Components of Physical Fitness

  • speed
  • strength
    • absolute
    • dynamic
    • elastic
    • explosive
    • relative
    • strength endurance
    • static
  • flexibility
  • endurance
    • aerobic
    • cardiovascular
    • muscular
  • body composition
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SPEED: time taken to move a body part or whole through a movement over a pre-determined distance

FLEXIBILITY: range of movements avilable at a joint determined by joint structure and muscle elasticity

ENDURANCE: measure of a component of fitness to sustain activity

BODY COMPOSITION: used to describe the % of fat, bone and muscle that make up the human body

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ABSOLUTE: maximal force that can be exerted against an object in a single contraction, irrespective of body size - rugby tackle

DYNAMIC: ability to exert a significiant force repeatedly - 2000m rowing race

ELASTIC: ability to exert a force quickly; calculated by strength x speed

EXPLOSIVE: ability to exert a maximal force quickly or in one action - shot putter

RELATIVE: defined as maximal force that can be exerted in proportion to body weight - boxer

ENDURANCE: defined as ability of muscles to resist fatigue while exerting a repeated muscular action over an extended period of time - tour de france cyclists

STATIC: defined as ability to exert a sustained force without significiant movement - gymnast doing the crucifix on the rings

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AEROBIC: ability of aerobic energy pathway to meet the demands of the activity

  • if an athelte is able to sustain level of intensity just below their anaerobic threshold they can delay the point at which they begin to work anaerobically and delay onset of fatigue

CARDIOVASCULAR: ability of heart, blood and blood vessles to work collectivley to perform their function of fullfilling the needs of the cells in the body by delivering oxygen and removing co2.

  • needed to maintain the delivery of o2 and removal of co2 to/from working muscles and oxidisation of lactic acid

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE: abillity of muscles to resist fatigue while exerting a force performing repeated muscular action over an extended period of time

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Body Composition

Samotyping is a way of classifying different body compositional make-ups; initially developed by Sheldon - rates an individual body type on a scale of 1-7

  • highly mesomorphic 1-7-1
  • ecto: 1-1-7
  • endo 7-1-1

ECTOMORPH: long arms, long legs and have long thin muscles with narrow shoulders, low fat storage - long jump and long distance running

MESOMORPH: high rate of muscle growth and higher proportion of musclar tissue, large bones and solid torsos with wide shoulders - 100, sprint and swimming

ENDOMORPH: increased amount of fat storage, wide waist and large bones - sumo wrestling

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Components of Skill Fitness

  • co-ordination
  • balance
  • agility
  • reaction time
  • power
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CO-ORDINATION: ability of body to link movements together, either with other movements or in relation to an external object such as an opponent or a ball

BALANCE: measure of the ability to control the position of the body, either in a fixed posision (static) or whilst moving from one to the other (dynamic)

AGILITY: changing position quickly and with control

REACTION TIME: time taken from the presentation of the stimulus to the execution of the subsequent action

POWER: speed x strength, ability to exert maximal force quickly

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Methods of Fitness Training

  • continuous 
  • interval
  • power
  • circuit
  • stage
  • weight/resistance 
  • speed
  • fartlek
  • cross
  • core stability
  • plyometric 
  • SAQ
  • aerobic
  • anaerobic 
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  • constant intensity 
  • suited to long distance
  • medium to low intensity (60-80% of MHR)

used to develop endurance by using the aerobic energy system - as it uses large muscle groups for long periods of time it is used for fat and weight loss

- high chance of tedium as is repetitive

- repetive stress on muscles and joints

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exercise is interupted with intervals of rest - work - rest - work

  • training must be sport specific to allow the correct adaptations
  • rest period must be sufficent 

a rest period must allow body to recover sufficently so it can perform the next work period at intended intensity

  • mainly used for anaerobic activity
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series of exercises arranged and performed in order - can be both sport specific  or for general fitness

aerobic: 90 seconds on each station with 10 second rest 

anaerobic: 20 second station with 40 seconds rest

main types of circuits are fixed load (specific number of repertitions per station) or individual load (individual completes as many as they can in designated time)

good as little or no equipment needed whereas can be repetitive and boring

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Weight / Resistance

exercising with variable resistance through predominantly anaerobic exercise, multiple benefits

  • improved muscular endurance
  • improved power 
  • better posture
  • changing body composition 

one type is fixed weight: resistance machines that work particular muscle or muscle groups

  • no spots and easy technique
  • expensive specialist equipment 

free weights: bars and bells 

  • greater tehcnique and injury risk
  • more accessible
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Weight / Resistance

ISOTONIC: when a muscle contracts it changes length to produce a force (isotonic contraction) 

  • used to improve strength, endurance and cv fitness
  • both free weights and equipment 
  • can be sport specific e.g. pulleys for swimming

ISOMETRIC: when an athelte holds a maximum contraction for 5-7 seconds, recovers briefly and repeats 5 times

