Cross Training Program: Its Effects on The Physical Fitness Status of Athletes

Cross Training Program: its Effects on the Physical Fitness Status of Athletes.

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Cross Training Program: its Effects on the Physical  Fitness Status of Athletes

ABSTRACT

4. Importance of the Study :

 

          Training is the foundation of performance in sports. Foreign records claim that cross-training has been proven effective in enhancing performance and fitness levels of athletes, boxers, bowlers, and players of basketball, soccer and taekwondo. So far, however, a few have investigated this training approach scientifically. Hence, this research may contribute to Philippine sports literature.

More importantly, the results of the experiment may prove whether or not cross-training is effective in enhancing the physical fitness level of athletes in terms of agility, flexibility, speed, endurance, power and strength. If cross–training is proven effective at least in these cases and setting, then it is hoped that these individuals will benefit from it:

 

PE Instructors who are teaching outdoor sports may introduce an indoor sport (especially when the weather is not good) to their students without having to feel uncertain if their students are achieving the desired physical fitness. Moreover, their knowledge of cross –training may aid them to beat the boredom experienced by their students .

PE Students  may enjoy and learn physical activities other than the main sport or activity they are enrolled in, thereby making the most out of the PE course.

Coaches and Athletes may be encouraged to consider it is an alternative training method. Also, this study will update all coaches in designing a training program through cross-training.

Future researchers may use this paper as one of their reference on cross training (which do not come in abundance in the first place) should they decide to conduct their own study.

5. Statement of the Problem

 

                   Everybody, especially the athletes, needs to function efficiently and effectively. For the athlete, the need to be physically fit is required. Cross-training is said to maintain and improve physical fitness. This study sought to determine the effect of cross-training on the physical fitness status of athletes of the University of Luzon. The specific questions to be answered are:

1.      What is the status of the track and field, taekwondo and basketball athletes prior to the cross-training in terms of their:  

a.     speed,

b.     power,

c.     strength,

d.     agility,

e.     flexibility,

f.       endurance?

2.       What is the status of the track and field, taekwondo and basketball athletes after the cross-training activities in terms of their:

a.     speed,

b.     power,

c.     strength,

d.     agility,

e.     flexibility,

f.       endurance?

3.           What is the difference between the pre-cross-training and post-cross-training status of the athletes?

4.           What training program could be designed to guide the athletes in their cross-training?

6. Research Design

 

          This study sought to determine the effects of cross-training on the physical fitness status of athletes at the University of Luzon. Their physical fitness status was measured, in the form of pretest and posttest that was conducted on three groups: track and field athletes, taekwondo athletes and basketball players.

          Below is the pre-experimental pre- and posttest research design which was used in this study:

                   O1      x        O2

                   O3      x        O4

                   O5      x        O6

Where;

                    O- Observation and

                    X- Treatment

 

7. The Subjects:

 

The subjects of this study are University of Luzon athletes for school year 2006-2007, who train regularly under the supervision of their coaches.  There are 42 of them, 14 of which are members of the track and field team, 14 from the taekwondo team, and 14 from the basketball team. These respondents were selected. The track and field group was consisted of 12 males and 2 females. Eight males and 6 females belong to the taekwondo team. Meanwhile, the respondents of the basketball group were all males because there was no basketball team for women at the University.

 

 

8. Procedure :

          A researcher-constructed research instrument was used in data gathering. It consisted of information pertaining to the pre- and post test measures of the physical fitness status of the 42 athletes. The format of the research instrument is found in appendix D.

          Forty two athletes were pretested and post tested on their speed, power, strength,agility, flexibility and endurance. These physical fitness components were measured through 50 meter sprint, long jump, push up and bent-knee sit up, shuttle run, sit and reach and12 km run. The complete list of activities for the physical fitness test and 8 weeks of cross training program is found in Appendix K. The researcher in this experiment was aided by coaches and assistant coaches to oversee the athletes and selected P.E. students served as recorders and time keepers. The assistants to the experimenter were given a guideline (Appendix H) on how to conduct the Physical Fitness Test before the day of pretesting.

9.  Data Analysis

                   To analyze the data gathered, this research made use of the following tools:

          For specific problems 1 and 2, the percentile norm table for our national athletes (appendix E) was used to determine the physical fitness status of the subjects.

          For specific problem 3, the t test of the significance of the difference (dependent t test) between the pre and post training physical fitness status of the athletes was used.

          t =                         SD

                   ________________________

                    

                       [ ( NSD)2 – (SD)2] / ( N-1)

 

 

 

10. Major Findings

I. The Physical Fitness Status of the Athletes Prior to Cross-Training

A. The Track and Field Athletes

          The 12 male athletes were excellent in speed and did very good in power, upper body and abdominal strength, agility, flexibility and endurance. The 2 female athletes recorded excellent in speed, abdominal strength and endurance. They showed very good physical fitness status in agility and flexibility but did poorly in upper body strength and stood fair in power.

