Types of Training – Methods Of Training

Types of Sports Cycling Individual Sport

Types of Training – The Seven Methods Of Training

In this post, we discuss the seven different types and methods of training and their advantages and disadvantages to sports coaches and athletes.

The seven methods of training in sports are:

  • Continuous training
  • Fartlek Training
  • Circuit Training
  • Interval Training
  • Plyometric Training
  • Flexibility Training
  • Weight Training

Why do we need to know about the different types of training methods used in sports?

Sports coaches need to know that there are a number of different methods to train with and the advantages and disadvantages of each method of training. Each sports training method is unique and has its own advantages and disadvantages. Certain types of training complement specific sports, such as continuous training works well with athletes who compete marathons and sports coaches and athletes should be aware of these and how to best in cooperate them into their training programmes. You may also find our article on periodisation useful which discusses how to create a sports training programme.

Types of Training The 7 Methods Of Training

Continuous Training

Types of Sports Cycling Individual Sport

Continuous training is any form of training that maintains the heart rate at a desired level over a sustained period of time.

An example of continuous training would be cycling for 30 minutes at an intensity that raises the heart rate. Other examples of exercises include running, swimming or a mix (e.g. Triathlons).

When completing continuous training, an athlete should aim to keep their heart rate between  60% and 80% of their maximum heart rate. You may want to read our article on the energy systems to learn more on how to measure your maximum heart rate and the different heart rate training zones.


Continuous training is useful as it improves cardiovascular fitness and you can train in most places. It is also good as you can train on your own or with a group.


The main disadvantages of continuous training is that it can become boring and tedious. We all know how boring it can be doing the same activity over and over again. Varying your activity can help and our article on 5 ways on how to be a better coach may be of interest here.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek training is a method of training that uses periods of exercise and rest. An example of Fartlek training is running at a full sprint for 10 seconds, walking for 1 minute followed by a medium intensity jog for 4 minutes. An athlete would then rest for a set period of time and then repeat the programme again. 

Fartlek training should always consist of both high and low intensity training. 


An advantage of Fartlek training is that it develops both aerobic and anaerobic systems as this type of training uses different types of intensity.

A further advantage of Fartlek training is that you can use this method virtually anywhere so very little equipment is needed.


A disadvantage of Fartlek training is that it can become very repetitive and those new to training can find the intensity difficult to sustain for a long period of time.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is a type of training that involves exercises at a variety of different stations. An example of circuit training could be to have six stations where an athlete completes 30 seconds of activity at each station. The stations could consist of:

  • Burpess
  • Press ups
  • Sit ups
  • Skipping
  • Tricep dips
  • Squats


An advantage to circuit training is the stations can be easy to set up and can require very little equipment.

Another advantage is that the stations can work on the same or different parts of the body and circuit training can also involve sport related activities, fitness exercises or both.

Circuit training can also allow for a period of rest between each station and work on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.


A disadvantage of circuit training is that athletes can fatigue very easily if the circuit is not designed correctly. 

A further disadvantage is that you may need a lot of equipment depending on how you have planned your circuit.

Weight Training

Weight training is a method of training using weights. This could be free standing weights such as the Yes4All adjustable dumbbells, body weight exercises, resistance bands (View Price on Amazon here) or weight machines such as the Bow Flex Home Gym Series.

Athletes use their 1 Rep Max to determine the intensity of the activity in weight training (Read more on how to measure intensity here). Weight training is measured using Sets and Reps.


An advantage of weight training is it works on developing a number of components of fitness such as Power, Speed, Muscular Strength and Muscular endurance. 


A disadvantage of weight training is that you need to have weight training equipment available to use. Our article on the best sports training equipment includes our favourite weight machines and as you can see for the article, these can be expensive to purchase.

A further disadvantage is that serious injury can occur if an athlete is not trained correctly on how to use the machines.

Interval Training

Success in Sport

Interval training is exercising with periods of rest planned into the session. An example of interval training is completing 10x30m sprints with 20 seconds rest in between each effort.

Interval training works on both aerobic and anaerobic systems as well as developing the body’s recovery system.


An advantage of interval training is that training sessions can be quick compared to other methods of training such as continuous training.

Another advantage is that this method of training uses rest to help aid recovery and can be relevant to sports (such as football or tennis).

It is also possible to measure the intensity of a training session by measuring a persons heart rate (check out our article on our top 5 heart rate monitors for more).


A disadvantage of interval training is that athletes new to exercise can find this method of training hard to repeat over a sustained period of time.

Plyometric Training

Plyometric training is a type of training that involves exercises with short bursts of high intensity. An example of a plyometric exercise is a reverse lunge with knee-up.

This method of training involves high intensity exercises/stretches aiming to improve muscular speed and muscular strength.


An advantage of plyometric training is that it can reduce the chances of injury in the long term. It can also improve power, speed and strength.


A disadvantage of plyometric training is that this method of training may not be suitable for beginners. A further disadvantage to plyometric training is that coaches will need to research the stretches and activities beforehand and if they are performed incorrectly or to the incorrect athletes, it can cause pain or even injury to the athletes.

Swimming Open Water

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is completing certain exercises that will improve a persons range of motion around a joint. An example of a flexibility training exercise is the calf raiser.

Flexibility training is often regarded as an addition to a training session and not fully planned for in a yearly training programme. To do this correctly, Flexibility training should be incorporated into each training session as well as dedicated training sessions just focusing on developing flexibility.

To correctly apply this type of training method, it is recommended that a total of 60 seconds should be spent on each stretching exercise.


The advantage of completing flexibility training is that it can reduce the chance of injury. In addition to this, it increases the range of motion and could improve your technique and skill development.


A disadvantage of flexibility training is that some athletes can find stretching boring and not necessary. Another disadvantage is that is can take a while to see benefits of this training method. 


To recap, the seven methods of training in sport are:

  • Continuous training
  • Fartlek Training
  • Circuit Training
  • Interval Training
  • Plyometric Training
  • Flexibility Training
  • Weight Training

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New to sports coaching? Then you may want to check out our guide to sports coaching. Here you will be able to learn techniques and strategies that will excel your coaching career. Topics include Stages of LearningMethods of Training and Leadership Styles.

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1 thought on “Types of Training – Methods Of Training”


    it was a very informative blog post about sports training.
    it is very useful content for me.
    thanks, cheers

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