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A question that always arises:should children perform adult type endurance training in reduced quantities,or should they be performing a different type of training that is tailored to their physiology?.
A non elite adult model for endurance can be expected to improve their VO2 max by 25%, training for say 12 weeks 3-5 times a week at an intensity of about 75-80% of max heart rate against a child of 10% improvement in VO2 max following an adult-like CV (cardiovascular) training programme Best Camping Tents Review.
The consensus from research is that children can improve their aerobic fitness but not to the same degree as adults when following a similar training programme.

Why should this be so?.Some scientists have hypothesised that the reason for this diminshed training effect in children is that a hormonal trigger exists which limits CV trainability until puberty.It seems reasonable that until growth hormone levels,such as testosterone,rise,then increasing the size of the heart through endurance training may be limited,just as increasing the size of the muscles through strength training is limited until post puberty.
A childs heart is smaller than an adults and does not achieve its natural full size until full height is reached.Thus stroke volume,which is the amount of blood the heart can pump with one beat,is lower in children and it may be that any further improvements in VO2 max are limited by this.
Evidence to support the theory that immaturity limits trainability can be garnered from observations of elite endurance-trained children.It is rare that an elite child athlete has a VO2 max greater than 65ml/kg/min compared to an elite adults who can achieve VO2 max scores above 80ml/kg/min.
This suggests that even with well trained individuals there is a ceiling on possible improvements until perhaps puberty or later

Another factor that could explain the diminished training effect in children is that the pre-training status of the average child is higher than the pre-training status of the average adult.
Children have VO2 max scores of around 40-50ml/kg/min whereas the untrained adult scores in the 35-40ml/kg/min range .Children are naturally fit and will remain fit independent of their activity levels until 14yrs in girls and 18yrs in boys.Thereafter,CV training is required to maintain fitness.
Thus it seems logical that if children have higher fitness levels than adults to start with,they will gain fewer benefits when following the averageadult CV training plan
Children may have to train quite hard to improve their already good natural fitness for the fact that children have higher anaerobic thresholds(AT) than adults and therefore may require higher intensities of cardiovascular training for optimum benefits.
It is accepted that training at ones AT when performing continuous training is potentially the best intensity that one can maintain before lactate starts to accumalate.The average adult will have an AT around 75% of max heart rate,but research has shown that childrens AT is around 85% of max heart rate,suggesting that higher intensity training will be more appropiate for children.

If we assume that a childs maximum heart rate is 205bpm,then the optimum training heart rate for continuous CV training will be 174bpm(205x 0.85)which is considerably higher than the rate normally recommended for the average adult

One of the major physiological differences between adults and children is that between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.
Children have limited anaerobic glycolysis capabilities until post-puberty because they have much lower glycolytic enzyme activity..This means that children cannot produce as much energy through anaerobic glycolysis and rely more on aerobic metabolism.To aid this children have greater aerobic enzyme activity than adults and burn a greater proportion of fats during aerobic exercise.Because children are naturally aerobic and are good fat-burners, it thus makes sense that higher intensity training which taxes the glycolitic system,rather than the fatty acid system,would be more useful,since this is the physiological area in which children are limited.
Arguably,improvements in aerobic capacity rely on the development of anaerobic metabolism,since anaerobic glycolysis is the starting point for aerobic glycolysis.In this way anaerobic and aerobic metabolism are inextricably linked and the aerobic metabolism of glycogen,which is the most efficient and important fuel for endurance performance,cannot improve until anaerobic glycolysis develops.

One could argue then that anaerobic short-burst interval training may be more beneficial for pre-pubertal children,as they can benefit greatly from this type of training via improvements in anaerobic glycolysis,which is limited at a young age

More importantly, however, in their training, will be the teaching of correct movement techniques during this important coordination-development phase of a childs growing years(5-12) which will be vital for long term athletic performance.
The development of speed will help develop the attributes of strength,power,agility, coordination and balance concurrently.This will help the child be more successful in the sport of their choice and will improve the chances that they will stay involved in sport into their adult years.

During the growing phases of a young persons life,not all physical attributes develop at the same rate.
A physical attribute of the child that rates well below that of the adult in both absolute and relative terms is that of muscular strength.This attribute is subject to the muscle mass,neural adaptation and hormonal status of the individual, factors which develop rapidly in post-adolescence,so cannot be realised in the pre-adolescent athlete.
Both power and speed are greatly determined by the strength level of the athlete,so these attributes are also poorly developed in the pre-adolescent athlete.

It follows then that it very important to apply as much neural stimuli to the developing athlete as possible to maximise neural speed,strength and power adaptations during this phase of development.
It is also very important to carry the flexibility that the child naturally possesses over into their adult life.It is well documented that the average young child is more supple or flexible than the average adult.
Connective tissue and joint stiffness increase as the child matures,generally children are very flexible and will become less so if this is not attended to from an early age.

Many muscle fibres are transitional during the first 10yrs of life and can,through external stimulus,function as either fast-twitch or slow twitch fibres.
It is however speed and power that are the major physical factors which determine success in most sports.
As speed and power levels are related to fibre type(fast -twitch fibres and the neural system that goes along with this fibre type),it would be detrimental to the athlete to spend a lot of time developing the aerobic system(and therefore slow-twitch fibre content) at the expense of the more important fast-twitch fibres.

Rather than focusing on the physiological differences between males and females,the training of young children can instead emphasise skill aquisition and reinforcement of the basic speed and strength training principals.Time spent developing the aerobic capacity of children cannot be justified due to the high aerobic capacity most children already have from an early age.

