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Six-Week Training Program

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Six-Week Training Program

Introduction

I am a 15-year-old male and I am going to devise a training programme
for myself to do over the next 6 weeks. I play a lot of football but
also enjoy many other sports including cricket, squash and athletics
all of which along with football I participate in regularly.

The main reason I want to get fitter is because I feel my performance
at the end of a game is not as high as it could be because my body is
tired and is not performing at its peak level for a long enough
period. This also has a major affect on my performance because I can't
carry out skills as quickly or as well towards the end of a game to
the level that I know I can. This then gets me frustrated and can have
a negative effect on not only me but also the rest of the team.

I feel that if I design a training program to improve my fitness my
performance will be greatly enhanced and will not only help myself but
other people as well.

I am quite lucky in the fact that I have no real health problems and
have suffered no major injuries in my sporting life. However I can be
prone to pulled or strained muscles after strenuous exercise so I will
have to make sure that I have an appropriate cool down that will stop
this from happening on my training programme.

Before designing my programme I need to think of my likes and dislikes
towards training. I don't mind running long distances outside and I am
also quite content to run on my own as I feel I have enough personal
will to push myself as hard as possible, however at the same time I am
also happy running with another person providing they have the same
attitude as me and are at the same standard. One thing I don't like is
exercise where I feel I can't push myself enough this has sometimes
happened in some circuits because what we are doing does not feel as
if it is pushing me to my full ability. This means that when I am
designing a programme I will have to make sure that all the activities
will push me to my limit.

Another thing I must consider is the facilities that I could use apart
from the local sports centre there are not many facilities available
to me but I do have a lot of peaceful running areas near my home so I
may be able to make good use of those.

My last consideration will be to make sure that my fitness plan fits
around the sport I do at the moment as I have to make sure that I am
not doing too much and risking burnout. I currently play football on
Sunday and squash on Wednesday; I also do school fitness activities on
Thursday I must consider all these things when I am planning my
training programme.



What Needs Improving
====================

After writing my introduction the main thing I believe I need to
improve on is my stamina, however to avoid tedium and boredom in my
training I will also try and improve my speed as I feel I am very good
over 100m but there is room for improvement over shorter distances as
these are vital in all the sports I participate in.

I will base my programme on trying to improve my fitness for football
however I feel that this will improve my whole general fitness, which
can overlap into the other sports I play.

I will now look at the two areas in closer detail to gain as much
information as I possibly can for my training programme.



Stamina
=======

This is also known as aerobic capacity or cardio-respiratory
endurance. It is the ability of our heart and lung systems to cope
with activity over a long period of time. We need to keep our active
muscles supplied with energy and to get rid of waste products during
prolonged periods of strenuous activity. This depends on the
efficiency of our heart, lungs and blood vessels. The better our
aerobic capacity the better we can keep going for long periods of time
when playing sports such as football, rugby, squash and swimming.

Our maximum aerobic capacity is called our VO2 max. It is the maximum
amount of oxygen that can be transported to, and used by, our working
muscles during exercise. If we have a high VO2 max we can use much
more oxygen than other people. We can work our body at a higher rate
for long periods and will suffer less fatigue than others with a lower
VO2 max.

As you can see if I can improve my stamina it will mean that I will be
able to supply my muscles with oxygen for longer periods of time using
aerobic respiration methods. This should significantly improve my
performance in a match and it will help me perform better in later
stages of a game and hopefully with this extra stamina I may have an
advantage over the opposition.



Improving our stamina
=====================

We can improve our stamina by regularly taking part in continuous
exercise involving our whole body. Our heart rate must be kept between
70-85% of our maximal heart rate so that our aerobic capacity will
improve. We should at first exercise for a minimum of 12 minutes but
as we become fitter we can make our sessions last anything up to 40
minutes. There are two ways in which we cant improve our stamina and
they are continuous training and interval training I will look at both
of these ways and see which one is most suitable for my programme.



