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Personal Exercise Plan (PEP)

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Personal Exercise Plan (PEP)

Planning

Purpose/aim of the programme

The sport I am going to design my Personal Exercise Plan around is
Football.

Fitness is the ability to cope mentally, socially and physically with
everyday events in the environment. It is the ability to meet the
demands of the environment and there are two types: physical and
motor. Physical fitness is the ability of your body to cope with the
demands of everyday life, and there are several components of physical
fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength,
flexibility, speed, and body composition. To be good at your sport,
you need good physical fitness. Skill in your sport also depends on
some of these aspects (i.e. motor): agility, balance, power,
coordination, reaction time and speed.

At present, I have no illnesses; however I have a slight muscle tear
in my left thigh. The injury prevents me from running at full speed
and kicking a ball with my left foot at full power. This injury may
prevent me from undertaking my fitness plan to the best of my ability,
however only in tasks such as the treadmill which involve running or
heavy leg work. However, I am not on any medication and do not suffer
from any allergies.

At the moment, I would describe myself as being above average for my
age and somatotype in terms of fitness because I can easily cope with
events in the environment. To keep myself fit, I take part in PE
lessons, I play football regularly during my social time, I walk to
school, I play Sunday League football for Whickham Coachman’s Juniors
and I also do running and exercise on a trampoline in my spare time.

I believe that my fitness is at the correct level for everyday living,
as I can cope with everyday life, I can walk to and from school, run
to the supermarket and back, ride my bike to and from friends’ houses,
and enjoy a kick around with friends without getting tired or out of
breath.

I believe that my fitness is at the correct level for the sport I
play, which is football. For example, I can run up and down the pitch,
making tackles, without getting tired out.

By the end of the 5 training sessions, I would like to improve my
fitness for football in the following areas: cardiovascular endurance,
strength, flexibility, agility and power. These fitness components are
vital when playing football, and below is a description of how these
components can improve your performance:

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of your heart and vessels to
get oxygen to your muscles. An example of this in football is when you
need to sprint across the pitch to make a tackle. If I improve my
cardiovascular endurance, I will be able to run longer distances and
for longer without getting out of breath or needing a rest. It is
vital when playing football because a match is 90 minutes long and all
good players need to have good cardiovascular endurance in order to
perform effectively for the duration of the match.

Strength is the property of being physically or mentally strong. An
example of this in football is physical strength, whilst running being
able to hold off an opponent and retain the ball. If I improve my
strength, I will be able to hold bigger and heavier opponents off the
ball whilst also being able to lift heavier weights in the gym. It is
also important when playing football to be mentally strong. For
example, a player who is mentally strong might miss a penalty but have
the confidence to take the next one.

Flexibility is the range of movement around a joint. An example of
this in football is when I need to stretch for the ball to stop my
opponent from shooting or passing. If I improve my flexibility then I
will be able to reach and stretch further and make it more difficult
for my opponent to shoot or pass. Flexibility is a good attribute to
possess in football because it means that your body can move into
positions beneficial to the players’ performance.

Agility is the ability to be agile, flexible and move around freely.
An example of this in football is when you are running with the ball
and can keep your balance and ride the challenge of an opponent. If I
improve my agility then I will be able to run with the ball better and
hold off more challenges.

Power is the ability to act against or exert a force against someone
or something else. There are two types of power: explosive and static.
An example of this in football is explosive power when jumping up to
head the ball above an opponent. If I improve my power then I will be
able to jump higher and win more headers or strike the ball harder.

These five components of fitness are important to my sport and are
vital when setting my targets of achievement in my PEP. By improving
cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, agility and power, I
should improve certain aspects of my sport. For example, improving
power will in turn improve my defending as I will be able to jump
higher to head the ball away from goal. If my target is to improve my
flexibility, I can also improve my shooting because I can then shape
my body better in order to get a shot at goal. Therefore, my PEP is
beneficial to my sport of football.

Awareness of safety aspects

It is vital for my safety and the safety of those around me that my
exercise programme is carried out in a correct and safe manner. It is
important that I have a good knowledge of the activities I carry out.
If I do not fully understand what I am doing, I will not understand
the manner in which the activity should be performed, which could
result in injury such as muscle strain and ligament terse. It is also
important that I know my bodies abilities so that I do not attempt to
carry out activities which may cause permanent damage to my body.

