My circuit was well planned. I knew exactly when and where each exercise was going to be set out because I had a trial run, to test out all my stations. I also knew what equipment I needed and how to set it up after this trial run. I did, however, have to make changes to the order I did my exercises in, after the first week. This was because, from stations 3-6, I had very intensive exercises which tired me out and where less enjoyable than others. I felt that this made the circuit training less fun and made it harder to keep motivation. I moved my two skills exercises, which are less intensive and more fun, to the 3rd and 6th stations, so that I never had more than two more intensive stations in a row.
I think that I applied all the principles of training in my circuit well. My training was specific to football because the skills exercises worked on ball control shooting and dribbling which are all essential for improving football ability. However, I should have included more passing skills in my skills station because this also essential for football. Another way in which my circuit was specific to football was that all my exercises worked on the key fitness factors (agility, speed, stamina, explosive strength) needed in football.
I progressed in my training by gradually increasing the intensity every week. In some instances I increased intensity too much or sometimes too little, this did hold back my progression but I learned from these mistakes and made sure that the intensity was appropriate for my ability. As you would expect, most of my progression was made in the early stages and, as my fitness improved, I found it harder to progress. To continue to progress I had to overload my training.
I overloaded my different stations by increasing either the intensity or the length of time spent on it. I increased the time on my stamina exercises, skipping and shuttle runs, because, for stamina to improve, you have to be exercising for longer. In my agility, speed and skills I increased the intensity of my exercise by doing more repetitions. In my explosive strength exercises I increased the weight I was lifting as well as the amount of repetitions. Heavier weights create a greater resistance against the body and this increases the intensity of you exercise.
The improvements my training made were reversible. When I suffered an ankle injury, I had to rest it, this stopped me from doing any sport for a week. My pulse rates for the next week were noticeably worse. I overcome this problem by doing extra training as soon as I was fully fit. Whilst training, it is important to avoid tedium. If you don’t, you could become bored and lose motivation . I avoided tedium by splitting up my more intensive stations with my skills stations, which I found more enjoyable.
It was important to stay motivated, throughout my training so that I could achieve my targets. One of the reasons, for which I stayed motivated, was to achieve my goal so that I could become a better footballer. I knew if I continued to work hard at my training, my performances on the football pitch would improve. In the first week, I didn’t find my circuit fun and this was affecting my motivation. For the next week I changed the circuit sop that my skills exercises, which were more fun, were spread more evenly in my circuit. I would have had higher motivation, if some of my other exercises had been more enjoyable.
During the 5 weeks I made a few changes to my circuit for varying reasons. In week one I decided to change the order of my circuit because I was too tired after exercise 6 to perform well in my last two exercises. I also decided to change the order of my stations to make the training more enjoyable. The new circuit was designed so that I would never have more than two exercises in a row that weren’t skills stations. I did this because skills exercises are more fun and less intense. When I changed the order I also ensured that exercises that worked on the same fitness factor where as far apart as possible, for example, the explosive strength exercises where at stations four and seven.
I also changed two exercises. The first of these were the squats, which I changed because I thought the exercise worked more on muscular endurance than explosive muscular strength. I changed the exercise to squat thrusts with weights. The second station that I changed was the football skills against a wall. My aim for this station was to improve ball control. I felt that this exercise was not helping improve ball control greatly and I decided to design an exercise that incorporated ball control, speed and shooting abilities. I was happy with the exercises that I had changed for the rest of the circuit, although my shooting skills could have been more enjoyable.
The circuit training helped me reach all the targets I set before beginning the training. I wanted to improve the power of my kicking, the strength of my tackling, the speed of my dribbling and my ability to work at the maximum of my potential throughout the match. I achieved all these aims, as my performances on the pitch improved. I also have facts to back this up. The power in my legs, which is needed for strong kicking and tackling, has been enhanced as my explosive strength test result shows.
It is clear that my aim of being able to work harder throughout the period of a football match, has been achieved, as my stamina. This is shown by my bleep test result. The ability to dribble a football at speed, has got better because my agility and speed skills have improved. As my 50m sprint and Illinois Run results show. In conclusion, I can prove that my targets have been reached because of the pre-training and post-training results show. My training was helped by the extra training that I do at home. I play a lot of football during a week, this helps all the fitness factors that I’m working on. The importance of other training that I did was shown, when, due to injury, I did no sport for a week. The pulse rates taken after my stations were higher, indicating a lower fitness, which affected the ability at which I could work on the stations.
If I was to design a year-long fitness programme I wouldn’t use the method of circuit training because I would like to exercise continually throughout the week, rather than just once every week. You can also spend more time on fitness factor by this method. I would still aim to work on the same 4 fitness factors. However, instead of doing shuttle runs for 1 and a half minutes to improve stamina, I would run for 30 minutes. I would also improve fitness by taking part in the sport itself. This way you work on the relevant fitness factors as well as the skills required in the sport.
If I did my circuit training again I would keep most things the same, however I would definitely make some changes. I would do the circuit twice a week, to make the effects more dramatic. I would add in another skills station, so that I could improve passing. Although I wouldn’t change any of the exercises, because I think they were all quite effective, I would add heavier weights to the strength training. I would also try to make the exercises more fun, so that I would keep up interest right through the training. Overall, though I was happy with how my fitness programme went.