Before I started my personal exercise programme I carried out a number of tests to find out what level my fitness was currently at. From these test scores I could estimate the level to start each exercise in my programme. A practise run was done of the circuit a week before to make sure everything ran smoothly when I carried it out. This proved very beneficial as on the first day of the regime many of my class mates were struggling to finish two full circuits and some didn’t have proper record sheets to write down results.
When you are in the gym it is often helpful to change the type of exercise you are doing e.g. do a leg exercise, then an arm exercise etc. This is helpful as it gives the part of your body that you just used a chance to rest. My programme contains a lot of upper body work. This can make your body very fatigued if it is done in repetition, to avoid this the circuit had lower body work at even intervals during the programme.
I feel that the circuit could have been more specific to muscular power but the programme spaced the exercises well in an order which would give your muscles as much rest as possible making the performance optimal. Although this may be the case I still found that as the session went on fatigue started to kick in and this is inevitable with most programmes including a lot of power and strength exercises in it.
I feel that the programme I did demonstrated good use of the training principles. The exercises showed specificity as I concentrated on improving one aspect of my fitness. My programme also showed progression as I started off with a manageable amount of repetitions and would not cause an injury and progressed up after every 2 weeks. Overload is also used as you can see from the results recorded; I used this principle to improve. Tedium was avoided by differentiating week 3 with fartlek training.
Evaluation of Performing the Programme The exercises that were included in the exercise programme were aimed to improve my muscular power. I think that some of the exercises were specific to the area of fitness which I was trying to improve. However, it did not show specificity to the sport which my programme was based on (swimming). This is because I am a competitive swimmer and do a lot of swimming sessions in the pool and don’t feel the need for any extra sessions, also it is quite difficult to design a power programme in the pool which exercises all your muscles.
I mentioned above that I train a lot for swimming. Every Friday we carried out our personal exercise programme and on Friday mornings I train for swimming before school. This training may have hindered my performance so it would have probably been more beneficial to me if it was done on a day when I didn’t train for swimming. This would give my body chance to recover. Another hindering factor to my programme was the availability of the necessary equipment e.g. heart rate monitors. The gym that we used was in school and the facilities are limited, this caused some minor problems. However, I was able to finish my programme, despite these set backs and obtain a decent recordation of what I had done.
On a whole I found this programme very enjoyable. The programme itself provided me with motivation to do it well and record my achievements accurately, as I knew it would be beneficial to me for my GCSE grade. Another motivational factor which I found drove me on was the desire to improve. As I swim competitively I need to train hard and keep my fitness improving. If I improve my fitness I have a greater chance of winning which drove me to work hard on all the exercises.
Evaluation of Monitoring the Programme After I completed my 6 week programme I read though the diary which I had recorded my programme in on a weekly basis. During the implementation period I changed the amount of each exercise I was doing. I did this to put the principle of overload into practise so I would improve. If the exercise became reasonably easy or I felt I could do more I stepped up the number of reps.
Improving your fitness doesn’t happen overnight and will happen at different speeds depending on your fitness before you start. As you lose your fitness approximately three times faster than it takes you to gain it, I decided to go to the gym privately once a week and do the circuit there as well as in school, this showed a greater improvement in my records and prevented me from loosing my fitness. In my recording tables which can be seen above I have included exactly what exercise I did and how much of it I did. This shows how I progressed during the programme. I also stated the effects the cardio vascular exercises had on my body using my heart rate, listed in the tables above.
Final Appraisal of the Programme Before I started this programme I carried out a number of tests to find out what level my fitness was currently at. From these results I found that my muscular power was quite weak in comparison to the rest of the fitness factors that I tested. As this was the case I decided to focus my programme on improving power. The original test for power was the standing broad jump which I scored average in, when ii repeated at the end of my programme I found that I had improved by 15cm. The programme was based to improve my fitness and swimming and lately I had a gala which was 50m races (sprints). Power is a great advantage in these short races and I improved all my personal best times suggesting my programme was very worth while.
This carrying out and writing up process has improved my understanding a lot. I know I could confidently design an event specific programme relizing better what to concentrate on and why. As this programme has clearly benefited me in many ways I would like to carry it on. The programme itself can be adjusted for concentrating on different strokes and done more often and in different ways to get a different training effect. I will quite enjoy developing the programme and designing one which will hopefully benefit me in a similar way.