B. The Taekwondo Athletes

          The 8 male subjects were excellent in upper body and abdominal strength, and had exhibited very good flexibility. Their speed, power and agility were rated good but their endurance was marked “poor.” Meanwhile the 6 female’s taekwondo players could hold their own by recording excellent in speed and abdominal strength. They showed very good flexibility and good agility but pulled themselves down by exhibiting poor power, poor upper body strength and very poor endurance.

C. The Basketball Players

          The only team that has no female representative, the basketball team performed very good in speed and showed good status in power, agility, and flexibility. They demonstrated fair upper body and abdominal strength. Their endurance was poor.

II. The Physical Fitness Status of the Athletes after the Cross- Training

          A.  The Track and Field Athletes

         

The male tracksters were now excellent in speed and upper body and abdominal strength. The results of the post test yielded very good standing in power, agility, flexibility, and endurance.

          After the cross-training, the female tracksters recorded excellent in speed, abdominal strength  and endurance, they still did well in upper body strength, agility and flexibility by exhibiting very good performance in push up, shuttle run and sit and  reach. Their lowest rating in the post test was “fair” (power).

A.    The Taekwondo Athletes

The male taekwondo players recorded 4 excellent ratings in such components as upper body and abdominal strength and flexibility. Their power was very good and so was their agility. They performed least in the 12 minute run which is not that bad because their rating for endurance was “good”.

B.    The Basketball Athletes

These players scores 1 “excellent” rating (speed) and 2 “very good ratings ( agility and flexibility). For their less-impressive records, they garnered “good” ratings in power and abdominal strength. As for upper body strength and endurance, they recorded 2 “fair” ratings.

III. The Difference between the Pre-Cross-Training and the Post Cross-Training Status of the Athletes

A. On the Basis of the PSC percentile Norm

1.     The Track and Field Athletes

The pre- and post test results have revealed that the track and field players maintained  their status in such components as speed, power, abdominal strength, agility, flexibility and endurance. The obvious changes/ improvement in the status are indicated in the components upper body strength both for males (very good to excellent) and females (poor to very good). The abdominal strength of male athletes improved from very good to excellent.

2.     The Taekwondo Athletes

The male athletes have maintained their status in upper body strength (excellent) and abdominal strength (also excellent). The improvement can be found in the components, speed, power, agility, flexibility and endurance. On other hand, the female taekwondo players maintained their status in speed, abdominal strength, agility and flexibility. Apparently, the improvement lies in power, upper body strength and endurance.

3.     The Basketball Athletes

The all- male team showed improvement in speed, abdominal strength, agility, flexibility and endurance. They seemingly did not reflect improvement in power and upper body strength.

B. On the Basis of the t –test Computations

By comparing the pre- and post test results, it seemed that 2 patterns of status prevailed: the pattern of “maintained” status and the pattern that showed improvement. This is relatively true when the percentiles are assigned descriptive ratings. The readers should not be misled into thinking, however, that there were a few improvement that a cross-training approach could bring. By using a more appropriate statistical tool (that is, t test) it was found out that the athletes, whichever team they belonged, and regardless of event and gender, had showed significant improvement in all the physical fitness components after the cross-training. That much the author of the study can assure the readers.

 

11. Conclusion

1.     Based on the results of the pre-training physical fitness test, the 3 groups of athletes differ in their physical fitness status.

2.     Based on the table of percentile norms for the national athletes, it can be said that the physical fitness status of the athletes/participants was generally impressive prior to the cross-training and even got better after the cross –training.

3.     There were significant changes, i.e. improvement in the physical fitness level of athletes in terms of agility, flexibility, speed, endurance, strength and power after the cross-training.

4.     By using the descriptive ratings, the pattern of pre- and post test results take either the ascending route or the “leveling” route (e.g. “very good” to “ very good”). Hence, there was never a decline in the physical fitness status of the subjects after the cross training.

5.     All the teams improved after training but the extent of improvement differ from one another. This may be due to individual differences, differences in intrinsic motivation and the like.

12. Recommendations:

1.     While this paper reports that not one athlete was injured in the cross-training, it cannot conclude that the training prevents injury. It is more suggestive than conclusive. It is then recommended that a research on cross-training with injury prevention as the focus be conducted.

2.     It is recommended that the athletes should undergo medical check- up before the cross-training. The medical check-up will be used to screen them whether or not they are fit for cross-training. In fact, a medical check-up should be presented before one becomes an athlete.

3.     It is also recommended that researchers should try to experiment with other factors such as a shorter time frame (less than 8 week) or different cross-training activities (swim no more, run no more) to come up with more cross-training programs.

4.     Replicating this experiment using other subjects won’t hurt.

5.     On a more practical note, it is highly recommended that coaches, trainers, athletes, fitness enthusiasts and health buffs should incorporate cross-training in the training program in order to improve their physical fitness, whether it be to up their chances of winning, or simply giving their best, or just a sheer want of being physically fit.

6.     Lastly, the cross-training program presented in this paper is highly recommended for implementation to the University of Luzon athletes.

 

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