Improving Performance

do athletes train for improved performance?
•What are the planning considerations for improving performance?
•What ethical issues are related to improving performance?
Content Summary:
 Strength training
 Aerobic training
 Anaerobic training (power and speed)
 Flexibility training
 Skill training
Strength: is the ability of a muscle or muscle
group to exert a force against a resistance.
Strength Training: is a general term that
encompasses all types of exercise designed
to improve strength and increase muscle size.
Strength program variables:
- repetitions - repetitions maximum
- set
- resistance
- periodisation
Overload Techniques:
Pyramid Training:
With each set performed the resistance is increased and the number of
repetitions decreased. If the athlete was to perform 4 sets, by the fourth set
they should have fatigued the particular muscle group e.g. Set 1 - 12 reps at
50 kg, Set 2 - 9 reps at 70 kg, Set 3 - 6 reps at 85kg, Set 4 - 3 reps at
Reverse Pyramid Training:
This is the opposite to pyramid training. The athlete starts with a heavy
resistance and does a few reps. With each set the weight is decreased and
the number of reps increased.
This technique involves working a muscle group with a variety of different
exercises until fatigue occurs. A variety of exercises are used so that a
training effect occurs through the full range of movement.
Overload Techniques Cont.:
Forced Repetitions: Forced repetitions are assistance with repetitions
to perform additional reps of an exercise when muscles can no
longer complete the movement on their own.
Super Sets:
This technique involves completing 2 sets of different exercises with no
rest between sets e.g. dumbbell kickback immediately followed by dips.
The same muscle can be worked, as in the example (triceps), or
alternatively agonist and antagonist muscle groups can be trained using
this method.
Negative Repetitions:
This involves working with a spotter/partner. This technique involves the
athlete performing an exercise to fatigue. When fatigue is reached the
spotter assists the athlete to raise the bar, leaving them to lower the
weight in a controlled manner.
Resistance Training
Read through the content on page 49 and 50
of your work booklets.
Complete the activities on elastic resistance
training and hydraulic resistance equipment.
Weight Training
A barbell is a longer bar with plate weights requiring two hands,
while dumbbells are short bars with weights attached and are
used in either hand.
A concentric contraction occurs when a muscle contracts and
shortens, thereby causing movement.
An eccentric contraction occurs when a muscle lengthens under a
load. Most often this happens when a muscle is controlling a
movement of a load as it moves with the aid of gravity.
Hypertrophy refers to the increase in size in any body part, but for
the purposes of training is most commonly used to describe the
increase in the size of muscles due to training.
Lateral Shoulder Raise: Stand with your feet approximately
shoulder width apart and grasp a dumbbell in each hand
allowing the dumbbells to hang down at your sides with your
palm facing in toward your body. Simultaneously raise the
dumbbells by bringing the backs of your hands to the ceiling,
keeping your arms as straight as possible throughout the
movement. Bring your arms to a point that is parallel to the floor,
hold for a one-count and return to the start position and repeat
for the desired repetitions. The major muscle group trained is
the deltoids.
Shoulder Shrug: The athlete stands with a barbell at waist height,
feet shoulder width apart using an overhand grip. Without
bending the elbows the athlete raises the shoulders and
attempts to touch the ears with the shoulders and then slowly
return to the starting position. The movement should be a slow
rolling one. The major muscle group trained is the trapezius.
Dumbbell Curl: Lie back on an incline bench and hold a dumbbell in each
hand. Let your arms hang straight down on both sides with your palms
facing in toward each other. Slowly curl the weight in your left hand as if
to touch it to your left shoulder. While you are curling the dumbbell,
slowly turn your wrist outward so that your thumb points away from
your body Squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement for a onecount and then slowly return to the start position and repeat with your
right arm. The major muscle group trained is the bicep.
Barbell Bench Press: The athlete lies on their back on a bench with feet
flat on the floor. The bar is gripped slightly more than shoulder width
apart with the fingers pointing towards the feet. The athlete lowers the
bar until it touches the chest, approximately on the nipple line. The
barbell is then pressed back to the starting position. A spotter should be
used and the bar should not be bounced on the chest. The major muscle
group trained are the pectorals.
Lat Pull Down: This exercise is performed on a lat pull down machine.
The athlete sits on the seat with their thighs under the pads provided.
The athlete faces the machine. The athlete grips the bar using an
overhand grip, wider than shoulder width. The bar is then pulled down
until it touches the back of the neck. In a controlled manner the bar is
then returned to its starting position. The major muscle group trained is
the latissimus dorsi.
Leg Curl: The athlete lies face down on a hamstring curl machine with
the heels under the pads provided. The handles provided can be gripped
by the athlete. The knee is flexed until the pads touch the gluteals and
then lowered again. The major muscle group trained are the hamstrings.
