S. E. Pavlov
Judging by the numerous publications, the vast majority of scientists are absolutely sure that the adaptation process goes according to the «scheme» — «stress — adaptation — disadaption — readaptation».
But it is known that stress is not the only nonspecific adaptive reaction of an organism. Having made «stress» the only nonspecific reaction of an organism, the authors of the mentioned above «scheme» made the adaptation process discrete, broken, depending only on the presence of a stressor and this contradicts all laws of Nature. Life is «a continuous adaptation… to life conditions» – I. M. Sechenov (1863). «From a wide biological point of view an organism is always in the conditions of a sequential action developing external and internal factors of its existence».
Nonspecific characteristics of factors influencing an organism (their size) can’t be judged without their specific qualities. Moreover nonspecific characteristics of active factors define their specificity. An organism can’t react separately to nonspecific and specific characteristics of active factors. But there is no specificity in the mentioned above «scheme» and that is why it is not clear how the process of adaptation goes.
«Disadaptation» according to the ideas of the «scheme» creators is the process opposite to the process of «adaptation», its «destruction» which is possible only in case of death. The use of the term «disadaptation» also proves the existing idea of adaptation as a process which happens occasionally. It should be noted that the appearance of the term «disadaptation» is closely connected with the idea that adaptation — is always the achievement of an organism to create some great opportunities, which is not correct.
The process of «readaptation», according to a majority, means the «return» of an organism to an earlier achieved level of adaptation. But an organism is changeable and that is why all the following adaptation cycles will not be a return to «an earlier achieved level of adaptation» but an ability of a changed organism to achieve new «levels of adaptation» (which will not always «exceed» according to their parameters achieved earlier results).
Thus the «scheme» — «stress – adaptation – disadaptation – readaptation», orienting coaches and athletes creating training processes according to the principle «the more — the better» is absolutely absurd from beginning to end and in no way reflects the actual processes taking place in the organism during its continuous adaptation to the always complex working environmental factors. For the followers of this «scheme» we will say the words of H. Selye (1960): «There is nothing more harmful for progress than stubborn upholding of one’s preconceived ideas».
Adaptation is the process of an organism’s specific adjustments to the always fully influencing environmental factors and the process of structural and functional stability support of fully formed functional systems of an organism:
The laws of adaptation:
- The laws of adaptation are the same for all living organisms created according to one image.
- The laws of adaptation are part of the laws of a person’s development, maturity and ageing.
- Adaptation is a continuous process which stops only if the organism dies.
- Any living organism exists in four-dimensional space and that is why the processes of its adaptation can’t be described linearly.
- The basis of the adaptation process of a highly organized organism is always the formation of specific functional systems, the adaptive changes in its components are one of the essential «instruments» of their formation.
- Constitutive factors of any functional system are the final and interim results of its «activity» that defines its absolute structural and functional specificity.
- Systematic reactions of an organism to a complex of simultaneous or (and) consistent environment effects are always specific and the nonspecific part of adaptation is an important component of any functional system and defines the specificity of its reaction.
- It is necessary to talk simultaneously about existing dominant and conditional afferent effects but it should be understood that an organism always reacts to the whole complex of environmental effects, forming a unique to the given complex functional system.
- Each functional system is extremely specific and within this specificity it is relatively labile only at the stage of its formation (the process of an organism’s adaptation). A formed functional system (that corresponds to the state of adaptivity of the organism to specific conditions) loses its liability and is stable in case of its afferent part invariability.
- Any functional system can be formed only on the basis of «preexisting» physiological (structural — functional) mechanisms which depending on «demands» of a definite integral system can be involved or not into it as its components.
- Functional system components define its «behavior» in general, influencing each other, but a system in general always influences its components.
- The complexity and extension of «a working cycle» of functional systems has no boundaries in time and space.
- An obligatory condition for a full formation of any functional system is constancy or periodicity of an influence on an organism of a standard, invariable complex of environment factors which «provides» a standard afferent part of a system.
- One more obligatory condition is the participation of memory mechanisms.
- The process of adaptation, in spite of the fact that it goes according to general laws, is always individual as it is in direct relation to the genotype of this or that individual and is realized in the context of this genotype and in accordance to the conditions of a former life of a given organism’s phenotype.
In accordance to the presented laws of adaptation: 1. An organism always works as an integral mechanism and «forms» behavioral (motional) acts according to the conditions which it is placed in; 2. The systems of concrete motional acts are formed as a result of their frequent correct repetition; 3. Any activity of an organism is very specific concerning its external parameters and according to structural-functional characteristics of this activity; 4. Adaptive changes which form the base of an athlete’s training level increase are determined by the specificity of his training activity.