Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.11.49 AM

The SAID Principle
Written by Invictus Coach

The SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) is one of the foundations of Sport Science. The first part of the principle simply states: If you want to get better at something, you must do that something over and over until you are better at it. If you want to play baseball like Derek Jeter, you need to play baseball – a lot. If you want to be CrossFit’s next Rich Froning Jr., you have to put in as much time in the gym as he has.

The second part of the principle states: If you put in the time (SAID Part #1), your body will adapt and change to the stressors you apply. For example, if you want to be an ultra marathoner and to get better at ultra-marathoning, you run 100+ miles a week (SAID Part #1), your body will adapt and probably look something like this (SAID Part #2).

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.11.11 AM

If you want to be a professional bodybuilder and you spend years in the gym bodybuilding (SAID Part #1), your body will adapt (different stressor, different adaptation – SAID Part #2) and you might look something like the photo of Arnold above.

Whether or not you are aware of the demands being applied to your body, your body is adapting to the imposed demands. The SAID principle, while usually talked about in a sports sense, relates to more things than just the gym; think about diet, sleep, school, work, kids, stress etc.

While I am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, I am a fan of personal reflection. Have you reached your goals for the year? Did you apply the right demands on yourself to adapt and reach your goals? Do you have goals and a plan for reaching them next year? Take some time at the end of the this year to reflect on your goals and the demands you applied this year. If you met your goals, make new ones and map out the demands you need to make them happen! If something didn’t work out the way you planned this year, evaluate the how the demands you placed on yourself lined up with your goals.

There is no one right way to reach your goals – there are thousands. Use the SAID principle to your advantage.

Notify me of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
March 3, 2015 2:13 pm

Great little article Mr. Miller! I particular site the SAID principle to the functional fitness Gurus who swear by bosu/unstable surface training. The SAID principle shows that unstable surface training does not increase balance on stable surfaces. If you spend a lot of time on Bosu balls, you better be a professional bosu ball balancer, or something similar 🙂

You’re secret admirer, Mr. Wolford

Scroll to Top