Scheduling and training methods

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The key principles when planning a programme are

  • Specificity – training must be matched to the health goals to improve fitness in the body parts the activity uses.
  • Overload – fitness can only be improved by training more than normally.
  • Progression – Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise and keep overloading.
  • Reversibility – Any adaptation that takes place as a result of training will be reversed when you stop training. If taken a break or don’t train often enough will lose fitness.

In planning a programme, use the FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type) principles to add the detail

  • Frequency – decide how often to train.
  • Intensity – choose how hard to train.
  • Time – decide for how long to train.
  • Type – decide which methods of training to use.

Trainer should also consider the principle of moderation. It is important to have rest periods which allow the body to adapt. Too much training (overtraining) can lead to injury.

Training methods

Training can be aerobic or anaerobic.

  • In aerobic exercise, which is steady and not too fast, the heart is able to supply enough oxygen to the muscles. Aerobic training improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Anaerobic exercise is performed in short, fast bursts where the heart cannot supply enough oxygen to the muscles. Anaerobic training improves the ability of the muscles to work without enough oxygen when lactic acid is produced.

Specific training methods can be used to improve each fitness factor.

  • Circuit training involves performing a series of exercises in a special order called a circuit. Each activity takes place at a ‘station’. It can be designed to improve speed, agility, coordination, balance, and muscular endurance.
  • Continuous training involves working for a sustained period of time without rest. It improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Cross-training involves using another sport or activity to improve your fitness. It happens when an athlete trains in a different environment.
  • Fartlek training or ‘speed play’ training involves varying your speed and the type of terrain over which you run, walk, cycle or ski. It improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
  • Interval training involves alternating between periods of hard exercise and rest. It improves speed and muscular endurance.
  • Weight training uses weights to provide resistance to the muscles.
  • Altitude training (AQA only) is aerobic training high above sea level, where oxygen levels are lower. It is used to increase aerobic fitness quickly.

General methods of training can be applied to specific sports. For example, continuous training might involve swimming, cycling, rowing, aerobics or running.

Designing Training  Program

To train effectively trainer must know:

  • Current level of fitness
  • The amount of aerobic training trainer needed
  • The amount of anaerobic training trainer needed

For example, sprinters use mainly anaerobic training and marathon runners use mainly aerobic training. Trainer can use maximum heart rate (MHR) to calculate how hard individual should work heart to develop either aerobic or anaerobic fitness.

To calculate MHR:

220 – age = MHR

In case of aerobic fitness, aerobic fitness is another way of describing cardiovascular fitness, or stamina. Trainer can improve aerobic fitness by working in aerobic target zone. This is found between 60-80% of MHR. Trainer cross aerobic threshold, the heart rate above which trainer gain aerobic fitness, at 60% of our MHR.

Trainer can improve anaerobic fitness, which includes strength, power, and muscular endurance, by working in an anaerobic target zone. This is found between 80-100% of MHR. Anaerobic threshold is the heart rate above which trainer gain anaerobic fitness. Trainer cross anaerobic threshold at 80% of MHR. Below 60% MHR trainers do not improve aerobic or anaerobic fitness at all.

When working anaerobically trainer create an oxygen debt and can only keep going for a short time. Oxygen debt is the amount of oxygen consumed during recovery above that which would normally be consumed during rest. This results from a shortfall of available oxygen during exercise. Trainer can monitor fitness levels by recording the recovery rate after exercise. The recovery rate is the time it takes for the pulse rate to return to normal after exercise.

Remember that percentages of MHR are approximate and personal levels of activity and fitness will cause differences in the thresholds.

The structure consists of the mode, intensity, duration, frequency, special considerations, fun, and relaxation. In helping clients to set goals, remember that they must build up their level of activity gradually, over a period of weeks. Do not set goals so high that clients push themselves and risk injury. Help them to build up to their target zone slowly, and show them how to warm up safely with stretching and 5 to 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise before the workout and cool down slowly with 5 to 10 minutes of flexibility exercises afterward. Remind clients to listen to their body’s early warning signs.

  • Mode – The mode refers to the type of exercises and equipment most appropriate for a client to per-form to accomplish the fitness goals.
  • Intensity – It is the degree of effort required to complete a physical activity. The intensity affects the amount of stress placed on the body by the activity.
  • Capacity is a concept that is closely related to intensity. The intensity of the exercise must equal the client’s capacity, or maximum capability, to produce the desired results.
  • Duration – It refers to the length of time an activity is performed. Imagine that a 35-year-old man has chosen running as his mode of training.
  • Frequency refers to the number of times something is done. Clients can maintain their current physical fitness level by doing regular workouts three times per week.

