|Exercise physiologists study how organisms react to
stress, or a deviation from homeostasis. In this case, the
"stress" is exercise. Reactions to exercise can be
divided into two categories: Responses and Adaptations.
To understand the difference between responses and
adaptations, it is important to understand the difference between an
acute and chronic bout of exercise. One bout of exercise is termed
acute exercise - for example, one soccer practice or one resistance
training session. A reaction elicited from an acute event is
called a response.
When acute exercise is performed repetitively, we
call it chronic exercise - for example, a month of soccer practice or a
year of resistance training. Chronic exercise results in
adaptations. Specifically, adaptations are defined as a persistent
change in structure or function after training.
Acute responses lead to chronic adaptations.
As a coach or professional, your goal is to design acute tasks that will
lead to chronic adaptations. Chronic adaptations should lead to an
increased training level and enable the body to respond more
easily to future exercise bouts. However, poor program design can
result in a decreased training level and may impair the ability of the
body to respond to future exercise bouts.