Speed
=====

Speed is the ability to move all or part of the body quickly. Speed is
important in sports, which require a great deal of effort over a short
period of time like in football and squash, in which speed is
absolutely vital. It is especially vital in football because often a
sudden change of speed can get you away from the opposition to create
yourself a goal scoring opportunity. If I can improve my speed over
short distances and combine it with my longer distance sprinting speed
then I feel it will add another dimension to my attacking and
defensive play. This will also give me more opportunities to display
my skills because I will be able to receive the ball more as I could
find space in a lot shorter amount of time.



Improving speed
===============

Although we cannot increase the percentage of fast twitch fibres in
our bodies, there are many other things we can do to include our
speed. One of these ways is by increasing our strength this will give
us more power and stronger muscles and therefore more speed. To do
this I could use a programme of weight training and plyometrics. We
could also improve our ability to cope with lactic acid in our bodies.
Another way of improving the level of skill in our sport an example of
this is if we have a well measured and sensible run up in cricket we
will need less speed because we wont have to run as far to meet our
maximum speed.

For our bodies to achieve speed, energy has to be supplied to the
muscles very quickly. Muscles then have to contract in the shortest
possible time. We will use our anaerobic energy supply system for
speed work. If we have a high percentage of fast twitch fibres in our
active muscles we will have a natural example.



What I need to consider
=======================

When I am designing my programme there are two acronyms that I need to
remember, consider and use. I must make sure that I meet all the
points on both otherwise it is highly unlikely that I will complete
the programme.

The first one is FITT.

F- Frequency of activity- how often we should exercise. For example if
you just want to stay healthy you should exercise for at least twenty
minutes twice a week. After each hard training session I should give
my body at least 24 hours rest before I exercise again.

I- Intensity of activity- how hard I should exercise?

T- Time of activity- how long I am going to exercise. Aerobic training
sessions tend to last for 20 minutes or longer where as strength
training sessions are generally shorter and less sustained.

T- Type of activity- what exercise I should use.

This means that I will have to decide how often every week I will have
to train and how often I will train on each of the two areas stamina
and speed. I will also have to make sure that I am training at the
right intensity it will be important to make modifications to my plan
while I am doing it if I feel that I am not being pushed hard enough.

I will also have to decide how long each training session should last,
the best way to do this will probably be to start off with shorter
sessions and as the programme goes on increase the length of time for
each session. The main thing I will need to decide is the type of
activity I do and make sure that it is relevant and improve my fitness
in the way I want.

The second acronym I need to consider is SPORT:

S- Specificity- Every person will need a different training programme-
we're all different and we all do different things.

1) Train the right parts of the body- there is no point making a
weightlifter run 10 miles a day-it wont improve his weightlifting.

2) Train to the right level-if someone is unfit don't start him or her
with a long run.

P- Progression- Steadily increase the amount of training that's
done-but only when the body has adapted to the previous training.

O- Overload- You've got to make your bodywork harder than it normally
would. It's the only way to get fitter. You can overload by increasing
any of these three things:

1) Frequency of training (train more often)

2) Intensity of training (lift heavier weights)

3) Duration of training (training for 5 minutes longer each session)

R- Reversibility- Our fitness levels change all the time and it will
down if we stop training. It takes a lot longer to gain fitness than
to lose fitness meaning that we have to keep up with the programme of
we will not get fitter.

T- Tedium- We must make sure that what we are doing is not boring and
tedious and that we are not doing the same thing everyday. If the
programme is boring then it is unlikely that I will complete the
programme to the best of my ability.

I will need to consider all these things when I am designing and
actually doing my programme and if I feel while I am doing it these
points are not being met then I will need to change it.

Fitness Tests

To find out if I am improving my fitness during the programme I will
need some sort of test, which I can do during the programme that will
give me results which I can then record. I will need a test for both
stamina and speed. I will do this test before I start the programme to
find out my current fitness then I will do it once a week throughout
the programme to see if I am improving. I will then do it again after
I have finished and see how much my fitness has improved from before
the programme. These tests can also be used as part of my training
programme as an exercise, which will also be helpful.

Stamina Test:

To see if my stamina is being improved I am going to use two tests.
The first test I am going to use is the cooper 12 minute run but I
will only carry out this test before my programme and then once after
the programme has finished. This will show how much I would have
improved over the six weeks. The Cooper 12 minute run is a very simple
test all we have to do is see how far we can run around a marked area
in 12 minutes, the distance we run is then recorded.

