Cardiorespiratory Endurance Boost After-School Training Program

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Cardiorespiratory Endurance Boost After-School Training Program

Part A: Designing the Training Program

Long-term goals for the whole training program

The main goal of the after-school training program is to boost the cardiorespiratory endurance of junior high school students over four weeks. At the end of the program, we aim to witness a significant rise in the student’s ability to perform more suicides within 3 minutes compared to their first assessment.

Session 1: Introduction to Cardio Training

Specific short-term goals: In addition to familiarizing students with the program structure and establishing baseline fitness levels, the primary focus of this session is to instill the importance of proper warm-up and cooldown routines for injury prevention and optimal performance.

Measurable goal: Students will perform squats for 3 minutes, and their total count will be recorded.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: The warm-up session will encompass dynamic stretches for major muscle groups, including arm circles, leg swings, torso twists, and lunges. Such stretches prepare the body for physical activity by increasing blood flow to the muscles, thus improving flexibility (Park et al., 2018). After the dynamic stretches, students will jog light for about 3-5 minutes to raise their heart rate and body temperature.

Activities and equipment: After gradually warming up, students will move on to the interval running drills on the track. The said drills will consist of moderate-paced jogging and short intervals of faster running, with cones placed at the specified intervals to mark the course. This activity will test cardiovascular endurance and familiarize students with pacing and intensity control during aerobic exercise (Farrell & Turgeon, 2023). The gear needed for this project will be coned for the running course and maybe stopwatches for the intervals.

Cooldown activities: After the students finish the interval running drills, they will jog and slowly lower the heart rate for 3-5 minutes to facilitate recovery. After the jogging part, the students will jump into the static stretches that involve all the major muscle groups. According to Bramble (2021), these stretches will last 20-45 seconds each, including movements targeting the hamstring, quadriceps, calf, shoulder, and chest. Stretching during the cooldown phase helps prevent muscle stiffness and soreness while improving flexibility and range of motion.

Assessment tools: To determine the starting fitness level of students, the first 1-mile run will be timed when the students complete it. This evaluation will be used as a standard for assessing the performance of the training program at different stages. Besides, the students’ feelings of physical effort and the general feeling during the session will be checked through short feedback surveys to ensure the sessions are neither too hard nor too easy and fun.

Session 2: Building Endurance

Specific short-term goals: The primary objective of Session 2 is to enhance students’ stamina and aerobic capacity through a combination of cardiovascular exercises.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: To prepare the body for the exercise, the warm-up will involve dynamic movements such as jumping jacks, high knees, and lunges. These exercises will boost the heart rate and blood circulation while engaging major muscle groups.

Activities and equipment: The principal activity for this class is the uninterrupted running at a moderate speed on the track. Students will be jogging around the track, keeping a constant pace, getting them into the target heart rate zone. Heart rate monitors will be used to ensure that both students are working at the right level of intensity.

Cooldown activities: To reduce the heart rate gradually and avoid muscle soreness, students will take laps around the track, enabling their heart rate to lower to normal resting levels. After the time spent on the walking laps, static stretches will be done to stretch and relax the muscles used during the workout.

Assessment tools: The time it takes to bring the heart rate back to normal after the exercise is measured to determine the student’s cardiovascular fitness levels. This, in turn, shows the time needed for each student’s heart rate to return to its resting rate after completing a workout (CDC, 2023). A shorter time of recovery implies a higher degree of cardiovascular fitness.

Session 3: Interval Training

Specific short-term goals:  Improving students’ ability to maintain high-intensity efforts by developing their sprinting skills and recovery during intervals is the key.

Measurable goal:  Students will improve their performance by completing five sprint intervals lasting 30 seconds each, including a one-minute walking break between intervals, as opposed to their initial attempt.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Dynamic stretching exercises such as leg swings, arm circles, and trunk rotations, followed by light jogging to increase heart rate and warm the muscles.