  • only useful in sports like judo or gymnastics where positions have to be maintained for a long time 
  • strength gains are only specific to joint angles

ISOKINETIC: expensive equipment such as cybex and hydragym that work at constant speeds against resistance or weight that changes as muscular force changes through movement range

  • ensure all muscles worked evenly at all stages of movement
  • gains achieved fast
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speed can only be imprved if muscle fibres are stimulated to contract at a faster rate

assisted: improves stride frequency using equipment e.g. elasticated bells

resisted: improves speed strength and stride length using parachutes or sledges 

accelerated sprints for 5 seconds in variety of starting positionsknees, chest etc. this doesnt allow maximal sprint speed so length of sprint must be increased

  • 20 seconds
  • 5 second maximal speed
  • 10 gradual acceleration
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speed play - training at different intensities or terrain

  • form of endurance conditioning 
  • aerobic system is stressed
  • can be adapted to anaerobic 

usually long distance (45 minutes) and is individual and self paced making it specific 

can be used for games players due to mixture of aerobic and anaerobic 

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Core Stability

targets muscles within abdomen

  • better platform for other muscles
  • maintains posture
  • reduces risk of injury

using static and isometric contractions with the aim of developing good endurance of low level forces

abdominal bracing most commonly used - required to maintain constant breathing

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for movement to occure muscles must shortenconcentric contraction, if a muscle is lengthened (eccentric) prior to conecntric contraction a force grreater than stored elastic energy is produced 

  • requires short time between eccentrict and concentric contraction
  • plyometric uses rapid eccentric movement followed by short amortisation period
  • and then explosive concentric movement 

enables synergistic muscles to engage in the myotatic stretch reflex

  • uses explosive movement to develop muscular power
  • improves neuro muscular link
  • increase risk of soft muscle tissue damage and DOMs
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emphasis on neuromuscular system by allowing brain and body to work together more efficently 

  • develop neurological firing patterns causing movement to become automatic and efficent creating a precise explosive action
  • e.g. faster moving feet means brain will have more frequent impulses to muscles

includes resistance running - recruting more muscle fibres than usual

contrast training - no resistance but persuades body to recruit more muscle fibres as if resistance was being applied 

assisted training increases frequency at which brain sends impulses in response to increased muscle fibre recruitment and increase muscular power output

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Aerobic / Anaerobic

training that uses energy specifically or mainly supplied aerobically or anaerobically

  • aerobic energy produced in presence of oxygen
  • anaerobic energy produced if muscles starved of o2

useable energy stored as ATP - meaning food must be converted to this before being used in cells - 3 systems used to produced ATP;

  • ATP-PC anaerobically
  • Glycolysis (lactic acid)  anaerobically
  • Aerobic

no system works alone but there is always a prominent system

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Aerobic / Anaerobic

ATP-PC: Supplies first 10 seconds wihout need for o2

  • ATP first 2 seconds
  • PC 6-8 seconds

Glycolysis: creates ATP from carbohydrates with lactic acid as by product - partial breakdown of glucose so no need for o2;

  • short term energy for high intensity 
  • if lactic acids builds and reaches threshold - pain and fatigue

Aerobic: fuels majority of energy, uses o2 to convert nutrients into ATP - slower as relies on circulatory system to transport o2 to working muscles

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Aerobic / Anaerobic

long interval training: both pathwaysmiddle distance and games players

sprint: sessions are specifically designed to stress ATP-PC system improving its capacity and increasing muscle stores of ATP and PCdirect bursts of speed e.g. sprinters

fast interval: anaerobic endurance and stress lactic acid system. buffering capacity improves delayong onsent of fatigue and decreasing efect of lactic acid400m runners and sprint swimmers

aerobic system is stressed by slower intervals which improves oxidative capacity of body - an improved alactacid source (ATP=PC source in muscles) is neccesary for sustained sprint or stop and go action

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recognised as most effective way to increase or maintain muscle elasticity - a stretch takes place in;

  • sarcomere
  • connective tissue

muscle fibres being stretched will experience a decrease in the overlap between actin and myosin (2 main protein filaments in sarcomere) overalp will decrease as filaments are stretched and realigned - remainder of force absorbed by connective tissue

located in muscles are different proprioceptors - these send messages back to brin via cns - instigate a resistance which will be matched by degree of stretch

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2 aims of stretching:

  • recruit as many sarcomeres as possible
  • reprogramme proprioceptors to accept change

muscles are made of multiple myofibrils which are divided by Z lines;

  • section betwen 2 z lines = sarcomere 
  • actin and myosin are in sarcomere
  • actin locks onto myosin to form cross bridges
  • muscle contractions = space between z lines decreases
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Types of Stretching

four main types are PNF, ballistic, static and dynamic within these are split into passive or active

passive: assume a body position and hold with another part of the body or with assistance of partner or apparatus 

active: assume a posisiton, hold it with no assistance other than muscle strength itself

