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How do athletes train for improved performance?

What are the planning considerations for improving performance?
What ethical issues are related to improving performance?


Strength training

Resistance training (elastic, hydraulic)

Weight training (plates, dubmells)

Isometric training

Training improves:
- Skill acquisition (technique)
- Fitness levels (energy production)
- Stress tolerance (ie: adapt to lactic acid work anaerobically for longer)
Strength is the maximal force generated by a muscle group

Goals of strength:
- Improving muscular endurance
- Increasing power
- Increasing strength
- Increasing body mass (bulk)
- Increasing muscle tone

Gains can only be made when:
- Exercise specific: adaptations will only occur in parts of the body that are
stressed by that exercise
- Overload principle: muscle hypertrophy can only occur when the muscle is
forced to lift weights heavier than customary weight
Resistance training: any exercise in which muscles contract against an external
resistance with the aim of increasing strength, muscle size or muscular endurance
- (e.g. elastic bands, hydraulics, weight machines or free weights)

Elastic Resistance: greatest resistance occurs at the end of the movement when there
is more tension on the band.
- Advantages; easy to transport good for rehab, incorporates core muscles
- Disadvantages; need good technique, incorrect technique could lead to injury

Hydraulic (isokinetic): greater resistance is achieved by a faster speed of execution
- Advantages; increase muscle strength and size, decrease body fat, very useful
for rehab (load can be monitored) doesnt need proper technique), good for
beginners, eliminates injury potential.
- Disadvantages; expensive (limited access), cant transport, not sports specific
Weight Training (isotonic): exercises that rely on gravity for resistance. Resistance
varies throughout exercise.
- Advantages: actions can be sports specific, reasonable cheap and accessible.
- Disadvantages; only works agonist not antagonist muscles, needs good
technique (injury), often needs spotters.

+ Additional information: Overload techniques

Aerobic training

Continuous / uniform


Long interval
Isometric: Joint angle remains constant and there us no lengthening of the muscle
- E.g. plank

- Builds stability
- good for recovery/rehab
- safer
- no equipment needed

- Strength gains only apparent at angle at which resistance is held
- Not specifc to most sports
- Working muscle groups with different exercises from different angles on any
one training day

- Exercising to isolate and fatigue a muscle with a more complex exercise
Aerobic energy system
- circulates 02 around the body to make energy (resynthesis of ATP in presence
of 02)
- Long, slow distance training
- Approx. 70% MHR (220-age = MHR)
- 55-60% VO2 MAX (max volume of 02 the body can take in during high intensity

- High intensity
- 90%+ MHR
- 80-90% VO2 MAX
- Approx. 25-50mins
- Swedish name for speed play
- Incorporates variation in: pace / terrain (eg. uphill, downhill, stairwork)
- (eg. 15min cycle with 10 reps high intensity spurts for 30-60 secs)
- 85%+ MHR
- 70% V02 MAX

Examine the types of training methods and how they best suit specific
performance requirements

Design a training program

Describe how training adaptations can be measured and monitored

Identify safe and potentially harmful training procedures

Anaerobic training (power and speed)

- Periods of work interspersed with periods of recovery
- 1:1 (work : recovery)
- Approx. 2-5mins per interval > 4-8 repetitions
It is essential to monitor and measure adaptation indicators from specific programs
to analyse improvements.
A coach must ensure tests are:
specificdesigned to assess an athletes fitness for the activity in question
validtest what they propose to test
reliableproduce a consistent result irrespective of the tester

Types of fitness tests:
- Illinois agility test = agility
- Stork stand = balance
- Sit ups = muscular endurance
- Chin ups or flexed arm hang = muscular endurance
- Grip test = strength
- Skin fold test = body comp
- Ruler drop = reaction time
- Ball toss = coordination
- 40 m sprint = speed
- Vertical jump or basketball throw = power
- Sit and reach = flexibility
- Beep test = max VO2
Appropriate warm-up / cool-down Train without adequate checks and
Correct technique Overload too quickly
Correct equipment Using contradicted exercises:
- Ballistic stretches (jerky,
uncontrolled, untrained)
- Hyperextension
- Hyperflexion
- Joint impingement
(can result in pinched nerves)
Plans for adverse weather (environments)
Ensure adequate training before proceeding
further (PO)
Ensuring adequate water availability and
hydration breaks
Monitor injuries tape, support upon return
Adequate protective equipment
(mouth guards, shin pads)
In warm conditions: protective, reflective,
breathable clothing (incl. hat, sunscreen)
In cool conditions: warm clothes (e.g. surfing=