Stretch exercises:

  1. Leg swings: The person should stand straight and swing one leg forward and backwards, then side to side, to stretch the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors.
  2. Arm circles: Extend arms out to the sides and make circular motions with the arms to warm up the shoulders and upper back.
  3. Activities and equipment: Using stopwatches, time the intervals of sprinting and walking on the track – Activities and equipment (CDC, 2023). The students will switch between sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 1 minute to recover, then complete five sets of intervals.

Cooldown activities: Do slow jogging to reduce the heart rate and make a recovery slowly, and then do flexibility exercises such as static stretching with a focus on the major muscle groups involved in running.

Assessment tools: Measure the distance completed in each sprint interval to track the progress of students’ sprinting abilities and stamina with time.

Session 4: Circuit Training

Specific short-term goals: Enhance overall cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance by completing multiple circuits of exercises targeting different muscle groups.

Measurable goal: Students will try to finish three full exercises, each made within a limited time of 20 minutes, starting from their first try.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Flexions like arm circles, leg swings, and torso twists, which are useful for the flow of blood and the warming of the muscles, are known as stretches.

Stretch exercises:

  1. Arm circles: Extend your arms wide and make circular motions with the arms to warm up the shoulders and upper back.
  2. Leg swings: Straight posture and following one leg with the other in front and back will stretch the hamstrings and the quadriceps.

Torso twists: Stand facing the sides, keep a straight line with the legs, and turn the torso from side to side to loosen the spine and oblique muscles.

Activities and equipment: Set up stationary objects with exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, burpees, and other bodyweight workouts. The students will be shuttling from one station to another, doing a set number of repeats or a set amount of time at each station.

Cooldown activities: The mild stretching exercises that involve the major muscles used in the circuit training, such as the hamstring, quad, calf, and shoulder stretches, are an integral part of the soft stretching exercises.

Assessment tools: Record the number of circuits finished by each student during the 20-minute time limit. Such activity will help monitor their endurance and cardiovascular fitness development during the program (NAP, 2022).

Session 5: Endurance Challenge

Specific short-term goals: Evaluate and extend students’ endurance capabilities through a challenging aerobic activity to surpass their initial performance and push their limits.

Measurable goal: The distance each student covers during the specified time frame indicates progress compared to the baseline performance.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Start with the warming-up process that involves dynamic stretches to loosen up the major muscle groups and to get the blood flowing, then jump to a light jog to increase the heart rate and to get the body ready for the long-distance run (Denerel et al., 2019).

Stretch exercises

  1. Arm swings
  2. Leg kicks
  3. Torso twists

Activities and equipment: Run or cycle continuously on the routes you have set before, and also give the options for running and cycling to people with different needs and preferences. The set up of water stations to achieve hydration is compulsory.

Fun game: The organizer will set up a “team relay challenge” where students will be grouped into teams and take turns running or cycling the route segments. The challenge will be teamwork and will be a motivation for the students.

Cooldown activities: Close with a slow jogging session to slowly bring the heart rate down, and then skip to the deep breathing exercises to help the body relax and recover.

Assessment tools: Use the devices or the markers placed along the route to measure the distance covered by each student in the given period, compare the results with their initial performance, and thus, the improvement in endurance capacity can be assessed.

Session 6: Recovery and Regeneration

Specific short-term goals: Facilitate active recovery and promote muscle repair.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Gentle jogging and dynamic stretches.

Stretch exercises

  1. Arm circles
  2. Leg swings
  3. Torso twists

Activities and equipment: Relaxation activities like swimming or cycling are good for my active recovery, and the foam rollers for myofascial release will be good for me to get rid of the muscle tension and soreness.

Fun game: Let the students join the relay race and encourage them to participate in the school day by doing fun swimming or cycling activities, which will also involve the students in making friends and having fun.

Cooldown activities: To conclude the exercise, do the static stretches with flexibility being the main goal and hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. That helps to stretch your muscles and, thus, improve recovery.

Assessment tools: Set up a survey about the students’ muscle soreness and fatigue level, and the answer must be thorough. The recovery protocol is worked out by comparing the data before and after the sessions.

Session 7: Endurance Simulation

Specific short-term goals: Prepare students for sustained effort by simulating real-world endurance challenges.

