Warming up and cooling down are the one of the most important aspects of performing to your bodies maximum potential. Prior to your workout, warming up is essential. It, not only as I have mentioned, improves your performance, it also prevents injury to the muscles. Often when people warm up for their activity they either don’t stretch the right muscles needed for their sport or they don’t do the stretch properly. In most cases a bit light aerobic work is endured at intervals throughout your warm up.
Warm-ups can be directly related to the session you are going to do – use of sporting movements, or indirectly related – general movements. The main purpose of a warm up is to increase body temperature and heart rate. Higher body temperature quickens the rate of which the body responds to things. It also speeds up both enzymatic and metabolic reactions. This improves metabolic adjustments by causing an increase in energy release. Another factor, which increases the rate of the metabolic processes, is the increase in heart rate which goes with the warm-up. This helps you prepare the cardiovascular system for work. Even though each sport requires a different warm-up, most are benefited by the one described above. This is the one I will be doing during my training programme.
There are several important things to consider when designing a warm-up.
* Athletes that do short explosive sports benefit most from warm-ups. In trained athletes direct warm-ups are very beneficial.
* Progressive or endurance type sports, such as cross country running – do not benefit from intense direct warming up, this is because they may carry out a light aerobic session – resulting in lesser energy and this may decrease their performance. Moderate indirect warm-ups however will help performance.
* Intense indirect warm-ups interfere in performance through tiredness and can be harmful to skilled sports.
A sport specific warm-up can be done in 3 stages:
1. General warm-up: joint rotations and a light, aerobic activity
2. Stretching: stationary stretches and dynamic stretches
3. Sport specific activity: copy aspects of your sporting activity.
Because I won’t be performing one activity, but many different ones, it will be impossible to assign a warm-up that I will be using every time because some stretches will be required for certain activities and not others. For example, swimming will need muscles stretched that skipping wont, and visa versa. However all activities do need a warm-up.
Prior to my training programme, I will always make sure I carry out a warm-up. My warm-up will start off with a very slow form of aerobic training to get the blood pumping around my body and the increase of my heart rate. I will then perform some stretches which will differ upon what activity is being done. After some stretches I will do more aerobic work but very slightly increase the level I am working at. Then, once again I will do some more stretches. My body will now be ready for the activity.
The cool down is effectively, just as important as the warm-up because you are more prone to an injury if the cool down is not done properly. As I cool down I will still be moving around – either walking or very slowly jogging so that my heart rate can gradually drop rather than plummeting straight away, which can cause an injury. Stretches are vital in the cool down and they are held for longer than the warm-up. During these stretches your blood flow will be changing back to its normal pattern, and a good idea, while doing these stretches is to think about how you can improve your fitness session for next time, while you are still in the exercise state of mind.
To resting heart rate is: 80 b/pm (beats per minute) to find this I sat down for 5 minutes to make sure my body was completely “rested” then I used a digital stopwatch to count 15 seconds. During this time I counted 20 b/pm. The 20 b/pm was multiplied by four, (60 seconds – minute) to get my resting heart rate.
Immediately after the main activity has been completed I will count my pulse for 15 seconds using the digital stopwatch for accuracy, (just like method above.)
The reason for using 15 seconds and multiplying by four as appose to doing a straight 60 seconds is that during this longer period of time your heart rate will slowly be going back to normal, this will make the test unfair. I am using 15 seconds instead to make things fairer, and more accurate.
The target heart zone (training zone) is between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate. The way to work out my maximum and minimum heart rate is as follows: *220 – age (220 – 15 = 205)
*80% of 205 = 164 (0.8 x 205)
*My maximum heart rate = 164 b/pm
*220 – age (220 – 15 = 205)
*60% of 205 = 123 (0.6 x 205)
* My minimum heart rate = 123 b/pm
As I go through the 6-week training programme I am hoping that my fitness will improve and that it will be shown in my results. My target zone is between 123 and 164 b/pm. After my activity is complete I will count my heart rate for 15 seconds exactly and multiply it by four. Hopefully it will be in my target zone, shown above. If it is below my target zone, it means I am not working hard enough and if it is above my target zone then that means I need to slow down. As I get fitter throughout the training, my resting heart rate and maximum and minimum heart rate will drop. Therefore the target zone will drop.
I will be doing an activity every other day for the week. Each activity will be repeated during the following week and hopefully the results will show that my fitness has improved. I will be doing a variety of different activities to improve different areas of fitness – mainly cardiovascular fitness and body endurance. Both will help considerably with my sport which I am hoping to get fitter for – Boxing.
* Ran 800 metres on school field – pulse was 30 beats per 15 seconds – 120 b/pm – heart rate was just below the minimum in my target zone. Need to work slightly harder next time.
* Swimming – Did 24 lengths at Bicester Sports Centre in a 25 metre swimming pool pulse – 28 beats per 15 seconds – 112 b/pm – heart rate was well below my minimum heart rate, need to make sure I swim harder and faster next week.
* Running – at the gym ran on a running machine for 10 minutes on a level of 6 which moved up to 7.5 after 5 minutes. After, pulse was 39 beats per 15 seconds – 156 b/pm. This was well into my target zone, please with this result.
* Skipping – Done at home in back garden with sports skipping rope. Performed for 5 minutes with a 30 second break, then for another 5 minutes. Pulse was recorded immediately after the second set of 5 minutes. Pulse was 40 beats per 15 seconds – 160 b/pm. Pleased with result, good workout, but perhaps need to slow down slightly.