Developing power through resistance/weight training


Short interval

Flexibility training


Power training: enables athlete to apply greatest amount of their maximal strength in
shortest period of time

- Power = (force x distance) / time
- Speed = distance / time
- Type of power training must be sports specific
- Develop fast-twitch muscle fibres > explosive strength
- Safety (and suitability) must always be considered (technique, environ, warm
up/cool down)
- Refer to power pyramid (ie: reps must be performed fast)
- Resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls
- Build power, speed, improve coordination and agility
- Involves high-intensity muscular contractions that invoke the stretch reflex
(stretching muscle to limit to contract with greater force)
02 debt places stress on body and causes adaptations (esp, cardiovascular system):
- Capillarisation
- Strengthening heart muscles
- Improved 02 uptake
- Improved lactate threshold
- Improved endurance

- Circuits ( ^ mobility)
- Interval running
- Involves maximizing ROM and stability of muscles

- Improved blood flow in muscles
- Lower risk of injury competing / training
Moving a limb to end of ROM and loading in stretched position 15-60 sec
- Improves circulation
- Prepares muscles for activity
- Decreases chance of tearing / tendon stretching

Good for cool down phase to decrease DOMS by ridding body of lactic acid buildup
from exercise

- Quad stretch = runner


*Additional info: PNF stretching

Skill training

Drills practices

Modified games and small games

Games for specific outcomes (Decision-making, tactical awareness)
Performing functional-based exercises which use sport or traditional movement
patterns to prepare body for movement

- Leg / arm swings = swimmer

Uses momentum of moving body / limb in attempt to force it beyond usual ROM
through bouncing motion
- Involves fast, jerky movements
- Questionably hazardous > possible damage to muscle reflex
- Only used by elite with supervising trainer

Example: lower back/hamstrings = surfer
Stand upright with legs straight. Bend over and repeatedly reach down and relax.

Muscle group stretched under tension, then contracted for several seconds > partner
applies resistance to inhibit movement = more effective
- Helps maximize ROM
- Prepares body for movement
Skills must be specific, RECALL
- KNOWING: cognitive skill (knowing what to do)
- FEELING: associative - perceptual skill (practice)
- DOING: autonomous psychomotor skill (smooth, coordinated actions)
Drills replicate actual skills > can be boring if done for extended periods (variation

Example: kicking and passing between players = soccer
Skills are put into different activities (mimic) > replicates game skills, pressure, fun
- Improve skill focus
- Good for reduced space
- Increase player opportunity for involvement (all players of team can play)

Example: half-court game = netball


Initial planning considerations

Performance and fitness needs (individual, team)

Schedule of events / competitions
- Increased decision-making, use of time / space, force
- Applies specifically to aspects of actual game

- External factors may influence specific outcome (game plan) > uncontrollable

Example: transitions between offence and defence in hockey half-court
- Need analysis: evaluate where current athlete stands in relation to where they
want to be (SWOT analysis)

Basic principles of training:

- moving from simple complex (easy hard)
- training adaptions accumulate over time at different rates
- Influenced by consistency / effort / recovery
- Required to continue to develop athletes - ^volume, ^intensity
- Varied intensity, volume, time, time, duration (FITT)
- To continue adaptions and reduce boredom
- Fitness, skill, tactics must be developed in context of overall performance (not
- Assess requirements of sport
- Athletes current ability to meet requirements (fitness / skill level)
- SWOT analysis
- Goals

Structure of training sessions:
- Safe
- Relevant
- Well balanced
- Allows practice and improvement
- Familiar routine (variety and flexibility)

Climate and season

Planning a training year (periodisation)

