
A good example of a dogmatic approach is Crossfit, where the aim is to increase the amount of kilograms you can lift or how fast you can complete a workout - I completely understand the attraction of these fitness 'religions', but you can do so much better for yourself.
How about relaying your focus to actually enjoying what you are doing and using your training to stimulate other areas in your life like your professional career.
For this to be successful you will need a framework of principles that will guide you towards more effective training rather than numbers, knowing when you're doing well or when there is room for improvement.
Principles can start out really simple and turn more complex over time as your understanding grows - You might start out with 'The training should support my sleep' and end up with 'my training should make me a better father'. It all depends on what you want and what kind of a live you are living.
How can you formulate your own principles?
This is simpler than you might think, consider what it is that gives your life meaning - Now consider how training will support that which gives meaning to your life.
Give the process time as you will discover more about yourself and the long-term effects of training over time, which will automatically change your view and thus your principles
What principles do I use and why?
Let me first clarify that I use two types; personal principles and principles involved with biological system (more on that later) - The former is to me as a person and the latter involves all living beings and can thus be used for anything.
My personal intent is to be capable in any situation and to be a foundation to those I deem worthy, for this reason I primarily focus on function. This intent affects virtually every training I will do, it the fuel to my fire.