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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692


BURINI, Franz Homero Paganini; OLIVEIRA, Erick Prado de  and  BURINI, Roberto Carlos. Metabolic (mal) adaptations to training continuum: misconceptions of terminology and diagnosis. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.5, pp.388-392. ISSN 1517-8692.

Sports top-level performance requires heavy training loads that provide a stimulus to sport-specific adaptation. Competitive training involving high workload is generally accompanied by minor fatigue and acute performance reduction, but when followed by appropriate recovery periods results in training-metabolic supercompensation reflected as increase in aerobic capacity and muscular strength. When the intensified training process leading to supercompensation and related-stress is seen as a continuum, the increased stress or overload might result in disruption of homeostasis and temporary decrease in function (overreaching - OR or functional overreaching - FOR). When excessive overload is combined with inadequate recovery, a state of overtraining (OT) or non-functional overreaching (NFOR) is installed. OT exceeds OR and the OR peak is also the OT threshold, resulting in stark physiological maladaptations and chronically reduced exercise performance. The chronic form of physiological maladaptation to training is called overtraining syndrome (OTS). The expression of the syndrome emphasizes the multifactorial etiology of the state and acknowledges that exercise (training) is not necessarily the sole causative factor. There is no objective biomarker for OTS besides the diagnosis based on performance recovery. Other distinctions between NFOR (extreme OT) and OTS depend on clinical outcome and exclusion diagnosis of organic diseases more common in OTS. Additionally, the difference between OR and OT is subtle and none of their biochemical markers should be considered universal. There is no evidence to confirm that OR will develop into OT or that OT symptoms are worse than those of OR. It is presently not possible to differentiate OR and OT states from the acute fatigue and decreased performance experienced from isolated training sessions. This situation is partially due to the variability of individual responses to training and to a lack of both diagnostic tools and well controlled studies.

Keywords : training stress; physiological maladaptation; overreaching; overtraining.

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