exercise and sport physiology (everything)


Energy definitions

ENERGY - The ability to do work (measured in J)

WORK - When a force is applied to a body to move it over a certain distance 

                 work (J)  = force (N)*distance moved (M)

POWER - The rate at which work can be done

                 Power (W) = work/time

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-Exothermic reaction (energy released) ATP --> ADP + P + energy

-Endothermic reaction (energy gained) ADP + P + energy --> ATP

-ATP provides kinetic energy for muscles to apply force

-It's made up of 1 complex element (adenosine) and 3 simple ones (phosphate molecules)

-Each phosphate is held together by a high energy bonds

-Enzyme ATPase breaks the bond between the last 2 phosphates

-This releases the store of potential energy for muscular contraction

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ATP resynthesis

  • ATP is the ONLY usable source of energy the body can utilise for work
  • Thus, no ATP mean no energy for work
  • ATP is a simple compound and can easily be broken down and stored exactly where its needed
  • However, there is limited stores of ATP (enough for 2-3 seconds of work)
  • To overcome this the body must re-synthesise ATP in order to keep exercising
  • Three energy systems provide energy via coupled reactions to re-synthesise ADP back into ATP

1) ATP/PC system

2) Lactic acid system

3) Aerobic system

  • Energy systems do not work in isolation
  • The amount of ATP re-synthesis through each system depends on the intensity and duration of the exercise
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ATP/PC system

  • First we need to understand what a coupled reaction is: when the products of one reaction are used as the reactants in another reaction
  • ENERGY + P + ADP --> ATP (ENDO)
  • Notice the highlighted products are used in the second equation as reactants


  • Energy yeild = 1 mole
  • Enzyme = creatine kinase
  • Site of reaction = sacrosplasm (muscle cytoplasm)
  • Provides energy for 10 seconds
  • No oxygen needed so anaerobic


  • short bursts of energy e.g. 60m sprint, high jump, long jump
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Advantages and disadvantages of ATP/PC system


  • does NOT require oxygen
  • automatically stimulated by an increase in ADP and decrease in ATP
  • No fatiguing products
  • simple small compound so a quick reaction
  • PC stored in muscles so readily available
  • provides energy for explosive movements


  • Only re-synthesises a small amount of ATP
  • Only a small amount of PC stores in the muscles
  • Only provides energy for up to 10 seconds
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Lactic acid system

  • GLUCOSE is stored in our muscles and liver as GLYCOGEN
  • Before glycogen can be used to make ATP it must be broken down to glucose
  • This is done by the enzyme GLYGOGEN PHOSPHORYLASE (GP) (activated by a decrease in PC stores)
  • Glucose is then broen down into PYRUVIC ACID in series of reactions
  • This is done by the enzyme PHOSPHOFRUCTOKINASE (PFK)
  • Pyruvic acid is then converted into LACTIC ACID due to the lack of oxygen
  • This is done by the enzyme LACTATEDEHYDROGENASE (LDH)


  • Energy yeild = 2 MOLES of ATP
  • Enzymes = GP, PFK and LDH
  • Site of reaction = Sacroplasm
  • Provides energy for up to 3 minutes but peaks at 1 minute


  • 400m, midfielder (high number of repeated sprints with no recovery)
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Training adaptions of the lactic acid system

  • Increases the bodies tolerance to lactic acid + its buffering capacity of high levels of lactic acid
  • Increases glycogen stores
  • Delays OBLA (onset blood lactate accumalation) which usually occurs at 4mm
  • Prolongs the lactic acid system threshold by delaying fatigue
  • Can work at higher intensities for longer periods
  • Team games player can carry out a higher % of repeated sprints before fatigue
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ATP/PC system training adaptions

  • Increases muscle stores of ATP and PC by overloading anaerobic sytem
  • Delays threshold between ATP/PC system and lactic acid system
  • Increases the potential duration of high intensity exercise
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Advantages and disadvantages of lactic acid system


  • Large glycogen stores readily available
  • Requires few reactions than the aerobic system
  • GP enzyme activated by fall in PC stores
  • Can work anaerobically and aerobicallly
  • Resynthesises 2 moles of ATP - more than the ATP/PC system
  • Provides energy for high intensity exercise lasting between 10-180 seconds


