Improving the strength in my legs will improve my explosive strength to jump up for a header or sprint to the ball. good upper body strength will help me to shield the ball from the opposition and outmuscle the opposition off the ball legally. Having good muscular strength will help me maintain a good posture so decreasing the risk of injury. Improving my agility This will help me to get past defenders with greater ease as I will be changing direction at greater speed so this will make it harder for defenders to keep track of me. I will be able to run with the ball without losing my balance so easily therefore will improve my skill on the ball.
Improving my explosive strength This will help me to out jump defenders to the ball which is important as a striker because I will be looking to latch on to any heading opportunities that come my way. If the explosive strength in my legs has improved then this could also lead to improved speed which would help when trying to outrun a defender when running with the ball or chasing a loose ball. Cardiovascular endurance Despite this not being one of my main aims I am hoping it will improve along with my other aims because of my circuit training which should help strengthen my heart muscles. It is important for a footballer because you are constantly on the move for 90 minutes whether you are sprinting or jogging and recovery rate will improve so you will be able to run for longer.
Pre-test tables: Pre-testing is required so that you can decide how well each test fits in with your aims to try and improve the certain aspects of your fitness. Once you have tried out all these different tests you can then choose which particular tests you are going to choose which will be specific to your aims and which will show how you have improved in certain aspects of your fitness from before the 6 week training course and after it.
Some of the tests we did included: Illinois Agility Run- You have 6 cones placed about 1 metre apart from each other and to test your agility you firstly have to lie on the left hand side of the cones face first on the ground with your head in line with the starting point and then when you are told to go, get up and sprint to the end of the cones then come back by going in between each cone and then turning around doing the same going round each cone and once you have gone round the last cone at the end turn round and sprint down the right to the start again and time how long it took you.
Reaction Testing ( Ruler Drop Test)- Your partner holds a 30cm ruler out in front of them and you position your index finger and thumb next to the 0cm mark without touching the ruler. Your partner then drops the ruler without giving you notice and the closer to the 0cm mark you can catch the ruler the faster your reaction time is. Bent arm hang- You have a bar and you have to hold onto it for as long as possible with your outer wrist facing you and with your chin above the bar. This is a test for the strength in your arms and shoulders.
The Sergeant Jump (test for explosive strength)- you have to stand beside a wall and keep your legs and feet flat on the floor then reach straight above your head as far as you can and use a chalk to make a mark. Then jump as high as possible making a second chalk mark at the highest point. The distance between the two chalk marks gives you an indication of your explosive strength. (Bleep test)- This is used to test your speed but mainly your stamina.
For this test you have to run from one line to another of length 20 metres. You have to get your foot on the line each time before you hear the next bleep until you cant carry on any longer and stop and your fitness is measured by how many levels you have managed to run through.My circuit will include 8 stations altogether and I will probably do two circuits per week depending on how I feel the first week goes. I will do around 6 laps of my circuit for each session as I have estimated that each lap of my circuit will take around 10 minutes to complete and so 60 minutes should be a substantial period of time for each session. I will start my first circuit with appropriate exercises with sensible intensities and effective frequencies that are suitable for me taking into account my current fitness levels and abilities.
If I do not do this then I may find that the circuit is not at the right level of difficulty for me to see any visible differences in my level of fitness. The circuit may be too easy or too difficult which may lead to me becoming bored with the programme and not performing the exercises in the correct manner. If I make the intensity and frequency of the exercises in my circuit too advanced a level that isn’t suitable for my abilities then this could lead to me getting injuries such as muscle strain.
However my exercises will be carried out with a high level of intensity and I have set my target heart rate zone at 70-85% of my maximum heart rate so my training zone will be from around 125bpm to 205bpm. I can improve my performance by building up frequency and intensity of exercises gradually over the weeks at a level that isn’t too dangerous or too easy as this wont help my performance. As I increase my fitness levels I will be able to perform better as the body will become accustomed to the demands of the training programme.
In my recordings after each session I will include my recovery rate and see how my fitness has improved by looking at the variation of times it has taken my heart to recover after an exercise over the weeks. If I find that an exercise doesn’t benefit me and help to improve my performance because it is too easy then there are a number of decisions I could make to overcome this factor. I could overload by increasing the number of repetitions in an exercise or the frequency and intensity of the exercise. I could repeat certain exercises again or if necessary the whole circuit.
I will have to structure the order in which I carry out the exercises in the circuit in a particular way so that I don’t end up doing similar fitness exercises one after another such as two consecutive arm/leg exercises. I will look to vary my exercises and structure them in a way that they will help improve all the aspects of fitness that I want improving which were agility, upper body strength and explosive strength.
Benefits of using circuit training Circuit training is becoming more and more popular with regular gym-goers and is appealing to those who aren’t regular gym-goers but want to go to the gym and see maximum results in the minimum time. Circuit training combines cardiovascular training with toning and resistance training. Circuit training can improve your fitness level greatly depending on the structure and balance of your session. Circuit training proves that performing a set of exercises in quick succession and in rotation is the key to seeing results even if you train only once or twice a week.
One of the great things about circuit training is it doesn’t matter what level of fitness you have and whether you’re a top athlete or just a beginner, as you can all work together in the same training session. Depending on your current level of fitness you can choose the intensity and frequency of the activity you are performing at each work station to suit you. It has been said that a minute is the ideal time that you should spend at a station as short bursts of exercise greatly help improve cardiovascular fitness.
Circuit training is good for developing basic strength and body tone. Circuit training normally consists of compound exercises which use more than one muscle group at a time which is generally more effective than using a machine in the gym which only concentrates on one set of muscles. Circuit training is a good fat burner because of all the rotation between exercises that goes on. Circuit training is not as boring as other types of training as you are always doing different exercises so this helps you to not lose interest.