Educating clients in the differences that intensity, duration, and frequency make in their fitness program will help them to achieve their goals efficiently and without confusion.

Certain populations require additional considerations in fitness program development. This is where the rule of modification becomes important

Training Stages

Stages of a training session usually includes


  • Whole body exercise to raise heart rate and body temperature.
  • Stretching to prepare muscles, ligaments and joints.
  • Practicing skills and techniques to be used in the session.

Main activity – this could be:

  • Fitness training – which may be linked to repeated technique work.
  • Skill development – drills or team practices.
  • Modified or Conditioned Games.

Warm down (sometimes called cool down)

  • Light exercise to help remove carbon dioxide, lactic acid and other waste products.
  • Gentle stretching to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness later

Flexibility Training

The benefits of flexibility training include improving muscle imbalances, increasing joint range of motion and muscle extensibility, relieving excessive tension of muscles and joint stress, and improving neuromuscular efficiency and function. People who train in a repetitive fashion (or have jobs that require moving their bodies in repetitive ways) are at risk for pattern overload, which places stress on the body and can result in injury. Poor posture and repetitive movements may create dysfunctions in connective tissue, initiating the cumulative injury cycle. Tissue trauma creates inflammation, which leads to micro spasms and decreases the normal elasticity of the soft tissue.

Cardio-respiratory Fitness

Cardio-respiratory fitness is one of the most important components of health-related physical fitness. High levels of cardio-respiratory fitness are strongly linked to a reduced risk of disease and improved mortality. Cardio-respiratory training should be preceded by a warm-up period and followed by a cool-down period. A warm-up prepares the body for physical activity and can be either general in nature or more specific to the activity. Typically, the cardio-respiratory portion of a warm-up should last 5 to 10 minutes at a low-to-moderate intensity.

Balance training

Balance is key to all functional movements and optimal force production, and may help avoid injuries. Balance does not work in isolation and is both static and dynamic. It relies on an integrated, dynamic process requiring optimal muscular relationships, joint dynamics, and neuromuscular efficiency. Individuals with altered neuromuscular control likely have specific kinetic chain imbalances. These affect the quality of movement, create faulty movement patterns, and lead to reduced neuromuscular efficiency.

Resistance training

Resistance training, also called weight training or strength training, is pitting muscles against a resistance such as a weight (for example, a dumbbell or barbell) or other types of resistance, to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and/or size of skeletal muscles. A well-rounded program of physical activity includes strength training, to improve bone, joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, as well as aerobic exercise, to improve heart and lung fitness.

It is recommended to do things to strengthen muscles at least two days a week. These activities should work all the major muscle groups of the body (like legs, hips, back, chest, and shoulders).

Benefits of resistance training – Regular resistance training offers many benefits as

  • Develop strong bones
  • Control weight
  • Build muscle
  • Boost stamina

Starting – It is important to pay attention to safety and good form to reduce the risk of injury. To start, a typical strength training program involves

  • Eight to 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body and are performed two to three times every week
  • Beginning with one set of each exercise, comprising as few as five repetitions (reps), no more than twice a week.

Aim to gradually increase to one set for each exercise – comprising eight to 12 reps, every second or third day. Once comfortable to do 12 reps of an exercise look at progressing further.

Examples of resistance training – Following are various resistance training examples

  • Free weights – classic strength training tools such as dumbbells or barbells.
  • Weight machines – these are devices that have adjustable seats with handles attached to either weights or hydraulics.
  • Resistance bands – these are like giant rubber bands that provide resistance when stretched.
  • Body weight – can do many exercises with little or no equipment using r body weight instead, such as push-ups and squats.

Schedule – Resistance training should be progressive in nature (for example, follow the principle of progressive overload), individualized, and provide a stimulus to all the major muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, arms, abdominals, and legs). It is recommended that beginners do one set of eight to 10 exercises for the major muscle groups, eight to 12 repetitions (reps) to fatigue, two to three days per week (multiple-set regimens may provide greater benefits if time allows). For older and more frail people (approximately 50-60 years of age and above), they suggest that 10-15 repetitions may be more appropriate.


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