To create a successful training programme it is imperative that it is based on sound empirical theories and methodology. The specific athlete in this case is Louise Barnes who is a basketball player looking to peak for competition during the months January to April. Before the programme is devised, a needs assessment will be conducted and areas of strength and weakness identified. The annual programme will include five main phases involving 8 months of preparation before the competition phase, concluding with a recovery phase.
The key areas identified for improvement are aerobic endurance, which will enable Louise to maintain high work intensity throughout the game. A well developed aerobic system is required to clear the oxygen debt built up through periods of high intensity play. Leg strength is another key area for improvement as this is critical to basketball (Harley and Doust, 1997). Flexibility will be improved to reduce the risk of injury and increase power potential over the forthcoming training cycle.
Bompa and Carrera (2005) have identified the key physiological components utilised during a game of basketball. The dominant energy systems are anaerobic alactic, lactic acid and aerobic with a 60:20:20% split respectively. The predominant energy suppliers are creatine phosphate and glycogen. The key training objectives identified for general basketball performance are maximum strength, takeoff power, acceleration power and power endurance (Bompa and Carrera, 2005).
Annual Plan (see attachment):
The first and arguably the key component of periodization is the breakdown of the yearly programme into smaller training cycles. In this instance, the year has been broken down into five cycles; foundation 1, foundation 2, preparation, competition and recovery. Each training cycle is further divided into specific microcycles, which will be addressed later. The first phase of training is designed to develop the physiological foundation of the athlete. During this phase of the cycle, training programmes are generally non-sport specific (Fox et al., 1997). The essential components of this initial phase are endurance, body composition, strength and core strength. This nine-week endurance phase forms the foundation for all subsequent training (Paish, 1991).
The foundation 2 phase, again consists of nine-weeks but introduces speed and flexibility work. This work is in addition to the components worked on in the first phase and as such the training volume is increased. During these two phases all areas identified as weaknesses have been addressed and a firm foundation for game specific fitness can be built. It is essential that the energy system capacity of the athlete is maximised during this pre-competition phase (Fox et al., 1997).
The preparation phase of the cycle sees the introduction of skill based sessions as the volume of matches and training sessions increases. Traditionally, this in-season training phase emphasises skill development while maintaining the physical preparation developed over the previous 16-weeks (Herring, 2002). The competition phase incorporates an emphasis on power development but also includes a taper whereby both the intensity and volume of training is reduced in order for adaptation and recovery to take place before the key competition phase starts. Research suggests that by decreasing training load by about 80%, performance increases due to increased glycogen stores, red blood cell density and plasma volume (www.brianmac.demon.co.uk).
The final phase of the training cycle is a recovery phase whereby the athlete should try and maintain some sort of endurance base and most importantly, keep her body weight near competition weight. Activities should include recreational sports for relaxation, pleasure and enjoyment (Fox et al., 1997). It is important that during this time Louise can move away from the demands of basketball and the intensity of training.
The two main areas for manipulating a training programme are the volume of training and the intensity of training. As you can see from Louise Barnes annual training programme, both the training intensity and volume is manipulated throughout the training cycle to induce the greatest improvement in performance come January. The volume of training refers to the quantity of work performed (Bompa and Carrera, 2005). A dramatic or abrupt increase in training volume can be detrimental to an athlete, resulting in fatigue or injury. Therefore, the initial training volume starts relatively low during the foundation 1 phase and increases as the athlete becomes accustomed to the training demands. It is important that during the taper period the volume is decreased to allow for recovery and adaptation without compromising intensity.
Training intensity refers to the ‘quality’ of work performed. In terms of strength training, training intensity refers to the strength of the nervous stimuli employed, the muscular effort induced and the degree to which the central nervous system is called into action (Bompa and Carrera, 2005). It is important to note that both volume and intensity are as important as the other and both should be strategically manipulated to get the best training effect. As such, a key element to Louise Barnes training programme is the variation in these two factors.
Specific Microcycle- week beginning 24th July
Monday: am- Endurance training. This will consist of a fartlek based session involving short, high bursts of intense exercise interspersed with periods of active recovery.
Tuesday: Pm- Strength training. This will consist of 3 sets of 6 reps involving all the main muscle groups at 90% of 1RM, with three minutes recovery between sets.
Wednesday: Club training with Manchester Mystics incorporating 30mins of speed training during the warm-up.
Thursday: Core stability work- 30 minutes. An element of training is evident throughout the season. This session includes crunches, praying mantis, supine leg extension, single leg supine hip extension, prone bridge and glute circuit. Each exercise should be performed for a minute with a minute recovery between exercises.
Friday: Strength training as of Tuesday
Saturday: Endurance training. This will consist of 4 x 4 min interval running at 90-95% of maximum heart rate with 3 minutes of active recovery between sets.
Sunday: Rest day with 15min of flexibility training.
One of the key elements during this phase is to increase aerobic endurance. In contrast to typical beliefs, that in order to improve endurance capacity an athlete should perform steady state continuous exercise for at least 40 min (Corbin et al., 2006), current theory suggests that high-intensity bouts of exercise has a greater effect on maximal oxygen uptake (Helgerud et al., 2007). Cardiorespiratory endurance is one of the fundamental components of physical fitness. Accumulation of lactic acid resulting in fatigue means that anaerobic metabolism cannot contribute to the significant level of energy expended during a game of basketball.
This microcycle incorporates two strength sessions. These have been placed two days apart to account for the type of recovery required. Each fitness component is dependent on a particular energy system and in the case of strength training it is predominantly the glycogen system. As such it takes 24 to 48 hours to recover. The rate of recovery from predominantly aerobic work is eight hours (Bompa and Carrera, 1999). If Louise requires an extra rest day or study time, she should perform strength training sessions on the same day as tactical and technical or speed sessions so purely the glycogen stores are taxed all on the same day. This will result in depletion of glycogen stores but the overall training cycle will not be compromised.
During this training phase it is imperative that Louise has adequate rest time to allow for recovery. As such, it is far better to have two training sessions on one day to allow for a full days recovery. It should also be noted that a carbohydrate rich diet should be consumed during this phase (Wilmore and Costill, 1994).
There is evidence to suggest that a four day microcycle is the best to bring about adaptive responses (Paish, 1991), however due to the Manchester Mystics weekly training sessions and matches this is not feasible in this case.