Assessing your fitness levels
You need to know what a PAR-Q - 'Physical activity readiness questionaire' is and why you should complete one before you take part in a training programme.
- Before taking part in an exercise programme you must make sure you are ready to do so. A personal trainer would ask you to fill out a form like the one below tohelp them plan a prgramme suitable for you.
Before you take part you should consider your medical history: any medical conditions, respiratory problems or other concerns. You should also be quite clear about previous sporting or exercise knowledge.
Par Q Health Questionnaire example
Assessing your fitness levels
PAR Q (Personal Activity Readiness Questionnaire)
Before you take part in an Exercise Programme you should have a look at the following questions. If you answer yes to some of these questions then you should seek medical advice from a doctor before about what physical activity you can do.
- Have you or a member of your close family had any medical conditions e.g. a heart condition or respiratory condition?
- Do you experience chest pains?
- Do you have any ongoing injuries?
- Do you have or have you had high or low blood pressure?
- Do you have increased or high cholesterol?
- Have you recently had surgery, for example in the last 12 months?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you smoke?
- Do you have asthma?
- Have you a cold or flu or a virus in the last 4 weeks?
- Is there any other reason why you should not do physical activity?
- Do you have difficulty with regular exercise?
- Do you have a muscle or joint disorder?
If you have any medical conditions to consider then you should make a few notes below about what adaptations you are going to make to your Personal Exercise Programme.
Tick the statement(s) that best describe(s) how active you are
I have never been active in sports or exercise
I used to play sports and take exercise but not now
I am quite active as I play but do not train
I take aerobics (CV) exercise regularly
I lift weights regularly
The following are forms of fitness test that you could use to measure different components of fitness. You need to be able to give examples of fitness tests that are suitable to monitor progress.
Coopers 12-minute run
This tests cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance in your legs. You run around a course for 12 minutes. Your partner keeps a record of the distance you have covered. From this you can calculate your VO2 max (aerobic capacity).
Illinois agility run
This test assesses agility. A course is set out like the one in the diagram. Participants are required to start lying down on their fronts. When told to they jump up, run around and change direction on numerous occasions to the finish. The run is timed, and the aim is to complete the tests as quickly as possible.
Standing broad jump
This test measures the power of your legs. Measure your height on the floor by lying down and getting somebody to mark where your feet and head are. Starting behind the mark where your feet are; see how far beyond your own height you can jump. Score the best of 3 attempts.
Alternate hand ball throw
This test measures coordination (hand eye coordination).
Score (in 30 seconds)
30 - 35
15 - 19
description / procedure: A mark is placed a certain distance from the wall (e.g. 2 meters, 3 feet). The person stands behind the line and facing the wall. The ball is thrown from one hand in an underarm action against the wall, and attempted to be caught with the opposite hand. The ball is then thrown back against the wall and caught with the initial hand. The test can continue for a nominated number of attempts or for a set time period (e.g. 30 seconds). By adding the constraint of a set time period, you also add the factor of working under pressure.
Muscular Endurance tests
Examples of these are the sit up or press up test. You can use different physical activities to cater for the muscles you want to test. You can use any activity you like. They are good to use as a test before and after your curcuit training. You can use the same exercises and monitor progress.
The aim is to do as many of the movements with correct technique in 1 minute. Your partner times the minutes and counts the amount of reps. It is important that they only count ones that are showing good technique.
Balance Board Test
You need to work with a partner to test your balance. You must start with one part of the board touching the floor. You must move into the balance position so that the board does not touch the floor and hold it for as long as you can. Your partner times how long you can keep the board balanced for.
You can use this to test speed. You should work in a group of three (1 timer, at finish, 1 starter at begining and 1 runner). Time how long it takes you to sprint the distance between the cones.
Sit and reach test
This test measures the flexibility of some leg muscles. Sit on the floor with legs straight and feet against a bench turned on its side. Measure how far beyond your toes you can reach. Somebody who can not reach their toes gets a minus total. If you just reach your toes you score zero, which is average.
Reaction test timer
Use the 2 tests below to test your reaction time.
Hand grip dynamometers
Strength dynamometers are used for strength testing of the hand and forearm muscles. Grip the device as hard as possible. Record the reading.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a simple measure to help calculate body composition. BMI is calculated by taking a person's weight and dividing by their height squared. To calculate your BMI use the following website (you will need your height in centimeters and your weight in kilograms)
Alternativley look at this link from bmifit.com
Before taking part in a training plan you should pick a test that is relevant to the areas you want to improve. Record your score and then redo the tests after you have completed your programme to monitor progress.
What it tests
Cooper 12 min run
Standing Broad jump
Alternate hand ball throw
Sit Up/ Press up test
Sit and reach
Hand grip dynamometers
Principles of training
The principles of training are essential to help you plan effective training. When considering the principles below you will make dure you training is relevant to what you need to improve on, it will allow you to plan what you need to do and make sure the training is not going to be to hard or easy and allow maximum progress.
You need to understand and be able to explain how training can be planned to bring about desired effects.
