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Vincent bess



Create a video demonstrating your understanding of sports conditioning training. The video portion of your final exam should be completed within the following guidelines:

  • Introduce yourself by name, school, or association that you work for, etc.
  • Identify the athlete and sport you are coaching and the athlete's position in the training cycle.
  • Introduce the layout of the training program and then begin training. (NOTE: Training should be specific for the athlete?s needs.)
  • Walk through training techniques with both verbal explanation and physical demonstration.
  • Include both a warm-up and cool-down routine with both verbal explanation and physical demonstration.

If you cannot do a video you can write a 1,500 word (3 page) essay on what would have been done in the video itself.


Designing an exercise program requires a basic knowledge of the


effects of exercise on the body. The basic principles of training are


similar for beginning exercisers and those more experienced. Both


subject themselves to an exercise stress and their bodies respond


by increasing physical fitness. For example, the beginner?s program


might include a brisk walk or bike ride, while a serious athlete might


bench press 300 lb or run 60-seconds for 400-meters. Stress and


adaptation are the same in anyone who exercises, whether they are


a world-class athlete or college student trying to improve their


physiologic condition. Fitness improves by giving the body an


unaccustomed exercise stress such as walking instead of sitting,


lifting a heavier weight, running faster or farther, or stretching a


muscle more than usual. The body adapts to the stress by improving


its function. In the late 1940?s, Dr. Hans Selye (1907-1982), an AustrianHungarian endocri-nologist, formulated the theory of stress


adaptation that has profoundly affected medicine, and has


tremendous implications in conditioning for physical activity and


sports. Selye called the process of stress adaptation the ?General


Adaptation Syndrome? (GAS). He described three processes


involved in response to a stressor (a stressor can be exercise, cold,


or bacteria that upsets the body?s balance): General adaptation syndrome: Theory developed by Dr. Hans


Selye describing the way the body reacts and adapts (or fails to


adapt) to physical and emotional stresses.


1. Alarm reaction


2. Resistance development


3. Exhaustion


The alarm reaction is the initial response to the stressor. This


process involves the mobilization of the organism. During exercise,


for example, the body reacts to the stress by breathing harder,


sweating, and increasing the heart rate. The alarm reaction disturbs


the normal physiologic response patterns or the body?s ?internal?


system of checks and balances.


Alarm reaction: Initial response to a stressor; responsible for


mobilizing an organism.


The resistance development stage is an attempt to adjust to the


effects of the stressor. The body improves its function so the


stressor becomes less disruptive to the harmony of the body?s


normal physiological functioning. For example, when lifting weights,


muscles get larger (hypertrophy) so that the load becomes less


stressful. Resistance development is the goal of physical


conditioning. The body only adapt if the stress load disrupts the


body?s balance. During exercise, if the stress is below a critical


intensity, then fitness will not improve. Inability to tolerate the


training load makes one more prone to injury.


Resistance development stage: Second stage of the general


adaptation syndrome (GAS) during which the body actively attempts


to adjust to the effects of a stressor.


The amount and intensity of exercise necessary to improve fitness


depends on fitness, age, health, mental outlook, and a number of


unknown factors. For example, running a ten-minute mile may be


exhausting to a sedentary overweight 40-year old, but would cause essentially no adaptive response in a


world-class distance runner. Likewise, a training run tolerated easily


one day may be completely inappropriate on a day following a


prolonged illness, or an 8-hour entrance examination for one of the


allied-health professions. Environment also can alter performance.


Extreme heat or cold, high altitude, or polluted air will decrease




If the stress is too great, then the person enters the third stage of


GAS called the stage of exhaustion. This stage is an excessive


stress that causes injury. The stress can be acute (applied all at


once) or chronic (occurring over a period of time). Examples of acute


exhaustion include fractures, sprains, and strains. Chronic


exhaustion is more subtle and includes over-training, stress


fractures, and emotional stress.


