ArticlePDF Available


Mujika I. Tapering for triathlon competition. J. Hum. Sport Exerc. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 264-270, 2011. The taper is a phase of reduced training before major competitions. Training intensity should be maintained to retain or enhance training-induced adaptations during tapering, but reductions in other training variables should allow for sufficient recovery to optimize performance. Lowering training volume by about 41-60% induces positive physiological, psychological and performances adaptations in highly trained triathletes, but performance benefits could be attained with somewhat smaller or bigger volumes. A final increase of 20-30% of the training load during the last days before a race may be beneficial. High training frequencies (>80%) seem to be necessary to avoid detraining and "loss of feel" in highly trained triathletes. The optimal duration of the taper varies widely, and tapers lasting 4 to 28 days may be ideal for individual athletes. If a temporary increase of about 20% over the normal training load is planned during the month preceding the taper, the duration of the taper should be extended. Particular attention should be given during the taper to recovery strategies, which may help to induce parasympathetic reactivation and muscle fatigue reduction. Adequate hydration, nutrition and carbohydrate loading strategies are recommended to help triathletes perform at their best. Travel, heat and altitude are environmental factors that often need to be integrated within the taper plan, and the need for multiple peaking is another issue that needs to be addressed by coaches and triathletes.
VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | 2011 |
Tapering for triathlon competition
USP Araba Sport Clinic, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Basque
Mujika I. Tapering for triathlon competition. J. Hum. Sport Exerc. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 264-270, 2011. The
taper is a phase of reduced training before major competitions. Training intensity should be maintained to
retain or enhance training-induced adaptations during tapering, but reductions in other training variables
should allow for sufficient recovery to optimize performance. Lowering training volume by about 41-60%
induces positive physiological, psychological and performances adaptations in highly trained triathletes, but
performance benefits could be attained with somewhat smaller or bigger volumes. A final increase of 20-
30% of the training load during the last days before a race may be beneficial. High training frequencies
(>80%) seem to be necessary to avoid detraining and “loss of feel” in highly trained triathletes. The optimal
duration of the taper varies widely, and tapers lasting 4 to 28 days may be ideal for individual athletes. If a
temporary increase of about 20% over the normal training load is planned during the month preceding the
taper, the duration of the taper should be extended. Particular attention should be given during the taper to
recovery strategies, which may help to induce parasympathetic reactivation and muscle fatigue reduction.
Adequate hydration, nutrition and carbohydrate loading strategies are recommended to help triathletes
perform at their best. Travel, heat and altitude are environmental factors that often need to be integrated
within the taper plan, and the need for multiple peaking is another issue that needs to be addressed by
coaches and triathletes. Key words: PERFORMANCE, ELITE, TRIATHLON
Corresponding author. USP Araba Sport Clinic. Paseo de la Biosfera s/n. ES01013 Vitoria-Gasteiz. Spain.
Submitted for publication February 2011
Accepted for publication March 2011
© Faculty of Education. University of Alicante
Review Article
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
| 2011 | ISSUE 2 | VOLUME 6 © 2011 University of Alicante
The most important goal for coaches and triathletes is to increase the competitive abilities of the athletes to
maximal levels, and to design a well controlled training program to ensure that peak performance is
attained at each point of a major triathlon competition. In triathlon, top performances are often associated
with a taper, which is a marked reduction in the training load for a few days before the competition. The
taper has been defined as “a progressive, nonlinear reduction of the training load during a variable period
of time that is intended to reduce physiological and psychological stress of daily training and optimize sport
performance” (Mujika & Padilla, 2003). The taper is thus of great importance to a triathlete’s performance
and the outcome of the event.