  • Produces lactic acid which is a fatiguing product
  • Reduces PH which inhibits enzyme action
  • Net effect is muscle fatigue and pain
  • Stimulates pain receptors
  • not as rapid at the ATP/PC system
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Aerobic system - aerobic glycolysis

  • Same process as anaerobic glycolysis (lactic acid system) but WITH oxygen
  • Stops lactic acid build up and diverts pyruvic acid into the aerobic system
  • After pyruvic acid is formed it joins with COENZYME A to for ACETYLE CoA
  • Produces 2 MOLES of ATP
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Aerobic system - krebs cycle

  • Citric acid enter the krebs cycle and is broken down in 4 steps:
  • 1) CARBON DIOXIDE produced and removed by the lungs
  • 2) HYDOGEN ATOMS are produced
  • 3) 2 ATP produced
  • 4) Regeneration of oxaloacetic acid


  • Energy yeild = 2 MOLES of ATP
  • Site of reation = the matrix of the mitochondria
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Aerobic system - electron transport chain

  • HYDROGEN atoms combine with coenzymes NAD and FAD to form NADH and FADH
  • NADH and FADH are carried down the ETC and the hydrogen is split into a HYDROGEN ION and an ELECTRON
  • As the electron is carried down the ETC it provides sufficient energy to form 34 MOLES of ATP
  • The hydrogen ion combines with OXYGEN to form WATER (H2O)
  • e-+ETC = 34 moles of ATP
  • H+ETC = H20


  • Energy yeild = 34 MOLES of ATP (38 in the whole of the aerobic system)
  • Enzymes = only those from aerobic glycolysis (GP and PFK)
  • Site of reaction = Cristae of the mitochondria
  • Energy store = glucose normally however, FFA's are favoured during moderate or high intensity activity as they produce more acetyl but require 15% more oxygen


  • Marathon, 5K, triathalon
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Training adaptions of the aerobic system

  • Raised storage of muscle and liver glycogen
  • Increases mobilisation of aerobic enzymes
  • Earlier use of FFA's to conserve glycogen
  • The net effect is to increase the aerobic threshold and increase intensity of performance
  • This helps delay muscle fatigue by delaying OBLA
  • Improves ability to remove lactic during recovery
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Advantages and disadvantages of aerobic system


  • Provides energy for low/moderate intensity high duration activity (3 minutes to 1 hour)
  • Large amount of ATP produced (38 moles)
  • No harmful biproduct (co2 and water easily removed)
  • Efficient ATP resynthesis when oxygen supply garuntees breakdown of FFA's
  • Large glycogen and FFA stores


  • Slower rate of ATP resynthesis
  • Requires more oxygen (15% more for FFA's)
  • More complex series of reactions
  • Cannot resynthesise ATP at start of exercise due to enitial delay of oxygen
  • Limited energy for ATP during high intensity short duration work
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The energy continuum

  • See book for picture of the graph
  • When we exercise the demand for energy rises rapidly
  • Three energy systems may be working at the same time but one is always predominant
  • Intensity and duration of an activity are what determine the main energy system at a given time
  • The aerobic system is predominant when activity is of LONG DURATION and LOW INTENSITY e.g. jogging
  • The ATP/PC system is predominant when activity is of SHORT DURATION and HIGH INSTESITY e.g. 60m sprint
  • In some cases e.g. football there will be a mix of all 3 energy sytems due to the different intensities and duratons the athletes work at at different point in the game
  • Continual movement between the thresholds of each system is called the ENERGY CONTINUUM
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  • A THRESHOLD of any system is the point at which one energy system takes over from another due to the precious system not being able to provide enough energy
  • 1) ATP/PC/LATIC ACID threshold - the point where the lactic acid system takes over from the ATP/PC system
  • 2) LACTIC ACID/AEROBIC threshold - aerobic system takes over from the lactic acid system
  • 3) AEROBIC threshold - aerobic system cannot supply energy fast enough so body switches back to the lactic acid system
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Factors affecting energy system used

