Health-related Exercise/Training Programme

I am a 15 year old male student who has naturally high levels of Cardiovascular endurance. I have represented my county, Berkshire, at both cross-country and athletics (1500m.) I have a passion for cross-country, and so am going to use the six week training period in order to increase further my levels of Cardiovascular endurance. I am going to use circuit training in the form of a fitness circuit in order to do this. Using the principals of training, Specificity, Progression, Overload, Reversibility (and Tedium/training,)

I will focus particularly on the Overload section because this is the principal which assures your fitness levels increase rather than level off at a plateau. In order to continue to overload my body, and therefore continue to improve my fitness, I must use the principals of overloading i.e. Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. I will focus on both the frequency and the time of my sessions throughout the six weeks, assuring that progression takes place, and that I do not reach a plateau in my training. The other principals of training which I will use are Specificity, this is important because I must keep my training specific to Cardiovascular endurance so that I assure progression is made on this area. The way in which I am doing this, is by using a fitness circuit (circuit training modified specifically to suit fitness training rather than skills training.)

Also, progression, as you will see later in my project becomes a crucial factor here because I need to continually progress my training to ensure that any progress in terms of my fitness levels are made. Finally, reversibility. Reversibility is when you stop training because of illness or injury, and your levels of fitness therefore drop because you have stopped training, when you start training again, you need to start at a lower level and work your way back up to the level which you were at before. This is not such a key issue in this case, because it will only become an issue in my project if I sustain an injury or pick up an illness which means that I cannot train.

In order to measure my progression and monitor the effect that the training is having on me, I will wear a heart-rate monitor, to monitor my heart rate. The way in which I will use my heart rate monitor to asses my progress will be to firstly work out my aerobic training zone. The way in which I will do this will be to take my resting heart rate (64 bpm) and then calculate my aerobic training zone. To do this, you take 220 away from your age, so for me that is 220-15 and therefore I get 205 bpm as my maximum heart rate. Then, you work out 60% of 205 and 80% of 205, and my aerobic training zone is then within these two numbers. For me, my aerobic training zone is between 123 bpm and 164 bpm.

Therefore, having now worked out what heart rate my aerobic training zone lies within, I can now carry out my health related fitness project, and draw accurate conclusions from my sessions because I know my results will be consistent and accurate as I can make sure that I train in my aerobic training zone in each session. There are then three ways in which I can asses my progress which I may have made throughout the project; I will now explain each one of these in turn. Firstly, my recovery rate, the way in which I can tell if I have made progress over the sessions in terms of using my recovery rate, is by, firstly, using my heart rate monitor to time how long it takes for my heart rate to slow down to my resting heart rate after I have stopped exercising. I will take this measurement at the end of each of my sessions.

I will then be able to tell if my sessions have benefited my levels of cardiovascular endurance because the quicker my heart rate returns from being in my aerobic training zone, to my resting heart rate, the fitter I have become. I know this because I know that the faster my recovery rate, the fitter I am. This is because when I train or partake in vigorous exercise, my heart rate and breathing rate will increase in order to get oxygen to my muscles so that they can respire and produce movement. The harder you work, the more oxygen is required in your muscles, so therefore the faster your heart will beat, in order to pump blood and oxygen to the muscles quicker. Your breathing rate will also increase because you need to replace the oxygen in your body which has been use for respiration in your muscles.

The way in which this happens is that the lungs take in more oxygen as you are taking more breaths and so therefore, more gaseous exchange (the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen in the lungs) takes place, to ensure that your blood stream has efficient oxygen in it to fulfil your daily needs. Therefore, when I exercise, my heart and breathing rate will increase for those reasons. The length of time it takes for my heart and breathing rate to go back to normal is therefore called my recovery rate. The shorter your recovery rate, the fitter you are because the more efficient your respiratory and cardiovascular systems are. I will be able therefore to asses my progress using the length of time it takes for me to recover, because I will be able to tell if my recovery rate decreases, and therefore, if my training has benefited my levels of cardiovascular endurance.

The second way, in which I can tell if my training has benefited my levels of cardiovascular endurance, is by my resting heart rate. My resting heart before I began training is 64 beats per minute. I can use this to determine if my training has benefited my levels of cardiovascular endurance because the lower my resting heart rate, the fitter I am. I can therefore use this fact, to take my resting pulse rate the morning after each session, and see if my resting heart rate is decreasing, if it is, then I therefore know that my training is benefiting my levels of cardiovascular endurance.

The way in which this works is that the fitter you are, the stronger your heart becomes, because it is a cardiac muscle, and grows stronger the more it is used, and therefore benefits from exercise. The more exercise which you do, the more efficient your cardiovascular system becomes, especially your heart, because it has become stronger, its ability to pump more blood around the body in one pump increases (stroke volume), and therefore, when at rest, it needs to make less beats a minute because it can pump the same amount of blood around the body as a heart which is not as strong as it, just in less pumps.

Therefore, if the fitter you are, the stronger your heart becomes, and the less pumps it takes to pump blood around the body, then this has to mean that the fitter you are, the less beats a minute your resting heart rate is. I can therefore use this information to asses if my training has improved my cardiovascular endurance levels because I can take my resting heart rate the morning after each session and see if it has decreased. If it has, then I know that my training has benefited my cardiovascular endurance levels.

The final way in which I will be able to tell if my training has benefited me will be by conducting a fitness test both before my training and after my training and comparing my results from the two tests. As explained later, the test which I will use is the bleep test, as that is the test for cardiovascular endurance. After conducting this test before and after my training, I can then compare the results between the two and then be able to see what progress, if any, I have made during my training.

So, now I have stated what I am going to do, how I will conduct my training and how I will asses weather or not my training will have benefited my cardiovascular endurance levels, I am now ready to start my health related fitness project. Planning Purpose/aim of the programme. Personal fitness profile. Explain how fit you think you are, and if you have any injuries or health problems. Outline how much physical activity you get in a typical week. State what targets you expect to achieve by the end of the 5 sessions in terms of aspects of fitness/skills you want to improve. 5 marks

I would say that at present, my physical fitness is not at its peak. This is because it is the start of the season, and I have not trained over the summer. Therefore. Because I have not been undertaking regular exercise, my fitness levels decreased. At the start of each season, it always takes me around a month to gain my full fitness, and reach my peak fitness level. I believe that when I am at my peak, my fitness level is very high, and my cardiovascular endurance levels particularly remain of a consistently high standard. My current fitness levels are off of my peak, but are on their way up as I begin to exercise more as the season gets into full swing.

The only injury/health problem affecting me at present is my left arm. In late summer 2003, I broke my arm, leaving me in hospital for 3 days. I had to have an operation the night later, and six months of physio followed. The health problem my arm now gives me is that I cant straighten it. This is because I broke my ulna and split my humerus from the base upwards. When my bones healed themselves, the body produced too much bone, and now, when straightening it, the two bones touch, thus preventing me from straightening it. This does not affect me in day to day activities, I can still play sports normally without even thinking about my arm, and also, it does not give me any pain. I do not notice it when I am running or carrying out fitness tests or training, and so this will not affect me during this project.

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