You can link your training to the types of areas you want to improve in your sport or activity. You should be able to discuss how different training will have an effect upon health, fitness and performance. You should know how to monitor exercise and training in order to bring about these improvements.
To help you remember the principles of training think- RIPS FITT Reverse
R - Rest & Recovery: Recovery is the time needed for your body to repair any damage caused by physical activity. Rest is the amount of time you allow your body to recover.
All athletes need to plan rest into their training schedule. Adequate rest allows their bodies to recover from intense training and repair ready for their next performance or further training. If you do not allow adequate rest your body will not recover and an athlete will not be able to perform to their best.
Someone who is starting training out as a beginner will need longer rest and recovery than a more established athlete. As you get fitter and train more regularly your body can repair quicker.
I - Individual needs: making training match the needs of an Individual.
All athletes are different and they need to plan training to their 'individual need'. Two players may be on the same team but have different roles within the match. e.g. a defender in football will have different needs to a forward. The players may also have different levels of fitness so they need to plan individually to work on their areas of weakness to become better within the game.
It is important to monitor your training and consider how your body feels to progress without causing injury or becoming ill.
P - Progressive Overload: to gradually increase the amount of overload you do to increase your fitness without the injury risk.
Overload is achieved by pushing your body harder than it is used to. This can be done by using the FITT principle below to adapt your training to make things harder. It is important to gradually make training harder so that small gains are achieved and the body becomes stronger and fitter without putting to much stress on the body. If you try to push your training to quickly you increase the chance of becoming injured.
S - Specificity: matching training to the skills/fitness components for an activity.
An athlete needs to make sure the training the do is specific to their sport or activity. A swimmer will have to spend a lot of time in the water to become better at their sport. They can use other training to help build aspects of fitness but a lot of the time they will need to work on their event distance to be fully prepared.
A hockey player can spend some time building strength and cardiovascular fitness as they train. However, they will have to spend a lot of training working on their stick control skills within game situations.
Training programmes are planned using the FITT principle.
F - Frequency of activity - How often you exercise.
To make improvements in fitness you should train 3-5 times a week for at least 20mins.
I - Intensity of activity - how hard you should exercise.
To make improvements in training you need to push the body harder than it is used to. If you do not train at a high enough intensity then you will not make gains in your fitness.
You can increase intensity by adding weight when you are doing resistance training. For example you can increase your bench press from 60kg to 65kgs.
You can increase the distance you do when doing continuous training or you can try and beat your previous time to increase intensity.
T - Time spent on activity - how long you should exercise.
You can increase the amount of time that you train for (from 20 to 30 mins for a session) or the amount of times that you train (from 3 - 4 times a week) to increase intensity of training and to progress.
T - Type - what exercise you should use.
It can be good to vary training sessions so that you dont get bored of the same old workout.
The type of training that you do can have an impact on the results you gain. You could do continuous training to work on your aerobic cardiovascular fitness. However you could progress by incorporating Fartlek training to train your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. You could work on interval training to help train your anaerobic fitness and improve your bodies ability recover.
When doing circuit training or weight training you can perform different types of exercises to work the body harder and progress.
Frequency, Intensity and Time can be changed to make sure you are increasing overload on your body and therefore making progression.
Reverse - Reversibility
You need to keep training or your fitness will be lost. If you become injured or you stop training your fitness gains will be reversed and you will lose fitness.
Reversibility - 'any adaptation that takes place as a consequence of training will be reversed when you stop training'.
Athletes should set goals to aim for. Goals allow training to be monitored and show improvements.
GOALS SHOULD BE S.M.A.R.T.
S Specific – must be to the point
M Measurable – can be measured and compared
A Achievable – challenging but not to difficult
R Realistic – matched to the performers skill level
T Time bound – Set for a particular time to be completed by
Comparing types of training
You need to be able to explain the role of aerobic and anaerobic activity in relation to exercise. Below are the definitions from the glossary of terms. You need to know these.
- Aerobic activity ‘with oxygen’. If exercise is not too fast and is steady, the heart can supply all the oxygen the muscles need.
- Anaerobic activity ‘without oxygen’. If exercise is done in short, fast bursts, the heart cannot supply blood and oxygen to the muscles as fast as the cells can use them.
Methods of training
You need to be able to describe what is meant by circuit, weight, interval, continuous, cross and Fartlek training and explain why each is important to differing sporting activities
Try to remember - WIF CCC
- W Weight Training (resistance) – Involves an individual working against a force / resistance, lifting / pushing weights.
- Improves ANAEROBIC fitness.
- Performing heavy weights with few reps helps to improve an individuals Muscular strength.
- Lifting lighter weights but with high repetitions increases muscular endurance.
- Can be used as part of circuit to help develop muscular endurance of individual muscles while increasing the heart rate and develop cardiovascular endurance/ fitness.
- I Interval Training – Involves structured periods of intense exercise followed by rest.
- Improves ANAEROBIC fitness
- i.e. 30 sec sprint 30 sec rest, repeated a number of times.
- Weight training is usually a form of interval training as you work hard and rest to recover before doing exercise again.