Leg Extension: The athlete sits on the leg extension machine with the
front of the ankles behind the pads provided. The handles provided can
be gripped by the athlete. The knee is straightened until completely
straight and then returned to the starting position. The upper body
should remain still. The major muscle group trained are the quadriceps.
Calf Raise: The athlete stands with the barbell resting on their
shoulders, feet shoulder width apart and using an overhand grip.
The athlete rises up onto the toes as far as possible and then
returns to the starting position. The legs and back are kept
straight throughout the movement. The major muscle group
trained are the calves, the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Upright Rowing: Stand with straight back, shoulders back, feet
shoulder width apart, barbell resting against front of hips with
overhand grip, hands together in the middle of the bar. Keeping
elbows high, raise the bar to under the chin and return.
Abdominals – crunches, hover. Quadriceps – squats, lunges. Back
– back flys, back extensions. Chest – flys, pullovers.
 Equipment needs are minimal
 It is helpful to overcome weaker points in the
 It takes little time, is simple to learn and easy
to perform.
 It is valuable in rehabilitating an injury, such
as a muscle tear.
 Much of this training can be performed in a
variety of places.
 It does not increase strength through the full
range of motion of the joint unless applies at
all the respective angles.
 It causes a rise in blood pressure.
 Speed is reduced through strengthening in a
static position.
 Other methods, such as isotonic testing,
must be used to measure progress.
 It does not produce muscular endurance.
 Most benefits occur early in training.
General guidelines for a strength training program for endurance
Number of repetitions?
15 - 25
The load of resistance?
Light to medium.
Number of sets?
Amount of rest/recovery between sets?
Relatively short rest periods e.g. 10 seconds to 1 minute
Sessions per week?
Exercise speed?
General guidelines for an absolute strength training program for a
competitive weight lifter:
Number of repetitions?
The load of resistance?
Very heavy
Number of sets?
Amount of rest/recovery between sets?
Lengthy e.g. 4 minutes
Sessions per week?
Exercise speed?
Activity: Page 55
Example of an endurance
strength training program that
can be done over a 4 week
Warm up and cool down - Warm up and cool down thoroughly to
reduce the risk of injury and return muscles to pre training
Clothing - Wear appropriate clothes and protective equipment.
For example, gloves reduce the risk of blisters. Clothing should
be loose enough to allow movement and heat loss.
Hygiene - For hygiene reasons always use a towel in the gym.
Controlled movement - body parts should be trained in isolation
without excessive body movements (unless experienced or
training for a specific purpose). Avoid excessive swinging of
weights by choosing the appropriate loads.
Posture - maintain correct body posture to avoid injury and
promote correct lifting technique.
Back safety - Keep your back straight when lifting and maintain
correct technique. Avoid bending and twisting movements.
Technique – correct lifting technique should always take
emphasis over excessive loads.
Breathing - Don’t hold your breath while lifting weights.
Generally speaking, breathe out during the work phase of each
Equipment - Check all equipment before you use it. Don’t use a
piece of equipment if it seems faulty. Inform staff of any faulty
Spotters - Make sure you have someone nearby to ‘spot’ for you
(take the weight from you if needed) when you use heavier
Loads – choose loads that are appropriate to your age,
strength and training needs. Overloads should be set at
achievable levels without causing poor technique.
Repetitions – choose repetitions depending upon the aims
of the training program.
Rest – factor in appropriate rest periods to avoid
overtraining and injury.
Age appropriate – training programs must be developed
considering the training experience and age of the athlete.
Special consideration should be given to athletes that are
growing quickly during adolescence. High loads and low
repetitions should be avoided by young athletes or people
that are inexperienced.
How training adaptations that occur due to aerobic training can be
measured and monitored
Increase in oxygen uptake and haemoglobin levels
Method of measurement and monitoring:
- monitored by finger prick blood testing during exercise,
VO2 max tests.
Link to performance:
- link to performance is greater aerobic endurance
Improvements to storage of ATP, glycogen
Method of measurement and monitoring:
- monitored by treadmill testing
Link to performance :
- link to performance is greater energy stores for extended exercise
Increased muscle size, elasticity, strength and power
Method of measurement and monitoring:
- tape measures, sit and reach tests, standing broad jump
Link to performance :
- link to performance is greater range of movement, improved strength and power throughout the execution of
Continuous/Uniform Training
Provides a foundation for most other methods of training including
anaerobic training. This is because it is sustained, low intensity,
continuous training which provides the groundwork for other forms of
Generally, continuous training is used to improve cardiorespiratory
endurance, local muscular endurance and overall aerobic capacity.
Continuous training requires working at a level of intensity that equivalent
to 50-60% of your maximal heart rate and sustained for 60 minutes. As
intensity increases, the duration should be decreased e.g. 70-80% for
35-45 minutes in duration.
Continuous training develops both glycogen and fat utilisation for the
provision of energy. It improves cardiorespiratory efficiency,
contributing to a significant reduction of heart rate both during work
and rest.