Stage of exhaustion: Third stage of the general adaptation


syndrome (GAS) in which the organism can no longer resist stress. PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING


Five important factors influence how the body adapts to the stress of


exercise. These include (1) the degree of overload (how hard to push


yourself), (2) specificity of training (training to make the body to


adapt), (3) individual differences (genetics), (4) progression


(taking it one step at time), and (5) reversibility (use it or lose it).


Specificity of training: Body reacts uniquely to the nature of a




Individual differences: People respond differently to the same




Progression: People adapt best to training when there increasing


levels of difficulty in a training program.


Reversibility: Fitness gains will disappear if the stress of exercise is




THE OVERLOAD PRINCIPLE The basis of the General Adaptation Syndrome is that stressing the


body to a tolerable limit promotes adaptation and improves


function. This positive stressor is an overload, quantified according


to load, repetition, rest, and frequency. Load refers to the


intensity of the exercise. Repetition refers to the number of times a


load is administered. Rest refers to the time interval between


repetitions, and frequency is the number of training sessions per


week. For example, in weight training, one might do 3 sets of 8


different exercises with a weight you can barley lift for 10 repetitions


(load and repetition), with 1-minute between each set (rest). This


might be done workout 3 times a week (frequency). The nature of


overload in an exercise program is not an exact science. Start


conservatively and build up. The overload is excessive if an injury


occurs, if recovery is poor, or if the athlete becomes exceedingly


sore. The personal trainer must be part scientist and part artist


when designing a program that promotes fitness but prevents injury


and soreness.


Load: Resistance or weight used during the exercise.


Repetition: Number of times you repeat the exercise.


Rest: Amount of time you spend not exercising between sets or




Frequency: Number of times you train in a given period.




The body adapts specifically to the stress of exercise. For example,


the adaptation to distance running or swimming differs from that of


strength exercise such as weight lifting, and from power exercises


such as sprinting. Any training program should reflect the desired


adaptation. Train in a way so the body adapts to that method of




Doing the wrong type of training can impair certain types of fitness.


For example, training for strength and endurance at the same time


interferes with strength development. This is not a problem for a


person who exercises for improved health and appearance. It is, however, an important consideration for the person who wants to


develop maximum strength and power. Sports skills are highly specific. Scientists discovered that movement skills become ingrained in the


nervous system and are ?played back? by reflex (see section 4.2). The aim of practice and coaching is to


ingrain the correct motion; practicing incorrect motions develops the wrong patterns in the nervous


system and produces incorrect movement patterns. The more a person practices a movement (up to a


certain point on a learning curve), the more it reinforces the skill in the nervous system. It is imperative,


therefore, that athletes practice only correct movements (i.e., good technique). As discussed in Section


4.2 of the course, providing videotape feedback to show athletes their weaknesses and help them


improve their technique is one of the most effective ways to improve performance on the playing field. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Anyone watching the Olympics, professional football game, or tennis match can readily see that from a


physical standpoint, not all individuals are created equal. There are large individual differences in ability


to perform and learn sports skills and respond to training . Genetic factors limit capacity to develop


fitness and skill. Anyone can improve if they stay on a systematic program. Genetics also apply to health and wellness. Some people are genetically ?healthier? than others. Their


immune systems naturally fight disease better than other people, and are less susceptible to coronary


heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. An individual may be fortunate enough to have a family history of


longevity and freedom from many diseases, but lifestyle is far more important in determining health and


well-being. Finding athletic talent in children is difficult but not impossible. Research shows that the top 1% of


athletes during school years tend to be the top athletes in college and beyond. The majority of athletes


who make it as college or professional athletes are difficult to predict based on childhood performance. Exceptional athletes such as Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth were not standouts as young children. Jordan


was cut from the sophomore basketball team. Finding genetically gifted athletes who are in high school


or college is less difficult. The closer athletes get to full maturation, the easier it is to find superior


performers. Many of the fitness tests in Section 4.1 are excellent for determining different types of


athletic talent. In general, if an athlete wants to compete at a specific level (high school or college team,


professional team, Olympic team), he or she should have the comparable fitness of those athletes. PROGRESSION Adaptation to the stress of training occurs most readily when the exercise stress is applied gradually.