Measurable goal: Assess completion times and overall performance during the simulation.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Dynamic movements like arm circles, leg swings, and jumping jacks combined with light cardio such as brisk walking or jogging. Stretch exercises:

  • Arm circles
  • Leg swings
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Quadriceps stretch
  • Calf stretch

Activities and equipment: Simulation of a long-distance run or bike ride, incorporating hills or varying terrain.

Cooldown activities: Slow jogging gradually decreases heart rate and full-body stretching, focusing on major muscle groups to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.

Assessment tools: Evaluate completion times and overall performance metrics to assess students’ progress in endurance training and readiness for sustained effort in real-world scenarios.

Session 8: Final Endurance Test

Specific short-term goals: Evaluate the enhancement of cardiorespiratory endurance since the beginning of the program by contrasting the completion times of the first 1-mile run test.

Measurable goal: Students aim to beat their initial 1-mile run time recorded during Session 1.

• Number of students: 20

Warm-up activities: Dynamic stretches like arm circles, leg swings, and torso twists, after which one should do some light cardio such as jogging in place or jumping jacks to increase the heart rate and blood flow (Yoke,2019).

Stretch exercises:

  1. Arm circles
  2. Leg swings
  3. Torso twists

Activities and equipment: The students will repeat the 1-mile run test on the same route and with the same timing method as in Session 1.

Cooldown activities: Slow jogging to gently decrease the heart rate, followed by static stretching that is concentrated on the major muscle groups used during the run.

Assessment tools: Contrast the finish times from Session 8 to those of Session 1 to determine how much the cardiorespiratory endurance has been enhanced. After the cooldown, the relay race or obstacle course can be a fun game for students to celebrate their progress and the teamwork they have built.

Part B: Physiological Adaptations Discussion

Bioenergetic adaptation to exercise training

In our training program, we’ve noticed that as students consistently participate in aerobic exercise sessions over four weeks, their bodies undergo remarkable changes to cope with the increased energy demands. One significant change we’ve observed is the improvement in their aerobic metabolism, as highlighted by Konopka & Harber (2014). According to Brooks (2012), Engaging in consistent aerobic exercise helps students’ bodies improve at using oxygen to convert carbohydrates and fats, which are the main energy sources for prolonged physical activity.
Due to these adjustments, students have improved endurance and stamina, allowing them to engage in physical activities for longer periods without getting tired. As per Brooks (2012), This bioenergetic adaptation is crucial for the effectiveness of our training regimen, enabling students to excel in endurance tasks like timed suicides, resulting in noticeable enhancements in their cardiorespiratory fitness levels.

Circulatory and respiratory adaptation to exercise training

Regular aerobic exercise induces notable circulatory and respiratory adaptations in students. According to Konopka & Harber (2014), These adaptations entail an augmentation in stroke volume, cardiac output, and lung capacity. Consequently, oxygen delivery to active muscles improves, facilitating enhanced endurance performance. Additionally, the increased efficiency in removing carbon dioxide and metabolic waste products aids in sustaining prolonged physical activity. These adaptations optimize cardiovascular and respiratory functions, enabling students to endure aerobic exercise more effectively and experience improved overall fitness levels.

Musculoskeletal adaptation to cardiorespiratory endurance training

The students’ muscles and bones will undergo several adaptations to support improved endurance performance. These adaptations include increased mitochondrial density, greater energy production within muscle cells, and enhanced capillarization to improve oxygen delivery to working muscles (Ross et al., 2023). Additionally, muscle fiber recruitment efficiency improvements will contribute to greater muscular endurance and fatigue resistance.


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CDC. (2023, July 17). Benefits of physical activity for children, adults, and adults 65 and. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Denerel, N., Ergün, M., Yüksel, O., Özgürbüz, C., & Karamızrak, O. (2019). The acute effects of static and dynamic stretching exercises on dynamic balance performance. Turkish Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Park, H. K., Jung, M. K., Park, E., Lee, C. Y., Jee, Y. S., Eun, D., Cha, J. Y., & Yoo, J. (2018, February). The effect of warm-ups with stretching on the isokinetic moments of collegiate men. PubMed.

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