Fartlek Training
Like continuous training, Fartlek is also a
beneficial form of aerobic training and can
provide substantial cardiorespiratory benefits.
Pace and terrain variations employed with
Fartlek training mean that some thought and
planning needs to be given to enable full
benefits from this training technique.
There are many different types of Fartlek Training:
Watson Fartlek
Suitable for 10k, 5k, 3k and cross country.
10 minutes warm up
Stride hard for 4 minutes with 1 minute jog recovery - repeat 8 times
10 minute cool down
Saltin Fartlek
Suitable for 1500m, 5k and 3k.
10 minutes warm up
Repeat 6 times - Stride hard for 3 minutes with 1 minute jog run recovery
10 minute cool down
Astrand Fartlek
Suitable for 800m.
10 minutes warm up
Repeat 3 times - Maximum effort for 75 seconds, 150 seconds jog/run, maximum effort for 60
seconds, 120 seconds jog run
10 minute cool down
Gerschler Fartlek
Suitable for getting fit quickly when combined with steady running.
10 minutes warm up
Repeat 3 times - Stride hard for 30 seconds, jog 90 seconds. Repeat with 15 second decreases in recovery jog e.g.
30-90, 30-75, 30-60, 30-45, 30-30, 30-15 and 30-15-30
10 minute cool down
Hill Fartlek
10 minutes warm up
Select a 2 mile hilly course. Repeat 3 times - Run hard up all hills twice before moving to the next hill, jog
runbetween hills
10 minute cool down
Whistle Fartlek
The coach, using a whistle, controls the session over a 800 metre circumference grass area.
10 minutes warm up
When the whistle is blown the athletes run hard until the whistle is blown again. Pyramid session of 4 minutes, 3
minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes with a 60 second jog run recovery between each
10 minute cool down
Fartlek for games players
A fartlek session for games players should include sprinting, running, jogging and walking with variations in
direction of movement to fit in with the demands of their sport. This should include controlling an object (e.g.
football) or carry any implement (e.g. hockey stick, rugby ball) used in the sport.
Long Interval
Long Interval training uses repetitions of high speed intensity work
followed by periods of recovery to develop aerobic fitness.
Long Interval training is a preferred form of training by distance runners,
triathletes and footballers in preparation for competition.
Work phases usually range from 2 - 5minutes and these are followed by
rest phases that may only be 30 seconds long. Variety can be achieved
by changing the work – rest ratio.
Long Interval training can be organised a number of ways. Specify a set
distance e.g. 400m and run at a predetermined speed over the distance,
reaching the finish within the allocated time period. This then followed
by a walk recovery and repetition of the run until the required number of
intervals has been completed.
Developing Power Through Resistance/Weight Training
The anaerobic system is the dominant pathway for
energy supply during explosive activities such as
weight lifting, throwing and sprinting.
An athlete who trains for anaerobic events using
exercises and practices that simulate what is required
in the game or activity will further develop the
capacity of the fast-twitch fibres.
Resistance training builds power through recruiting and
enlarging muscle fibres. Power is the rate at which
force is produced per unit of time.
Power can also be expressed as:
Force x Distance divided by time
Power can be increased by manipulating any one of the above three
variables (force, distance and time).
For example, power is increased by decreasing the length of time a
movement is performed while keeping force (resistance) and distance
This results in a more explosive
Therefore to increase power using
resistance training, movements need to
be performed quickly, causing preferential
recruitment of fast-twitch fibres.
Refers to a special range of exercises in which a muscle is lengthened
using an eccentric contraction and this is rapidly followed by a
shortening or concentric contraction.
Plyometrics has considerable value in power development because it has been
demonstrated that if a muscle is stretched (preloaded) before it is shortened,
it will contract more forcefully. The elastic recoil of muscle fibres results in a
more powerful movement.
Click on the link below to view a range of
plyometric exercises that assist athletes in
developing explosive power movements for
their chosen sport.
Short Interval Training
This is similar to Long Interval Training except that the
intervals are brief and recovery is longer to enable
restoration of ATP stores.
The method involves alternating short burst of intense
activity with periods of rest or recovery.
Initially, low intensity intervals supported by adequate
rest intervals should be implemented. As fitness
gains are made, progressive adjustments to variables
(rest, intensity, distance, repetitions) can be made to
ensure a program addresses the overload principle.
Short Interval Training improves the ability of the
muscles to tolerate lactic acid build-up.
An ATP-PC target interval program might require the
athlete to work at 95% intensity for 15 seconds and
follow this with a one minute recovery. This cycle will
allow for almost complete resynthesis of creatine
phosphate stores. 15-20 repetitions would then be
required to complete the set.
Click on the link below to see an example of
Short Interval Training in practice.
Static Stretching for the arms:
Dynamic Stretching for the legs:,7120,s6-241-287--13442-0,00.html
Ballistic Stretching:
PNF Stretching for the legs: