Sports Training and Fitness
Phil Campbell -
Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time
Is there a difference between
sports training & fitness training?
and fitness training look like twins, but they have different goals.
Likewise, sports nutrition and fitness
nutrition are related, but their principles may conflict at times.
Understanding their differences may be helpful in your training and nutrition
Speaking from his years
of experience, Dave Scott, six-time Ironman Triathlon Champion said;
continually looking for the nutritional 'magic bullet' that will allow them to
achieve and maintain peak fitness. The problem is that many don't have the
basic knowledge. They try to load up on supplements and often follow
Sports Training &
The goal of sports
training is to improve the performance of an athlete during competition.
The emphasis of training is placed on getting the athlete to "peak" when it
counts - the day of the competition.
Workouts to improve
sports performance and workouts to improve fitness can appear similar. However,
the focus of the training may lead to different decisions about exercise and
For example, carb loading
a few days before running a marathon is a wise sports nutrition strategy. Carb
loading three months prior to the marathon may actually hinder performance -
especially if the athlete is trying to drop body fat so there's less to carry
for those 26 miles.
performance requires a long range plan, typically a year in length. It's been
shown that varying a sports training program and progressively building towards
the competitive season will yield better results.
This is called
"Periodization." And it's based on the fact that athletes can't stay in
"peak condition" very long. So the goal is to get the athlete to peak during
Periodization and fitness training
Periodization is a
sports training term that describes the process of varying an athlete's
training program at regular time periods to prepare an athlete to "peak" during
the competitive season.
athletes to taper training a few weeks, or longer, before a competition
by systematically reducing the amount of training and changing the method of
training. Frequently, taper workouts emphasize the technical aspects (running
plays half-speed, starting from blocks, half-speed technically perfect javelin
throws) and very little is done for endurance or strength building during the
week prior to a competition.
Here's where sports and
fitness training differ. From a fitness standpoint, it's not wise to do wimpy
half speed workouts for an entire week. However, from the sports training
focus, tapering the week before a competition will improve peak performance on
the day of competition.
The Competitive Season
Personally, I perform the
anaerobic Sprint 8 Workout for its fitness improvement benefits year round.
This workout cuts body fat, tones and builds muscle, and it achieves my fitness
improvement goals. This workout also maintains fast-twitch muscle fiber, which
aids in injury prevention, and it prepares a base for future sports specific
When the Masters and
Senior Games training season comes around, I'll add some 100 and 200
meter sprints to the workout - since I run in the 100 and 200 meters events in
I'll also add some discus
and javelin throwing workouts and progressively increase work in this area with
the goal of peaking during the competitive season.
Keep it in context
When reading about
different training strategies, it's important to answer this question, "is this
a sports or fitness training topic."
For middle-age and older
adults, this issue can present a dilemma because much of the information about
sports training, and fitness training for that matter, is geared toward young
athletes. So when you read an article, it will help to categorize the
information as a sport performance or a fitness training
The Off Season
During the off season,
irrespective of the sport, it's important to stay fit.
The focus on fitness
training may become the top priority during this time period. This means the
fitness strategy of cutting body fat by maximizing exercise-induced HGH might
be a better strategy choice over the pre-marathon carb loading strategy, for
example, during the off season.
If you're young and/or
don't need to cut body fat, stay the course with your current program.
Now, if you're running a
marathon this weekend, the sports training strategy of carb loading would take
precedence over fitness training strategies.
The Take Home
improvement is your objective and you want to drop body fat, the wise
strategy would be to maximize exercise-induced HGH by limiting refined sugar
for two hours after training.
If you're in a sports
training mode, and you don't need to trim body fat, the sports performance
strategy of carbs after a workout to speed recovery would be the top
Have a great
Phil Campbell, M.S.,
Author Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness
National Library of Medicine:
Periodization article here
Book on Periodization click
Sports Nutrition articles: www.coryholly.com
NOTE: The purpose of this article is to
expand thinking about fitness as an informational source for readers, and is
not medical advice. Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8
Workout, or any high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This
is not just a liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam
before beginning a fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your
fitness improvement plan.
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