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Training and Fitness: Methods of Training

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Erin Weeks – Training and Fitness – Unit 13.

Methods of Training and Fitness Programme

In order to be a successful coach, it is important that all coaches are aware of all the different ways and effects of fitness training.  

Listed below, are the five different fitness-training methods designed to enhance all seven fitness components.

Aerobic Training

Any aerobic training involves activity that increases the heart rate continuously.  This particular kind of exercising increases blood flow around the body and initially strengthens the cardiovascular system (which include: the heart and lungs.) and the cardio respiratory endurance of the individual, where the body becomes increasingly more efficient and processing oxygen.  

Aerobic exercise requires the athlete to consistently inhale and exhale oxygen, so blood is able to be transferred continuously from the heart to the lungs, around the body and to the blood vessels.  This kind of fitness training is without oxygen debt, and any training classified as “Aerobic Training” is exercise that reaches levels of 70% - 90% of the individuals’ maximal heart rate.  

There are a number of examples of aerobic fitness training, which include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Running – Long Distance
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Aerobic Classes

The critical feature of aerobic activity is continuous activity. And, specificity of training dictates that the training should closely resemble the activity, or event: Runners should run, swimmers swim, for example. Thus, to improve cardiovascular endurance, the athlete should train aerobically.

What factors affect AEROBIC TRAINING?

  • Frequency
  • Duration/Time
  • Intensity

Aerobic training, as mentioned above – is very beneficial to any able individual: It decreases the resting heart rate, improves blood circulation around the body - by constantly clearing out cholesterol build up and it also improves physiological disposition where it is able to ultimately reduce tension and stress.  Aerobic fitness training allows the body to adapt itself, to burn fatty acids as a primary fuel source – where as a result, any athlete reduces in weight and gains muscular strength and better body composition.  It increases flexibility, reduces the likelihood of high blood pressure, raises basal metabolic rate and ultimately enables the body to adapt itself to further training, for where the athlete can later become ‘fitter’ and the body can transport and deposit more red blood cells.  

Methods of training involved in Aerobic training are:

  1. Continuous (Steady state)
  2. Interval Training
  3. Fartlek Training

Muscular Training

Any muscular training involves increasing muscular endurance and maintaining muscular strength.  As a result of continuous muscular training, muscle definition increases, and the body adapts to a new state.  

Muscular training involves Resistance Machines, Free Weights, and Circuits, which include: Medicine balls, resistance bands etc - and good usage of plyometric training.

Weight training is a common type of Strength Training used in fitness programmes.  It develops the strength and the size of skeletal muscles.  Resistance training, including the involvement of resistance machines – uses an opposing force against the individual, through concentric and eccentric contractions.  There are different machines and types of equipment that can be used to enhance the muscles – that are specialized to target specific muscle groups and types of movements.  

Particular forms of resistance training include, the use of elastic or hydraulic forces to oppose muscular contraction and isometric exercise, which uses structural or intramuscular forces, for example – the bodies’ own muscles.  

Power/Anaerobic Training

Anaerobic training is the opposite of Aerobic training.  Oxygen during anaerobic training is not a limiting factor in performance – therefore it requires energy from anaerobic sources.  The sources required, involve the utilisation of lactic acid deposition and the usage of the phosphagen system.  These systems allow the body to respond to exercise for up to 30 seconds, where the body will rely merely upon the two relating systems, as apposed to relying upon oxygen transportation.  Any kind of activity that tends to last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes is certain to rely on Lactic Acid System. These energy systems are effectively developed using an interval training system.

Interval training uses “intervals” that can consist of running, swimming, callisthenic exercises, or resistance training. Work intervals, which also include rest intervals, vary depending on the athlete’s mode of training, ability and individual differences.  For example; work intervals of less than 30 seconds (which uses the phosphagen system), are typically performed with rest intervals of approximately three times this duration.  This type of training is often beneficial to athletes involved in activities, such as football, basketball, running events under 800 metres, swimming events, rugby, etc.  Athletes participating in these strength and power activities, use both of the anaerobic energy sources, to supply the majority of required energy.  

There are also other types of training methods that can be used, such as PLYOMETRICS and SPRINT TRAINING, where the athlete can do a number of repetition sprints and acceleration sprints.  

Flexibility Training

Flexibility is any joints ability to move through a full range of motion. Flexibility training is beneficial to the body as it helps balance muscle groups that can be overused during exercise or physical activity.  It is able to improve physical performance and enables joints in the skeletal system, to move through a greater range of motion, without a high risk of injury.  This is because, stretching the body past its usual range of movement, gently decreases resistance in the tissue structures and therefore, long-term, as a result, anybody participating in flexibility training, will have a decreased chance of being injured by exceeding tissue extensibility. Flexibility training also benefits the body, as it increases tissue temperature.  This then increases blood circulation around the body, and the transportation of nutrients.  As a result of this increased circulation, it allows greater elasticity of surrounding tissues and therefore, increases performance – especially in sports such as, Gymnastics, Trampolining, etc.  

There are four particular types of flexibility training, two of which include:

Static Active flexibility which refers to the ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding the leg up.

Static Passive flexibility, this is the ability to hold a stretch using body weight or any other external force. An example of this, is holding a leg out in font of you and resting it on a chair. The quadriceps are not required to hold the extended position.  Therefore, this is a static passive flexiblity exercise.  

OCR National Diploma In Sport – Investigate and participate in five training methods designed for different fitness components.

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