* Ran 800 metres on school field – pulse was 33 beats per 15 seconds – 132 b/pm – improvement from last time, heart rate above minimum target zone, can still be improved.
* Swimming – Did 24 lengths at Bicester Sports Centre in a 25 metre swimming pool pulse – 32 beats per 15 seconds – 128 b/pm – finding it hard to work any harder, thought I should be fitter by next time I try.
* Running – at the gym ran on a running machine for 10 minutes on a level of 6 which moved up to 7.5 after 5 minutes. After, pulse was 37 beats per 15 seconds – 148 b/pm good results, stayed well in target zone, running felt easier this time. Next time maybe I will increase the level.
* Skipping – Done at home in back garden with sports skipping rope. Performed for 5 minutes with a 30 second break, then for another 5 minutes. Pulse was recorded immediately after the second set of 5 minutes. Pulse was 38 beats per 15 seconds – 152 b/pm. Slightly easier this time but still very tired. Need to keep working hard in other areas.
* Ran 1200 metres on school field – pulse was 34 beats per 15 seconds – 136 b/pm. Higher pulse rate than last time although a longer distance. Pleased.
* Swimming – Did 25 lengths at Bicester Sports Centre in a 25 metre swimming pool pulse – 33 beats per 15 seconds – 132 b/pm. Slight improvements from last time.
* Running – at the gym ran on a running machine for 10 minutes on a level of 6.5 which moved up to 7.5 after 5 minutes. After, pulse was 36 beats per 15 seconds – 144 b/pm. Very pleased with this, increased level and heart rate dropped.
* Skipping – Done at home in back garden with sports skipping rope. Performed for 6 minutes with a 30 second break, then for another 5 minutes. Pulse was recorded immediately after the second set of 5 minutes. Pulse was 38 beats per 15 seconds – 152 b/pm. Heart rate didn’t change from last time although performed an extra minute of work. Definite improvements this week.
Things are going reasonably well up to now. Fitness is definitely improving. This is shown in results and I can feel the activities getting slightly easier for me. I feel that swimming is difficult to get a higher heart rate although I think it is helping with my other activities. Other 3 areas are going OK.
* Ran 1200 metres on school field – pulse was 35 beats per 15 seconds – 140 b/pm. Heart rate has increased. Obviously I haven’t work as hard this time. Make sure things changed for next week.
* Swimming – Did another 25 lengths at Bicester Sports Centre in a 25 metre swimming pool pulse – 32 beats per 15 seconds 128 b/pm. Heart rate is still too close to minimum in my opinion. I am finding it hard to get my heart rate up. Maybe I am getting fitter during the swimming and not realising it…
* Running – at the gym ran on a running machine for 8 minutes on a level of 7 which moved up to 8.2 after 5 minutes. After, pulse was 39 beats per 15 seconds – 156 b/pm. I decided to change things a bit. Definitely worked, good workout and higher heart rate.
* Skipping was not completed here due to the conditions being too wet. Not enough room in house to do it either. Will make it up by doing more work next week in the other activities.
* Ran 1600 metres on school field – pulse was 38 beats per 15 seconds – 152 b/pm. Working harder this time to make up for skipping last week. Please with fitness level. Hard workout hopefully will make my other activities easier.
* Swimming – 30 lengths at the local sports centre. 25 metre pool. I tried to swim a little faster this time to improve my heart rate and it did slightly, and I also swam a little further. 34 beats per 15 seconds – 136b/pm. Things are improving here and I felt that swimming the longer distance wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.
* Running – same as last time – 8 minutes on a level of 7 which I then increased to 8.2 after 5 minutes. Pulse was 37 beats per 15 seconds – 148 b/pm. It seems fitness is improving. Heart rate dropped although difficulty was the same as last week.
* Weather better this time. Skipped for 6 minutes with a 30 second break, then for another 6 minutes. Pulse was recorded immediately after the second set of 6 minutes. Pulse was 37 beats per 15 seconds – 148 b/pm. Things were looking better this time compared to the last time I skipped, two weeks ago. Heart rate dropped on a higher difficulty. This shows how I am getting fitter.
Because I was a week late in starting my testing, I missed out on a week of fitness. Although this wasn’t too much of a problem because I still managed to complete 5 weeks of good, consistent training, I would have liked to do the sixth week so my training was done to the full and as I had previously planned. If I was to re-do this personal training programme I will definitely make sure I start the training on time to get the best results.
Overall I think the training in itself went really well. At the start the results show that I was a bit shaky getting into the flow of the programme, but once that was established things went to plan in my opinion. I think that I didn’t cheat myself in any of the activities I performed and fulfilled what I had planned to do – improve my cardiovascular fitness, muscle endurance and self-confidence.
The only thing that I would change apart from doing the sixth week would be the swimming. I think my muscular endurance has benefited really well from doing this, although I’m not sure it did much for the CV fitness. Maybe choosing a different activity, like the skipping would be a wise decision if I was to perform this programme again.
By the large however, I am very pleased with everything and I think it will greatly benefit my sport which was the initial idea of the training programme – Boxing.
I didn’t really need much equipment except for the skipping rope, which was my own, and obviously the suitable clothing for each activity. Everything else was done either out on the school field, in the swimming pool or at the gym. While at the gym, I did also use the free-weights. The running activity inspired me to go to the gym more and I think I will be able to maintain at least the running activity if not anything else.
While on the programme, I thought it would be a good idea to try and eat less fatty and healthier foods. This was a success and I think my fitness on the whole has benefited from that also. So the programme didn’t only help with CV fitness and muscular endurance, it was a number of other things too.