  • As long as the body has sufficient stores of PC the body can use the ATP/PC system
  • PC stores are limited, but available, at the beginning of exercise and during recovery
  • If exercise starts at too high an intesity PC stores will quickly deplete and high intensity exercise cannot continue
  • Glycogen is the major fuel for the first 20 minutes
  • Glycogen is readily available in the muscles and requires less oxygen to break down
  • It is therefore quicker and easier to break down at HIGHER AEROBIC INTENSITIES than FFA's
  • After about 20-45 minutes there is a higher breakdown of FFA's alongside glycogen
  • Although FFA's are more efficient than glycogen but they require more oxygen to break down and so require the athlete to work at LOWER INTENSITIES
  • The HIGHER the GLYCOGEN stores the longer the athlete can work at HIGHER INSTENSITIES
  • When glycogen is almost fully depleted at round 2 hours FFA's have to be used for aerobic energy production
  • Unless exercise intenisty is reduced there will be a sudden onset of fatigue (hitting the wall)
  • Once OBLA occurs there is insufficent oxygen to burn FFA's and so the body has to breakdown glycogen ANAEROBICALLY
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Factors affecting energy system used


  • Enzymes are catalysts that activate many reactions
  • They break down PC, glycogen, glucose and FFA's
  • No enzymes = no reaction
  • Increase in ADP/deacrease in ATP - creatine kinase - ATP/PC system
  • Decrease in PC - PFK - LA system
  • Increase in adrenalin/decrease in insulin - PFK - aerobic system


  • Pg. 16


  • AEROBICALLY trained athletes - start use of FFA's earlier and therefore conserve glycogen, increased aerobic threshold and delayed OBLA
  • ANAEROBICALLY trained athletes - increase their ATP/PC, glycogen stores, anaerobic enzymes and tolerance to lactic acid which increase the ATP/PC and LA system thresholds
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Factors affecting energy system used


  • Pg. 15


  • As long as there is a sufficient supply of oxygen the aerobic system can supply energy to resynthesise ATP
  • If oxygen supply falls below that demanded for exercise then the aerobic threshold is met and the LA system begins to break down glucose anaerobically
  • The availability of oxygen is dependent on the efficiency of the CV and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to working muscles
  • This ultimately determines the threshold of the aerobic system
  • Oxygen supply also determines the type of fuel that is broken down


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Recovery process

  • see book for graph
  • OXYGEN DEFICIT - a situation where the body cannot provide enough oxygen for the task to be completed aerobically (this causes our breathing rate to increase)
  • EPOC (excess post-execise oxygen consumption) - the extra oxygen we take in after exercise
  • EPOC allows the body to return to it's 'normal' state and replenish energy stores
  • EPOC occurs in 2 phases: ALACTACID (fast) + LACTACID (slow)
  • The AIM of the recovery process is to return the body to its PRE-EXERCISE STATE
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Recovery process: ALACTACID

  • Elevated breathing in order to replenish PHOSPHOGEN stores to re-synthesise ATP and PC stores
  • The elevated breathing also replenishes myoglobin and haemoglobin
  • Takes approximately 3 minutes to FULLY restore ATP and PC stores
  • 50% of recovery in 30 seconds
  • 75% of revovery in 60 seconds
  • 2 minutes for the final 25%
  • Process requires 3-4l of oxygen
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Recovery process: LACTACID

  • During this stage lactic acid is removed from the body
  • Lactic acid can be converted into:
  • 1) PYRUVIC ACID to enter the krebs cyle
  • The lactacid phase of recovery requires 5-8l of oxygen
  • Lactic acid removed between 1 and 24 hours after excercise
  • Actual time depends on the intensity and duration of lactic acid
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Recovery process cont.