High levels of fitness require many years of training and involve progression in small stages. Superior


fitness and physical performance represent a combination of many small gains. No person can become


fit overnight?only gradually, one step at a time. REVERSIBILITY This principle basically states, ?Use it, or lose it.? It is the reverse of the overload principle. The body


adapts to the stresses placed upon it. More intense training improves fitness; fitness declines if one does


less. A graphic example of reversibility occurs when one wears a cast for a broken bone. When the


doctor removes the cast, the arm or leg is smaller than before. This occurs because the muscles atrophy


(get smaller) from relatively prolonged physical inactivity. In addition to these four major principles, four additional training principles are noteworthy. VARIATION: The body adapts quickly to an exercise stress such as walking, cycling, or swimming. Gains in


fitness in a particular activity become more difficult with time. Varying the kinds of exercises in the


person?s program allows them to adapt to many types of exercise and creates physical fitness in a variety


of activities. RECUPERATION: Rest is just as important as exercise for improving fitness. Fitness reflects an adaptation


to the stress of exercise. Building fitness involves


a series of exercise stresses, recuperation, and adaptation leading to improved fitness followed by


further stresses. Build rest into the training program rather than as an excuse not to exercise. Fuel the Activity Good nutrition, including rehydration and resyn-thesis of liver and muscle carbohydrate stores, is part of


optimal recuperation from exercise. Eat enough calories to support the exercise program without gaining


body fat. Many studies show that consuming carbohydrates and protein before or after exercise


promotes restoration of stored fuels to enable the person to continue to exercise intensely after only a


brief rest period. Have Fun Choose exercises and sports the person enjoys. Some people like to play competitive tennis, golf, or


volleyball. Others like the more solitary activities such as jogging, walking, or swimming. Still others like


high skill individual sports such as skiing, surfing, or skateboarding. Many activities people get fit, so


choose the ones they enjoy. Exercise and sports help build a social support network when done with


friends, spouse, or relatives. DEVELOP YOUR BODY TO SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE The human body is extremely adaptable. Determine what the athlete wants from an exercise program


and then mold his or her body in that direction. If the goal is health promotion, and the person does not


want to begin a formal exercise program, include more activity?walking, gardening, and waxing the car


?in daily life. If they have more lofty fitness goals, determine the elements that will help achieve them. Many people want to improve performance in recreational sports. If the sports require more endurance,


concentrate on the oxidative energy system and endurance exercise. If they want to be a better tennis or


volleyball player, they must not only develop skill, but must improve muscle power and general


endurance. If they mainly are interested in improving appearance, they must develop a healthy diet and


exercise strategy that helps to reduce body fat and maintain or gain lean body mass. Skeletal muscle is highly adaptable. If it is over-loaded?loaded more than usual?it becomes stronger.


Likewise, if it becomes deconditioned by habitually contracting less forcefully than normal, it becomes


weaker. Strength gains occur by increasing muscle size, improving nervous system transmission to


muscles, and coordinating muscle elasticity with muscle contraction. Athletes derive the most from their program if they follow the seventeen principles of training. These


principles serve as a guide to gradual, long-lasting, injury-free fitness development, and lead to improved


performance with minimal risk of injury. They also serve as a guide to gradual and long-lasting fitness




1.Train the way the person wants their body to change.


2.Eat a well-balanced, high performance diet.


3.Establish realistic goals. 4.Have a workout plan.


5.Train year round.


6.Get in shape gradually.


7.Do not train when ill or seriously injured.


8.Train first for volume (repetitions) and only later for intensity (weight/resistance).


9.Listen to the body.


10.Vary the volume and intensity of workouts.


11.Work on weaknesses


12.Train systematically.


13.Warm-up and cool-down


14.Train the mind to focus.


15.Listen to ?Coach Pain.?


16.Learn all that is possible about exercise. 17.Have fun! Keep proper perspective. 201 A Closer Look at the Principles of Training






This means stress the body so it changes in the desired way. If the


person is primarily concerned with general fitness, choose a wellrounded program that concentrates on the major muscle groups.


