Muscle adaptations as a result of exercise

The body responds and adapts to the type of lifestyle and physical activity in which individuals

participate. The case study below shows the lifestyle and physical activity for a male teacher, Shaun.

Read the case study and then respond to the task below.

Shaun is a 35-year-old Maths teacher at a comprehensive school. Shaun used to be a keen footballer and

wants to start playing five-a-side football after a long period of inactivity. Shaun is out of condition

and he realises he is not fit enough for the demands of football so he joined a gym with a fellow

teacher and started training. For the past three months, he has been training four times a week to

improve his cardiovascular fitness and his muscular strength and endurance.

A typical training week looks like this:
Monday – weight training for 45 minutes
Tuesday – running (30-minute run)
Thursday – weight training for 45 minutes
Saturday – circuit training class.

Weight training

Shaun does a session of ten exercises that cover all the muscle groups of the body. He started off doing

two sets of 20 repetitions for the first month, then in the second month he progressed to two sets of 15

repetitions with a higher resistance and in the third month he progressed again to three sets of 12

repetitions with a higher resistance.


Shaun does one session of steady-state running for 30 minutes on the treadmill and measures how far he

runs for each session. He has progressed from covering 4000 metres in his first sessions to covering

over 5000 metres a session.

Circuit training

This consists of three circuits of 12 stations where he does 30 seconds work followed by 30 seconds


Explain six chronic (long-term) adaptations that you would expect to see in the muscular and the

cardiorespiratory system as a response to Shaun’s three months of increased training.

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