I will be trying to improve my fitness, upper body strength and agility. This is because I feel that these are my weaknesses when I am in a competitive situation against others. To improve these aspects of my performance I will be going to the gym two times a week with one training session and a game. I will be dividing my programme into blocks as a way to organise my exercise and training. The programme I will be designing and completing will be a one-month programme making it a mesocycle. A mesocycle is an intermediate training block made up of four microcycles (one for each week).
This is the plan of my week: As the week I will have three peaks of exercise during the week with light training session too. On the Tuesday I will spend three hours working mainly on the rowing, running and bike machines. In the Thursday session it will mainly be orientated towards stretching and small fitness exercises. The gym session on Saturday I will work in the weights room trying to improve my back, arms and abdominal muscles.
This plan may change due to being unable to get to the gym or training but I will attempt to go on another day or work harder on other days. Also if I am ill and cant exercise then that could affect the effectiveness of the programme. The weather could also affect training on Thursdays and the games on Sundays because if it is raining then it will be a lot harder than a dry day. Also the pitch can vary the difficulty of the programme because if the pitch is hard and flat then it will be a lot easier playing on it rather than playing on a sloping pitch where it is also bumpy due to not being cut recently. The games can also vary the difficulty of the programme as being against a relatively easier team probably wont make the game too strenuous where as a harder team would make me work harder.
It is a good idea to introduce rest days into a programme because if you were training constantly then you are in danger of over-training, especially if it was long periods of intense training with hardly any or no recovery/rest. There are key indicators of over-training such as: excessive muscle fatigue or soreness, frequent colds, infections, allergic reactions and a lack of motivation to train. To help prevent and find out if I am over-training I will be wearing a heart monitor at the gym and monitoring my heart rate. This will also help me set a regular training load in turn setting a percentage of maximum capacity. I have set my rest day’s in-between the intense training so to help recover which will help me from burning-out.
Monday On the Monday I will be resting after the Sundays game and trying not to do any demanding physical activity. Tuesday On the Tuesdays for the first two weeks I will be spending three hours in the gym and this is the circuit I will be trying to stick to: 1. Warm up. (See page 9) 2. 25 minutes on the running machines. Difficulty = 6. This starts off as an easy jog of 6.0 and at intervals increases to a faster speed of 9.0, which carries on for the same interval and then back down to 6.0. The graph below shows the running machines programme. The last minute (26th minute) will be at a walking pace to cool the muscle used down gradually.
3. 5-minute break attempting to cool down with controlled breathing reducing my heart rate in the process. 4. 30 minutes on the bike machine. Difficulty = 6. Attempting to keep the bike speed between 70 and 80. 5. Another 5-minute break cooling down and reducing my heart rate with controlled deep breathing. 6. 1000m on the rowing machine. Difficulty = 5 (water resistance). Attempting to keep the speed above 32. 7. This time 10 minutes cooling down with controlled breathing attempting to reduce my heart rate.
8. Then back on the running machine with a difficulty of 8 (an increase of 2) for 25 minutes. This programme on the machine increases the gradient by 5% so it is made a lot tougher also the speed is increased by 1.0. as the graph shows: Gradient = 9. This time I will break for 5 to 8 minutes. 10. Then back to the bike for another 30 minutes but this time increasing the difficulty to 6. I will again keep the speed between 70 and 80. 11. Again I will break for 5 to 8 minutes.
12. Then I will do 1500m on the rowing machine but keeping the difficulty the same (5 – water resistance). Wednesday I will have Wednesday as a rest day so I don’t over-train and burn myself out. Thursday Training session. This involves a 20-minute warm up session led by Mark Hammond who is a professional fitness instructor for Bristol City. This usually consists of gross motor activity for the first 5 minutes, which starts off at a low intensity then begins to increase this is designed to mobilise the joints and warm the muscles. Then for the next 10 minutes it is mostly stretching to increase the length and flexibility of the muscles and tendons.
This is done because it will decrease or prevent the risk of injury and stretching also relaxes muscle fibres in turn improving the circulation of blood during exercise. Mark involves static, active and small ballistic stretches in his warm up and is constantly changing his routine of what order they come in. The static and active stretching are usually held for 20 seconds on each stretch and each stretch is done twice so to help increase the flexibility of the muscle.
These stretches are done with out bouncing or swinging. The ballistic bouncing is usually slowly built up so not to damage fibres or any other soft tissue. Stretching is done after the muscles have been warmed up a bit. Mark then gives tasks for the last 5 minutes such as, standing on the 22 metres line then 10 squat thrusts and then sprinting to the try line where the next group does there 10 thrusts and sprints just like a relay so that there is a small recovery period for a group. Then the training session moves onto skill work such as working on backs moves, mauling, rucking, passing and other basic rugby skills.