Training Methods

Seven Different Types of Training

Training or exercise routines have a purpose, for example to improve cardiovascular endurance or flexibility. The type of training you choose can work on one or a number of components of fitness depending on your needs.

Continuous Training

Continuous Training seeks to maintain and improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance. This type of training involves exercising at a steady, constant rate for at least 20 minutes without a rest.

This type of training is good for aerobic activities, such as long-distance running and cycling.

Cardiovascular adaptations, such as cardiac hypertrophy and increased stroke volume, will occur as a result of this training.

Overload is achieved by increasing the duration, distance, speed or frequency.


  • It is easy to do
  • Not resting helps prepare for sports where you have to play for a long period of time without a break.
  • Good for aerobic fitness
  • Good for losing weight


  • Doesn't improve anaerobic fitness
  • It can become boring doing one exercise at a constant rate.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek is also known as 'speed play' and if often used to maintain and improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance.

Fartlek is a type of continuous training, but it involves changes in intensity of the exercise over different intervals. This is usually done by changing speed or the terrain.

You can include a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic activity, so it is good for sports that need different paces, like hockey or rugby.

Overload is achieved by increasing the times or speeds of each bit, or the terrain difficulty.


  • Good for sports which require changes in speed
  • Easily adapted to suit the individuals level of fitness and sport


  • Frequent changes to intensity can mean that training lacks structure. This makes it easy to skip the hard bits and tough to monitor progress.

Interval Training

Interval training uses fixed patterns of periods of high-intensity exercise and either low-intensity exercise or rest.

By combining both high and low intensity exercise, interval training allows you to improve both cardiovascular endurance and anaerobic fitness. This means it's good for sports where you move continuously but have sudden bursts of movement, such as rugby or water polo.

Overload can be achieved by increasing the proportion of time spent on the high-intensity exercises.


  • Quick and easy to setup
  • Can mix aerobic and anaerobic exercise which replicates team games.


  • It can become exhausting.
  • Can become boring

Weight Training

Weight training is a form of training that uses progressive resistance against a muscle group, and can be used to develop both strength and muscular endurance.

  • To increase muscular strength, you use high weights but a low number of repetitions. To overload, gradually increase the weight.
  • To increase muscular endurance, you use low weight but a high number of repetitions. To overload, gradually increase the number of reps.


  • Can be adapted easily to suit different sports.
  • Strengthens the muscle groups targeted.


  • Muscle soreness after exercise because of the high stress levels.
  • If exercises are not completed with the correct technique, it can cause injury and become dangerous.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a series of exercises completed one after another. Each circuit typically has 6 to 10 stations of specific exercises for a set amount of time.

It is a very good way of developing strength, muscular endurance and power.

Overload can be achieved by doing more repetitions at each station, completing the circuit more quickly, resting less between stations, or by repeating the circuit.


  • Can be adjusted to be made specific to certain individual needs or certain sports.
  • The variety keeps the training interesting.


  • It takes a long time to set up and requires a lot of equipment and space.

Plyometric Training

Plyometrics is one method of strength training that can be used to improve power or muscular strength.

Plyometric exercises cause the muscle to lengthen before a maximal muscle shortening. The quicker your muscles can move between the lengthening and shortening phases, the more powerful the movement will be.

This will help generate more power.


  • Hugely effective in developing power.


  • As the training is very demanding, there is a higher risk of injury if not performed correctly.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a form of interval training which involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.

The short, high-intensity bursts allows you to improve cardiovascular endurance, anaerobic fitness, strength and speed.

Overload can be achieved by increasing the intensity of the high-intensity exercises.


  • HIIT workouts tend to be short, so they are good for people who don't have much time.
  • It can help lose fat without losing muscle.
  • It can be easily adapted to different sports.


  • It can become very tiring
  • Hard to find motivation to acheive maximum effort.

Knowledge Organiser

Methods of Training

Topic Test

End of Topic Quiz 2.2 Principles of Training Qu's