Training Concepts

During most sport games, especially team sports, the body uses all energy systems at different intensities, times and proportions.  This is why sport specific training is very important in athletic performance. It must first be recognized the difference between anaerobic and aerobic metabolism, and how the energy is distributed among these systems while performing a sports event. Then, adapt the training while establishing critical parameters for the following criteria:

  • The understanding of the energy systems and relationship to a given sport
  • The energy demands of the sport (amount, contribution of each system, timing)
  • The athlete profile and characteristics
  • Training methods and characteristics
  • Specify training goals
  • Environmental factors (climate, game conditions, etc.)

It also important to recognize that performance and fitness are not composed of one factor only and training should focus on at least the following aspects:

  • Aerobic fitness
  • Anaerobic fitness
  • Strength and power
  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Agility
  • Stability and body control
  • Mental or physiological strength
  • Motivation

The required levels and proportions of training for these aspects are sports specific and dependent on the athlete's fitness.  The specific training goals should be based on the aspects listed above and each sports requirements.

The following chart shows in relative terms how each of the different body energy systems  contribute (or share) energy to the total requirement when sustaining a maximal running effort for a particular period of time. This chart is based on an all-out maximum effort for relatively long periods of time, which is a situation not frequently encountered in a team sports event. Also, this chart varies from individual to individual, depending on the athlete's fitness, genetics and other factors. However, it serves to illustrate how the different energy systems interact among each other when the body is under physical stress and how training can be fit to "force" the body to use one system more than another.

Most team sports, such as soccer, basketball, hockey and others, as well as many individual sports, such as tennis and others, stress out almost equally the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems of the body, with a number of short bursts of 1 to 10 sec of very high intensity work.  To be able to utilize these systems effectively, it is important to train on all of the four primary training zones, which were classified by David E. Martin, "Training Distance Runners" [1] , as well as doing sprinting workouts. These concepts are discussed in more detail in the next section.

The chart also has a line that shows the recommended % of V̇O2 max pace (inthe right scale) to be used in training. For example training at a pace of about 100% of V̇O2 max pace would be for about 2:30 min.

You can also find more information and data on these subjects in the following web sites:

Section One Wrestling
Sports Fitness Advisor

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