I found the speed work very enjoyable and of great benefit. Because I was always thinking about what I had to do next, I didn’t have time to find it boring and didn’t think about it too much. Not only did this decrease the percentage of maximum heart rate I was using, but I felt it strengthened my leg muscles. My warm ups and cool downs really worked as I didn’t feel achy the day after exercising and I didn’t pull any muscles or have any injuries during the training programme. I feel the stretches had the most benefits to my warmup as they prevented me from straining any muscles. I didn’t get any stitches throughout my training programme, and I think that was because I warmed up properly.
Evaluation of FSP (weights) circuit: 1) Tricep press- this had a high air resistance on it before the weights were put up so it was very challenging. I found it easy to push down on it but steadily pulling it up proved to be harder. I felt this working, but I don’t think it made any significant difference to my training programme. 2) Leg adductor- I found this really worked the inside of my legs. My hamstrings were stretched. I think this machine was important to my programme as I could really feel it working.
3) Pectoral machine- I was a little too small for this machine- my arms couldn’t comfortably reach the rest pads. Therefore I didn’t use this machine. 4) Leg extension- This machine really worked my calf muscles and I had to put the weights up to feel the difference. 5) Shoulder Press- This machine was very difficult and I often had to rest while using it. This machine, like the tricep press, already had a high air resistance on it, making it very hard. I did feel it worked my triceps and biceps, the muscle contractions were very strong on this machine.
6) Abdominal board- I found this quite boring as I simply did sit-ups on it. I did feel it pull my stomach muscles, but not as much as the abdominal machine. 7) Bicep press- This machine put a lot of pressure on my wrists so I had to turn the weights down. Because of this, I didn’t feel it had a lot of effect. 8) Leg curl- I found this worked my gluteals quite effectively. I put the weights up on this machine in the 3rd week because I was finding it very easy. 9) Vertical bench press- I found this machine important to my programme. It worked my biceps and made them quite tense even after I had finished the exercise.
10) Abdominal machine- This machine worked well if used properly. I found it was very easy to ‘cheat’ on this machine as you could make your arms do the work as it was less effort! I learnt how to use it correctly and after that I found it very effective. By about 4 weeks in I found this machine very easy. 11) Lats Pulldown- I was too short to reach the arms on this machine so I had to get a member of the gym staff to reach it for me, when I used it however, It was worth it. 12) Horizontal press- I disliked this machine as I found it didn’t work at all for me.
I improved throughout the six weeks, there was a slight glitch in the results, which was in week 5 not trained that week due to illness and that, was why I was under performing towards the end of my training. The height of my fitness during the 6 weeks was the end of week four, as my heart rates had improved steadily and after that week I was ill, so reversibility meant that I went back to the state I was at in about the 2nd week.
As a whole I improved strength, endurance and flexibility. My leg strength I feel did improve, but not drastically and not enough to properly measure. During week 6 my results decrease, the reason for this is I had a virus the week before and was unable to perform that week, and in week 6 I was not able to perform to my full potential, because I was recovering, as my results show. I found the circuit to be very intense and tiring, but very effective as my circuit tested all the areas I wanted it to. I was very tired though after completing each week of the program, my muscles were aching but my cardiovascular fitness improved. If I were to perform the circuit program again I would start by having a recovery time between each station, also I would make the increase of repetition each week higher as I began to find my circuit quite easy toward the middle of my programme.
Although I had improved during the six-week period I had only improved slightly, so if I were repeating this program I would make it last 12 weeks so improvements could be seen more easily. Once the circuit becomes to easy I would have to make it quite a bit harder to affect plateauing. If the circuit is not made harder the body will stop improving in the areas of muscular endurance and anaerobic respiration. The body must also train to prevent reversibility. This is when the affects of training decrease and the benefits are lost.