None of the equipment I have chosen to use in my PEP is dangerous when
used in the correct manner. However if my conduct whilst using the
equipment is wrong, then this could result in injury to myself or
damaged equipment; therefore I must ensure that I act maturely and
responsibly at all times. I must also ensure that I have suitable
clothing as to not restrict my movement and ability to carry out my
programme to the best of my ability. The clothing must also not be too
loose as there is a chance of being caught on apparatus and ripping.
This includes wearing the correct footwear with flat soles and a good
grip. It is also vital that jewellery is not worn to avoid injury or
choking, for example an earring may get caught and rip the lobe.
Chewing or eating whilst training is also forbidden as there is a risk
of swallowing the substance and choking.

Before my training, I must always prepare my body by carrying out a
thorough warm-up. Warming up is vital to any sports person as it helps
to avoid injury and also increases performance. Warm-ups increase body
temperature which is helpful as the body works more effectively when
warm. Warm muscles are more flexible and joints become looser. This
therefore reduces the risk of injury. Warming up is also an
opportunity to practice your skills. Effort starts low and is then
increased to full pace. Warming up is also good mental preparation for
the mind; more awareness means better performance. There are three
points of a warm-up. The ‘pulse raiser’ is where the heart rate and
body temperature is increased so that blood flow to the muscles also
increases. Care must be taken not to overdo this part of he warm-up so
that you do not get tired out. The second part of a warm-up is centred
on mobility of the joints to increase flexibility. Finally stretches
are carried out to ensure that the muscles are fully stretched and
ready for physical activity. For my warm-up, I will begin with a light
jog for 2-3 minutes and then I will move on to a rigorous stretching
routine to ensure all muscles are stretched and my body is prepared
for exercise both physically and mentally.

After my training routine, it is important that I carry out a
‘warm-down’. Warming down helps remove extra blood in the muscles, as
blood pooling makes you feel dizzy and weak. It helps replace oxygen
debt and so gets rid of any lactic acid. Warming down also loosens
tight muscles and so prevents stiffness later. There is also evidence
that it helps your performance next time and it allows you to mentally
and physically relax. For my warm-down, I will begin with a gentle jog
for a minute or so before slowing to walking pace. This will lower my
heart rate down to its normal level and ensure that I avoid cramp and
fatigue after exercising.

Finally, I must take general safety into account when exercising. As I
will be carrying out a number of different exercises, a number of
different muscle groups will be exercised. I must take care not to
exercise the same muscle group 2-3 times in a row as this would cause
a build up of lactic acid which would result in muscle fatigue.
Fatigued muscles cannot exercise as efficiently so it is therefore
common sense to alternate my exercises for different muscle groups.
For example, if I use the treadmill for one exercise, I would make
sure that my next exercise focused on a different part of the body.
The next exercise could be press ups, which focus on the upper body.
Whilst I carry out the press ups, my legs can recover from using the
treadmill and be ready for the nest exercise. I have taken this
information into account when planning my program.

Appropriateness of chosen exercises

I feel that of the exercises I have chosen, I have given myself a good
range of areas to work within. I have exercises which focus on
strength, stamina, technique and speed. Three of the exercises I have
chosen are press-ups, skipping and the speed ladder.

Press-ups use pectorals, triceps and biceps. Exercising these upper
body muscles through press-ups increases upper body strength. If I am
stronger, I can become a better footballer because my power will
increase. Press-ups are specific to football because they increase
strength. Strength is needed in football to hold people off the ball
and also push opponents off the ball.

I chose to include skipping in my circuit because it improves fitness,
stamina and coordination. At speed, it is a difficult activity to do,
therefore the more I do it my technique will improve. Skipping will
help me achieve my targets because it builds up stamina and
coordination and therefore shortens recovery time. If I can recover
faster, I can therefore exercise for longer without getting fatigued.
Skipping is specific to football because it improves coordination.
Coordination is a valuable asset in football as ball control is
dependent upon having good coordination. Stamina is also increased as
a result of skipping. This is therefore specific to football because
players must have good stamina to be able to perform consistently for
the full match.

The speed ladder is an excellent exercise for football because it
combines speed with coordination. Speed is needed in football to get
to the ball, run past opposition players and run to make tackles.
Coordination is highly specific to football as ball control is
dependent upon having good coordination, as is being able to time your
jump to win headers and tackles. If I can improve in all these areas,
then I can improve how well I play football.