  • Increased levels of co2 after exercise as a bi-product of increased respiration
  • Carried in the blood plasma as CARBONIC ACID and CARBAMINOHAEMOGLOBIN to the lungs where it is expired
  • Body processes ensure respiration and heart rate are kept elevated to help aid removal of co2


  • Glycogen stores quickly deplete which causes fatigue
  • Athletes replenish these stores through eating or drinking high carb drinks or foods
  • Complete recovery can take up to 48 hours to fully replenish stores
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Implications of the recovery process for planning


  • work ratio typically less than 10 seconds
  • relief ratio is typically longer (1:3)
  • to allow the full replenishment of ATP/PC stores (2-3 mins)


  • keep work ratio to less than 10 seconds but decrease the duration of the relief ratio (1:2)
  • prevents full replenishment of ATP/PC stores
  • and/or
  • increase the duration of the work ratio
  • this increases lactate production and overloads the LA system


  • the work relief ratio is longer in intenisty and duration (just below the aerobic threshold)
  • relief ratio is usually shorter (1:1) which helps reduce OBLA and prolong aerobic system adaptions
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Principles of training MRS VOPP TESTING WC











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Principles of training cont.


  • important to train regularly to maintain fitness
  • rest and recovary are also important
  • too little - no adaption
  • too much - burn out and overuse injuries
  • important to get the balance right!


  • advantages gained through training will be lost if training is discontinued e.g. if ill, injured or tired
  • fitness - if you dont use it you lose it
  • a major adaption to be reversed is called ATROPHY (a decrease in the size of muscle cells) takes place 48hr after exercise
  • training adaptions over short term are easier to lose than those over the long term
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Principles of training cont.


  • specificity can be applied in 2 ways:
  • INDIVIDUAL - each performer has a diff rate of adaption in response to diff types of training, primarily due to genetic variations
  • SPORT - the predominant energy systems, the major fitness components, movement patterns, muscle fibre type and muscles/joints used for that activity


  • training should be varied so its always fresh
  • if something is continually repeated it can lead to boredom and lack of motivation
  • variety also helps prevent overuse injuries e.g. ostearthritis, stress fractures and shin splints
  • many different resources, exercise and practices should be used
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Principles of training cont.


  • working harder than usual, in the TARGET ZONE
  • the training zone is an area of overload where the body is working harder than normal
  • working in this zone leads the the most adaptions
  • it is achieved by adjusting FITT:
  • F - frequency
  • I - intensity
  • T - time
  • T - type (aerobic/anaerobic)


  • as the body adapts its fitness capacity will increase
  • this fitness will remain as long as training levels remain
  • to make sure the body's fitness capacity further increases, overload needs to increase GRADUALLY
  • the link between overload and adaptions is called progressive overload (allows time to recover)
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Principles of training cont.


  • the organisation of training into a number of specific blocks, periods or phases
  • main aim is to ensure athletes progressively develop and peak at the right time e.g. the olympics
  • made up of macro, meso and micro cycles
  • MACRO - long term goal/plan, usually around a year, made up of around 3 meso cycles
  • MESO - a medium term plan/goal, typically lasts 4-16 weeks, usually broken up into pre season, competition season and off season
  • MICRO - usually a week, made up of units, 1 unit = 1 training session


  • enables the athlete/coach to monitor whether the training load is correct
  • at the start of the training programme to ensure overload isnt too high/low
  • during training to assess when overload may needs to be increased to ensure further adaptions or be decreased to prevent burnout
  • at the end of the programme to monitor improvements
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Principles of training cont.


  • should precede any activity or training
  • helps prepare body
  • links to moderation
  • PHASES: pulse raising, mobility and stretching
  • prepares cv and msc systems for more intense exercise
  • increases muscle temp and thus speed of nerve impulses, elasticity of muscles and speed and force of muscle contractions
  • improves reactions such as: enzyme activity, release of synovial fluidvascular shunt
  • reduces chance of injury and early onset of anaerobic work
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Principles of training cont.


  • helps speed up the recovery process
  • PHASES: pulse lowering activities and streching
  • maintains venous return, stroke volume, Q, minute ventilation and BP
  • reduces muscles temp (gradually)
  • returns muscles to pre-erecise length
  • flushes capillaries with oxygenated blood to remove lactic acid
  • prevents blood pooling
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Health components: aerobic capacity

  • AEROBIC CAPACITY - the ability to take in, transport and use oxygen to sustain prolonged periods of AEROBIC/SUB MAXIMAL work
  • Dependent upon the efficiency of:
  • Muscle cells to use oxygen for energy production (using oxygen)
  • VO2 MAX - the highest rate of oxygen consumption during maximal work
  • Aerobic capacity is closely associated with VO2 max
  • An ability to work at a higher percentage of VO2 max is one of the best indicatiors of aerobic endurance
  • Aerobic athletes aim to increase their vo2 max as a main objective during training