The program should include endurance and flexibility exercises


besides the weight training routine.


This is the most important training principle. The body adapts to


stress in a highly specific way. For example, swimming will not


improve endurance for running or cycling. Likewise, if one lifts


weights, they will not become a better football player, discus


thrower, skier, or swimmer unless they practice the sport. The best


way to improve performance in a sport is to practice that particular


sport. Performance eventually improves with support exercises for weight


training, power exercises, and endurance training. However,


improvement occurs only if one practices the skill correctly and


incorporates new fitness gains (i.e., strength, power, flexibility,


endurance) into it.


The principle of specificity should be the central consideration in


any training program designed to improve skilled performance. Skill


practice in activities such as tennis, skiing, discus throwing, football,


and softball should be a central part of the program. Support


activities designed to improve physical capabilities?strength,


power, and endurance?remain secondary to skill development.


Physical support activities (e.g., strength and power training) must


be consistent and long-term. Lifting weights for two-months before


football or track season is practically worthless. The increased


strength will not transfer that rapidly to motor performance. If it


does, the effect is minimal at best. In contrast, a support program


that develops high levels of fitness over a protracted time can be


more effectively integrated into the sport. This will inject greater


strength, power, endurance, and flexibility into movement skills so


performance improves. Another critically important factor about specificity of training is that


weight training, plyometrics, and speed training transfer to motor


skills in skilled athletes better than in novices. The personal trainer


should work on basic skill development in beginners before


emphasizing strength and power. As athletes increase their skills,


they can add more conditioning exercise to improve power. Most sports involve movements using many joints in sequence.


Muscles may contract concentrically (exerts force as it shortens),


eccentrically (exerts force as it lengthens), or statically (stabilizer),


often transferring force from one part of the body to another. For


example, baseball and tennis players drive with their legs and rotate


the hips and spine to increase force exerted by muscles in their upper bodies. Training should include functional exercises that


overload the body in motions that more closely resemble


movements used in sports. Exercises might include unilateral cable


exercises from a standing position, chopping wood (real or


simulated), thrusters (squats combined with military press),


kettlebell exercises, dumbbell swings, Olympic lifts, sled pulling or


pushing, or heavy stone exercises. Summarizing this critical principle of specificity?train the way the


person wants the body to adapt. Support activities designed to


improve power during sports movements create change but very


slowly. The athlete must develop strength, power, endurance, and


flexibility slowly and consistently for integration into new fitness and


sports skills. The bottom line is that improving fitness without


practicing the skill will have little or no effects on sports


performance. Athletes should work on their weaknesses, even if the exercises


necessary to correct them are unpleasant. For example, if they are a


skier, having strong, flexible lower body musculature is more


important than having strong arms and shoulders. Analyze the


athlete?s program. A well-designed program will be more effective


and less time-consuming than a casual or unsystematic one. 2. EAT A WELL-BALANCED, HIGH PERFORMANCE DIET Image During the past 25 years, sports scientists have shown that the right


diet can improve performance and reduce excess body fat. All the


training in the world will not produce a ?great body? if the person consumes too much food. They should eat a sensible, nutritious diet


(one containing a balance of the basic food groups). The diet should


supply enough calories to meet energy needs but still allow athletes


to control their weight. If they want to lose weight, they should do so


gradually?no more than 2.5 pounds per week. If they are training hard, they should eat more


carbohydrates and fewer saturated fats and trans fatty acids. The


diet should be high in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.


Foods containing monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts, and


avocados should also be included.




As discussed, improved fitness occurs when the body adapts to the


stress of vigorous exercise. Based on the specificity of training,


attaining goals will reflect the nature of the exercise stress, in this


case the training program. Goals should reflect capability and


motivation. First-year track and field athletes should not set a goal


of being Olympic champions. Rather, they should set achievable short-term goals. If they continue achieving a series of goals, they


may eventually reach the dream of the Olympics. Goal setting is


discussed in Section 8 of the course dealing with sports psychology.


