110616 Accommodation

110616 Accommodation

Using the same loads and the same exercises time after time leads invariably to a decrease in performance gains. Accommodation in the strength field is NOT a good thing to have happen during your training.

Accommodation is one of the natural laws of biology and can be best described as the response ‘to a given constant stimulus decreases over time’.(1) ‘By definition accommodation is the decrease in response of a biological object to a continued stimulus’ (2).

Taking heed of this biological law of nature would preclude following the same program for an extended length of time. The program must vary for progress to take place.

Variation parameters in the program must at the same time keep in mind the specificity of the sport. Thus the exercises chosen need to be kept as closely related as possible to the actual sport joint movement patterns and angles; to the velocity of movement and the coordination and physiological demands of the activity.

The transfer of training to the sport will occur at the highest rate if the exercises chosen are the most relevant and specific in nature to the sport. However in designing programs that are as specific as possible a glitch appears. Variability in design planning avoids accommodation but this tenet conflicts with the stability requirement needed to meet the specificity challenge demands of the activity.

Avoiding or decreasing the negative effects of accommodation while planning a program means modification of the schedule in a periodized fashion. This happens in two ways:

1. Quantitatively
2. Qualitatively

Training loads, i.e. the total weight lifted in the session represents the Quantitative half of the formula, whereas Qualitative changes means replacing exercises during the training sessions. Periodizing the schedule, varying the load and replacing accessory exercises will help avoid accommodation from occurring. In other words, don’t do the same thing all the time.

(1) Science and Practice of Strength Training Zatsiorsky, V.M. Human Kinetics

(2) Ibid