The other test I will use is the Havard step test. I will carry this
test out once a week to see if I am making a gradual improvement. I
will also do it at the start and end of the programme. To do this test
our resting pulse rate is taken before the test begins. We then step
on and off a 45cm high bench at the rate of 30 times a minute for a
period of five minutes. We must start with the same foot each time and
we must also fully extend our leg at the top of each step. At the end
of the five minutes our speed of recovery is recorded. This is done by
taking our pulse for 30 seconds at three different time intervals: one
minute after the end: two minutes after the end of the exercise and
three minutes after the end of the exercise.

The greater our aerobic capacity, the lower our pulse rate will be at
the end of exercise. Also it will return to normal more quickly. I
will work out my fitness score using the following formula:

[IMAGE]

Speed Test:

There are no real speed tests so what I will do to measure my speed is
see how long it takes me to run a set distance. I will set this
distance as 50 metres; I will do this test every week plus at the
start and finish to see if my speed is improving. This will be an easy
test and will not take very long. I will just have to make sure that I
test myself on the same surface every time and not one time of grass
then another time on concrete..

After considering everything I have researched myself I have made up a
weekly timetable which I will use for six weeks as my personal
exercise programme, I have fitted it around the other sports I do, it
has also been designed so I don't suffer fatigue.

Personal programme Timetable:

Sunday

Football

Monday

Recovery Day, but on this day I will carry out the Harvard step test
and 50m sprint and record these results.

Tuesday

Continuous training session.

Wednesday

Squash

Thursday

Recovery Day ( school activities)

Friday

Leg Weights, Short Sprints, short shuttle runs.

Saturday

Interval training session.

Detailed Explanation:

Sunday: On this day I will play football for my local team St
Margaret's Football Club, this is in a local league and matches last
for 90 minutes. I play in midfield and play an active role in the
team. This match could be used as an indirect training session and
will certainly contribute to an improvement in my speed and stamina. I
will spend the time before and after the game resting my body.

Monday: Monday will be mainly a recovery day on my programme however I
will carry out the two small tests at some point of the day. I may
well carry these out at school, as they wont take very long I may do
them at lunchtime. I will have to make sure that I make a record of
the results to measure my results. Apart from the tests the rest of
the day will be rest.

Tuesday: On Tuesday I will do my continuous training session. This
session will obviously start with a warm up (explained further later
in plan). The session will then consist of me working at 70% of my
maximum heart rate (MHR). This is easy to calculate all we have to do
is take our age away from 220 so my MHR is 205. This means that I will
need to be working at a heart rate of 144. For this continuous session
I will be running for a certain length of time, which will gradually
develop as the programme goes on. For the first week I will run for 30
minutes and measure the distance I run. For every week after that I
will run for an extra 5 minutes so by the end of the programme I will
be running for 55 minutes. To check that I am training at the right
level half way through the run I will stop and record my heart rate to
check it is about 144.

Once I have finished my run I will conduct a cool down. I will run on
roads in my local village around a course that has been pre-decided.
It is vital that I put my full effort in to every training session or
my fitness will not improve. As well as recording the distance I have
run I will also record the weather conditions as that could have an
effect on how far I run.

Session:

* Warm Up

* Jogging at 70% of my MHR for a set amount of time ( to be
increased as programme goes on).

* Cool down

Wednesday: This day I will play my weekly game of squash I will play
for between one or two hours and this will improve my fitness a lot as
it is very hard work. It will certainly help my speed, as I will have
to move around the court quickly as I play against a very good player.
The rest of the day will be spent recovering.

Thursday: This will be another recovery day, apart from my games
lesson at school I will do no exercise in the evening, I feel without
this total rest I could be at total risk of burnout. This will also be
used as a reserve day so if I can't carry out a session one day for
some reason I will use this day to do it so that I don't miss out.
However this will generally be used as a recovery day.

Friday: On this day I will do a training session to improve my speed.
There are no clear ways to improve my speed so I will do a mixed
session. It will obviously start with a warm up. Then following this I
will do some exercises on my legs including weights I will lift
weights with my legs. I will do sets of these for 20 minutes. After I
have done this I will do very short shuttle runs of 30 metres. I will
do one shuttle then rest for one minute then do another then rest. I
will do 15 of these in all. Once I have done this I will carry out my
cool down. This session is designed to help improve my speed. If I
feel it can be modified during the programme then I will do this and
make a note of what I have done.

