Fitness training

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There are various types of fitness training, below I have described the main ones used over a variety of sports. First of all there are anaerobic and aerobic training types. Aerobic: Increases cardiac capacity and strengthens the heart, body and lungs. It uses carbohydrates and fat as its energy source (fuel) depending on the intensity. Aerobic training involves activities such as walking, jogging, running and cycling therefore it needs little or no equipment and can be carried out anywhere. Anaerobic: it’s a short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply.

It relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles and unlike aerobic exercise it’s not dependant on oxygen from the air. It gradually helps develop stronger muscles and improved vo2 max. Furthermore, it improves the bodies resistance to waste products such as lactic acid. However, it burns fewer calories than aerobic exercise and is less beneficial for cardiovascular fitness. Steady state: This is where the sportsperson trains at a constant rate and the heart rate reaches a plateau during sub-maximal and low intensity training.

The sportsperson should aim to be working at around 60% of their maximum heart rate. Examples of steady state training are swimming, jogging and cycling. There are also many more. Both dancers and footballers would benefit from steady state training as it improves general fitness. Interval training: Periods of exercise which are linked with periods of recovery. There are four main variables that can be manipulated to ensure the specificity of the training. 1) The duration/distance of the intervals. 2) The intensity of the interval. 3) The duration of the recovery period. 4) The number of work/recovery periods.

Interval training proves effective for footballers as it builds up the strength of the heart and allows higher levels of endurance enabling the footballer to maintain the same level of play throughout the full 90 minutes. It also begins to prevent the build up of lactic acid in the muscles which means the footballer is less likely to develop cramp in a match. Interval training may not be useful for all dancers as they don’t really need high endurance levels as routines often last no longer then 5 minutes. However, freestyle dancers work at extreme intensities during competition therefore it may be of some use to them.

Fartlek training (speed play): Sessions must be a minimum of 45 minutes and it involves the use of both aerobic and anaerobic energy. It passes through various stages including both low and high intensity work for example from a walk to a jog to a sprint. This training type is often used in the countryside and other terrains. It can be adapted for each individual and is easy to administer. It is very useful for sports that require different paces, although it is difficult for the coach to judge how hard the person is training. This type of training is desirable for footballers as it increases pace and also cardiovascular endurance.

However it is of little use to dancers. Fartlek training isn’t suitable for beginners due to the length that the session must run for. Circuit training: A variety of exercises done at different stations. Each station usually lasts around 30 seconds with a 15 second rest between each station. Depending on the space available a coach can usually administer circuit training to between 10-60 people. It is easily adapted to improve all areas of fitness. It’s a good training type for off-setting boredom as it includes a variety of exercises and music may also be played during the session.

However circuit training usually involves a lot of equipment and therefore can be difficult to set up. Circuit training is extremely effective for footballers as they can build up their dynamic strength for kicks and throw ins whilst also working on elements of endurance training. It can also be adapted for both goalkeepers and outfield players. Circuit training may also have a little use for dancers as they can include flexibility exercises and stations which develop muscular strength and tone. Furthermore, they may include aerobic style stations to improve rhythm and coordination.

Circuit training can be adapted for all ability levels as it is altered to suit each individuals needs. Weights and resistance methods: Development of strength using weights and it is usually based on the overload principle. There are two types isotonic and isometric. 1) Isometric: Muscles contract but there is no movement. It builds up strength and is quick and easy to do. However, the muscles only gain strength at the angles used in the exercises and blood flow to the muscles is reduced causing a rise in blood pressure which strains the heart, therefore restricting the improvement to fitness levels.

2) Isotonic: Muscles contract and shorten producing movement. The muscles are strengthened through a wide range of movement and it can be adapted for most sports, although there is often muscles soreness from stress of lengthening. Useful for both footballers and dancers. Footballers would benefit from increased strength when taking kicks and throw ins and it would also help them stand up against the opposition and use there strength to guard the ball. Dancers need high strength levels for balances and lifts in their routines.

Plyometrics: Improves dynamic strength and is useful for sports that involve sprinting, running and throwing. It involves bounding, hopping and jumping. Concentrically is jumping up which is the hardest and eccentrically is landing which is easier. This would be very useful for goalkeepers as they have to dive and jump to save the ball, plus outfield players would find plyometrics useful for developing their dynamic strength for taking free kicks and throw ins. Dancers would also use plyometrics occasionally to develop their jumping/leaps for routines.

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