The training load or training stimulus in triathlon is a combination of training intensity, volume and frequency
(Wenger & Bell, 1986). This training load is markedly reduced during the taper to decrease accumulated
fatigue, but reduced training should not be detrimental to training-induced adaptations. Triathletes and their
coaches must determine the extent to which the training load can be reduced at the expense of the training
components while retaining or improving adaptations. A meta-analysis conducted by Bosquet et al. (2007)
established the scientific bases for successfully reducing training loads to achieve peak performances in
competition. Most of the studies analyzed were conducted in swimming, cycling or running, but they are
relevant for triathlon. Bosquet et al. assessed the effects of altering components of the taper on
Intensity: The results indicated that the training load should not be reduced at the
expense of training intensity during a taper.
Volume: Performance improvement during the taper was highly sensitive to the reduction
in training volume. It was determined that maximal performance gains are obtained with a
total reduction in training volume of 4160% compared to pre-taper training.
Frequency: Decreasing the number of weekly training sessions was not shown to improve
performance. However, a decrease in training frequency interacts with other training
variables, particularly training volume, making it difficult to isolate the precise effect of a
reduction in training frequency on performance.
Pattern of the taper: Of the four taper patterns that have been described (linear,
exponential with slow or fast decay of the training load, and step taper), Bosquet et al.
(2007) could only address the effect of progressive versus step tapers on performance, the
former being in general more effective than the latter. Recommendations based on the
work of Banister et al. (1999) with triathletes suggest that a fast decay implying a lower
training volume is more beneficial to cycling and running performance than a slow decay of
the training load. Increasing the training load by 20 to 30% during the final three days of
the taper my optimize performance (Thomas et al., 2009).
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | 2011 |
Duration of the taper: A taper duration of 8 to 14 days seems to represent the borderline
between the positive influence of fatigue disappearance and the negative influence of
detraining on performance, but performance improvements can also be expected after
tapers lasting 1 to 4 weeks. There is great interindividual variability in the optimal taper
duration (Mujika et al., 1996; Thomas & Busso, 2005). Mathematical modeling simulations
suggest that training performed immediately before the taper influences its optimal
duration (Thomas et al., 2008).
Specific taper for swimming, cycling and running: Training intensity should be
maintained whatever the mode of locomotion. A 4160% decrease in training volume is
optimal in swimming, but the optimal decrease ranges between 21 and 60% in cycling and
running. A 814 d taper seems optimal in cycling and running, but longer taper durations
are suitable in swimming. Cyclists seem to respond particularly well to step tapers in which
training frequency is reduced (Bosquet et al., 2007).
Training load before the taper: The optimal duration of the taper for a given athlete
varies with training done before the taper. Greater training volume and/or intensity before
the taper may increase performance gains, but would require a longer taper (Thomas and
Busso, 2005; Coutts et al., 2007).
Achieving an appropriate balance between training stress and recovery is important to maximize
performance in triathlon. The cumulative effects of training-induced fatigue must be reduced during the
weeks immediately preceding competition, and a wide range of recovery modalities can be used as integral
part of the taper to help optimize performance.
Reducing muscular fatigue: Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) may be
detrimental to an ongoing training program for several days (Cheung et al., 2003).
Modalities that enhance the rate of recovery from DOMS and exercise-induced muscle
damage may enhance the beneficial effects of the taper for triathletes.
Massage: Massage therapy after eccentric exercise that resulted in DOMS is a commonly
used recovery treatment, but few investigations have examined the effect of massage on
sports performance. There is also a wide range of massage techniques utilized and
outcome measures examined. However, there is some evidence to suggest that massage
after eccentric exercise may reduce muscle soreness (Weerapong et al., 2005).
Compression garments: The use of clothing with specific compressive qualities is
becoming increasingly widespread, especially as competition approaches. The use of
lower limb compression for athletes derives from research in clinical settings showing
positive effects of compression following trauma or some chronic diseases, and
performance and recovery after exercise-induced damage may also improve in athletes (Ali
et al., 2007; Bringard et al., 2006; Kraemer et al., 2001; Trenell et al., 2006).
Recovery of the autonomic nervous system: Triathletes usually endure very severe
training loads, inducing both adaptive effects and stress reactions. The high frequency of
the stimuli imposed makes these adaptive effects cumulative. Unfortunately, incomplete
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
| 2011 | ISSUE 2 | VOLUME 6 © 2011 University of Alicante
recovery from frequent training can make the stress-related side-effects cumulative as well.