- F Fartlek Training - Involves an individual varying the speeds at which they exercise, between sprinting, Fast run, jogging and walking over a period of time.
- Improves AEROBIC fitness but can also be adapted to improve ANAEROBIC fitness.
- Often involves changes of intensity by performing activity over different terrains e.g. hill sprints sections.
- C Circuit Training - Involves a variety of exercise stations.
- Used to improve both AEROBIC & ANAEROBIC fitness.
- By using / changing variety of stations you are able to improve a number of different aspects of health related and skill related fitness. i.e. muscular strength & muscular endurance / agility / speed
- Can be used to incorporate skill aspects of a sport within the stations. e.g. basketball shooting or football dribbling around cones.
- C Continuous Training – Training done over a prolonged period of time.
- Improves an individual’s AEROBIC fitness.
- Improves performance in activities / positions where muscular endurance (stamina) is important i.e. long distance running, midfield in football.
- Common for endurance sports such as marathon running or triathlons.
- C Cross Training – Cross training is a mixture of training often used to break up the monotony of a single type of training.
- Because it is a mixture of different types of training, it can be adapted to suit an individuals needs, for example, one day swimming, one day running, one day playing squash.
- Is good for the average person as it can maintain fitness for life and avoid boredom as not always the same thing.
- Not always good for top athletes as they may need to make their training more specific.
The Exercise Session
A training session, match or competition should always have three parts.
1) Warm -Up
2) Main Activity
3) Cool- Down
You need to be able to show an understanding of how and why we warm up and cool down;-
Warm up – A warm up is split up into 3 sections.
(1)= Pulse raising. Normally gentle jogging
(2)= Stretching, Particular focus on the muscles which are to be used during exercise.
(3)= The activity related part, sprinting, a passing drill, ballistic bouncing
The reasons why we warm up are:
Reduces Injuries – Stretching the joints and muscles helps to reduce the chance of injury.
Prepares the Mind – Undertaking the warm-up enables the sports person to focus and prepare mentally for the training session or competition.
Improves Performance – Raising body temperature and loosening the joints and muscles of the body helps improve performance.
Practises skills before the event/ match/ game - allowing the body to be prepared to play at high level and get coordination working efficiently.
A Cooldown - is split in to 2 sections.
(1)= The Active Part – Gentle walking, jogging and running.
(2)= The Passive Part – Gentle stretching exercises of all the major joints and muscles of the body.
The reasons why we cooldown are:
Reduces Soreness and Stiffness – Stretching helps prevent the joints and muscles becoming sore and stiff.
Removes Lactic Acid – Continuing gentle movement reduces the build up of lactic acid
Improves Performance – Allowing the body to recover slowly helps to improve the next performance.
Promotes Relaxation – During this part of the session, mental and physical relaxation is possible.
You need to understand how an exercise session is made up and why it is important to warm up and cool down before and after exercise. You may be asked questions on this in the exam!
HEART RATE AND TARGET TRAINING ZONES
- In order for training to be beneficial the heart rate must be raised to an appropriate level above its resting state.
- To calculate your target training zone you take 220 – age, e.g. 220 – 15 = 205.
- Your target training zone will be 60–80% of this figure, i.e. 60% = 123 80% = 164
- At the lower end you will be working AEROBICALLY, i.e. creating energy with the presence of oxygen so work is of low intensity.
- At the upper end you will be working ANAEROBICALLY, i.e. creating energy without oxygen so work is of high intensity.
- Your recovery rate is important. The quicker your pulse returns to normal, the fitter you are.
- Jog three laps of a football pitch or other similar area. Record your working heart rate. Did you reach your target figure, i.e. 60% of your maximum heart rate? Was your pulse too high or too low? What do you need to do to ensure you hit the 60% figure?
- Repeat. What was your pulse at the end of the three laps? Did you mange to make the necessary adjustments?
- Plot your recovery results on a graph.
- How long did it take you to recover - number of minutes? What does this tell you about your level of cardiovascular fitness?
RESTING HEART RATE
WORKING HEART RATE AFTER THREE LAPS (1)
WORKING HEART RATE AFTER THREE LAPS (2)
NUMBER OF MINUTES RECOVERY TO RHR
- Work across a 10 metre distance (third of a netball court).
- See how many times you can sprint across the area in 30 seconds (each time cross area = 1).
- Repeat this three times with 30 seconds rest in between each set of shuttles.
- Your aim is to see if you can complete the same number of shuttles each time.
- Record your working heart rate at the end of the third set of shuttles. Did you manage to raise your heart rate to 80% of your MHR?
- How long did it take you to recover – number of minutes? What does this tell you about your level of cardiovascular fitness?
RESTING HEART RATE
WORKING HEART RATE AFTER THREE SETS OF SHUTTLES
NUMBER OF MINUTES RECOVERY TO RHR
Heart rate training examples
Click to look at these Excel sheets to show a graph of heart rates against training zones for John who is 15
You need to be able to plot heart rates on a graph and be able to read & anlyse data on graph showing heart rates and training zones.