Methodology of Fitness Classes for Women of Mature Age


G.V. Zarodnyuk, associate professor, Ph.D.
M.N. Larionova, senior lecturer
National Mineral Resources University “Mining”, St.Petersburg
V.F. Kostychenko, professor, Dr.Hab.
Lesgaft national research university of physical culture, sport and health, St.Petersburg
S.S. Kozlov                            
Fitness complex "Olympiysky"
Minsk Belarus

Key words: aerobics, women, technique, fitness classes, motor activity.

Relevance. The analysis of the data given in the scientific-methodological literature shows that nowadays the problem of people’s fitness is getting more urgent, especially taking into account the detrimental environmental conditions and continuous effects of physical and psychic stresses [2-7]. One of particular problems of the fitness system is the improvement of health and motor activity of mature people which are a part of the national intellectual background. Therefore, physical perfection of mature people is especially important in the theory and methodology of physical education [1, 2, 8].

The women’s age period of 30-40 is considered to be most important, since it is not only critical in terms of age-related and reproductive factors, but also in the functional status and physical activity. Effective fitness classes, including aerobics, in this age enable to preserve women’s functional abilities at a high level for a long time, and create reliable conditions for forming firm motivation and need for physical activity over the next years.

Nowadays fitness aerobics is not only a mean, but also one of the popular directions of mass physical culture with adjustable load. Experts [2-5] believe that the most promising areas of research are the studies of the components and parameters of physical load at fitness aerobics classes (volume and intensity of load set by the beat of the music; exercises focus on development of different muscle groups).

The purpose of the study was to design and scientifically substantiate the integrated methodology of fitness aerobics classes with women aged 30 to 40.

Results and discussion. It was established that the main physical characteristics of 30-40 year old women are overweight, low efficiency of the main body functions and insufficient development of physical abilities and general physical working capability.

Over 60% of respondents estimated the achievement of “beautiful body” as the most important goal; “health promotion” took the second place (29,9%), and only 9,5% of interviewed women consider it most important to feel better and be in better mood.

According to long-term investigations [9], one needs to make 10,000 steps daily for durable health and to avoid the risk of chronic diseases. At the same time, 12,000-15,000 steps are necessary for significant weight loss. And one needs to make at least 3,000 persistent steps daily to keep fit.

The motor activity of women practicing fitness in a “health” group was determined during 7 days using the OMRON Walking style Pro pedometer. The device registered number of steps, aerobic walking duration and energy lost while walking or running. According to the held pedometry, the average step number was 6120, and the average distance walked was 4,800 m per day. The average aerobic load equaled 4830 steps fulfilled in 43 min. The results of the studies are listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Pedometry results for middle aged women

Day of week

Maximal number of steps

Minimal number of steps

Average number of steps per day






























It was revealed that over 67% of women made 10,000 and more steps daily, in accordance with the standard, whereas 33% made less than 10,000 steps.

Thus, the following features were revealed:

1. The highest activity was registered on Monday and Friday.

2. The lowest motor activity was registered during weekend.

3. Average daily motor activity was the highest on Monday, then gradually decreased till midweek, increased on Friday and eventually dropped on Sunday.

The analysis of the women’s questionnaire answers concerning their estimation of own motor activity during the test week showed that the maximal activity was marked on Monday and minimal – on Saturday and Sunday.

On the basis of knowledge of the features mentioned above, the motor regime of women practicing fitness was optimized.

Proceeding from the ascertaining experiment, only 38,3% of middle aged women could be considered to have normal weight; 42,5% of women had overweight (more than 10% above the standard weight), and 19,2% had low weight. Only 19,1% of women had excellent or good weight-to-height ratios; the majority of women (57,4 %) had “bad” ratios, and the ratios of 10,6% of women were estimated as “very bad” and “critical” ones. The analysis of the women’s body mass composition showed heightened fat mass (7,4 kg on average) and decreased muscle indices (by 3,1 kg on average) as compared to 20-30 year old healthy women not practicing sports.

The women systematically (three days in the test week microcycle) performed physical load in an aerobic energy regime in order to achieve the cumulative effect of fitness aerobic classes. One training mesocycle comprised several coupled microcycles which included a fixed complex of various aerobic exercises accompanied by specific music.

The mesocycle of classes comprised 6 microcycles, during two of which the same exercises of fitness aerobics with constant background music were accomplished. The mesocycle had the following structure: two microcycles of tae-bo aerobics, two microcycles of classic aerobics and two microcycles of step aerobics.

The structure of the year training cycle, mesocycles and microcycles was the same in both of the groups. The difference was in less complicated physical exercises for women with a lower fitness level in comparison with those with an average level.

Altogether, 120 trainings were carried out in the year cycle; those trainings contained 36 classes of classic, tae-bo and step aerobics each, with reference to the individual biological cycle of a woman’s body. Training loads were lowered during the 1st (menstrual, 1st-3rd days), the 3rd (ovulatory, 13th-14th days) and the fifth (premenstrual, 26th-28th days) phases. Since classes of fitness aerobics are held in groups, on those days women regulated activity themselves according to their feelings.

A group mode of classes was supposed: the groups were formed according to the phases of women’s menstrual cycle, and the transfer from one group to another was made upon the occurrence of ovarian-menstrual cycles.

In the post-menstrual and post-ovulatory phases the classes lasted 60 minutes, whereas in the menstrual, ovulatory and premenstrual phases they were 40-45 minutes.

The structure of the preparatory stage was same for both of the groups, whereas the intensity of exercises was higher in the first group compared to the second one.

The main part of classes in the second group consisting of women in menstrual, ovulatory and premenstrual phases contained stretching and the final part – breathing exercises.

As a result of the educational experiment, the hypothesis on the high efficiency of the developed integrated technique of fitness aerobic classes for 30-40 year old women was confirmed: thanks to this technique women with low and average fitness levels have achieved stable recreational effects within 40 weeks consisting in the economized functioning of the cardiovascular system (5% HR reduction on average at rest) and in a significant increase of general working capability (18-28 % increase in PWC170, kgm/min/kg; 6-16 % increment in the VO2 max values, ml/min/kg). The circumferences of shoulders, shins, forearms, waist, hips and buttocks also changed significantly in both of the groups.

In addition, the optimization of aerobic classes in accordance with the specifics of the woman’s body has a positive effect on the course of the ovarian-menstrual cycle, resulting in the reduction of menstruation pain, fatigue and irritability in the menstrual and premenstrual periods, and in the better general state during these periods.

Conclusion. The obtained experimental evidence indicated high effectiveness of fitness aerobics classes, organized to suit the individual peculiarities of the trainees. The designed technique promoted the substantial improvement of motor and functional fitness of women, reduction of the fat component of their body weight, improved emotional state and motivation for regular physical exercises, created a stable demand for them.

Hence, the suggested technology of fitness classes in case of solving problems of women's physical state in a complex along with meeting the natural biological needs to move is advisable to improve the functionalities and to expand the motor range of middle aged women.


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