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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Feb;92(2):572-80.

Effects of training frequency on the dynamics of performance response to a single training bout.

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Groupe Physiologie et Physiopathologie de l'Exercice et Handicap, Groupement d'Intérêt Public Exercice, Université Saint-Etienne, 42023 Saint-Etienne cedex 2, France.


The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of an increase in training frequency on exercise-induced fatigue by using a systems model with parameters free to vary over time. Six previously untrained subjects undertook a 15-wk training experiment composed of 1) an 8-wk training period with three sessions per week (low-frequency training), 2) 1 wk without training, 3) a 4-wk training period with five sessions per week [high frequency training (HFT)], and 4) 2 wk without training. The systems input ascribed to training loads was computed from interval exercises and expressed in arbitrary units. The systems output ascribed to performance was evaluated three times each week using maximal power sustained over 5 min. The time-varying parameters of the model were estimated by fitting modeled performances to the measured ones using a recursive least squares method. The variations over time in the model parameters showed an increase in magnitude and duration of fatigue induced by a single training bout. The time needed to recover performance after a training session increased from 0.9 +/- 2.1 days at the end of low-frequency training to 3.6 +/- 2.0 days at the end of HFT. The maximal gain in performance for a given training load decreased during HFT. This study showed that shortening recovery time between training sessions progressively yielded a more persistent fatigue induced by each training.

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