In sports that have a high aerobic component speed capacity is important if the athlete wishes to reach a high level of performance.

The best aerobic athletes in the world in their respective events still have a great capacity for speed,a capacity which is often what separates the first place-getter from the no-place-getter.
The development of speed and strength attributes from an early age will allow for a greater work capacity in later years and will increase the chance of maximal performance at the senior level
This concept has been used in European countries for many years now.
Children are taken through a very detailed physical education program from an early age(starting in primary school) whereby high levels of skill are acquired and specific strength and speed-conditioning programs are integrated into everyday school activities.

This has allowed the training intensities and volumes to be very high when the child is old enough to make the decision to become a competitive athlete,leading ultimately to high performance levels in the childs late teens and into adulthood.

Because of the increasingly sedentary lifestyle our children are leading(due to the proliferation of computer games,television shows,music CDsetc) and with the breakdown of the physical education structure throughout our primary and secondary school system,it is important that the child athlete is exposed to correct strength,speed and power-conditioning principles from an early age.

This will ensure that they progress at the rate needed to allow them to make the successful step up to competitive sport whilst limiting the problems associated with high-level training;for example,over-use injuries,such as soft-tissue injuries which occur as a consequence of performing too much repetitive work on specific muscle groups and joints.

Many researchers have detailed how it is possible for a young athlete to start achieving good strength gains(especially strength gains relative to the childs bodyweight) from as early as eight years of age.These are strength gains that are beyond the normal strength developments that occur through the normal maturation process.

They can be achieved through the use of non-weight-room conditioning methods that will result in great variation in training and will lead to the apppropiate physical development of the child.

The ability to greatly improve running speed and technique does not develop until most children are at least 6-7yrs of age.It is at this age that we find the important strength component for running reaches a level where the child now accomplishes the basic running motor patterns for increased speed.
It is also during these years that the nervous system is in a stage of rapid transition and learning takes place quite quickly
It should be during these formative years that basic running technique is addressed and that basic patterns(hip,knee,ankle,arm position etc) are ingrained.
It is well understood by coach and movement experts that it is easier to develop a new motor pattern than it is to try to remodel an old,inefficient and incorrect motor pattern which was learnt at an earlier time.The moral to the story is:


The Benefits Of Speed Training

Looking at junior sports performance we find in many cases that the fast athlete is often the athlete who performs best.
The attribute of speed is usually left up to the childs natural physical development but hopefully you can see that it is possible to improve this skill at an early age.
This will result in a better performance capability regardless of the level of sport-specific skill of a junior athlete-obviously speed will not overcome a total lack of specific skill but it can make up for small deficits

If a young child performs sprint training from an early age,there will subsequently be the development of:

* correct sprint technique

* correct muscle fibre types for explosive dynamic sports;and

* strength and power capacities at an early age.

All of these characteristics are important physical components for continued success in many sports.

An example of pre-adolescent strength and power training is the typical gymnastics training regime undertaken by athletes while they are still years away from puberty

Injury rates with these athletes are low but the development of their muscular and skeletal systems take place at a high level.
If we take the most relevant components from such a program,it could be modified to address the more important components needed in sport,such as running speed,jumping and throwing technique

The Training Program

Preparing the nervous system for rapid muscular contractions requires a warm-up which utilises similar motor patterns.
The traditional warm-up,consisting of a general jog followed by several minutes of static stretching,is not the most appropiate way of preparing for a speed or power-training session.The athlete should not spend too much time performing static stretching because it may cause the athletes central nervous system to decrease its activation(the role of static stretching is to inhibit neural activation in muscles),thus not preparing this system for the very active work required during the session.

Training Drills

1) Warm-Up(10min maximum).Include total body exercises,such as squats,lunges,push-ups,sit-ups(any variations),running,and jumping(any variation)

2) Main Routines(30-40mins).Skills should be the main focus.Where possible,add elements such as sprinting,bounding and explosive throwing to the routines.Perhaps finish with a running/bodyweight circuit to emphasise fitness and continued strength training.

3) Cool-Down(5-10mins) This is the time to add static stretching to the routine to help maintain and improve the athletes range of motion.

The above example of training(and all its variations) wil help the young athlete to not only improve the all-important skill component of their sport,but it will also assist in the physical development that is equally important once high skill levels are attained

All of the preceeding exercises can be integrated into a training program using different sessions to ensure that the young athletes maintain their enthusiasm.
The warm-up is the ideal time to encourage a young athletes physical development.

Coaching Implications

* It is common to want a child to develop their ability only in a particular sport,however it is rare for a young child to remain in the same sport for the rest of their life so look to give that child all the skills that will allow them to be successful in whatever sporting endeavour they decide to undertake later in life. Don forget to buy swiss rolex replica watches when you are in uk.

* The least important attribute to train in a young child is aerobic fitness;too much time spent on developing the aerobic system will decrease the development rate of the other physical attributes,such as balance and speed.

*Speed,balance,coordination and strength should be incorporated into a young childs training and playtime to more quickly develop the skills they will need for success later in their sporting life

*Training(in the form of games) should be introduced

* The most rapid learning of new motor skills by a child occurs in this age range,it is in this time that a child should be exposed to as many different skills as possible.

*Finally the coach must have a wide variety of drills and skills to keep the children interested whilst challenging their neuromuscular system At times other coaches skilled in different events could be used for certain specific training sessions.