Training Methods

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Aerobic Training:
Aim is to increase aerobic capacity – occurs when heart rate is maintained at around 70 to 85% of the individuals maximum heart rate, usually for at least 30 minutes – minimum of 3 days per week. One guideline suggests that aerobic training be carried out at a heart rate of 220 minus age. For eg, long training runs, cycling, swimming, walking. Aerobic fitness is synonymous with the terms stamina, endurance fitness and cardiovascular fitness.

Anaerobic Training:
Aim is to improve efficiency of the body’s anaerobic pathway and improving tolerance to lactic acid – occurs when athlete undertakes interval training or intermittent exercise to increase lactic acidosis then allowing recovery before repeating the activity. Intensity and duration can be very variable. For eg, 10 x 200 metres with a two minute recovery between. The principle of specificity means that the use of the anaerobic training activity must use the muscles in the movement patterns for which the athlete wants this improved anaerobic power in.

Strength Training:
Strength training is the use of exercises to increase the maximal force that a muscle can generate. Muscles respond to high intensity loads, based on the overload principles, by increasing in size and strength – voluntary maximal muscle contractions are the most effective way to increase strength.

Different types of contractions:
1) Concentric – muscle shortens as it develops tension
2) Eccentric – muscle lengthens as it develops tension (used in rehabilitation and injury prevention programs)
3) Isometric – muscle attempts to shorten, but can not overcome resistance
Most studies show that strength gains can occur with all types of contractions – training should include both types of activities.

Several different methods:
1) Isometric:
• muscle is contracted against immovable object and held for 3-6 seconds – usually done 10-30 times; or 3-5 times 10-30 seconds
• as there is no movement, it is difficult to measure any changes/improvements in strength
• may be more use in rehabilitation than for sports training
• strength gain is thought to be specific to the angle that the joint is held at
• usually used when joint movement is not desired
2) Isotonic:
• muscle is contracted against moveable object (eg free weight; machine)
• can be an eccentric or concentric contraction
• usually 3 sets of 5 to 7 repetitions
• ‘Progressive Resistance Exercise’ (PRE) – usually done with 3 sets of ten exercises – the first set is done with half the weight that can be lifted 10 times, the second set with three fourths of the weight that can be lifted 10 times and the final set with the full weight that can be lifted 10 times. Many variations on PRE have been researched.
• torque about axis of variation of range of movement during lift will vary  resistance is different at different position during range
3) Isokinetic:
• uses the generation of a muscular force against a variable resistance, so that he same force is generated throughout the arc of movement  the muscle is maximally activated throughout its entire range of motion
• theoretically the most effective means of increasing strength
• done with the aid of electromechanical equipment - expensive

Gains in strength come from neurological adaptations (usually in first 3-4 weeks of a program) and an increase in the muscle fibre cross-sectional diameter – this is due to increased number of actin and myosin filaments.

Flexibility Training:
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through a range of motion and a large range of motion at some joints is a requirement of many sports and is considered an important warm up activity for all sports.
Three techniques:
1) Static:
• stretched position is held for a period of time (usually 10 to 60 seconds) – 3 to 4 times for each muscle group
• stretch is held at the point of moderate discomfort
• safe and widely used
2) Ballistic/dynamic:
• rapid repetitive bouncing actions
• not widely advocated due to injury risk from bouncing; initiation of strong myotatic stretch reflex; little time for adaptation to occur during bounce of stretch
• but does mirror some activities (eg kicking, dance)  may have a role
3) Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation:
• involve alternating contraction and relaxation of agonist and antagonist
• joint is moved to end of range of motion, then followed by an isometric contraction of the group being stretched
• produces greater increases in ranges of motion than others

Moving a joint through a limited range of motion over a period of time  decrease in flexibility from adaptive shortening  exercise joints through entire range of motion as often as possible

Speed Training:
Need combination of strength training, flexibility training, power training and skill training.
Two types of activities:
1) Speed resisted training:
• perform speed skill against resistance (usually pre or early season)
• eg sprinting uphills or stairs; pulling a sled with weights on it; cycling in a higher gear; using weighted vests; rowing with large oars
2) Speed assisted training:
• used to condition body system to perform fast movements
• eg sprinting downhill; cycling in low gear; rowing with small oar

Plyometric Training:
Conditioning system related to power – muscle is stretched immediately prior to contraction – assumed that neuromuscular adaptations involve a faster spindle response  method of strengthening in which entire fibre bed is used at speed.
Assumed that it is a method of training that improves power in a way to directly enhance performance. Exercises are performed in a more explosive way and with higher velocity than traditional strength training.
Methods include depth jumping from boxes, bounding, hopping – principle is maximum speed and effort – usually with repetitions

Skill Training:
As well as physical conditioning, each sport has specific skills and techniques that need to be developed. A skill is defined as a learned ability to bring about a predetermined results, with the maximum degree of certainty, often with minimum outlay of energy and time.

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