Help your athletes to achieve the levels of energy fitness and muscular fitness demanded by their sport.
Stages of training – being examined
1. Warm Up
Begin each session with a warm up designed for your sport.
Low energy – high skill sports – include stretching and skill rehearsal.
High energy – raise HR, stretch and rehearse technique.
Adequate warm up prevents injury and helps prepare athletes psychologically for the event.
Stretches should be to the point of discomfort and then hold for 5-10 seconds.
Stretch the muscles required for the activity, stretch the ones that are more easily injured and those that you have had difficulties with in the past.
2. Energy fitness
This is the bodies ability to store and use fuels efficiently to power particular muscle contractions.
Coaches must match the energy demands of the sport in training.
The energy that muscles use to contract comes from two systems:
Aerobic – with oxygen
Anaerobic – without oxygen
The system used will depend on the availability of oxygen and on the intensity and duration of the activity.
2 parts to this system
Creatine Phosphate (10-15 seconds)
The lactate energy system (30-40 seconds seconds)
The anaerobic system is used at the beginning of exercise before respiration and circulation adjust to the effort and begin to supply oxygen. It is also used when the energy demands exceed the bodies ability to produce aerobic energy.
In the short term anaerobic phase (CP), energy comes from limited energy supplies in the muscles.
In the lactate system energy comes from stored muscle glycogen.
Aerobic energy sources are used during longer steady paced activities such as running.
Aerobic energy comes from the burning (oxidisation) of fat and carbohydrates.
If the activity is so demanding and exceeds the bodies ability to provide oxygen – additional energy comes from the non-oxidative breakdown of muscle glycogen – and produces lactic acid.
Fuelling muscles anaerobically is far less efficient that fuelling it aerobically.
When muscle glycogen is burned aerobically it produces 38 units of energy – used anaerobically it only produces 2 units.
The anaerobic pathway produces more lactic acid and this interferes with the muscles ability to contract and hinders energy production – causing fatigue and poor performance.
Oxygen consumption during Aerobic exercise
Oxygen consumption during Anaerobic exercise
At the start of exercise – where needs are immediate – oxygen consumption takes several minutes to meet required levels.
OD is anaerobic work at the start where CP stores are used (all or some).
Steady state – when oxygen demands meets supply
A temporary elevated level of oxygen consumption on finishing exercising.
Pays back the oxygen deficit.
Replenishes stores of phosphagens, removes lactic acid and restores balance.
Aerobic foundation 70-85% Anaerobic threshold 85-90% Anaerobic training 90-95% Speed 95-100% Peak
Training for aerobic fitness helps to toughen ligaments, tendons and connective and reduces the risk of injury.
It also lays the foundation upon which all future practices and performances are built.
Good aerobic training includes three components:
Low intensity, long duration activity.
Medium distances with occasional periods of increased activity.
Resistance effort – such as hill work for runners.
This marks the point at which the athlete begins to produce excess lactic acid. This is the upper limit of efficient aerobic energy production.
The threshold can be measured in laboratory treadmill tests – but with practice an athlete can learn what it feels like. When breathing becomes difficult and sustained effort is doubtful – it is an indicator that the threshold is near.
This type of training done twice weekly can increase threshold – as it help the muscles fibres to work better aerobically (pace training, fartlek)
This is achieved by progressively increasing speed while decreasing distance or duration of effort.
Interval training – exercise interval followed by active rest.
The rest is vital as it maintains circulation and uses muscle contractions at low intensity to remove waste products and promote recovery.
Athletes HR should be below 125 before starting a second interval
Stop intervals if the athlete cannot maintain good form.
No more than 2 sessions per week
No more than 4-6 weeks of this training – then taper off before competition.
When athletes are new to
a sport they should follow
the training pyramid – experienced athletes can do speed work throughout the season.
Speed is partially inherited and partially acquired.
Speed can be acquired as athletes learn to relax and become more efficient – more comes when speed drills are supplemented with weight training.
Samples of speed work
Acceleration sprints – start easy and speed up (safest)
Hollow sprints – start and end fast and go easy in the middle.
Starts – if required for swimming , sprinting of football.
If you skip stages in the pyramid – training will be less successful and may lead to injury.
As the season progresses – so too should training.
Use early competitions to build training, sharpen skills and improve speed.
By mid season – be at the competitive level that can be maintained for the rest of the season.
If athletes peak too soon – they may slump before the season ends.
This is a period of reduced training before an important competition.
It allows for optimal stores of energy to be available, and provides time to heal minor injuries.
Taper for days (teams or sprinters) or a week or more (long distance events).
A longer taper is required in sports that involve a greater volume of training.
3. Muscular Fitness
This includes strength, endurance, power, speed and flexibility.
Experienced athletes often do strength training in the off season to build muscle size and force and then proceed to add endurance and power during the season.
Each component of muscular fitness can be enhanced by resistance training.
High resistance with few reps builds strength.
Low resistance with many reps builds endurance.
Resistance can be applied with free weights, machine weights, body weight, air and hydraulics.
How much strength is required for your sport?
Determine this and then decide what the athlete requires.
Do athletes need more strength?
Experience shows that the strength of a muscle group should be 2.5 times the resistance encountered.
More strength will not improve performance but less may hinder it.
To help improve strength:
Set the weight so the max number of reps is 8-10
Do three sets for each muscle group
Increase the resistance when the athlete can do ten reps.
Lift every second day – 3 times per week.
Can improve at a rate of 1-3% per week.
Ensure proper warm up and adequate supervision.
Should be specific to how the muscles are used in the sport.
Endurance is very trainable and dramatic improvements in endurance are associated with improved performance and success in sport.
Can work on short term (3 sets@ 15-25 reps), Intermediate (2 sets @30-50 reps) and long term (1 set @ 100+ reps) – all done three times weekly.
Power is the rate of doing work. It involves both strength (force) and speed (distance divided by time)
This is essential training for many sports.
Use a weight at 30-60% of the athletes 1RM.
Get them to lift the weight as fast as possible.
Do three sets of 15-25 reps three times per week.
Increase resistance when the athlete can perform 25 reps.
Exercises used to develop power.
These explosive movements build strength and the elastic recoil that provides more power for jumping and other activities.
Start this gradually and stop if legs become sore.
Work on a soft surface (grass or dirt)
Work up to three sets and then increase resistance (work uphill or wear a weighted vest)
This will increase strength by about 8-10% and improve elastic recoil and will help athletes to learn how to use force more effectively.
Reaction time (how long it takes you to initiate a movement) and movement time (the time it takes you to get from the start to the end of the movement).
Class exercise: Examine ways to improve these.
4. Cool Down
Important to prevent pooling of blood.
Plan a cool down for each session.
After easy jogging or easy aerobic movements, do stretching exercises to reduce the chance of delayed, muscles soreness.