Physiology of exercise and training

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Last updated: April 14, 2019

In this assignment I have set out to design an eight-week training program for a forty year old, sedentary male. The program has been designed to improve general fitness. The program has been written with the assumption that the man in question has no medical conditions that would inhibit the program. The assumption has also been made that he has access to a swimming pool and a bicycle.

The purchase of a heart rate monitor was recommended to the client to aid in the monitoring of time spent in specific training zones.Before the onset of the program, the client could be asked to fill out two questionnaires. One which relates to activity, a physical activity readiness questionnaire (par Q ), and the other which relates to nutrition, a dietary analysis sheet. See Appendix 1 for examples. These questionnaires can give the program designer an idea of the base level at which the program will start, and any recommendations for improvements that should be made to the diet.

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It could also be important for the client to get checked over by their doctor before the onset of the program. This would prevent any conditions that could be aggravated by starting activity from getting worse. Any advice given to the client by their doctor could benefit the program designer by allowing them to design the program to cater for any weaknesses the client might have. For example a client with an upper body injury could still run to maintain their fitness level.It could also be possible to carry out fitness test’s, to establish a clients starting level.

For the client in question a sub maximal test such as the sub maximal bike test would be more appropriate than a maximal test such as a Vo2 max test. The sub maximal bike test would give the program designer an idea of the client’s aerobic fitness level.Tests to determine other factors such as flexibility could also be carried out. There are a number of tests for flexibility, each one specific to a particular area, for example the sit and reach that indicates flexibility in the lower back and hamstring muscle group, the shoulder extension test indicates upper joint flexibility.

A collection of these tests could be carried out periodically through out the program to gauge whether the program was having the desired effect.”Physical fitness is the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time and pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies” (Canadian fitness survey 1978). This statement indicates that a sedentary person will not have as much energy as a physically fit one. This is important to the program designer. There are many benefits from partaking in physical activity, such as, it helps keep you more supple and mobile, strengthens muscles joints and bones, helps your heart to work more efficiently, it improves circulation, helps protect against heart disease, it helps to relieve stress and depression (Health Education board of Scotland, H.E.B.

S, 2003). The client will gain these benefits not only from adhering to the program but by adapting their exercise and eating behaviors”The governments strategy for health, The Health of the Nation has identified the need to change peoples eating and exercise habits in order to prevent disease and meet its targets for good health by the year 2005 (Department of health 1992). This statement shows us that both exercise and nutrition are equally important for the client to improve their general health and fitness.Nutrition is important for people participating in physical activity. The demands put on the body during a training regime are more demanding than if a person is sedentary (Budd 1992).

There are general guidelines for healthy eating these are increase intake of starchy high carbohydrate foods, choose lower fat options, eat more food which is high in fiber, eat less sugar, eat less salt and reduce alcohol intake. (National Coaching Foundation 99). “Fruit and vegetables are high in antioxidants, vitamins which help to maintain the immune system so you stay healthy”(H.

E.B.S, 2002). This statement tells us that fruit and vegetables are also important. General recommendations for this are to consume a minimum of five portions a day. If the client adheres to these guidelines their body will be better prepared for exercise due to it having the correct nutrients this aids it in working efficiently.

Other benefits of a healthy diet are an increase in energy levels, protection against infection and disease. (H.E.B.S, 2002). See Appendix 2. The client should eat small portions often, they should eat in times which agree with the program, Not to close to training as this could can cause cramps when the blood used for digestion is pulled away to working muscles. They should eat within an hour after training, as this is when the body replaces the glycogen stores in the muscles, this aids recovery.

(Cycling weekly Nov 2003). Snacking between meals on fruit and nutrient bars should be encouraged as this can prevent the client from binging on inappropriate snack foods.Hydration is another point that should be pointed out to the client.

When properly hydrated the body works much more efficiently than when suffering even slight dehydration. “Performance can drop as much as 20% if just 2% of water is lost” (N.C.F 99). The client should reduce their intake of beer/ soft drinks, an increase the amount of water they consume. The recommended amount of water for an adult to consume is between 1.

5 liters and 2 liters daily (Egger, Champion, Bolton 1999). Isotonic or electrolyte drinks can boost performance during exercise, they can also aid in recovery. (Journal of sport sciences 1995). This is due to them containing carbohydrate which aids in keeping blood glycogen levels higher than just water, this gives the muscles more fuel. For this reason the client should consume an isotonic drink during and after training.Before training the client will be asked to carry out a warm up. A warm up gets the body ready for exercise. A gradual warm up protects muscles from sudden damage.

(Waterman 2002). A warm up should fulfill two main criteria. Firstly it should provide enough exercise to open the blood vessels that supply the muscles and the skin. Secondly it should put all the muscles and joints the activity will be using through their full range of motion. A warm up can consist of any activity that will raise the heart rate to nearly the same as the activity. An example for this program could be to walk gradually building up the speed until reaching the set training zone. The client should also use dynamic movements such as walking lunges, lifting knees high at the front then back, rotating of joints from the neck down etc.