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factors that affect VO2 max

  • dependent upon the effiency of four body systems: respiratory (consume o2), heart (transport o2), vasuclar (transport o2) and muscle cells (use o2)
  • accounts for half the variation in VO2 max, an athletes repose to training varies due to genetic differences, genetics only indicates the athlete potential to have a high VO2 max
  • max response is reached after 8-19 months of heavy endurance based training, specificity ensures VO2 increases
  • 4) AGE
  • VO2 max decreases by 1% each year due to decreased efficiency of blood systems, CV and respiritory systems deteriorate due to loss of elasticity
  • 5) GENDER
  • VO2 max for women generally 20-25% lower than men, female average 60-70 KJ/ml/min, male average 70-75 KJ/ml/min, womens value is lower due to a smaller lung volume, smaller heart and lower blood haemaglobin levels
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Measuring VO2 max

PWC 170 (physical working capacity test) 

  • sub maximal test on a cycle ergometer
  • performer cycles at 3 progressive low-moderate work intentities (100-115bpm, 115-130bpm, 130-145bpm)
  • heart rate values are recorded
  • as heart rate increases linearly with work intensity a line can be drawn through these points on the graph
  • this can be extended to predict the intensity they would be working at when their heart rate reached 170bpm
  • 170 bpm is chosen as an approximate anaerobic, close to maximal, level of work based on the assumption VO2 max is closely linked to heart rate

MSFT (multi-stage fitness test)

  • progressive and maximal 20m shuttle run test
  • timed by a bleep which progressively becomes shorter until the athlete is too tired and drops out
  • this is compared with a standarised table to predict VO2 max
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Aerobic training

  • Training to develop aerobic capacity involves 4 types of training:
  • 4) FARTLEK
  • Aerobic training involves whole body activities such as running, cycling, rowing and swimming
  • Aimed at overloading the cardiovascular and respiritory systems to increase aerobic capacity
  • This is achieved by following the FITT principle
  • The FITT principle applied to aerobic training is as follows:
  • F - 3-5 times a week for a minumum of 12 weeks
  • I - HR % within the critical threshold/training zone
  • T- minimum of 3-5 minutes to a maximum of 40 minutes (elite)
  • T- aerobic training
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Aerobic training methods


  • steady state sub-maximal work for prolonged periods
  • e.g. running for 20-30 minutes
  • the HR should be above the critical threshold (min 55%)


  • steady state training interspersed with varied higher intensity work periods and slow recovary periods
  • a mixture of contiuous and interval training that adds variation with hills, sand etc.
  • HR should be above critical threshold to ensure adaptions occur
  • good for games players whos matches are rarely of the same intensity thoughout
  • can also be made specific to each position e.g. midfielders have shorted more frequent sprints with short recovery
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Aerobic training methods


  • can be modified for specific training needs
  • good as it improves the intensity/quality of training by allowing the performer to recover so that each work interval is of higher intensity
  • duration - 3-5min +
  • intensity - low/moderate 50-75% HR max
  • interval relief - 1:1 active jog/walk/run
  • work-relief ratio - 1 set 3-5 reps
  • frequency - 3-4 sessions weekly
  • duration - 0-90sec
  • intensity - high 70-95% HR max
  • interval relief - 1:2
  • work-relief ratio - 2-6 sets 1-10 reps
  • frequency - 3-6 sessions weekly
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Aerobic adaptions

  • RESPIRATORY SYSTEM - stronger respiratory muscles and increase in alveoli surface area
  • net effect = increased VO2 max
  • CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM (HEART) - hypertrophy of the heart
  • net effect = increased blood flow, increased Q and increased oxygen transport 
  • VASCULAR SYSTEM - increased elasticity of arterial walls, increased no. of red blood cells
  • net effect = increased circulatory efficiency, improved oxygen and co2 transport
  • MUSCULAR SYSTEM - hypertrophy, increase type 1 muscle fibres, increased muscle capillarisation, increased myoglobin stores, increased aerobic enzymes, ability to use fats earlier, increased no. of mitochondria, increased glycogen/fat stores
  • net effect = increased maximal capacity of muscles to generate ATP aerobically
  • CONNECTIVE TISSUE - increased strength of tendons, greater strength of ligaments, increased thickness of cartilage, increased calcium, reduced body fat
  • net effect = less risk of injury and reduced rate of ageing
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Health components: strength