Phases of competition (pre-season, in-season, off-season phases)
Affected by:
- Competition structure
- Phases of competition
- Special season events
- Resource availability
- Motivations and attitudes of athletes
- Demands of sport
- Climate
- Risk of hypothermia, dehydration
- Increased air radiation, UV rays
- Metabolism of glycogen energy for endurance events
- Aerobic capacity by 3% / 300m above 1500m

- ^lung ventilation as ^ demand for O2 deeper breaths
- ^erythropoietin production ^RBC growth ^hemoglobin = ^O2 carrying
- ^ capillarisation of muscle cell & elevated concentration of oxidative enzymes
in blood

Plans should include:
- Possible variations (ie: adverse weather) = alternate venues considered and
booked in advance (eg. gyms, pools, indoor courts)
- Considerations whether training conditions are similar to those theyll
compete in

Examples to cope with weather (acclimatisation altitude):
- Train indoors (air con)
- Arrive at venue early (get used to it)
- More fluid
- Change uniform
- Shorten sessions

Sub phases (macro and microcycles)

- High intensity, low volume
- Aim: improvement
- 6-12wks before start of season/comp
- Predominant energy systems used in the sport are ^to max capacity
- Sport-specific skill training is intensified

- Aim: Maintain fitness, strength, skills developed during pre-season
- Increased emphasis on game-like skills and strategic development
- Practice involving opposition
- Sufficient volume / intensity to maintain strength and endurance throughout
the season
- Games and game-like practices allows less emphasis on aerobic capacity and
strength-conditioning training
- Drills with components of game skills and fitness important

- Low intensity, high volume
- Aim: active recovery avoid reversibility
- Prevent weight gain
- Maintain aerobic fitness base
- Maintain strength
- Maintain reasonable skill level
- Repair injuries
- Recuperate physically and mentally
- Planning the training
- Planning for peak performance
- Division of the training year into smaller phases

- Annual plan that works towards peaking
- Broken down into phases
- (ie) pre-season (prep), in-season (comp), off-season (transistion)

- Breakdown of macrocycles phases into smaller blocks
- Designed to achieve specific goals
- (eg) 12 weeks = 2 x 6weeks [ basic conditioning specific conditioning ]

- Smaller training period (ie: 7-10 days)
- More detailed info on intensity, frequency, duration, sequencing (components)


Sports-Specific Sub-phases (fitness components, skill requirements)
Using training techniques so that a player reaches their optimum state of readiness to

- Physical
- Mental
- Emotional

Characterised by:
- Good health
- Adaptability to training
- Quick recovery
- Functional synergism
- Extreme efficiency
- Adaptability to stress
- Self-confidence
- High motivation and aspirations
- Reduce training volume and intensity prior to competition (7-10days before

- rebuild tissue
- ^VO2 max
- ^muscular strength
- Blood lactate levels
- Heal minor injuries (rebuild tissues)
- soreness
- Replenish glycogen stores and hydration

Elements to be considered when designing a training session
Preparation phase (pre-season training):
- 1
: general conditioning program
- 2
: emphasis on specific requirements of sport and skill / strategy practices

Competition phase:
- emphasis on skill / strategy development
- continuing specific conditioning for the sport

Planning to avoid overtraining

Health and safety considerations
- Equip and facilities should be safe and well-maintained
- Coaching methods based on safe practices (incl. weather considerations)

Training session sections:
1. Overview
- Psychologically prepare athletes
- Explain session objectives / activities and effectively instruct

2. Warm up
- Prepare physically / mentally for demands of session
- Increases in intensity (light sweat is good indicator)
- Includes stretching

3. Cool down
- 5-10mins + stretching removes waste products and gradually brings body back
to resting levels

4. Skill instruction / practice
- Coach briefly explains session and drills
- Drills are practiced

5. Conditioning
- 15-20mins (eg. pushups, weights)

6. Evaluation
- Coach and players reflect on training objectives and session performances
- Discuss intensity, next training session, upcoming comps
- Result of excessive training loads without sufficient recovery can take up to
6months to recover
- Results in reduced performance and inability to train fully
- Overreaching: recovery several days > 1
stage of overtraining


