Long term physiological preparation


Adaptations linked to aerobic training - increase

  • stroke volume - volume of blood pumped by left/right ventricle in 1 contraction
  • cardiac output 
  • vascularisation - formation of vessels especially blood vessels e.g. capillaries
  • number of red blood cells
  • cardiac hypertrophy - increase in size and volume of heart especially left ventricle
  • end-systolic volume - volume of blood left in ventricles after 1 contraction and at beginning of filling
  • mitochondria - tiny organelles where much of the muscles required ATP is produced
  • myoglobin - strong affinity for oxygen than haemoglobin meaning it can transport blood to muscles 
  • hyaline cartilage - prevents friction and provides smooth movement
  • decrease in body fat
  • muscle tone
  • reduction in resting heart rate
  • utilise fat as an energy source
  • VO2 max - (maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) greatest volume of blood that can be taken in and used per minute per kg of body weight
  • lactate threshold - the exercise intensity at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the bloodstream because its produced more quickly than it could be removed
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Increase in PC stores

When performing maximally the body needs energy instantly, it does this by resynthesising ATP from ADP and the stores of PC

But their are only enough PC stores to fuel around 8 - 10 seconds of maximal intensity muscular activity

By increasing PC stores the body can use its own PC stores to fuel maximal intensity muscular activity for longer

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Greater lactic acid tolerance

Continued anaerobic training exposure will:

  • enable the body to build up greater quantities of the enzymes used to convert lactic acid back into pyruvic acid
  • increase the bodys efficiency at utilising lactic acid
  • increase the bodys capacity to buffer lactic acid (buffering allows the body to transport, break down and convert lactic acid)
  • increase the bodys ability to tolerate greater levels of lactic acid
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Interval training

This method of training where exercise is interrupted by periods of rest

The session is slpit up into a work to rest (W:R) ratio, e.g. a football match, 2 45 minutes exercises interrupted by 15 minutes rest - W:R - 45:15

Training needs to be specific to the particular adaptation required

To improve maximally you need to work at 90-100% of maximum but your body needs sufficient time to recover

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Plyometric training

Stretch-shortening cycle - concentric contraction followed by a short amortisation phase then a rapid eccentric contraction

Plyometric training will improve neuromuscular link. The result will be an increase in speed and force of contraction as more fibres will be recruited, and at a faster rate

This will produce a more powerful contraction, but not necessarily an increase in maximal strength

As it involves actions to be performed quickly there is a greater need for movements to be linked, so co ordination between the movements will include

It also leaves the athlete at an increased risk of joint and soft tissue injury, and very much more susceptible to post-exercise delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

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Circuit training

The circuit is designed to develop a specific targeted component of fitness or skill

Throughout the circuit are stations where the exercises are performed depending on what the performer wants to improve, the rest will be dependent on what component of fitness they improving

2 main types of circuit training:

  • fixed load circuits - athletes perform a number of reps at each station before moving on, the time taken to complete the reps are recorded
  • individual load circuits - athlete performes for a designated period of time and then record the number of reps completed
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Weight or resistance training

Weight training involves training with a variable resistance not just weightlifting, its predominantly anaerobic although by varying intensity and duration it can be manipulated to provide numerous benefits:

  • muscular endurance
  • dynamic and maximal strength
  • power and body composition
  • improved posture

Fixed weights refer to resistance machines, each machine is designed to work a particular muscle an allows movement in necessary planes

Free weights are the bars and bells associated with weight training


  • increased musculature
  • improved muscle tone
  • increase in lean muscle mass
  • increased forces produced
  • increases strength
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Speed training

Speed will really begin to improve only if the muscle fibres are stimulated to contract at a faster rate

Practising moving and accelerating more quickly helps to condition the neuromuscular system to improve the firing patterns of fast-twitch muscle fibres

This occurs as a result of faster recruitment of the contracting fibres through improved neuromuscular transmission

2 variations of basic speed training are

  • assisted speed training - helps to improve stride frequency through the use of equipment such as elasticated belts
  • resisted speed training - helps to improve speed-strngth and stride length, again by using equipment such as sledges or parachutes that are pulled
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Speed play in Sweedish, involves long duration ativity performed at varying intensities

It is ideal for games performers as their intensity during a game is never constant, also helpful for race athletes as they may have to increase intensity at different stages in a race

FARTLEK takes advantage of body temporarily being able to exceed its lactate threshold and then recover while operating below the threshold but still doing physical activity

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Core stability training

Core muscles are within the torso and generally attach to the spine, pelvis and muscles that support the scaptula

When these muscles contract they stabilise the spine, pelvis and shoulders and create a solid base for support

The stronger the base the beter the platform that other muscles, particularly those of the arms and legs, have to work from, meaning they can generate more forceful contractions

Training the bodys core muscles can correct postural imbalences and reduce risk of injury 

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SAQ training (Speed, Agility & Quickness)

SAQ has an emphasis on the neuromuscular system, messages are sent to the muscles through nerves, by developing and honing the neurological firing patterns, the brain and body learn to work together much more efficiently

The theory is by improving the neuromuscular system, the initial movements will be more automatic and more efficient making it more explosive and precise

SAQ includes ladder drills also uses explosive training, resisted running, contrast trainingand assisted running

Explosive training is done using short bursts

  • in resisted running, the body is made to recruit more muscle fibres than normal
  • in contrast training, the resistance is removed but the body still recruits fibres as it would if the resistance was being applied
  • increasing muscular recruitment leads to an increase in muscular power output, assisted training increases the frequency at which the brain sends impulses. Short speed bursts can be achieved with tennis ball drops and/or reactipon drills
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Static - muscle is taken to elastic limit and held. Over time muscle spindles and golgi tendons send a message to the brain that the new stretched position is not as severe as first identified, recognised as safest method of stretching

Ballistic - uses momentum of a moving body limb or body to attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion, this is stretching into or out of a stretched position using the stretched muscles as a spring that pulls you out of the stretched position

Dynamic - involves stretching the muscles through a full range of momentum and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement or both

Active - asume a position and hold it with no assistance

PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) - fastest and most effective way of increasing muscle elasticity and flexibility, it is a combination of passive and isometric stretching to achieve max static flexibility. Refers to when a muscle group is passively stretched, the contracts isometrically against a resistance while in the stretched position, and then passively stretched again through the resulting increased range of motion. Usually requires a partner

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