  • The maximum force the neuromuscular system can excert in a single voluntary muscle contraction
  • Tests - 1 rep max, leg dynamometer, grip dynamometer
  • 2) ENDURANCE STRENGTH (aerobic system)
  • The ability of a muscle to sustain or withstand repeated muscle contraction or a single static action
  • Tests - push up test, abdominal sit-up test
  • The ability to expand a maximal amount of energy in one or a series of strong, sudden, high intensity movements or apply a succesive and equal force rapidly
  • Tests - vertical jump test, broad jump test
  • 4) DYNAMIC STRENGTH (LA system)
  • The ability of the neuromuscular system to overcome a resistance with a high speed of contraction
  • Tests - Wingate cycle test
  • 5) STATIC STRENGTH (no single test)
  • The force excerted by the neuromuscular system while muscle length remains constant
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Factors affecting strength

  • 1) MUSCLE COMPOSITION% fast twitch fibres, cross sectional area of muscle, muscle size
  • 2) GENDER - little gender difference in strength, female strength is slightly lower due to smaller muscle size and mass and lower testosterone
  • 3) AGE - females peak strength between 16-25, males peak strength between 18-30, strength decreases due to a decrease in testosterone
  • 4) PHYSICAL INACTIVITY - atrophy occurs around 48 hours after exercise (reversibility)
  • 5) STRENGTH TRAINING - specificity increases hypertrophy
  • 6) WEAKEST POINT IN THE RANGE OF MOTION - specific to each joint
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Strength training methods

  • 1) MULTI GYM - specialised excercise machines that involve resistance exercises with adjustable weight stacks that target specific muscle groups
  • + safe, good for general strength development, can adjust sets and resistance for specific strength requirements
  • - does not represent movement patterns as they are in actual sports
  • 2) FREE WEIGHTS - non-mechanical weights that are free standing
  • + specificity to specific movement patterns, good for specific strength improvement, require the less active muscle groups to act as fixators which improves balance and co-ord
  • - can be dangerous, requires a spotter
  • 3) PLYOMETRIC TRAINING - incorporates jumps hops and bounds, involves placing an eccentric stretch on a muscle to initiate the stretch reflex which in turn increases the force of contraction
  • + helps develop power, elastic, explosive and dynamic strength
  • - carries a risk of DOMS, not suitable for novices, dangerous
  • 4) INTERVAL TRAINING - a series of stations that make up a complete circuit which can be repeated a number of times (very similar to interval training)
  • + doesnt require specialised equiptment, lower risk of injury than plyometrics
  • - can also cause DOMS
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Health components: flexibility

  • FLEXIBILITY - the range of motion about a joint or a series of joints
  • Flexibility is JOINT SPECIFIC e.g. someone who is flexible at the shoulder may be unflexible at the hip
  • Flexibility is SPORT SPECIFIC e.g. a rugby player requires less flexibility at the shoulder than a gymnast
  • It has 2 components:
  • 1) Static flexibility - the ROM without taking into account speed of movement (important for those who hold static balances)
  • 2) Dynamic flexibility - the ROM that takes into accound the speed of movement (important in high velocity sports)
  • Flexibility is crucial for MOST sports
  • BENEFITS of flexibility training:
  • Recuced risk of injury and DOM's
  • Improved posture, alignment and ergonomics
  • Performance enhancement (flexible muscles perform better than tight ones)
  • Improves ROM at joints
  • Prevents energy wastage (improved economy of movement)
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Factors affecting flexibility

