Having the best experience concerning something does not mean acknowledging every part of it. Over the past weeks, I have measured and conducted tests intending to gather information concerning the subsequent performance decisions and assessments made by an athlete while doing workouts. The athlete stays encouraged and is focused on making continuous adjustments. The paper focuses on a program to replace burning out the athlete and instead, energizing them.
The program is the protocol and an outline that should be followed for a duration of 36 weeks. It would be conducted in two sessions in each week as the athlete training would be conducted characteristically on specific days. It would occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Both Tuesdays and Thursdays would be ideal for integrating the conditioning and strength sessions of the athlete. Since there would be a spectated increase in the volume of the athlete training, 'bang for your buck' exercises should be selected (Martin, 2019). It would ensure optimal utilization of time between the athlete and the trainer.
While the load remains high, the volume of both the conditioning and strength work (sets x reps) would be expected to remain moderate to low. The procedure does not target training the athlete to failure; instead, it intends to ensure that a challenge is posed to the neuromuscular system by enough stimuli using 80% 1RM as the general rule (Seshadri et al., 2019). Varying loads get involved while progressing to power since different exercises stimulate different power outputs from a spectrum of loads.
An example is that power output is more significant at 0% 1RM in the jump squat, while in the Mid-thigh Clean pull, it is 40 – 60% 1RM Power Clean (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). Plyometrics, among other exercises, can be involved in the rest intervals in sets. The exercise is good for movement preparation. The athlete's rest interval should greater than two minutes as it allows time for the performance of low-level plyometrics (Mueller et al., 2020). Some examples of low-level plyometrics are box jumps, drop landings, increasing the height of drop systematically, hurdle jumps, single-leg variants, and performing lateral jumps.
Table 1: Athlete's strength session program
Move Before You Can Run!
Every athlete should incorporate running performance in their training despite the type of sport they participate in. The mechanic drills of running are essential and vital for every athlete's training program (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). It is because athlete movements develop and create muscular imbalances and asymmetries. Through this, it can lead to alteration of their running technique. Furthermore, they can be seen as tiny faults. The problem arises since the faults can result in overuse injuries (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). The running performance would then be affected negatively after an athlete clock up miles in training.
Incorporating running is vital in the aspect of heavier and taller athletes. It is because they find it challenging to lift their body parts while in training. Such athletes can't lift their body parts in the best movement pattern, or correct technique hence ingrains terrible training habits (Mueller et al., 2020). As a result, the risk of injury to these heavyweights increases further since their imbalances are put under more pressure following their heavier body shape and weights.
As a result, the athlete should develop and focus on proper sprinting and running mechanics to improve their performance and avoid injuries. Running is an example of movement and mobility training. It should be prioritized to reduce muscular imbalances and improve flexibility. An example is how 120 KG Dave Howe trains. His training consists of lifting heavy and running hard (Mueller et al., 2020).
Run Uphill and Reduce Impact Forces
To combat low running techniques, undertaking hill sprints acts as the best way of settling the issue. They reduce the massive impact forces that may arise. It is because running uphill or any inclined training camp promotes the acceleration technique since it improves the athlete's stride frequency, knee drive, and force production (Martin, 2019). Taking hill sprints enhances lean capability. It trains an athlete to get to a forward lean, which is unachievable if the training was conducted in a flat training track.
Through the forward-leaning, the athlete would get more potent as a greater forward lean is associated with a better leg extension. Through that, the athlete produces more force. Through this, the impact on joints is reduced (Powch et al., 2016). Through a series of the involvement of the lower body muscles, there increases in cardio-respiratory response.
The athlete should try out the following workouts:
To improve the cardio-respiratory system and how it functions, the method to be implemented is ensuring high-intensity intervals that range from four to eight minutes. However, heart rate should also be maintained at optimal; is rate should be 90 to 100% (Powch et al., 2016). During high-intensity runs, the impact on the joints can be challenging, especially if the athlete involved has a higher body mass. In this method, lower running speeds are emphasized while ensuring longer intervals as it becomes easy to reduce the threat of overuse injuries. The session intervals should be 4-8 minute x 3-6 reps.
