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Key Knowledge
 Fitness

training principles including
intensity, duration, frequency, overload,
specificity, individuality, diminishing
returns, variety, reversibility,
maintenance and de-training

Of all the principles of training, specificity is the most important.
Without your training efforts matching what you will need in
your competitive setting, you will be wasting your training time.
 There are four aspects of activity analysis that specificity must
 the predominant energy systems
 the fitness components used
 the muscle groups used
 the skills performed.

It would be silly for a volleyball player to be completing a lot of
continuous training. What would be more appropriate training
for them?

Applying specificity.

Looking at your activity analysis for your activity analysis
identify the specific fitness components/physical
requirements of the sport and list them. E.g muscular power
in legs

Use example in textbook on netball to help you.

Now apply the principal of specificity by selecting an
appropriate fitness tests.

Now list a few suggestions of how to train these fitness
components/physical requirements.

Learning activity: specificity
 Choose four different physical activities, for
 athletics sprinting
 triathlon
 horseback riding (all day)
 downhill running
 water polo
 skateboard riding.
 For each activity, identify specificity in
training for the four categories listed in
Specificity. Discuss your ideas with
members of the class in small groups.

Your turn

Define specificity In your own words.

What is the best way to determine training intensity

What are the HR training zones for
Aerobic Anaerobic ATP-PC systems -

 To

match the athlete’s required use of the three energy
systems, training intensity needs to be at the following levels:


energy system — 95–100 per cent of maximum
heart rate (MHR)
 Anaerobic Glycolysis energy system — 85–95 per cent of
 Aerobic energy system — 70–85 per cent of MHR.
 Therefore,

to improve the phosphate energy system by doing
50-metre sprints, the athlete needs to perform the sprints at
95–100 per cent intensity (maximum effort) or the system is
not trained.

 List

the advantages and disadvantages
of using Max HR and VO2 max to
measure intensity?

Length of training session.
 You will not make fitness gains unless you are
working at the required intensity for at least
20 minutes within a single exercise session.
 For example, this is important for aerobic
training, where improvement requires a
minimum session of 20 minutes with the athlete
operating at 70–85 per cent of their maximum
heart rate. This does not include warm up and
cool down

Duration continued
 Duration

can also refer to the length of
time a training program can run for
to see results.
 To see noticeable improvement in a
fitness component a training program
needs to be 6 weeks minimum in




6 weeks

6 weeks

12–16 weeks

8 weeks


3–7 times per

3–5 times per


70–85 per cent

85–100 per cent


Duration continued
 Flexibility

gains can be made after a
minimum number of sessions as long as
the correct training principles are
followed for this training method.

Duration - Periodisation
 Periodisation

is simply organising a training
program into manageable blocks of time that
 Tapering (reducing training volumes) and
Peaking to ensure prime physiological and
psychological states for major events.
 Macrocycle = Long Term goal e.g Aerobic
conditioning 6 weeks
 Mesocycle = Medium Term e.g 3 weeks
 Microcycle = Short Term 1 week – Specific training

Periodisation example


training sessions a week
Improvement = 3 or
more sessions a week

A key to frequency for anaerobic
training is to have rest days after an
anaerobic session.
 The reason for this is muscle recovery is
important for this type of training.
 A good session may be followed by a poor
one if the individual is not recovered.
 Find a balance between training and

Your turn

What is the minimum time is a training zone for you to see benefits?

What is the minimum number of weeks for a training program to show
measurable gains?

How many times a week should I train for maintenance?

How many times a week should I train to see improvement?

Progressive Overload
 There

can be no improvement in
personal fitness levels without
progressively increasing or overloading
the existing training levels.
 Overload must be done with the FITT
principal in mind.

Progressive overload

should be 1 variable
by not more than

Progressive Overload Must
 Sufficient

overload but not that an
athlete will get injured.
 Maintain the original aim
 Appropriate to the level of fitness of

What we can do to overload
 Increase

the number of repetitions
 Increase the number of sets (FITT?)
 Extra training sessions (FITT?)
 Decrease recovery (FITT?)
 Increase from 75% to 90% efforts
 Increase distances (FITT?)

Choose two separate examples of how we
could overload this training program
 Interval

training session

 Frequency

– 3 x per week
 Intensity – 90% max HR
 Duration – 25 minutes
 Intervals – Work 30 seconds: Rest 60

Examine the figure below and explain
the progress of each of the six subjects
in their application of progressive
overload. Consider:
 For each one has the load been

Too Easy?
Just Right?
Too Hard?
Any other issues?

 Training

can become boring, and the
athlete may drop out of the program if
there is insufficient variety.
 What are some ways we can incorporate
variety into our programs.
 Be careful when incorporating variety to
keep the principle of specificity.

Diminishing Returns
 As

you develop your fitness it becomes
harder to see returns from training.
 At the start you may see quick and big
returns but this will decrease the fitter
you get.
 The fitter individuals are, the less likely
they are to improve further.

 Can

be described as a loss of fitness
when you stop training
 Loss of fitness happens much faster
than gains.
 The longer the training period the longer
it will take to diminish.
 Aerobic degeneration is much faster (24 weeks) then anaerobic degeneration

 Once

a required level of fitness has
been obtained the level of effort
required to maintain that level is not as
much as it took to get there.
 Acquired fitness levels can be
maintained by carefully altering the FITT

 All

individual responses to training will
be highly varied between different