I believe that the exercises I have chosen will help improve my
fitness and make my exercise program a success. The components are
important and suited to my body and the exercises will all improve my
specific fitness to a game of football.

Appropriate application

In order to progress and work harder in each of my training sessions,
I am going to apply the four principles of training. These are
Specificity, Progression, Overload and Reversibility (SPOR).

Specificity is where the training is specific to the sports you play.
Every exercise within my PEP will be specific to my chosen sport of
football. For example, the speed ladder is specific to football
because it increases speed and coordination, which are both useful
qualities in football. Also included in my PEP are press ups. They are
also specific to football because they increase strength. Strength is
needed in football to hold people off the ball and so I am using
specificity throughout my program.

Progression is closely related to overload: it means increasing the
work load over a period of time and not all at once. I will try to
ensure progression in my program because this will gradually increase
my fitness and therefore ensure that my circuit is a success. I will
use progression by gradually increasing the intensity, frequency and
time of each of my exercises, therefore gradually increasing the
difficulty of my PEP and making it more of a challenge for my body.

Overload means working the body harder to improve fitness. Overload
can be achieved by increasing the frequency, intensity or time of
training. Frequency is how long you carry out the exercise, while
intensity is the difficulty of the exercise, like the weight of the
dumbbell. Time is the duration that the exercise carried for. I plan
to use overload in each of my exercises. I plan to overload my
abdominal muscles by increasing the number of sit-up repetitions I
carry out each training session. I also plan to overload my bicep and
triceps by increasing the time I carry out press-ups in each session.

Reversibility basically means that fitness cannot be stored. If you
reach a certain fitness level, you must work to stay there; your
fitness can always be reversed to a lower level. This is an important
point to remember during my fitness program because it is no use
working to improve my fitness for five sessions only to allow my
fitness to fall back due to reversibility.

Evaluation

Before I completed my program, I carried out a set of fitness tests.
Then after the program, I carried out the same tests with the idea
being that I could compare my pre-test scores with my post-test scores
to see if my PEP was a success. The results of these tests can be
found on the enclosed sheet. Below are the tests I took and which
components of my fitness they were measuring and the scores I
achieved:

Sit-ups -
Stamina 47

Press-ups - Stamina 43

Sit and Reach - Flexibility 18cm

Kasch Boyer Step Test - Recovery time/Stamina 104s (1m)

Multi Stage Fitness Test - Stamina 10.4

Standing Broad Jump - Explosive power/Strength 1m 87cm

Vertical Jump - Explosive power/Strength 52cm

30m Sprint - Speed 3.2s

Agility Test - Agility
20.29s

These results indicate that my pre-training fitness was at a fairly
high level; however there was room for improvement in all areas.

Throughout my program, I overloaded my body using a combination of
frequency, intensity and time. By gradually increasing these points in
each exercise, I was able to ensure my plan of overloading my body
worked and ensured progression. For example I overloaded my abdominal
muscles by steadily increasing the number of sit-up repetitions I
carried out each training session. I also overloaded my bicep and
triceps by increasing the time I carry out press-ups in each session.
To ensure gradual progression, I steadily increased the difficulty of
each exercise at the end of each exercise. This made sure that my
program always had progression.

Throughout my program, I ensured that I did not exercise the same
muscle group one exercise after another. The order of my exercises
alternated so that the next exercise would work on a different area.
For example, I never used the treadmill followed by the speed ladders
because this would have resulted in a build up of lactic acid in my
legs and fatigued muscles. This would have directly affected my
ability to carry out my program to the best of my ability. However,
during some sessions, I had no choice but to alternate the order of my
exercises because of the availability of equipment. Though I still
ensured that I did not overwork the same muscle group, even if it
meant waiting for the apparatus I needed; I went on to a different
exercise for which the equipment was available. My health during the
program was more important than risking injury because of impatience.

Throughout my program, the apparatus was easy to set up, however it
was not always available. There was not enough apparatus for one per
person, so I had to set up my sessions so that I was carrying out
exercises where the equipment was available. Often, I had to carry out
time-consuming safety checks on equipment such as the treadmill and
the rowing machine to ensure that my health and that of others was not
at risk. I also worked with a partner each session so that we could
alternate during exercises which needed someone timing. The table on
which I recorded my progress, although flat, was unsuitable as it was
a football table with a glass surface.

