Systematic variation is a basic principle of training. The key word here is systematic. The variation must be planned and serve a specific purpose in the context of the whole training program. Just throwing a bunch of random different” stuff” into a program is not variation with a purpose. That is confusion and despite what some of the commercial “fitness ‘ programs advertise that is not training, that is entertainment. Variation is programmed as part of an overall plan to allow for continual adaptation. Some relatively simple means of incorporating variation that can have complex implications are:

  • Hard/Easy- A hard workout followed by an easy workout.
  • Simple/Complex- A very simple training session followed by a complex training session
  • Heavy/Light- A heavy day followed by a light day.
  • Work/Rest- Simply vary work to rest ratios on the some work regimen will stimulate adaptation.

The key is that all these are done with a purpose in pursuit of specific training objectives.
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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