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Physiological Adaptations to Exercise

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Physiological Responses to Exercise and Training Brett Gallaway Exercise Physiology Steve Bowens Falmouth Marine School Contents: Introduction 3 The Operation of the Body's Energy Systems 4 The Anaerobic (ATP-CP) Energy System 4 The Anaerobic Lactate (Glycolytic) System 4 The Aerobic System 5 Energy System Recruitment 5 Adaptations to Exercise 8 Experimental Report 12 Methodology 12 Results 1 15 Results 2 16 Discussion 17 Conclusion 18 Appendix 1 19 References and Bibliography 21 Introduction The aim of physical training is to systematically stress the body so it can improve its capacity to exercise. Physical training is beneficial only if it forces the body to adapt to the stress of the physical effort. If the stress is not sufficient to overload the body then no physical adaptation occurs, Brookfield J, (2004). In order to achieve maximum effectiveness, it is necessary to consider factors including the body's energy pathways, muscular adaptations, and the cardiovascular system. Along side these considerations fatigue and the recovery process play an equally important role in achieving fitness. This report will initially consider the nature and necessity of the body's energy pathways as a means of providing energy for training, followed by an overview of physiological training, focusing particularly on muscular and cardiovascular adaptations. This is then followed by an experimental report in which an individual is initially subjected to a fitness test, a training regime, and finally retested in order to assess any physiological adaptations. Finally these results will be discussed with conclusions given. The operation of the body's energy systems While sports as diverse as for example, running, tennis, cycling or weight training may appear varied and diverse in nature, they do in fact share one aspect in common: the need for appropriate energy delivery. Rather like fuel for a car engine, the human body requires carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Unlike a car however which simply has one energy transfer system - the engine, the human body utilizes 3 distinct methods of energy transfer, or energy pathways. ...read more.


Similar adaptations can also be seen during anaerobic training although to a much lesser degree. Anaerobic training, although of marginal benefit to the cardiopulmonary system, is primarily concerned with short explosive burst of power, and training concentrates primarily on relevant muscle groups. Although aerobic and anaerobic training produces muscular adaptations, those adaptations differ. A distance runner or triathlete for example will develop mainly sarcoplasmic protein, while a weight lifter will develop mainly contractile protein, Edgerton, V.R (1978). When muscles are forced to contract they will increase in size and strength, in terms of anaerobic training therefore, muscles must be overloaded to a state of hypertrophy. This increase in size and strength as a result puts little demand on the cardiopulmonary system and therefore has limited benefits to aerobic capacity. Clearly, both aerobic and anaerobic training allows for health improvements as a result of physiological adaptations, but when training exceeds the body's recovery capacity an emotional, behavioral and physical condition called overtraining can occur Mac B, (2008). The individual will often cease making progress. The most common symptoms are often disturbed sleep patterns and a loss of progressive improvement in training. In the most undesirable instance an individual can even begin to lose strength and fitness. Neuromuscular fatigue affects the central nervous system and makes the individual more prone to injury and illness; this is a direct result of overtraining and can be avoided by initiating the correct training program which is tailored to the individual athletes needs. The importance of fatigue and the knowledge to maximize the efficiency of energy systems is essential. As previously stated, when there is insufficient ATP availability muscular contraction will weaken and performance will deteriorate, this combined with hydrogen ion (lactic acid) accumulation, where excess hydrogen increases the acidity of muscle tissue, are some of the main components of fatigue. Glycogen depletion and the decreased availability of calcium ions also contribute to a decrease in performance, as does a decrease in availability of the neuro-transmitter acetylcholine. ...read more.


A marginal improvement in the sit and reach test with the initial reading of 26cm increased to 26.66 was also observed, and although primarily only one of the components of fitness did indicate adaptations due to exercise. In essence therefore a marked improvement was seen after only 3 weeks of training. This is not only verified by the pre and post exercise testing, but clearly indicated by the ability of the individual to begin at a low intensity run of 20 minutes and increase to a run of 50 minutes with a Fartlek interval of 50s at 20 minutes and 50s at 30 minutes. Conclusion Although blood pressure saw a decrease after the allotted time span it could be suggested that testing methods were not accurate enough to determine whether this was a result of actual fitness adaptations. Potentially an exterior influence such as hydration levels, desensitization to the pre exercise response or even the state of mind of the individual could have played a part in this change. In order to rectify this anomaly it would be necessary to test a larger number of individuals. As with the blood pressure tests, the sergeant jump test could have been subject to variability due to hydration levels, footwear worn by the athlete and again state of mind, again it would be necessary to utilize a larger number of test subjects. On the subject of Fartlek training and its use as a testing and training method: Fartlek develops aerobic and anaerobic capacities which also assist in other aspects of fitness (Holmer, G. 1977.) It was felt that the Fartlek method would work well with the bleep test as they both rely on similar characteristics of movement and energy expenditure. The distance portion of Fartlek utilizes the aerobic and anaerobic lactate energy pathways, as does the mid section of the bleep test. Whereas the sprinting section of Fartlek employs the usage of the ATP-CP system and anaerobic lactate system. It was seen to be an efficient way of obtaining accurate test results. Appendix 1 Three week Fartlek training plan. ...read more.

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