  • 1) TYPE OF JOINT - e.g. ball and socket or hinge
  • 2) JOINT SHAPE - e.g. shallow or deep cavity
  • 3) LENGTH/ELASTICITY OF CONNECTIVE TISSUE - if tight it could limit ROM
  • 4) MUSCLE LENGTH/ELASTICTY - stretch reflex prevents further ROM
  • 5) GENDER - females more flexible than males
  • 6) AGE - greater in children, reduced elacticity of muscle and connective tissue with age
  • 7) TEMPERATURE - elasticity increases with heat, hence a warm up is needed
  • 8) MUSCLE MASS - excess muscle mass around a joint restricts ROM
  • 9) HYPERMOBILITY - inherited or develops through training
  • 10) FLEXIBILITY TRAINING - stretching within a training programme increases ROM
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Measuring flexibility

  • Flexibility is joint specific so there is no one single test to measure it
  • Specific tests for specific joints are used


  • Used to measure flexibility of the hip and lower back


  • Most valid, accurate and recognised
  • Uses a double armed goniometer to measure the degrees from a nuetral starting point to the position at the end of the full ROM
  • Can be used to measure hip flexion, extension and abduction and shoulder flexion and extention etc.
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Flexibility training

  • Specificity and overload are essential or no adaptions will occur

1) STATIC STRETCHING - subdivided into static active and static passive

  • Active - unassisted, the aim is to stretch the muscle beyond its point of resistance to increase the ROM
  • Passive - assisted by an external force, the aim is to stretch the joint beyond the point of resistance to stretch the muscle and connective tissue
  • Safe and most effective at increasing the length of muscle/connective tissue
  • Impairs performance of speed, power and strength work

2) BALLISTIC STRETCHING - the use of momentum to move a joint forcibly though its extreme end of ROM or point of resistance, involves fast swinging or bouncing

  • Only useful if athlete alread has a good flexibility base and the actions are used in their sport
  • least effective as the stretching allows insufficient time for tissues to adapt
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Flexibility training cont.

3) DYNAMIC STRETCHING - more controlled version of ballistic stretching, incolves taking the joint through its full ROM, with muscle tension, but not beyond it

  • Develops a more 'optimum' level of dynamic flexibility needed for all activities
  • Should only be performed by those who already have good flexibility

4) PROPRIORECEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILITATION (PNF) - the aim is to inhibit the stretch reflex mechanism to allow a greater stretch of muscle/connective tissue, uses the 'static-conract-relax' technique

  • static - muscle stretched just beyond point of resistance
  • contract - isometric muscle contraction held for a min of 10 seconds
  • relax - muscle relaxes - repeat 3 times
  • Better flexibility gains than normal static stretching
  • takes a long time to learn how to cope with the discomfort of the technique, inhibiting the stretch reflex carries risks
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Health components: body composition

  • The ideal size for an athlete depends on the sport or event they do
  • Body composition is assessed in 3 ways:
  • 1) HYDROSTATIC WEIGHING - athlete is toally immersed in water, the diff between the athletes scale weight and water weight is their fat mass %, the greater the diff the more fat the individual has (as fat floats in water)
  • 2) BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE SPECTROSCOPY (BIS) - measure body composition by sending an electrical current through the body, this current ecounters resistance when it passes through fat tissue (BI)
  • 3) SKINFOLD CALLIPERS - measure in mm the level of fat below the skin in certain areas, the sum of the skinfolds are used in an equation to measure body fat %
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Health implications of being overweight

  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increased risk of cancers
  • Long term stress on CV systems
  • Increased risk of CDH
  • Overload on joints - osteoarthirtis
  • Pshycological harm due to ridcule, stigma, bullying etc.
  • Decreased economy of movement
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Ergogenic aids

Pre comp meals/CHO loading (days prior)

  • (+) increases glycogen stores and therefore aerobic capacity, delays fatigue, allows performance at a higher intensity than if they had to use FFA's
  • (-) irritability and deprressio during depletion stage, weight can increase as more water is needed to store glycogen
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - 90+ minutes e.g. marathon runner
  • STATUS - legal

Pre comp meals (on the day)

  • (+) tops up glycogen stores just before event, benefits as above
  • (-) digestive discomfort if CHO consumed is too much, rebound effect that decreases glucose stores if consumed too close to event
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - benefit performers fueld by glycogen e.g. 400m runner or 1500m runner
  • STATUS - legal
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Ergogenic aids cont.

