6-Week Training Program
To maintain or improve skill and fitness, training needs to take
place. Training can be in many different forms and applied in many
ways. The main aspects of training are:
* The principles
* The methods, application and effects
* Training sessions
There are four basic principles
in all training sessions applied to
skill and fitness:
Training must be specific which means that it should concentrate on
the particular needs of the individual within the training programme.
For example, lifting weights will increase muscular strength but will
have little effect on the aerobic capacity of the individual.
Although training should be specific to a sport this does not mean
that training for sport will have little effect on another. Transfer
of training can take place where the sport or parts of a sport have a
great deal of similar elements of fitness are common to many sports
Overload is the term used to describe activities that impose demands
on the body, which are greater than usual. There are three ways in
which overload can be considered: frequency, intensity and duration.
The frequency of training is the number of times training occurs. As
levels of performance rise, the frequency of training is often
increased. Top performers need to train most days, particularly long
distance runners who need to run considerable distances in training to
improve their aerobic capacity.
Raising the workload increases intensity. This means that you would
have to run faster, lift heavier weights or stretch farther than
normal during training. These increases would be built up over a
period of time.
How long the training sessions takes place is determined by the
activity and the fitness of the person. Untrained athletes may only be
able to work for a few minutes when they are starting a new event. As
athletes improve, they are able to train for longer periods.
Progression occurs as the body adapts through overload. Training needs
to be progressive. If the overload of the body systems is increased
appropriately, then the improvement caused by training easily be seen,
especially in the early stages of the training programme. If it is
increased inappropriately then the body will not take on smooth
progression because the body can’t adapt to too much overload.
Sometimes a performer seems unable to make progress and stays at the
same level for a period of time. This is known as a ‘plateau’, but
performers are often able to improve after some time at this fixed
This is the reverse of progression. Once training and performers are
reduced, the body naturally adapts to the new circumstances:
Ø The aerobic capacity can be quickly reduced through lack of
Ø Muscular endurance diminishes when muscles are no longer used over
extended periods of time.
Ø Skill levels however can often remain high, but performance in
skills might be reduced because of physical decline.
It is estimated that muscles lose strength three times more quickly
than they gain it.
This means as a general rule, it is suggested that a sportsperson has
to do three weeks training just to get back to the level he or she was
at prior to stopping for one week.
All training sessions should have three main parts:
» Warm up
» Training activity
» Cool down
The main training sessions may be divided up to concentrate on
specific aspects of the training schedule, but these must not be
started before warm up is properly completed.
The warm up period should:
º Increase the flow of blood to muscles.
º Increase arousal levels to the activity.
º Reduce the risk of injury to muscles and tendons.
The warm up should prepare both body and mind for work.
The training activity
This is the body of the training session. It could be:
Þ Continuous e.g. swimming, jogging, cycling
Þ Fartlek, meaning ‘speed play’. This is similar to continuous
training but containing short, sharp bouts of efforts of a much higher
intensity. These may be 5 to 10 seconds duration and recur every 2 to
Þ Interval training, which involves alternating work periods of high
intensity with rest periods.
Þ An actual practice game, e.g. football
Þ Circuit training to develop muscle, fitness or skill.
Cool down exercises at the end of the training sessions are as
important as warm up exercises. When a training session ends a large
supply of blood is retained in the muscles. This blood should be
returned to the general circulation as soon as possible, otherwise it
may pool in the veins. If pooling does happen and the heart is still
beating very fast, some organs may be deprived of oxygen. E.g. the
brain being deprived of oxygen can cause you to become dizzy. Gentle
exercise, such as jogging, is needed to ensure that the body returns
to its normal state.
The time your body takes to get back to normal after exercise is
called your recovery rate. Your heart rate slows down to your normal
resting heart rate. The time it takes to return depends on how fit you
are. The fitter the person is the quicker their heart rate returns to
Rest periods are as important to training as hard physical exercise.
During intensive hard work the muscle fibres may become slightly
damaged and also develop a shortage of glycogen. The inclusion of rest
days in the training schedule when only very light physical work or
none at all is done will allow the muscles to recover.
Also, a correct diet is needed to allow a good healthy physical
lifestyle. You need the correct amount of carbohydrates, fats, sugars,
vitamins and things from all the food groups
There are three different body types:
Ÿ Endomorph is a shorter, larger and wider body shape. Most rugby
players have an endomorph body type because that is what they need for
their sport. They need to be a big body build so they can stand their
ground and not be tackled easily.
Ÿ Mesomorph is a more muscular body shape with not as much fat as an
endomorph body type. This type of body normally belongs to a swimmer
because the need to be muscular to get through the water quickly.
Ÿ Ectomorph is a taller, thinner build with minimal extra fat. High
jumpers are normally this body type so they do not have as much weight
to get over the high jump bar.
Skill related fitness
Ÿ Agility is the ability to quickly change direction. This could be
used in a football match to shake off an opponent and keep the ball.
Ÿ Balance is the ability to hold a static balance. This could be used
in gymnastics to hold a position on the bar.
Ÿ Co-ordination is the ability to move two parts of your body at the
same time or line up two parts of your body. For example, a goalkeeper
would need to move both hands in the flight path of the football as
quick as he could.
Ÿ Power is the ability to move from a static position to a run, for
example. This could be used by a one hundred-metre sprinter to get out
of the blocks quickly.
Ÿ Reaction time is the ability to react to a stimuli. For example, the
starting gun in a sprint race.
Ÿ Speed is how fast your muscles can contract.
PLANNING A 6-WEEK TRAINING PROGRAMME
ü Establish personal details about the performer through a
questionnaire. (See Fig.1)
ü Using the above information, and FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time,
Time) plan a training programme.
ü Decide what aspects of the performer need improving
o E.g. more upper body strength
o Speed and agility
Method for Planning A Training Programme
I decided to design a 6-week training programme for myself. The
training program will be specific for rugby. I am a keen sportsman
who likes a variety of sports all throughout the year. I do not keep
myself fit through a training programme, but I do play a lot of sport
throughout the week that keeps my reasonably fit.
I have to take into account that I don’t like repetitive exercises. To
avoid this I have suggested that I only do the same exercise every 3
or 4 days. I will also have a rest on a Monday and Thursdays for
This is what I did during the 4-weeks that I was recording my
C1=Circuit 1, C2=Circuit 2
E.g. R60 = rugby for 60 minute
In P.e. Ect.
The 4-week training program
in the table above is a story of what
exercises I have done in that time.
I have decided to alter my training program. I have done this so that
I can improve my rugby fitness and skills.
For this I have added in some circuits, Circuit 1 and Circuit 2.
« Press ups
« Triceps bench dips
« Step ups
« Sit ups
This circuit should improve my general fitness and muscular endurance
but has no effect on my rugby skills so is not specific to my sport.
The next circuit will be more related to rugby.
¥ Pass a ball to hit a target
¥ Tackle a partner or tackle bag
¥ Press ups
¥ Bench press (max weight, min reps)
Fartlek training is also very important to a rugby player so that
could be added into my training program but I will add it in at a
C1=Circuit 1, C2=Circuit 2
E.g. R60 = rugby for 60 minute
In P.e. Ect.
This change in training program was very good as I now feel a lot
fitter and my contribution to the rugby team was substantially
Personal Fitness Questionnaire
Reasons for wanting to get fitter …………………
Any Injuries (Current) ……………………………
What sport/s do you play? ……………………………
How fit do you feel today? . Low
fitness/Medium fitness/Fit/ Very fit
Any health problems? …………………………………
Any likes/dislikes in exercise? ………………………