Overload and Regeneration During Resistance Exercise


Whether they know it or not, anyone who has entered a weight training facility with the intention of getting bigger or stronger or improving physical performance has had to deal with the concept of an overload. This includes not only athletes, but also recreational lifters, those exercising for health reasons, and anyone going through a rehabilitation program. In order to alter the physiological system, it is necessary to expose the system to an unaccustomed stress. Only in this manner can the body respond by appropriately adapting to the stress. As with many stresses, the adaptation response is not immediate, and requires a period of regeneration. How long this regeneration period must be to permit complete recovery will depend on the training stress itself. In many ways, this training stress response is quite similar to the General Adaptation Syndrome as proposed by Hans Selye.33 The recovery time required following a training stress is directly related to the magnitude of the stress. In training terms, this stress is called an overload, or exposing the body to a stress beyond which it is accustomed.2


Resistance Exercise Training Volume Resistance Exercise Training Free Weight High Volume Training 
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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Performance LaboratoriesThe University of MemphisMemphis

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