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Improving aerobic fitness
Improving aerobic fitness

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4 Aerobic fitness training methods

Various training methods can be employed to develop aerobic fitness. In the activity below we explore some examples used by a team of footballers.

Activity 1

Timing: Allow about 40 minutes

Watch the video Pre-season training: stamina [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in which we see a sports scientist discussing the training used to develop aerobic fitness with a group of footballers. (You should open the video in a new tab or window by holding down Ctrl (or Cmd on a Mac) when you click on the link so you can return here when you have finished.)

As you watch, answer the following questions:

  1. Why is it important for the players to develop their aerobic fitness?
  2. What methods of training are used to develop the players’ aerobic fitness?


  1. While the predominant energy system in football is the anaerobic system it is also important for footballers to develop good base levels of aerobic fitness in pre-season. With this in mind it is essential for their training to include activities that are going to overload and allow progression of their aerobic capacity.
  2. The sports scientist uses training methods including:
    • Continuous training which involves performing light- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at a consistent pace.
    • Interval training which involves interspersing periods of exercise with periods of rest or recovery.

    Continuous and interval training methods have been shown to be equally effective in improving aerobic fitness and therefore either could be used in aerobic exercise prescription.