Training Principles

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Training Principles

Purpose of training is to stress the athlete in order to provide a stimulus for biological and physiological adaptation to occur to improve performance in specific tasks. Physical training programs will also run in junction/parallel to skill based training programs for most sports.

3 phases or periods of training – 1) Conditioning or preparation phase
2) Pre-competition
3) Competition
These main periods are often divided into sub-phases – such as macrocycles (eg monthly) and microcyles (eg weekly)  allows for different periods of training volume and intensity.

As part of training, a stress is applied to the body above what is normally applied. The load is progressively and gradually increased. If the increased stress is not excessive, adaptation can take place and the work capacity of the individual is increased. Increased training loads to increase the stress must be followed by adequate recovery time. Workloads should not be increased if adaptation has not taken place. Overload can be progressively implemented by manipulation of intensity of training, frequency of training and duration of training. Plateaus can often be reached in which no further adaptation can take place – if this happens  redirect training to other physiological pathways.

Physiological and psychological profiles of athletes vary  individuality of training program. At higher levels of competition  frequent assessments of capacity to assist with individualisation. Many factors are responsible for individual response to training – genetics plays a role. The benefits of a training program will be optimal when they are individualised.

Training must be specific to the sporting activity – ie the best type of training is that which simulates the competitive event. Many of the adaptations that happen from training are restricted to the muscles and the energy pathways that are used.
Specificity has two components – metabolic specificity (the use of the specific metabolic pathways that are used in the activity); and neuromuscular specificity (recruiting the neuromuscular pathways used in the activity).
Many experiments have shown little transfer of training between different modes of exercise.
Exception could be cardiovascular fitness for endurance events – especially affect on respiratory system, but not necessary the effects on the muscles used for different endurance activities (eg cycling and running)  based on the concepts of (1) central adaptations to training (not task specific) and are related to heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output etc and (2) peripheral adaptation (task specific) and are related to the neuromuscular use of specific motor units and the specific blood flow shunts that are part of that activity. For example, the central adaptations are not different if the body is running or cycling, but peripheral adaptations are very different between the two activities.

Theory of periodisation involves incorporating periods of intense training and regeneration periods in the appropriate ratio for individual athletes. Eg there may be 2 to 3 weeks of intense activity, followed by a week of easy activity.

If training stops  loss of adaptation. Some training effects are lost quicker than others are  importance of some forms of activity in the ‘off-season’.

Essential if full training effect is to be achieved.
Inadequate recovery  tiredness, fatigue, poor performance

Warm up:
Increasing the temperature of muscles through elevation of core body temperature is necessary for optimal performance  increased breakdown of oxyhaemoglobin, increased release of oxygen from myoglobin, increased speed of nerve impulses, increased blood flow to muscles.
Other benefits:
• psychological benefit – allows athlete to focus on event
• decreased risk of injury
• earlier sweating  reduces risk of higher temperature
Consensus is that the warm up should first consist of aerobic activity (5-10 minutes) followed by flexibility exercises.

Warm down:
Purpose is to slowly allow the heart rate to return to normal by using slower aerobic activities  enhances recovery by reducing lactic acid in blood and muscle  reduces degree of muscle soreness following training.

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