Overtraining-Physiology & Immune System
Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is a highly complex assortment of physiological and psychological symptoms associated with excessive exercise and a stressful lifestyle. Symptoms of OTS can last anywhere from weeks to months or even years depending on how deep the individual has dug themselves into their recovery debt. “Further, overtraining occurs with each of three major forms of training—so it is likely that the cause or causes and symptoms will vary by the type of training” (Physiology of Sport and Exercise). Athletes are most often the individuals who suffer from OTS, but it can affect anyone. OTS is due to an imbalance between stress and recovery. If an individual stresses their body more than it can handle, whether it be through their work, studies, life experiences, or training, and doesn’t allow for times of relaxation and rest to recover from their stress than they are more likely to develop OTS. The reason athletes are more likely to be affected by OTS is because of the added stress of training. Athletes are also usually disciplined and highly devoted to their training and can lack a proper understanding of exercise physiology. This leads them to think that the more training they can fit in the better they will become at their sport, and so they do just that. They train hard every day, sometimes two or three times a day, and don’t give their body rest. The simple fact is, without recovery one will never improve because it is due to that rest period after a workout that our body is able to adapt to the stress we just put it through and come back stronger than before. Bill Bowerman, famous coach of Steve Prefontaine and cofounder of Nike, realized that athletes have this likelihood to become stale and not improve despite their regular, hard training. He is the creator of the “hard-easy” system that he put into practice at theUniversityofOregonand that which so many people use today. He would tell his athletes, “Stress, recover, improve, that’s all training is.
SOURCE: for below comments is: (NICK) Nick is currently completing his PhD in physiology with an emphasis in muscle physiology See Nick’s link http://exercisescience.tumblr.com/
Several physiological factors have been proposed that could relate to overtraining syndrome. It seems the most plausible one is a reduced maximal heart rate but studies suggest this is not a valid tool to measure OTS due to inconsistent results.
Sustained periods of intense training leads to decreases in innate and adaptive immunity. Depressed immunity typically is said to occur for athletes at the end of the season or during the most intensive periods of their training. The only evidence that exists for a decrease in immune function in athletes experiencing OTS is anecdotal.
In regards to resistance training, when excessive volumes of max loads are used, maximal muscular strength is one of the last performance measures to be negatively affected. Rather, high speed (ie. sprinting) and power are the first types of performance to be affected.
There is no evidence that OTS can be treated. Rest and very light training seem to be the only agents capable of effecting recovery. It is generally recommended that athletes should have one passive rest day each week. Trying to prescribe an exact amount of hours of sleep per night is difficult. Therefore, a good starting point is to advise athletes to sleep for the amount of time required to feel wakeful during the day.
SOURCE: (NICK) Nick is currently completing his PhD in physiology with an emphasis in muscle physiology See Nick’s link http://exercisescience.tumblr.com/