Post comp meals/supplements

  • (+) replenished depleted glycogen, increases revovery
  • (-) no negative health effects
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - any performer that uses glycogen as a store
  • STATUS - legal

Food intake (during)

  • (+) replenishes vital glycogen stores delaying fatigue, especially activity of 45min +
  • (-) no negative health effects
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - any performer doing exercise for more than 45 minutes e.g. footballer, rugby player
  • STATUS - legal
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Fluid intake (during)

  • (+) optimises performance by maintaining heat via sweating, reduces blood viscosity
  • (-) increase body weight, exceeds 2%
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - all performers, especially in hot conditions
  • STATUS - legal

Creatine supplements

  • (+) increases PC stores and thus prolongs LA threshold, aids recovery, increases quality of training (harder for longer), adds strength and fat free body mass
  • (-) body mass increases, dehydration leading to muscle cramps, puts stress on organs as youre working harder than you should be
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - power athletes e.g. 100m
  • STATUS - legal
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Ergogenic aids cont.

Human growth hormone (HGH)

  • (+) thought to increase fat free mass and blood glucose levels, stimulates bone growth, cabable of healing soft tissue, breaks down FFA's to reduce fat mass
  • (-) hypertrophy of internal organs, muscle/joint weakness, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, bone thickening and glucose intolerance
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - both aerobic and anaerobic performers, those undertaking high intensity exercise that require soft tissue repair
  • STATUS - banned

Gene doping

  • (+) future physiological improvement e.g more mitochondria, more myoglobin
  • (-) risk factors unknown, unethical
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - potentially ALL
  • STATUS - banned
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Blood doping

  • (+) increases total no. of red blood cells which increases haemaglobin thus O2 transport to working muscles, increases VO2 max/aerobic capacity, delays fatigue
  • (-) increased blood viscosit can lead to blood clots and heart failure/strokes, risk of HIV if using someone elses blood in tranfusion process
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - edurance/aerobic based e.g distance runners, cyclists, rowers, swimmers
  • STATUS - banned


  • (+) same as blood doping but can increase RBC count from 45% to as much as 65% (even more extreme)
  • (-) same as above
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - same as above
  • STATUS - banned
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Ergogenic aids cont.

Cooling aids e.g. ice baths, ice vests, RICE

  • (+) reduce core temp to pre exercise, prevent/ease/treat pain and injury, contrict blood vessels to help remove lactic acid, flushes capillaries with O2 rich blood, reduced muscle soreness and DOMS
  • (-) if someone has hypertension vasocontriction will further increase BP, ice burns if placed directly on skin
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - all performers with soft tissue injuries or DOMS e.g. contact athletes such as rugby players
  • STATUS - legal

Resistance aids e.g. pulleys, parachutes

  • (+) increased specificity and variety of resistance training
  • (-) no negative health risks but still not 100% specific
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - most performers e.g. runners, swimmer, throwers
  • STATUS - legal
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Ergogenic aids cont.


  • (+) provides some CHO, dulls pain, reduced anxiety and adds self confidence
  • (-) leads to dehydration, impairs psychomotor function and concentration
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - snooker/darts, now theres little use of it
  • STATUS - legal


  • (+) increases CNS stimulation, metal awareness, aids breakdown of FFA's conserving glycogen
  • (-) diuretic, increases dehydration, bp and heat exhaustion, can cause nervousness
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - edurance performers, but now more anerobic performers
  • STATUS - legal but on the watch list
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Ergogenic aids cont.

Anabolic steroids

  • (+)increases muscle mass and therefore strength and power, promotes recovery, increases ability to train harder for longer, increased agressiveness
  • (-)  risk of permanent liver damdge, raided BP and LDH leading to CHD, shrinking of testicles, reduced sperm count, baldness and breast enlagement in males, facial hair, deepening voice, enlargment of enitals and breast reduction in females
  • TYPE OF PERFORMER - High intensity, short duration e.g.weight lifting, throwers, sprinters, also used by injured athletes to speed up recovery
  • STATUS - banned
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