  • DYNAMIC: gradually stretching muscles through momentum and gradual increase of reach / speed of movement 
  • PNF: muscle passivley stretched then contracts isomterically against a resistance whilst stretched; then passively stretched - used to increase muscle elasticity anf flexibility 
  • STATIC: stationary and safe due to constant control of muscle movements - muscle taken to elastic limit and held in position
  • BALLISTIC: uses momentum of moving limbs to force beyond normal range (bouncing) increases risk of DOMS
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Principles of Training - SPORT

the rules applied to methods of training in order to achiever specfic adatations - uses FITT and SPORT

SPECIFICITY: sport specific and must fit and suit individual needs

PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD: increase training demands in order to encourage further adaptations using FIT, must be managable and not over 5% per week

OVERTRAINING: should be avoided by allwing full recovery - occasional is managable but repeated will lead to decline in performance

REGRESSION: body adapts to new environment so can cause reverse of previous effects

TEDIUM: implementing vairation this is avoded and reduces effects of tedium causing high level of motivation

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Principles of Training - FITT

used in SPORT for progressive overload

FREQUENCY: how often you train

INTENSITY: variable likely to determine outcome of training

TIME: length of exercise period

TYPE: is it CV fitness? aerobic? anaerobic? etc.

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Training Programmes - Age

individual needs influence the appropriation of the training programme - age, aging process, training, activity levels


  • training for children should be fun and enjoyable
  • overtraining = health problems later in life
  • inactivity in children = inactivity in later life
  • children should have stress on correct technique to prevent injury in later life
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Training Programmes - Aging


  • Generally accepted beyond 30 degenerative process occurs which has detremental effect on athletes fitness measures
  • strength declines - degeneration of nerves supplying muscles
  • extra collegen fibres between muscle fibres = less elasticity
  • endurance delcines due to extra collagen fibres
  • mhr declines reducing vo2 max of athlete
  • general stiffening of blood vessels reduces blood supply to organs and muscles

regular exercise can offset many effects of aging - shown by older athletes e.g. linford chrisite who became an olympic champion in his 30's

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Training Programmes - Training and Activity


  • Training load of experienced athlete will be far greater than novice athlete
  • 5% increase in training load per week is maximum


  • Essential that someone who has not undertaken physical acitivty should undertaken medial examination
  • e.g. PAR Q-questionnaire
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Fitness Testing

before taking a test you should be aware of:

  • what you want to find out
  • the validity of the test
  • test protocol
  • current state of athlete - PAR-Q
  • informing the athlete 

reasons for testing include:

  • identify strengths and weakenesses
  • provide basis for applying principles
  • provide basis for planning and monitoring performance
  • asses value of training programme
  • predict future performance and potential
  • provide comparisons with previous test or other individuals
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Fitness Testing

factors to consider in testing include: is the athlete pushing themselves? is the environment right? ethical considerations?

main types of fitness testing are maximal and sub-maximal

MAXIMAL: progressive - making the athlete work progressively harder until maximal effort

  • treadmill vo2 max
  • cycling resistance

SUB-MAXIMAL: tend to use heart rate repsonse to exercise or power output as indicator of athletes fitness

  • possible as 02 uptake and heart rate show lineral relationship
  • harvard step test 

special labs used to dedicate themselves to sport testing e.g. Human Performance Centre and Lilleshall

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Fitness Testing - Strength

HANDGRIP TEST: forearm strength 

  • dynamomete held with arm at right angle at elbow at side of body
  • sqyeeze dyanmometer with maximum isometric effort maintained for 5 seconds

SIT UP: abdominal strength

  • lie on back with knees bent at right angel with feet flat 
  • squeeze stomach and sit up

VERTICAL JUMP: elastic leg strength

  • feet flat reach up on wall mark point where fingertips reach
  • then jumps vertically to wall using both arms and legs
  • attempt to touch wall at highest point
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Fitness Testing - CV and Agility

MULTI-STAGE FITNESS TEST: cardiovascular endurance

  • 20 metre section marking each end with cones
  • using CD follow instructions - each minute increases speed
  • if athelte fails to reach shuttle before beep they have 2 to 3 shuttles to catch up
  • test stopped if pp fails to reach line


  • 10x5 metres
  • mark all corners with cones with 4 down middle of course 
  • start at start line face down on floor
  • on go command athletes begin
  • run towards end and back weave in and out and up and down to top line and to finish
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Fitness Testing - Flexibility, Balance and Reactio

SIT AND REACH: flexibility

  • sit on floor with legs straight with shoes removed
  • soles on box reach forward


  • position non supporting foot against inside knee of supporting leg 
  • subject raise heel and balance on ball of foot

RULER DROP: reaction time

  • pp stand or sit near edge of table resting elbow on table to wrist is extended along over side
  • ruler held vertically in air between thumb and index
  • ruler is then dropped
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