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By studying this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Design a sport-specific training program based on an analysis of the energy systems utilized by the activity.

  2. Define the terms overload, specificity, and reversibility.

  3. Compare and contrast the use of interval training and continuous training to improve the maximal aerobic power in athletes.

  4. Discuss the differences between training for anaerobic power and training for the improvement of strength.

  5. List the advantages and disadvantages of different equipment types in weight training.

  6. Define delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Outline the factors that contribute to its development.

  7. Discuss the use of static and ballistic stretching to improve flexibility.

  8. Discuss the differences between conditioning goals during (1) the off-season, (2) the preseason, and (3) in-season.

  9. List and discuss several common training errors.


Training Principles

  • Overload, Specificity, and Reversibility

  • Influence of Gender and Initial Fitness Level

  • Influence of Genetics

Components of a Training Session: Warm-Up, Workout, and Cool Down

Training to Improve Aerobic Power

  • Interval Training

  • Long, Slow-Distance Exercise

  • High-Intensity, Continuous Exercise

  • Altitude Training Improves Exercise Performance at Sea Level

Injuries and Endurance Training

Training to Improve Anaerobic Power

  • Training to Improve the ATP-PC System

  • Training to Improve the Glycolytic System

Training to Improve Muscular Strength

  • Progressive Resistance Exercise

  • General Strength-Training Principles

  • Free Weights Versus Machines

  • Gender Differences in Response to Strength Training

Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training Programs

Nutritional Influence on Training-Induced Skeletal Muscle Adaptations

  • Carbohydrate Availability in Skeletal Muscle Influences Endurance Training Adaptation

  • Protein Availability in Skeletal Muscle Influences Muscle Protein Synthesis Following Exercise

  • Supplementation with Mega Doses of Antioxidants

Muscle Soreness

Training to Improve Flexibility

Year-Round Conditioning for Athletes

  • Off-Season Conditioning

  • Preseason Conditioning

  • In-Season Conditioning

Common Training Mistakes

Key Terms

critical power

delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

dynamic stretching

exercise economy



progressive resistance exercise (PRE)

proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)


repetitions maximum

rest interval


static stretching


variable-resistance exercise

work interval

Traditionally, coaches and trainers have planned conditioning programs by following regimens used by teams that have successful win-loss records. This type of reasoning is not sound because win-loss records alone do not scientifically validate the conditioning programs used by the successful teams. In fact, the successful team might be victorious by virtue of its superior athletes and not its outstanding conditioning program. Clearly, the planning of an effective athletic conditioning program is best achieved by the application of proven physiological training principles. Optimizing training programs for athletes is important because failure to properly condition an athletic team results in a poor performance and often defeat. This chapter presents an overview of how to apply scientific principles to the development of an athletic conditioning program.


The overall objective of a sport conditioning program is to improve performance. Depending upon the specific sport, this can be achieved by increasing the muscle’s ability to generate force and power, improving ...

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