Session:

* Warm Up

* 20 minutes of weights on legs

* 20 minutes of shuttle runs

* Cool down

Saturday: Saturday will be used for a session of interval training,
although his is called an interval training session it could also be
called Fartlek as it is mixing them both. The session will be used to
improve both stamina and speed. It will be every realistic to a game
of football as it will involve a change of speed at different times.
The session will then start with a warm up. I will then jog for 2
minutes then sprint for 30 seconds the jog for 2 minutes then sprint
again this will go on for 10 minutes (4 jogs and 4 sprints). This will
be called a set. I will then rest for 2 minutes before doing another
set. The session will consist of 4 sets but as the programme goes on
the amount of sets done each session will be increased to make sure
that the training is progressing. At the end of each session I will
obviously cool down.

Session:

· Warm Up

· At least 40 minutes of interval/Fartlek training

· Cool down

Overall 6 week timetable included.

Safety:

Safety is vital when I am doing this programme; I have to make sure
that I am safe at all times. The main things I need to make sure I do
is make sure that I warm up and cool down before and after each
session to avoid unnecessary injury. I must also make sure that I am
wearing correct equipment so when I am running on the roads I have
appropriate foot wear on and if running in the dark I must make sure
that I am visible to passing cars by wearing bright clothing. I must
also let a parent know where I am going if I am training when it is
dark and at about what time I will be back. The last thing I must do
with safety is if I get an injury then I must stop the session right
away and not continue until the injury has fully recovered or I could
end up making it worse meaning I am not in the long run getting fitter
just making myself worse. I may also run with a partner especially if
I am out running late for my own safety.

Warm Up

At the start of each training session I shall conduct a warm up. My
warm up should include:

* A period of gentle exercise using my whole body, for example light
jogging. This will gradually increase both heart and breathing,
ensure that blood flow to my muscles gradually increases, warm up
my muscles and prepare myself mentally for hard work to follow.

* Gentle stretching. I should work on the joints most likely to be
stressed during our main training session.

My Warm Up:

To start my warm up I will go for a light jog which will last 3
minutes, while I am jogging I will be concentrating on the exercise I
am about to do and making sure that all parts of my body are moving.
When I have done this I will then move onto my stretching, these are
the areas of the body I will need to stretch:

- Arms (biceps and triceps)

- Shoulder

- Hips

- Back

- Hamstring

- Groin

- Calf

- Quads

- Ankles

I must stretch all of these for between 7-10 seconds and make sure if
needed I do for both left hand side and right hand side. When I have
completed my stretching I will then go for another jog for 5 minutes
this time maybe upping the speed a little. When this is done I will
then start the training session.

Cool Down

I will always finish my training session with a period of lighter
exercise. This is a cool down (or warm down). I should not go directly
from hard exercise to rest. Light exercise shortens the recovery time
necessary by helping to remove carbon dioxide, lactic acid and other
waste products, which have built up in our bodies. It also ensures
that our blood continues to circulate well and does not pool in the
skeletal muscles. Pooling can cause a rapid lowering in blood pressure
and make us feel light-headed or dizzy.

My cool down will be not far off identical to my warm-up except I will
start with a 5 minute run then stretch then finish with a 3 minute run
this is obviously so there is a de-progression in what my body is
doing.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Week 1

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 30 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs.

Interval/Fartlek training session. 40 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Football

Week 2

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 35 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs.

Interval/Fartlek training session. 40 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Football

Week 3

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 40 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs

Interval/Fartlek training session. 50 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Football

Week 4

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 45 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs.

Interval/Fartlek training session. 50 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Football

Week 5

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 50 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs.

Interval/Fartlek training session. 60 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Football

Week 6

Recovery Day, also carry out tests and record results.

Continuous training session. 55 mins plus warm up and cool down.

Squash

Recovery Day (school activities)

Speed Training session weights plus shuttle runs.

Interval/Fartlek training session. 60 mins plus warm up and cool down.

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