Specialised training

HideShow resource information

PNF stretching


  • Can be passive/active -> usually involves partner helping
  • Stretch target muscles to limit/full range of movement/ROM
  • Hold (stretched) position for a few seconds
  • Contract muscle group isometrically
  • Muscles relax
  • Stretch target muscles again
  • CRAC (contract/relax/antagonist/contract)

Physiological explanation (during stretching)

  • Muscle spindles detect changes in muscle fibres -> cause stretch reflex
  • Designed to prevent overstretching/protective
  • Aim of PNF -> to override the stretch reflex
  • Golgi Tendon organs(GTO) activated/detect overstretching of muscles
  • (causes) Muscles relax/autogenic inhibition
  • Allows greater range of movement than the initial stretch/greater range of movement in the training session 
1 of 7



  • Description of activity – hopping/bounding/ depth jumping
  • Aim – develop power/speed/explosive strength
  • Involves Fast Twitch Fibres
  • Eccentric muscle contraction happens first -> followed by concentric contraction
  • A muscle that is eccentrically stretched before a concentric contraction will contract more forcefully and more rapidly 
  • Stretch Reflex activated -> increases the activity in the muscle undergoing the stretch, allowing it to act much more forcefully
  • Tendency to overstretch is detected by the muscle spindles
  • Sends nerve impulse to spinal cord/CNS
  • Elastic energy stored
  • Protects over stretching of muscles/avoidinjury
  • Three phases -> pre-stretch/eccentric contraction, amortisation, actual muscle contraction (concentric)
2 of 7

Altitude training

Explanation of altitude training

  • Over 2000m/8000 feet above sea level
  • Usually for at least 30 days 3 phases named – acclimatisation, primary training, recovery
  • Partial pressure of oxygen is lower/less oxygen available
  • Body produces erythropoietin/EPO/hEPO
  • Alternative methods now available, eg hypoxic tents/altitude tents/oxygen tents

Improves Performance -> Benefits last for up to 6 to 8 weeks

  • Increased number/concentration/red blood cells
  • Increased concentration of haemoglobin/myoglobin/increased haematocrit
  • Increased capacity to carry oxygen
  • Increased tolerance to lactic acid/buffering/delayed OBLA

Hinders performance

  • Altitude sickness
  • Training at same intensity difficult/detraining may occur/loss of fitness
  • Benefits lost within few days back at sea level/up to few days
  • Psychological problems linked to travel/time away from home 
3 of 7

Glycogen loading

  • Aim to increase (muscle) glycogen stores/ supercompensation
  • Delays fatigue/increases endurance capacity/ increased ATP/energy production/hitting the wall

Method 1

  • Reduce glycogen levels
  • Achieved by increased endurance training
  • Following three days of low carbohydrate diet
  • And tapering/reduction in training levels
  • Few days before competition high carbohydrate level diet e.g. pasta
  • Trained/elite athletes may rest for several days before eating high carbohydrate diet
  • Increased water consumption helps the process

Method 2

  • Day before - 3 minute high intensity exercise
  • Carb window opens
  • Immediately/within 20 minutes intake high carbohydrate diet
4 of 7


  • Explanation - dividing the year into training phases/blocks/cycles
  • Cycle based on World Championships/Olympics
  • Preparation phase/pre-season training – involves development of base levels of fitness/general
  • Conditioning/quantity rather than quality
  • Competitive/competition phase/season – refinement of skills/maintenance of fitness levels/quality rather than quantity/relevant examples of training modifications
  • Tapering -> decrease in intensity of training
  • Peaking -> preparation for specific competition/mainly skill focus -> mind + body in optimal state
  • Transition phase – active rest/out of season recovery period
  • Macro-cycles – long term planning/yearly/two yearly cycle
  • Meso-cycles – periods of two to eight weeks/months
  • Micro-cycles – periods of a week/day/individual training sessions.
5 of 7


  • Thermoreceptors – detect temperature changes and send messages
  • Thermoregulatory centre in hypothalamus – receives messages/controls temperature
  • Vasodilation – opening of blood vessels/blood closer to skin
  • Radiation – heat lost by infrared rays/no physical contact needed
  • Conduction – heat lost from (skin) to object/air
  • Convection – heat lost by movement of gases/air
  • Evaporation – heat lost by liquid to vapour/sweating
  • Heat retention – hairs raised/shivering/piloerection
  • Vasoconstriction – closing of blood vessels/skin capillaries 
6 of 7

Lactate sampling and Respiratory exchange ratio

Lactate sampling – taking blood samples (to measure the level of lactic acid)

  • Ensures training is at the correct intensity/monitor improvements over time
  • Provides accurate/objective measure
  • Measures OBLA/lactate threshold/occurs at 4 mmols Sub max of 2 marks

Respiratory Exchange Ratio – ratio of carbon dioxide released compared to oxygen used by the body

  • Estimates use of fats and carbohydrates used during exercise/ calculates energy expenditure
  • Tells if performer working aerobically/anaerobically/energy system used
  • RER close to 1 performer using carbohydrates/close to 0.7 using fats/respiratory quotient 
7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Physical Education resources:

See all Physical Education resources »See all Exercise physiology resources »