Running Training Variation
Even though we have tackled overuse injuries and impact forces via various methods, it is not advisable for an athlete to get attached to one training pattern. Failure to create variation in training leads to high physical strain (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). Also, it leads to increased risk of illness, overtraining, and possible injuries. Since the athlete is already prone to this, staying off the physio table and optimizing performance via different methods becomes the only solution for conditioning.
Alternative Conditioning Tools
Ensuring target peripheral adaptation is attained while prioritizing running for longer intervals is a critical aspect. It is achieved by employing maximal efforts; 1-4 minutes recovery; 10-45s (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). Heavyweight athletes may experience high impact forces while they are always running at high speeds, hence the need to ensure high intensities via alternative conditioning tools. Maintain the curve is practical and essential since the requirements and the C-shape are required in the trend of reducing impact forces. Also, to ensure maximal efforts, an athlete should encourage maximal efforts by pushing big weights, especially on the 'Prowler.' A watt bike that provides quantifiable feedback is also a great conditioning tool oriented to taking a weight off an athlete's foot.
To make the weight and energy required, athlete, implement several strategies which can sometimes prove to be either advantageous or pose serious side effects. Some of the well-known strategies involved are dehydration, restricting both fluid and food intakes, laxatives, sauna, and wearing much clothing. Most of these strategies lead to potential physiological effects such as hormonal imbalance, severe dehydration, nausea, and reduced strength. Also, some potential psychological side effects such as sleepiness, headaches, reduces vigor and reduced cognition occur.
The performance side effects, such as decreased myocardial efficiency, anaerobic performance, increased exhaustion, are also likely to be experienced. It falls under the coach's responsibility to educate the athlete on long term nutritional compliance requirements that would ensure healthy alternatives, rather than the short term strategies oriented to weight loss. The athlete undertakes high volumes of training that require carbohydrate intake of (~7 g/kg/bw) (Cronin & Reasner, 2016). It is the moderate intake viable to support glycogen storage for recovery and training.
The athletes' protein intake should be 1.4 – 1.7 g/kg/bw, as it is a moderate intake to support repair and muscle growth. The chance where the coach should increase carbohydrate intake is in the post-workout meal. Dextrose, among other simple sugars, should be added in the athlete's protein shake to improve protein and glycogen synthesis; hence, as a result, increasing the intake of carbohydrates in the athlete's diet (Seshadri et al., 2019). Additionally, for the athlete to remain hydrated, a carbohydrate-based drink should be supplied mid training sessions. Other dinks such as simple isotonic ones also vital, they can be made manually using 50g dextrose, 500 ml water, salt and cordial (Seshadri et al., 2019).
Sometimes, every athlete requires a different training approach, an individualized training program. These are just some of the many guidelines that every trainer acknowledges as essential, especially when the athlete's asymmetries need to resolve first. In each phase, there is an emphasis on sets, repetition, and intensity as observed in running, reducing impact forces, ensuring longer intervals and training variations. Therefore, for the 36-week training, the athlete can implement this program.
Cronin, J. E., & Reasner, N. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,474,933. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. https://patents.google.com/patent/US9474933B1/en
Martin, T. (2019). U.S. Patent No. 10,322,314. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. https://patents.google.com/patent/US10322314B2/en
Mueller, K., Williams, P. S., Haley, L., & Heick, J. (2020). Heart rate variability biofeedback improves sports performance in an elite female athlete. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal, 31(3), 123-132. https://journals.lww.com/cptj/fulltext/2020/07000/heart_rate_variability_biofeedback_improves_sports.6.aspx
Powch, M. A., Black, S. J., Hope, T., & Dibenedetto, C. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,392,941. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. https://patents.google.com/patent/US9392941B2/en
Seshadri, D. R., Li, R. T., Voos, J. E., Rowbottom, J. R., Alfes, C. M., Zorman, C. A., & Drummond, C. K. (2019). Wearable sensors for monitoring the internal and external workload of the athlete. NPJ digital medicine, 2(1), 1-18. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41746-019-0149-2
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