Use of drugs
Amount and intensity of training
Under-recovery can result from:
- High frequency comps
- Repetitive training
- 3hrs+ per day
- 30% increase load per week
- 2+ training days in succession
- No rest days / unloading period

Acute training stress
- Normal training fatigue
Unaccustomed exercise
- Overstrain
3-5 days
Training overload
- Overload fatigue
5-7 days with reduced training
Excessive training load
- Short term: overreaching
- Long term: overtraining

10-14 days
28+ days

Physiological considerations (e.g. Lethargy and injury)

Possible symptoms:
- Excessive sweating
- Elevated resting HR and submaximal HR
- Female menstrual irregularities
- Earlier training fatigue
- More frequent sickness (cols, sore throats)
- Weight loss
- Delayed training recovery
- Loss of appetite (stomach upsets, nausea, headaches)
- Disturbed sleep
- Decreased performance
- Thirst
Psychological considerations (e.g. Loss of motivation)
- Lack of concentration / distraction
- Reduced self-esteem
- Tension / anxiety
- Restlessness / irritability
- Boredom
- Lethargy
- Reduced motivation (unenthusiastic)

Dangers of performance enhancing drug use (physical effects, loss of reputation,
sponsorship and income)

- Focus of all athletes = improving performance
- Increasing number of elite athletes being caught out through drug testing
- It has been speculated its rare for anyone to win gold medals without taking
performance-enhancing substances

Ethical considerations:
- Fair play vs cheating
- Drug use for personal success or because sport is big business

Common reasons for performance-enhancing drug use
- Building muscle
- Dulling pain
- Reducing weight
- Lowering stress
- Masking other substances
Physical effects
- Muscles bigger
- Recover from hard training sessions quicker
- Increase blood volume and 02 carrying capacity
- Reduce pain
- Speed up / slow down CNS
- Aggressive feelings = appealing

Loss of reputation
- Many athletes are considered as role models
- Illegal drug use = athletes lose respect from peers
- Spectators may be vilified by media = affect athletes phycology

Loss of sponsorship / income
- Millions of dollars invested by gov and sponsors in sport
- Suspicion of illegal drug use may tarnish sports reputation
- Honest competitors may also lose income
+Additional information: Types of drugs
For strength (HGH, anabolic steroids)
Drug / Method Description Advantages Disadvantages
- Synthetic derivative
of testosterone
- Androgenic effect
- Strength and power
- Muscle building
improved recovery =
athletes train harder
and longer

Reduce body fat

Promote increased
aggression =
competitiveness of

- Liver dysfunction
- Cancer
- Infertility
- Shrinking testes
- Menstrual dysfunction
- Acne
- Heart problems
Analgesics - Depress CNS
- Reduce pain
- Reduce
- Can be used in most
- Reduces pain
- Liver problems
- Mask real injuries
- Slow healing process
- Often used without
medical advice
Beta-blockers - Reduce HR
- Commonly used in
common usage:
shooting sports
- Calming effect
(reduces adrenaline)
- Decreased HR
- Decreased BP
- Drowsiness
Blood-doping - Increased blood
- Increased 02
carrying capacity
- Common use:
endurance events
- Increases the number
of red blood cells in
the body = carry more
oxygen to the muscles
- Blood incompatibilities
- Disease transmission
- Blood infection
- Air embolism
- Blood clot
- Decreased training
after blood removed
Diuretics - Increased fluid
- Masks steroids
- Common use:
jockeys, boxing
- Mask use of other
- Kidney damage
- Dehydration and
electrolyte loss
- Increased 02
carrying capacity
- Common use:
endurance events
- Allows athletes to
absorb more 02 >
increased ATP
breakdown > more
- Thickens blood (Heart
attack, clots, stroke)
- Disease transmission
- Difficult to determine
correct amount to
Human Growth
Hormone (HGH)
- Decreased body fat
- Increases size,
strength, power
Improved recovery
time = train harder
and more often

Increases RBCs =
more 02

Boosts heart function

Stimulates breakdown
of fat = more energy

Strengthen bones
through bone growth

Increased muscle size
through protein

- Similar to anabolic
- Acromegaly (enlarged
- Increased risk of heart
- Adverse, irreversible
effects on growth

For aerobic performance (EPO)

To mask other drugs - avoid detection (diuretics, alcohol)

Benefits and limitations of drug testing

What are the pros and cons of drug testing?

