Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (S.A.I.D.) – YES or NO?

Do you train extensively and eat healthy, but are you still not getting the results you want? I have a solution for you, – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (S.A.I.D.). In otherwords, you may be doing too much (yes, you can exercise too much!) or too little physical activity, or eating (not only too much or too little food), but the wrong kinds of food at the least effective time of day. All of this activity (or lack thereof) will only cause you to “spin your wheels” and both extreme exercising and eating (either too much or too little) are both highly counterproductive to helping you achieve your health fitness and performance goals.

So, now you ask, what is S.A.I.D?  We use this concept heavily in the field of strength and conditioning when training athletes or figure athletes and can be defined by how your mind and body adapts to physical training/exercise, eating and rest and recovery. To better understand S.A.I.D., it is helpful breaking down its components by considering both the positive and negative impact and effects of S.A.I.D. on your body as follows:

S.A.I.D. – Best Practices:

  1. Have realistic goals by considering your genetics, lifestyle, time commitment and how much you are prepared to invest (in terms of time and your level of commitment) in order to achieve your goals.
  2. If you want to shape your body for aesthetic reasons, implement a plan predominantly of progressive strength training according to a plan with other training modalities.
  3. If you want to improve your overall health and fitness, focus on cardiovascular (CV) and respiratory training in combination with functional training to help you with a wide range of activities associated with daily living (ADL).
  4. Adopt a plan of healthy and clean eating appropriate to your fitness goals. In other words, if your goal is to run a marathon you must eat, train, rest (and think!) like a marathon runner. If you are an athlete that requires a strong base body strength, it is advisable to follow the training and eating protocols of corresponding athletes and incorporate similar strategies. The bottom line, is that your eating plan must be designed to adapt to your individual fitness goals regardless of your preferred physical activity.
  5. Above all, and most importantly, if you are in search of strength, power, speed, agility, CV fitness, stability, flexibility, it is vital to understand that nothing is going to happen overnight. You must accept the fact that it takes time for your mind and body to adapt for your training, and without such progressive stability, you will not be able to effectively progress to other activities involving greater speed, agility, and power.

S.A.I.D. – What Not To Do:

  1. DO NOT OVER or UNDER-TRAIN! While a mere 1 – 2 hours of training a week will not enable you to obtain the body shape, level of fitness, or increase your athletic performance as professionals. Conversely, if you are not the equivalent of a professional athlete, it is not appropriate for you to train multiple times a day 5-6 days a week over a specific period either. You must find your own way and ideal balance for achieving YOUR goals, not that of others or that are set unrealistically for you by yourself or others.
  2. Do not just eat (or not, as the case may be) to lose weight, without considering the big picture. For instance, if you are training to be a marathon runner or a figure athlete, by not following an eating plan that directly corresponds to the kind of physical activities you do, than your performance will be compromised. Since a runner’s main source of energy is carbohydrates, in order to achieve weight loss strategy by restricting calories while at the same time increasing through increased running will not improve performance. In addition, successfully losing fat is due to proper timing, as well as the quantity and the quality of the food. In fact, figure athletes/performance athletes require extreme training with periodization and 100% quality, activity specific eating before, during and following training. Therefore, it is to take into account your particular activity, and to train and eat in the direction you want to proceed.
  3. Exercising in a random arbitrary and unstructured manner without a proper foundation of a plan of structured exercises based will not give you the consistent long term results that you desire. Do not be duped by the appearance and the kinds of fitness industry hype publicized by social media and magazines, or because a celebrity/athlete endorsed the product or a particular training method, into thinking that their results will be YOUR results. Many Fitness Industry professionals/celebrities have been training for years, with a team of professionals and have devoted their careers (and lives) to reach these goals, – and even they did not do it overnight! It takes work, but it is the best kind of work there is!

At the end of the day, to progress, you need to have a plan and commitment to yourself. To succeed, it is important for you to push your mind and body every day and each time you work-out to new levels by pushing beyond your comfort zone. This plan however, does not include getting yourself injured, over-exercising without a plan, or neglecting your nutrition, safety, or rest. If you want results badly enough, invest in your training and eating to reach your personal best in health, aesthetic or performance, it’s really quite simple, – “WORK HARD, DEDICATE, AND COMMIT”!!! If you are in tune with your goals, and are guided properly, than, yes, S.A.I.D. can be the right solution for you!

For more information on how S.A.I.D. can work for you to help you achieve your fitness and health goals, whatever they may be, please contact: LiveFitOnline.

Ranil Harshana
Fitness Consultant & Performance Coach
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