Set achievable short-term goals. A beginning tennis player might set


a goal of keeping a rally going for ten strokes. A beginning golfer


might set a short-term goal of putting the ball in two strokes on 25%


of the holes. A beginning runner might set a goal of completing a 6mile fun-run. A more accomplished athlete may set more difficult


goals ranging from running a sub 6-minute mile to making the


Olympic team. The principle is the same for everyone?set


achievable goals. After they achieve them, reevaluate the program


and set new goals. The new goal might be to maintain the present


level, or it could be to achieve a higher level of performance.


The personal trainer is a critical link for goal setting in athletes and


clients. They should help them set goals the person can achieve. Set


small training goals such as improving 1-inch in the vertical jump or


bench-pressing 10 more pounds. When athletes develop the habit of


working for and achieving short-term goals, they soon will be


achieving goals they never thought possible. More importantly, they


will begin to internalize goal-setting behavior. This is critical for longterm success in sport or in life.




Teach athletes to write down their goals and method of achieving


them. If you are working with overweight clients, they should not


just wish to look good in their bathing suits next summer. They


should write down a program for achieving their goals. For example,


if a woman wants to lose 20 pounds of body fat and increase muscle


mass, set up a realistic program for achieving her goal. A sensible


approach might be to lose 1 pound per week and strive to go to the


gym 3 times a week. She might achieve her goal by cutting down on


desserts and fats and devoting 60 minutes a day to aerobic exercise


and weight training.


Contrast this method to a more casual approach. It is January and


she is tired of looking bad in her swimsuit during the summer. She


wants to reduce 20 pounds of fat but has no plan. She exercises and diets from time-to-time but makes no progress because she is


inconsistent in her exercise regimen. Soon, May comes around and


she looks the same as she did in the wintertime. Feeling self-pity


and disappointment, she undertakes a crash weight loss and


exercise program. In spite of great pain and suffering, she fails to


meet her goal and ends up wearing a baggy T-shirt to the beach.


In setting up a good workout plan, analyze the elements necessary


for achieving a clients? goal. For example, if he wants to be a better


skier, he must practice skiing and develop good endurance,


strength, power, and flexibility. During the off-season, he would


systematically improve his physical fitness. Once the ski season


comes around, shift emphasis to skill development and try to


maintain fitness.


The football player should follow a similar procedure. After the


football season, begin a program designed to gain muscle mass and


improve power output capacity. Establish a resistance training


program to stress the body?s major muscles. Perform flexibility and


endurance exercises to improve overall fitness. In the spring,


integrate more power training into the program with plyometrics


and speed exercises. During the summer, shift the training emphasis


to maintaining strength and maximizing power, speed, and skill.


Contrast this systematic approach with the more common crash


weight training program started two months before the football


season. The athlete might gain strength, but there is little


improvement in power, speed, or football skills. The athlete wasted


the two critical months before the season doing exercises that


should have been done during the winter.


Keep a training diary. This is the best way of insuring a systematic


program. Athletes should write down their programs for the next 4


to 6 weeks and follow their progress in the diary. Tell the athlete to


carry it with them to all workouts. Record body weight, feelings each


day, exercises (sets, reps, time), morning heart rate, and


performances (scores of tennis match, times of intervals, vertical


jump distance). Athletes should write down tentative workouts in the


training diary for the next 6-weeks. Also, write down a rough workout plan for the next year. Writing down the plan in the training


diary will help athletes get where they want next month and next




The training diary is an important part of being consistent in


workouts. Training diaries are essential to anyone serious about


fitness?regardless of whether they are serious athletes or


individuals who want to improve their fitness.




Athletes who take too much time off from their exercise program will


lose the gains they have made. They also may be more susceptible


to injury if they attempt to get back in shape too rapidly. Establish a


year-round program; have specific goals and procedures for each


period of the year?and encourage the athlete to stick to them.


Make sure athletes have alternative training plans for inclement


weather or when there is restricted access to a weight room or


playing field. For example, if they are on a trip, they can substitute


calisthenic-type exercises?push-ups and knee bends?for...


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