As a centre forward in football, I want to improve my rate of aerobic recovery, in order to press more consistently during matches. I can currently only press the backline in sixty percent of their total possessions, indicating that recovery after sub-maximal attacking and continual pressing movements needs to be improved.
I carried out a series of fitness tests before my P.E.P, in which I achieved “below average” results in the Harvard step test, which indicates a low heart recovery of 35.
This is also supported by my resting heart rate of 66bpm, which corresponds to a Vo2 Max of 45 – which is also classified as “below average,” for my age. This shows that my body’s ability to consume oxygen and recover after strenuous exercise may be limiting my ability to consistently press in football, and this could be improved by increasing my V02 max and decreasing my heart recovery times, which is achieved by strengthening my cardiac muscle.
To increase my ability to press effectively when the defensive backline is in possession. I would need to improve my V02 max and Heart recovery, since this an important factor in being able to maintain, and recover from submaximal levels of activity, such as closing down defenders. Over the six-week period, I want to improve my calculated V02 by 5 and increase my heart recovery score by 7.
Specific I have set forth a target to reach, which can be evaluated as “achieved” or “not achieved” at the end of the six weeks duration.
Measurable It is possible to recognise development by carrying out measurements each week in the exercise plan, such as completing the Harvard step test and measuring my resting heart rate.
Achievable I believe the aim can be reached within six weeks, providing incentive to carry out the exercise plan with maximum effort.
Realistic I have set out an aim which is achievable by putting maximum effort throughout the six week period. This will motivate me to complete the exercise plan, because I can gain the progression that the P.EP results in.
Time bound This personal exercise plan is restricted to a six-week duration
Frequency Each type of training sessions will be carried out twice a week, with rest day’s in-between. This is in order to prevent the risk of overtraining or injury which could lead to reversibility. However I believe it is still frequent enough to provide important in my fitness.
Intensity The intensity of each fitness session will be appropriate to my current level of fitness, and the training principle of progressive overload will be implemented. This will provide continual higher stresses, allowing my cardiovascular endurance to improve, thus allowing me to press more consistently in a football match.
Time As football matches are composed of two halves of 40 minutes (at my current level), I will design sessions which are of a similar length of 40 minutes. This will allow me to maintain maximum effort throughout a full football match.
Type When considering that I want to increase my heart recovery time score and increase my V02 max, I have decided that this component is related to my cardiovascular endurance. Thus I have chosen to implement high intensity interval training (HIIT), and circuit training in my sessions.
High intensity Interval training (HIIT)
In order to replicate the varying intervals of a football match where I work at high intensity, such as pressing defenders to regain possession of the ball; and where I can work at a lower intensity (such as when my team is in possession), I have implemented HIIT into my exercise plan. I have divided the forty minute session into two halves, the first of which will primarily work on cardio vascular endurance. However, the second will include interval training with the ball, which will improve my skill and control of the ball under the influence of fatigue, which often occurs towards the ends of the two halves of a football match.
As can be seen from my Post P.E.P results, I increased my Harvard Step Test from 63 to 83, corresponding to an increase in the percentage of defensive possessions that I press the backline. Demonstrating that my initial aim was realistic and achievable within the facilities available. I believe that the success of my programme was due to adhering to the five principles of training, such as making it specific to Football, interval training to reflect the different intensities experienced, and tailoring the duration of training sessions to that of a 30 minute football half; therefore making the making the training relevant to the sport.
In addition to this, I implemented progressive overload into the interval training sessions by increasing the time spent on each exercise, and decreasing the rest periods between. I decided to do this by alternatively increasing the exercise durations by 5 seconds, or decreasing the rest periods by 5 seconds, on an alternative weekly basis. This made the sessions sufficiently challenged to improve my cardiovascular fitness, I tracked my progress by carrying out Harvard step tests every week, and recording the repitions achieved in one of the weekly sessions.
Moreover, the repetitions improved my muscular endurance and power, as seen in the increase in my vertical jump test and minute press ups test. This is important when considering my aim of improving the effectiveness of my pressing, since I found that muscle fatigue and speed often effected my ability to consistency press.
However, my week 6 result of 85 in the Harvard Step test falls is classified as Average, indicating that I have potential to improve my cardiovascular fitness even more. Perhaps one of the reasons could be the limited time span of my programme, since if I had increased it by an additional x weeks, the graph suggests I would have move into a higher catergory. In light of this, if I was to design another program with a similar aim I would increase its duration to eight weeks. Since I believe this still fultfills the time bound principle in order to keep the athlete motivated, though this may prove to be difficult since It was increasingly difficult to maintain ?
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