+Additional information

Muscle size = additional strength for athlete > advantage over competitors

Eg. EPO > Marathon runner absorb more 02 = increased ATP breakdown = more energy

Drug type Description Advantages Disadvantages

Reduce amount of
fluid in body =
increased urine

Production = reduces
concentration of drugs

Detection of diuretic in
urine test = positive



Electrolyte imbalance

Muscle cramps


Reduced BP

Reduces co-ordination


Cardiac disorders


Diuretic = speeds
up fluid loss

Removed traced of
drugs taken before a

Results in increased

reduced coordination


- Australia Sports Drug Agency (ASADA): responsible for Australian drug testing
- World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA): international authority

Drug testing involves the testing of urine of athletes:
In bulk (large no. of athletes at once)
According to finishing positions

- Fair and clean competition
- Promoting good health
- Deterrent (warning to others)
- Expensive
- Drugs often more advanced than testing
- Testing is often random > some avoid

- Level playing field in sport
(reduces cheating)
- Undermines purity of competition
- Stops athlete from taking drugs =
- Invasion of privacy
- Makes athlete feel like criminal
- Unjust or failure
- Drugs often more advanced than testing
- Genetic engineering may not be really testable
- Policies differ between sports
- Considerable issues regarding athletes under
18 to be drug tested if they belong to a
national team

Use of technology
Training innovation (lactate threshold testing, biomechanical analysis)
Timing of drug testing:

- ASADA (Australian anti-doping authority): allows under 18s to be tested if they
belong to a national team > raises considerable issues about parental consent
and mental health of impressionable young athletes
- athletes can be tested anywhere / anytime unless performing a cool down,
another comp, victory ceremony > chaperone stays with athlete during this time

How can the athlete be notified:
- immediately after event, phoned, letter

How does the drug testing occur:
- urine (common)
- blood sample

The sample:
- athlete is the only person who can handle the sample
- the athletes name must be on sample
- if A sample is: negative > B sample isnt tested, positive> B sample is tested to

Consequences of drug use:
- Warnings? Fines? Bans? (1
offence = 4yrs, 2
offence = life in most sports)

Equipment advances (swimsuits, golf ball)

Argue ethical issues related to technology

Technology can be used to correct technique, create resistance, offer support (or
padding) and, thus, improve performance

Examples of technological innovation:
- Clothing (swimsuits)
- Protective equipment (tackle bags, shin pads)
Testing procedures (beep tests, max V02)

HR monitors (for
lactate threshold testing

- Training facilities (indoor pools)
- Rehabilitation equipment (artificial joints)
- Drugs
- Alternative therapies

Positives and negatives of technological innovation
Positives Negatives
Training innovations:
- Makes sport more enjoyable
for player (protective, comfortable)
for public (tighter competition)
- increase B revenue (sponsorship, media
- allows for the disabled (wheelchairs,
- correct / improve techniques
- assess fitness levels more accurately
- Pushing to limit= ^chance of injury
- High technology cost = reduced
access for some athletes
- Increasing pressure to be the best =
performance-enhancing drugs
- Athletes may rely on technology
instead of skill development

Biomechanical analysis
Filming the performance can allow:
- evaluation of performance
- concentrate on specific movements (isolate weaknesses > skills)
- assess opposition performance (strengths / weaknesses)
- planning for future competitions

Lactate threshold testing
- Tool for predicting endurance performance
- The higher the percentage of max VO2 = higher the pace at which lactate
threshold occurs = fitter athlete
- Increases in maximal lactate steady state = usually accompanied by
improvements in race performance (aerobic and anaerobic conditioning)
- reduce risk of injury
- rehabilitates injuries = return sooner
- improved aerodynamics (reduced drag / friction = faster times)

Overall = increased performance

Has technology gone too far?
Hass access to technology created unfair competition?
- Only available to wealthy countries / athletes
- As well, some have increased access to technology due to being more
mainstream and attracting more funding / sponsorship / media profile