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The SAID Principle

Athletes put superhuman demands on the human body. They practice to stay in shape, get better and prepare for the event. No athlete expects to perform at their best without working on their technique, practicing skills, and preparing for the game. 

SAID Principle

The SAID Principle: In their 2021 article1, Dr. Aaron Johnson and Dr. Mary Sandage (both voice scientists and speech-language pathologists) explore the application of exercise physiology to singing and other kinds of vocalization. In it, they describe how athletes work on the SAID principle: “Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand”. Muscle tissue adapts to the demands (or lack of demands) imposed on it. Components of the SAID principle include: 

  • Overload Challenging muscles with duration or intensity of use
  • Specificity Muscles adapt to specific activities, and
  • Reversibility Reversibility is the “use it or lose it” aspect of the SAID principle, meaning training can be reversed if you stop exercising. 

While exercise physiology for sports doesn’t translate exactly to singing, vocal training can be designed to improve endurance and skill, offset fatigue and avoid injury, gradually increasing demand on the body to get to the desired performance level without injury.

More soon,
Your SonoVoice Team

Next Week: The Vocal Subsystems

1. Johnson AM, Sandage MJ. Exercise Science and the Vocalist. J Voice. 2021;35(4):668-677. doi:10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.06.029