I believe that the exercises I chose were specific to my chosen sport
of football as they all worked on at least one of my target
improvement areas of cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility,
agility and power. Each of these fitness areas are specific to
football because they are heavily relied upon during matches. I used a
range of voluntary muscles and synovial joints which are used in
football. The exercises I chose worked on the hamstrings, quadriceps,
gluteals and gastronomies, all of which are vital in football. I also
carried out exercises which worked on aerobic and anaerobic energy
systems, both of which are needed in football. For example, the
‘Spotty Dog’ exercise works with anaerobic respiration, which is
common in football for long bursts of power, for example sprinting.
However, the sit-up exercise works on aerobic respiration which is
also important in football. Therefore I believe the activities I chose
were the correct ones because they all targeted the main muscles,
joints and energy systems uses within football. I do not think that
there are any other exercises I could have chosen to make my circuit
more appropriate. I believe the range of exercises I chose was suited
to my sport and so my circuit was specific to football.

I thoroughly enjoyed completing my Personal Exercise Plan, and I was
motivated to complete my exercises to the bet of my ability throughout
the program. However, I often got to the end of my exercises and felt
that I could comfortably go on. This means that I was not working to
my limit and, although I tried my best, the exercises were too easy
and I could have pushed myself harder.

Monitoring

I made several changes to my exercises throughout the programme. In
some cases, for example the speed ladders, I found the exercises too
easy so I increased the time. Meanwhile others I found too hard, for
example the squats, and so I decreased the intensity. I made these
changes to make my programme more effective and more suited to my
body. In some sessions, I had to change the order of my exercises
because of availability of equipment or because I needed a partner to
time one of my exercises. I always used the same equipment for each
session to ensure fairness when measuring my progress.

During the five sessions, the performing had different effects on my
body. These were short term effects, such as sweating due to the body
trying to cool itself down. I also noticed that my skin wend red due
to the blood coming closer to the skin, again trying to cool the body
down. My heart rate also increased compared to its resting rate due to
more blood being pumped to the muscles for exercise. My breathing rate
also increased due to my body attempting to take in more oxygen to
send to the muscles and help my movement.

Before the programme, I felt that I was already at a high level of
fitness and so I felt that training for one hour a week would have
little effect on my overall fitness. However, I did notice positive
changes in some areas and so the results I achieved were a little
unexpected. However, I was pleased with my overall progress, even
though before my programme, I was sceptical about the results I would
achieve.

Final Evaluation

After my programme, I carried out the same fitness tests as I did
before the programme. The results and the components of fitness that
each test measured are listed below:

Sit-ups -
Stamina 49

Press-ups - Stamina 44

Sit and Reach - Flexibility 18cm

Kasch Boyer Step Test - Recovery time/Stamina 92s (1m)

Multi Stage Fitness Test - Stamina 10.5

Standing Broad Jump - Explosive power/Strength 1m 90cm

Vertical Jump - Explosive power/Strength 54cm

30m Sprint - Speed 3.0s

Agility Test - Agility
19.89s

These results indicate that my post-training fitness was higher than
that of my pre-season fitness in all areas except flexibility. I know
this because my scores improved in all areas except the Sit and Reach
test. This improvement shows me that my programme was a success, as I
improved in all except one area that I set out to do.

As a result of completing my programme, I have improved in the
following areas of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, strength,
agility and power. I think my programme was a success as I achieved
just about everything that I set out to do. My overall fitness
improved as a direct result of completing the programme. The fitness
areas that I targeted before the programme to improve have all been
met, aside from flexibility, which may be because there were no
exercises in my programme which work on flexibility.

If I were to continue with my programme, I would make a few small
changes to ensure that it was more of a success. I would carry out
fewer exercises, but with the remaining ones more intense. This would
ensure that progression and overload was used to higher effect. One of
my targets was to improve flexibility and I did not achieve this. If I
were to carry on my programme, I would include an exercise that worked
on my flexibility. This would then make my programme more effective. I
think that in my programme I could have achieved higher results. If I
had of increased the intensity and time of each of my exercises, I
would have achieved higher results because I would have been pushing
myself harder and overloading my body. Overall, I am very happy with
the results of my programme as I achieved all but one of my targets.

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