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That brings us to adaptive resistance, the other side of the coin of directed adaptation. To understand adaptive resis-tance, we must understand the concepts of positive and negative feedback loops. A positive feedback loop is one in which the product of the action produces more of the same. An example of this would be blood clotting. You get a cut, there is a small blood clot that occurs to stop the bleeding there and then more and more and more blood clotting happens to avoid that bleeding continuing. Adaptive resistance happens on a negative feedback loop in which the product of the system means that you get less of what you had before. So when you are hungry and then you eat, you do not get hungrier and hungrier from eating more and more, the way that when you have blood clotting, some blood clotting occurs, more and more occurs because of it. Rather a negative feedback loop means that as you eat, you get less and less hungry and the way that is going to result in training is the more and more you do a specific task, the less and less profound the results are going to become because of it.As we work to balance directed adaptation versus adaptive resistance, we have directed adaptation that you have to have sequential, strategic, timely direction towards the goal. You have to train the thing that you want to get better at and you have to do it over and over, but as we do it over and
over, the result of it becomes diminished because of adap-tive resistance’s negative feedback loop. Finding that sweet spot between sufficient directed adaptation before adaptive resistance becomes too much, is a bit of the art of coaching.How does directed adaptation and adaptive resistance relate to strength training success and success in pow-erlifting? There are four main categories that are going to be affected by these two concepts. First, the development of technique, next, hypertrophy, as you do more and more volume of work, that volume is going to become less and less impactful on you growing muscle. Your neural strength production is going to benefit from directed adaptation, but then as you get too much of it, you’re going to run into adaptive resistance. Finally, your connective tissue, if all you are doing is the same thing over and over and over, everyone is familiar with the concept of an overuse injury, that would be the connective tissue’s response to adaptive resistance.In regards to the development of technique, we have the four stages of motor learning. We have unconscious in-competence, basically, you are bad at it and you don’t even know how bad you are, you can’t tell what you’re doing wrong. Next is conscious incompetence, that you know you have technical flaws and you are thinking about them and sometimes you fix them and sometimes you are not able to. Third, is conscious competence where you are able to do things correctly, but you are really having to think your way through every step. Finally, our goal would be unconscious competence, where your technique has become automatic.