Health components of Fitness

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What is strength?

The application of a force against a resistance

Static Strength: Force exerted by the neuromuscular system- while the muscle length remains the same. (Eg. a gymnast in the rings holding position) - No single test

Maximum Strength: maximum force the neuromuscular system can exert in a single voluntary muscle contraction - 1 repitition max, leg/grip dynamometer

Exposive/elastic strength: Ability to expand a maxmal amount of energy in one or a series of strong sudden high intensity movements (Eg. triple jump) - Vertical jump test

Dynamic strength: Overcome a resistance with high speed of contraction (Eg. power is needed in invasion, athletic games) - Wingate cycle test, running tests - anaerobic

Endurance strength: muscle to withstand a repeated muscle contraction (Eg. Rower) - Sit up, push up - aerobic

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Factors affecting Strength

  • Muscle composition - Greater the.....
  • % of fast twitch muscle fibres
  • Muscle size.... Greater the potential force that can be generated
  • Gender - female strength usually lower then males because....
  • females have less muscle mass, muscle size
  • less testosterone than males
  • Age - female peak strength is reached between 16-25 years - males 18-30 years
  • Strength generally decreases with increasing age due to decrease in testosterone
  • Physical inactivity -Atrophy occurs 48 hours after exercise and induces the loss of muscle strength
  • Strength training - appropriate strength training increases strength


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Strength Training

  • Repetitions - number of times it is repeated - forms a set
  • resistance - the weight lifted
  • 1 RM - maximum repitition you can lift just once
  • Resistance load needs to be 50% of maximum capacity
  • Aerobic - low resistance high reps - anaerobic - high resist, low reps
  • Train larger groups first so smaller muscles dont fatigue
  • 1) Multi-gym: Specialised exercise machines
  • (+) safe training - for general strength - flexible
  • (-)not always specific
  • 2) Free weights - Free standing specific groups
  • (+) Improved specificity - flexible
  • (-) not as safe - not good for less experienced
  • 3) Circuit/interval - Series of stations forming a circuit - using body weight as resistance
  • (+) adds flexibility - relief between stations- improving intensity
  • (-) If incorrect guidlines (intensity, duration, relief) stregth adaptions will not be gained
  • 4) Plyometrics - Jumps, bounds and hop-type exercises
  • (+) power, explosive, elastic, dynamic strength
  • (-) risk of injury - structural damage
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Energy systems linked to strength

  • Strength = elastic explosive
  • energy System = Alactacid
  • food/fuel = ATP & PC
  • Strength= endurance
  • energy system = aerobic
  • fuel/fuel = FFA's/gylocogen/glucose
  • Strength=dynamic
  • energy system = lactic acid
  • food/fuel = glycogen/glucose
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Strength Adaptations

Neural adaptations - Short term

  • Increased number of fast twitch muscle fibers
  • Improved co-ordination and stimulation of motor units
  • Agonist able to stretch further due to inhibition reduction (contract with more force

Physiological adaptations - long term

  • Hypertrophy - increased muscle size
  • Increased actin and myosin cross-bridges and width
  • Increased ATP/PC
  • Increased efficiency removal of lactic acid
  • Increased intensity and duration of performance

Cardiovascular adaptations 

  • Hypertrophy of heart (walls thicker) 
  • (-) may increase risk of CHD as increases speed of o2/co2 diffusion
  • (-) undertaking strength and endurance may hinder strength
  • Increased blood pressure
  • decreased volume of left ventricle
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Strength training and a healthy lifestyle

  • Most negative effects are felt in maximum strength as involves large % of isometric contractions
  • Good strength has a major role to play in sustaining and improving participation
  • Strength training is recommended along side cardiovascular training to help maintain muscular strength and bone health
  • Increased muscle mass - increase energy expenditure - leading to a healthier body composition
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