NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 12 – Exercise Program Components 5

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Chapter Goals:

  • Know the main principles of exercise program design.
  • Be able to discuss the benefits of warming up.
  • Find the different types of warm-ups.
  • Design warm-up and cool down segments.

Introduction

When the design of exercise programs begins, the professionals must consider all factors and variables that play a role in their clients.

The design of programs is quite challenging as there are desired adaptations that need to be accounted for while using all of the exercise principles to maximize efficiency.

Many exercise program principles are designed to be covered in this unit. The main ones we will touch on are:

  • Training Duration – length of time engaged in physical effort
  • Training Intensity – level of effort performed relative to capabilities
  • Exercise Selection – the type of exercise or modality selected
  • Periodization – a phasic adaptational-based system used to maximize desired responses
  • Exercise Order – sequence of exercises
  • Progressive Preparation – acclimating the body to more challenging work levels
  • Energy Continuum – the predominant energy system used to fuel the work
  • Training Frequency – number of exercise bouts per week
  • Rest Periods – duration of time between each physical effort
  • Training Volume – quantity of total work performed
  • Recovery Periods – duration of time between exercise sessions

Progressive Preparation

The human body requires a warm-up to function to its best ability. When it is cold, it resists movement.

Cold tissues present many problems, especially when it comes to working in a full range of motion or producing force properly.

A warm-up is when the body is prepped for physical activity with gradual increases in heart rate, respiration rate, metabolism, and body temperature.

Warm-ups

Warm-up is a more general term for anything that readies the body for higher activity levels.

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There are two types of warm-ups.

The first type of warm-up is a general warm-up. This is characterized by gross motor activation or the recruitment patterns which engage large muscle groups. This increases the blood flow and temperature of the working muscles.

The second type of warm-up is the specific warm-up. This is where the actions and musculature used are selected because they will be worked on or resemble the activity to be done in the workout.

Warm-ups are generally done for 5 – 10 minutes on average. Higher intensity activities will require longer warmups than lower intensity workouts.

For the specific warmups, the good idea is to warm up with very light reps of the same move that will be done, like the bench press.

A type of specific warm-up is the performance warm-up. This tries to maximize the actions done in training for a sport. This is not often done on those in general fitness but more so for attaining specific physical preparation.

A functional warm-up could be seen as a fourth class, primarily in physical rehab settings. They work to enhance proprioception, increase joint stability, and improve the kinetic chain function.

Warm-ups should focus on having continuous movement so the body does not cool-down down but continues to heat up.

Designing Warm-ups

Programs should always be based on the client’s personal profile and needs. This is also true for warm-ups.

The goal should be to get them close to the level they will be working out and to do it safely. This requires the professional to consider their personal physical ability and the exercise bout’s requirements.

Some other things to consider would be the gradual increase in temperature, range of motion, and intensity.

Cool Downs

These are going to be the opposite of a warm-up. The idea here is that the exerciser needs to return closer to pre-exercise levels in the body.

This can essentially be the warm-up but in reverse.

The physiological reasons to cool down are:

  • Stopping blood clots
  • Promoting healthy venous return
  • Reducing the muscle and blood lactate levels
  • Reducing the concentration of catecholamines in our blood
  • Reducing the irregularities in the cardiac system

Moderate and high-intensity work should ideally have dynamic mobility work of continuous full-body movements but at lower levels.

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Metabolic Systems and Programming Considerations

The body uses different energy systems to form ATP for mechanical work.

Adaptations will fall under the categories of neural, muscular, and metabolic. These will vary depending on how someone trains.

The metabolic system will define the capacity for work when expressed by time and intensity.

Exercise Program Components

Exercise Selection

This is an important aspect of designing exercise programs. When the training goal is found, trainers select the modalities and specific movements to maximize energy systems and addresses the needs analysis.

For aerobic training, this is mostly choosing the type of aerobics done for a long time, like jogging, biking, swimming, or stair climbing.

Anaerobic training is more complicated as it has many options and subcategories to consider and expands across all energy systems.

The needs analysis is the best guide for the type of exercises that will be done in the program.

Exercise Order

When the selection of exercise causes different energy systems to be used, it is important to consider then the sequence in which they are done.

Aerobic exercises should be done after resistance training when they are combined during the same session.

The reasons that aerobic training should follow resistance training are:

Aerobic training is seen to decrease the levels of muscle glycogen, and then it reduces the client’s ability to stimulate the session’s resistant training portion maximally.

Lactate in the body allows for training at higher heart rates with lower RPE.

Aerobic training before resistance training has been seen to downregulate the mTOP pathway related to muscle hypertrophy.

The general layout of training sessions will follow this:

  1. General Warm-up
  2. Mobility Training
  3. Neural Readiness
  4. Ballistic Activities (Phosphagen)
  5. Intermittent Resistance Training (Phosphagen, Glycolytic)
  6. Anaerobic Metabolic Training (Glycolytic, Aerobic)
  7. Aerobic Training (Aerobic)
  8. Dynamic Stretching
  9. Static Stretching

This style of exercise ordering has us doing the warm-up activities and then the most stressful and intense exercises and all the way down to the aerobics and cooldowns.

Training Frequency

This is the number of times a person engages in an activity within a week. This will play a role in the rate and degree of adaptation response and may help combat overtraining syndrome.

Overtraining syndrome is the condition where an intolerable level of training stress accumulates and causes systemic inflammation and many undesirable effects on performance.

The more frequently someone participates in exercise, the greater the rate and magnitude of adaptations. But, this “more is better” idea also leads to overtraining because the body does have its limits.

Training Duration

This is how much time someone is exposed to training stress in a single exercise period. It can also be measured as time under tension.

Training Intensity

This is how challenging an exercise or session is for the client.

We have an inverse relationship between intensity and duration. The longer a session, the lower the intensity will need to be, and vice-versa.

Rest Intervals

These are the time durations between physical efforts that will influence the energy system contributions, recruitment ability, performance, and training adaptations.

For aerobic training, we see a work-to-rest ratio of 1:1 to 1:3, and for anaerobic training, we see a ratio of 1:3 to 1:12.

Training Volume

This is the measure of work done in a bout of exercise, considering the intensity and frequency or duration of the movement.

This is found by multiplying sets times reps times load.

Recovery Period

This is the duration of time between the exercise sessions. This can be broken up differently depending on if you are working full body each day or breaking up the workout days into body parts.

Exercise Principles

The principle of specificity says that the body reacts to the type of stress put on it. This means that if someone wants to improve at a task, they need to practice the various aspects of that task.

The overload principle says that the body will adjust to stresses and needs added stress to continue progressing and growing. The body needs to be overloaded in its workouts or it will get used to it.

The principle of progression means that stress must be seen as new to the physiological system to bring about the adaptation response.

Periodization is the concept of the body adapting better when the adaptations are strategically built upon one another. This is the programming of the previous program changes in the other exercise principles like progression.

NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 12 – Exercise Program Components 6
NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 12 – Exercise Program Components 7
NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 12 – Exercise Program Components 8
Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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