While the functions of fitness training and sports are essentially the same, i.e., improve our health and help us achieve a fitter body, their principles are different. When it comes to fitness training, people, as well as personal trainers, are more focused on burning fat, achieving a leaner body, building more muscles, and improving bodily functions.
On the other hand, sports training is focused more on building endurance, strength, speed, flexibility, coordination, cognitive abilities, and stamina. Compared to regular people, athletes go through much more intensive training and take fewer breaks in between to reach their peak performance.
The techniques used in sports training and nutrition are also quite different from those used in fitness training. Personal trainers are more focused on making athletes perfect in their field, and hence the trainers need proper certifications such as the one offered by W.I.T.S Education. This training helps trainers understand the athlete’s different requirements and develop training programs accordingly.
What Is Sports Training?
Sports training refers to the process of training an individual to become skilled in any given sport. Sports training is mostly preferred by athletes and involves intense training and workouts to help people reach their peak performance. It is assumed that sports training is only related to physical training, but that’s not true. Instead, sports training includes physical, technical, intellectual, psychological, and moral preparation.
This training is part of the daily routine for athletes, and they undergo exercises to build up strength, endurance, and confidence to succeed in their sport. Besides that, the training methods and techniques used depend on the kind of sport the athlete plays. For example, if it’s football that requires precision footwork, then athletes’ training includes exercises that build and tone leg muscles and give them the agility to be quick on their feet. But if they’re gymnasts, then they need exceptional upper body strength to allow them to perform.
This is why gymnasts work on building their torso muscles and improving their coordination. Due to this, sports training is quite dynamic, and trainers need to develop workout plans depending on the kind of sport the athlete will play.
How Trainers Build A Sports Training program?
A fitness trainer needs to develop an athlete’s training program with care and proper attention because the workouts are intense and can lead to injuries or other damages if not done properly. There are many things that a trainer needs to consider before they can plan a functional program for the athlete. These things include looking at the athlete’s health, fitness, end results, and any underlying injuries that can affect their health during the training. Here are some of the things trainers need to keep in mind.
The Goals Of The Athletes
Before preparing any training program, trainers need to understand the results the athletes are looking for. This just doesn’t depend on the kind of sports they play but also on the areas they need training in and want to improve. This can include endurance, nutrition, physical strength, or cognitive development. As a trainer, it’s your job to understand the goals of the athletes and develop plans that work around them.
In some cases, athletes have the required strength, but they lack the coordination and swift response times that put them at a disadvantage. Other times, they can have the strength and coordination, but they lack the stamina to keep going. In both cases, it’s up to the trainer to create workouts to help them.
The Kind Of Sports
Unlike regular fitness training, where the exercise plans are more or less the same, with some variations depending on the client’s needs, sports training is heavily dependent on the sport. A plan developed for gymnasts cannot work with a cyclist. Similarly, a plan developed for a football athlete can’t work with an ice-hockey player.
Form the stretching, warm up to the actual exercise, and finishers; trainers need to keep in mind the sport their athletes will play. A slight miss in training can compromise the outcome and performance of the athlete. It can also decrease their chances of winning and lead to injuries.
That Age And Health Of The Athlete
It’s no secret that athletes retire at an earlier age than the rest of the working folks. That’s mainly because the amount of physical training and endurance their body requires can only be sustained at a young age. Once the athletes cross the 30-year benchmark, their performance slowly declines. This is because their bodies and joints can no longer take the tough training, and the chances of sustaining a serious injury increase.
This is the reason why athletes start their training at a very young age, and trainers need to make sure that the training program is appropriate for the age and health of the athlete. If the athlete is older, then a demanding exercise plan is not right for them.
Image Filename: Fitness-training-and-cycling
Image Alt Text: Two people cycling
Length Of The Training Session And Recovery Time
Since sports training is quite intensive and can cause serious muscle fatigue, athletes need ample time to rest and let their muscles heal. In addition to this, trainers are tasked with developing sessions that don’t cause any extensive muscle damage because that can lead to injuries. The general rule is that for every workout, an equal amount of rest time is needed to let the muscle heal.
Obviously, it isn’t mandatory for each workout and depends on the health and stamina of the athlete. However, they still need time to rest to heal from the muscle damage. If you’re recommending crash training to your athletes, then they need a day’s rest after each crash training session. Similarly, other forms of training need adequate rest time to let the muscles and joints recover.
Nutritional And Physiological Requirements
Besides the physical training, nutritional and physiological requirements are important as well. If the body isn’t getting the required nutrition, it won’t function properly, and athletes will not be able to give their peak performance. It is estimated that, on average, athletes require 2500 to 3000 calories daily. This is around 500 to 1000 calories more than an average person requires. Not only that, but during active competition, the athletes require even more calories to keep their balance.
