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Improving your performance
Improving your performance

There are three main types of fitness training.

  • Resistance training
  • Interval training
  • Continuous training

    Each type of training helps your body develop in different ways and will prepare you differently for the various sports.

    Sprinters require a huge amount of upper body strength and to develop their aerobic fitness.

    Endurance athletes prefer to work on their aerobic fitness and stamina rather than their physical strength.

    These are the important factors to remember:

    • Rest for at least a day after heavy exercise to allow the body to repair  
    • Training should be suited to the specific muscle groups used in the sport which is played  
    • Gradually increase training over time  
    • Work with heavier weights than previously to increase strength  
    • If you stop exercising for a long period of time your body will lose its fitness level  
    • Workout at 60-75% of one's maximum heart rate 
    • Tailor a programme to meet your needs


    Resistance training involves working against a weight, force or gravity.

    Weight lifting is one form of resistance training.

    It all depends on the weight you are lifting and how many times you lift it without a period of rest.

    If you lift weights that are heavy for you, you will only be able to perform a few lifts without resting.

    Improving your performance

    This form of weight training develops muscular strength.

    When you lift weights that are light for you and you perform lots of lifts without stopping for a rest (say 10 or 15), this form of training develops muscular endurance.

    Circuit training is another form of resistance training, often using your own body weight as resistance, through exercises like press-ups and sit-ups.

    Circuit training develops muscular endurance and aerobic fitness.


    Interval training involves periods of hard work followed by a timed period of rest, repeated several times in one training session.

    The periods of hard work are called high intensity activity.

    An example of interval training is 10 fast runs over 40 metres, with a two minute rest between each run.

    Distance, speed and the length of recovery time can be varied to suit your level of fitness and your sport.

    Interval training develops both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness.


    Improving your performance

    Continuous training involves comparatively easy work performed for a relatively long period.

    Cycling at a slow speed for 30 minutes is one example of continuous training.

    It helps you to develop your aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.

    Top athletes such as Lance Armstrong and Paula Radcliffe often use continuous training to help raise their heart rates to the right level.

    It is usually only classed as continuous training if the activity lasts for 15 minutes or more.


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