This should be completed before every session in the program. See appendix 3 for an example of a warm up. This should take no longer than 15 mins.Cooling down after activity is also important.

” There are physiological, psychological and safety reasons for cooling down”(Howley and Franks 1990). This statement indicates cool down should be carried out after each training session. It is recommended for the client in question to carry out a cool down after his training.

A cool down should consist of activity that brings the body back down to its pre exercise levels of heart rate and breathing. This could be reducing the speed of the walk until the heart rate drops out of the training zone, to nearer the resting heart rate. For this program the flexibility aspect of the training will be contained mainly as part of the cool down. Although some dynamic stretches are to be done in the warm up the cool down will also consist of around 15 mins stretching after each training session.

The stretching to be carried out should consist of static stretches for all the major muscle groups in the body. Starting with the calves and working up. ” The aim of post-exercise stretching is lasting elongation of the muscle for injury resistance and improved efficiency”. “The bulk of current literature suggests a stretch should be held from between 30 to 90 seconds” (Verran, Runners World, Jan 2004). This recommendation should be followed in this program.There are 5 main components of fitness these are, cardio vascular, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and body composition. These are all equally important in developing total fitness.

As the starting level of the client in question is very low due to his previous, sedentary life style the focus will be on two of these factors. Cardio vascular and flexibility. The reason for this is to build up a base level of fitness by developing cardio vascular endurance and increasing the range of motion in the joints. When these two components are at a reasonable level the other components could be brought in, this would be out with the eight-week scope of this program. Other reasons are that the clients is just starting out in fitness, to start with a program which covered all of the fitness components could be to strenuous and adherence to such a program could become a problem. Time restraints also play a role the client could have a busy life and fitting in a program for all the components could possibly be to time consuming.”Cardio vascular is pertaining to the heart and blood vessels” (Howley and franks 1992). Cardio vascular fitness is also sometimes referred to as aerobic fitness.

Aerobic exercise is activity that uses large muscle groups such as, walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. There are many benefits form carrying out regular aerobic exercise these include, making the heart stronger, it can lower resting heart rate, a decrease in blood pressure, an improvement in body composition, a decrease in stress levels, an improvement in body image, improved mental state, weight loss if done in conjunction with a healthy diet and an increase in bone density. These benefits can occur from devoting as little as 80 minutes a week. (K.

Cooper).There are guidelines that recommend that aerobic training should be carried out around 3 times a week, for a period of between 20 – 60 minutes, at intensity between 60 to 80% of the clients resting heart rate (Premiere training international 2002). These guidelines will be used as a general guide for the aerobic/ cardio part of this program. Due to the clients low starting level the program will be starting with aerobicTwice a week, for a period of 20 mins and at an intensity of between 60 to 70% (+ or – 5%) of the client’s maximum heart rate. The reason for this is to start the client at a level that will make them feel confident about the program, whereas if it started hard from the start this could have a detrimental effect on motivation.

The other main part of this program is flexibility as mentioned earlier this will be carried out, as a little dynamic stretching in the warm up, and mainly static stretching in the cool down. This will be carried out for around 15 minutes after each session. “Flexibility can be defined as the range of possible movement about a joint or a sequence of joints”(Pollock 1978). Flexibility incorporated into a program can reduce the risk of injury, improve efficiency of movement, and increase the range of movement of joints. This can lead to movements happening quicker, less tightness in muscles post- exercise, equal flexibility in opposing muscle groups, which can decrease weaknesses occurring in muscolotendinous junctions. (Egger, Champion and Bolton 2002). See Appendix 4 for Guidelines for flexibility training. The client should follow these guidelines for this program.

For a training program to effectively develop the client’s fitness certain principles must be applied. These will be looked at individually.Overload is that the physical stress put on the body by the program exceeds the clients normal daily demands. This must be continuous and is necessary for the improvement of fitness. The client in questions normal daily outlay will be low, so it wont take a lot to exceed there training threshold.Training threshold this is the minimum amount of physical activity that will have a training effect.

For example for aerobic work this is generally accepted as being between 20 to 60 minutes of effort in the clients training zone. This has implications for the training program if the exercise isn’t carried out for a duration and intensity that will push the athlete, even a little no benefits will occur.Progression is a structured form of overload.

The body adapts to exercise( and gets used to the demands). So the level of training must get a harder for performance to improve. In this program the progression will be very gradual, to allow the client to adapt from not doing activity, and so as to not put the client of exercise.Rest is an essential part of any program.

This is when the body gets stronger. During this program days that don’t contain a training session will be rest days. Some days could also be used for active rest, doing activities at a lower intensity than those of the program. For Example taking the stairs instead of the lift.Specificity is that training should be specific to the client’s goals, for example training for cycling won’t really improve your swimming a lot. In this program the main aim is to increase general fitness so a variety of activities can be used.

Reversibility, this is basically use it or lose it. If the client stops training there body will eventually resort back to its pre program state. The client should be made aware of this at the onset of the program to deter them from stopping the program. (Egger, Champion and Bolton 2002).

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