The downside is that with these calories, they also need other nutrients. So trainers are asked to develop diet plans while working with nutritionists that can supply the athletes with the required calories without cutting down on the other nutrients.
Additionally, trainers need to focus on the physiological health of the athletes as well. Physiological health is responsible for keeping the body in a healthy state and preventing injuries. It also ensures that the bones and joints are in top health and won’t cause trouble to the athlete.
The Timeline Of Preparation
Athletes always have some deadline to follow when they’re in training mode. That’s why their training should be mindful of the timeline they have before their next performance. This timeline dictates the course of the training and how intense it will be. The shorter the timeline, the more intense the training is.
But this isn’t always good; a shorter timeline would mean that the athletes would have to compromise on the recovery time and push themselves beyond their capabilities. In the long run, this can cause serious side effects. Generally, trainers design plans that span several months to even years before an athlete is fit to perform.
The Kind Of Training Required
After sorting all of the above, it’s time for the trainers to figure out which training is best for the athlete. There are several kinds of training athletes can take part in; some trainers even mix them up for better results.
However, the choice depends largely on the sport the athlete is a part of. Normally crash training is included when it comes to athletes so they can increase their stamina and train their bodies to endure more stress. Another form of training is Fartlek training which means speed play. This training is a combination of continuous training and interval training that emphasizes increasing speed and coordination.
Circuit training is also popular among those looking to increase endurance. This training utilizes diverse types of muscles and is ideal for complete body training. Athletes also require flexibility and mobility training to develop quick reaction times and unlock a wider range of motions.
How Is Sports Training Changing The Fitness World?
While it’s true that sports and athletic training are generally designed for athletes, more and more personal trainers are incorporating elements of sports training in their workout plans. Clients can achieve better and faster results by adding sports training into regular fitness training. Not only that, but it also helps them increase their stamina and develop endurance. Here’s how sports training is influencing the fitness world.
Introduction Of Crash Training
Crash training was originally strictly for athletes and bodybuilders who wanted to train their bodies to handle more stresses. Now, however, fitness enthusiasts can try it as well and expand the bounds of their fitness. Although for regular clients, crash training is toned down not to cause any injury because their bodies are not used to such stresses.
Moreover, this training is usually incorporated into the workout routine along with other exercises to maintain a balance. But despite that, clients can achieve better results and improve their joint functions along with cognitive functions to lead healthier lives.
Interval training is a combination of high-intensity and low-intensity training involving ample rest time. This training involves doing high-intensity training for a short while, followed by low-intensity training to take the body into the normal state slowly. This is followed by a rest period to let the muscles heal. For athletes, this method is great for releasing small bursts of energy and filling the body with oxygen.
This training helps them develop stamina and endurance. This is why when regular folks do it, they see an increase in their stamina and muscle development. The unique aspect of interval training is that it triggers quick muscle development without exhausting the body and causing muscle wastage.
Better Management Of Muscle Damage And Injuries
One of the core components of sports training is handling injuries and muscle damage. Athletic trainers are skilled in prescribing exercises and remedies to heal muscles and help athletes recover from injuries quicker. Personal trainers can take certifications in medical fitness, such as the one offered by W.I.T.S Education to learn more about injuries and how to heal them.
Equipped with the knowledge of medical fitness, personal trainers can help their clients prevent workout injuries and help them recover faster. They can also help clients learn better muscle management and develop exercise programs that work better with their endurance level.
Endurance And Stamina Training
Endurance training is another popular form of sports training in which athletes train their bodies to increase their stamina. Generally, a heavy cardiovascular workout session is required when it comes to endurance training. Personal trainers can add elements of endurance training into their less rigorous workout plans.
For example, they can include running, cycling, or swimming to help clients build endurance. Because all of these activities involve a heavy cardio activity that’ll fill up the body and the brain with oxygen and increase the energy levels of the body. This energy is created when the body breaks down insulin in the body.
Improving Coordination And Flexibility
It’s no secret that the best athletes are the ones that have impeccable coordination and ample flexibility. No matter what sport it is, coordination, agility, and flexibility are important. Coordination training helps improve workout techniques and form to get the best results. When an exercise is performed properly it helps the brain coordinate better and along with reducing the risks of injuries.
In the fitness world, most injuries occur due to wrong postures, techniques, and forms. That’s why personal trainers can introduce coordination training exercises to help clients achieve better results.
If you want to advance your career as a personal trainer, check out the certifications offered by W.I.T.S Education. At W.I.T.S Education, you can enroll in a number of certifications related to fitness and become a medical fitness trainer, senior fitness instructor, group fitness instructor, and even youth fitness instructor. You can even enroll in the fitness management course and start your own fitness studio as well.
The courses at W.I.T.S Education are accredited by the NCCA and the American council of education, so students can earn college credits. The courses are divided into online lectures and in-person hands-on practical labs that help students gain valuable skills for real-world challenges and not just be book smart. Get in touch to learn more.