One key aspect of the stress response is the decrease of the activity of the autonomic
nervous system (ANS), which regulates the basic visceral processes needed to maintain
normal bodily functions. The reduction of the ANS activity during intensive training
correlates with performance losses, and a rebound in ANS activity during tapering parallels
performance gains (Garet et al., 2004). The most important factor determining the ANS
reactivation seems to be sleep duration and quality. Maximizing sleep in a dark, calm,
relaxing and fresh atmosphere is essential during the week preceding the race for optimal
performance (Halson, 2008).
Maintaining a good nutritional and hydration status is critical for successful triathlon competition. Starting a
race with a poor hydration status or low glycogen stores jeopardizes performance. Triathletes must adopt
nutrition and hydration strategies before competition to maximize the benefits of the taper.
Hydration status: Environmental heat stress can challenge the limits of a triathlete’s
cardiovascular and temperature regulation systems, body fluid balance, and performance.
Evaporative sweating is the principal means of heat loss in warm-hot environments where
sweat losses frequently exceed fluid intakes. Dehydration augments hyperthermia and
plasma volume reductions, which combine to accentuate cardiovascular strain and reduce
(Cheuvront et al., 2010). Maintaining adequate hydration during the taper and
especially during the 48 h preceding a triathlon competition is key to ensure that work
capacity is not diminished at the beginning of the race (Casa et al., 2010). Urine color is an
inexpensive and reliable indicator of hydration status (Armstrong et al., 1994), and it may
provide a valid means for triathletes to self-assess hydration level, notably during the taper
Glycogen resynthesis/supercompensation: Reductions in the training load during the
taper in favor of rest and recovery lower a triathlete’s daily energy expenditure, potentially
impacting on their energy balance and body composition. Triathletes should therefore pay
special attention to their energy intake during the taper to avoid energy imbalance and
undesirable changes in body composition (Almeras et al., 1997; Mujika et al., 2010). Not
only energy intake should match energy expenditure; carbohydrate-loading during the
taper should be emphasized to optimize muscle glycogen storage (Wilson and Wilson,
A taper intends to minimize a triathlete’s habitual stressors, allowing physiological systems to undergo
“supercompensation’’. Environmental factors may represent an additional source of stress for a triathlete,
and they must be considered in a systematic way when tapering is prescribed (Pyne et al., 2009).
The stress of travel: International travel is an essential part of the life of elite triathletes,
both for competition and training. Long-distance travel is associated with transient negative
effects known as ‘travel fatigue’. Travel fatigue lasts for only a day or so, but for those who
fly across several time zones, there are also the longer-lasting difficulties associated with
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | 2011 |
‘jet lag’. The problems of jet lag can last for over a week if the flight crosses 10 time zones
or more and they can reduce performance (Waterhouse et al., 2007). The time-scale for
adjustment of the body clock can be incorporated into the taper when competition requires
travel across multiple meridians.
Heat acclimatization: Most triathlon competitions take place during summer and in warm
environmental conditions, and exercising in the heat can lead to serious performance
decrements. Because heat acclimatization seems to be the most effective strategy to limit
the deleterious effect of heat on performance, this specific aspect needs to be taken into
account by triathletes to optimize the benefits of the taper. Tapering in hot conditions
before competition is compatible with the 7-14 days reduction in training volume advocated
when encountering heat stress (Pyne et al., 2009).
Altitude: Altitude training is used in many sports at elite level for conditioning purposes.
Athletes using training camps at altitude are aware that a reduction in training load is
imperative at altitude, prior to an increase as the initial phase of acclimatization occurs. A
period of lowered training is also observed prior to competing after altitude training, which
constitutes a form of tapering. However, the extent of the benefit, as well as the variation
between individuals, has not been adequately explored (Pyne et al., 2009).
Multiple peaking in triathlon: Triathletes competing in Olympic distance competitions
have reduced opportunities to taper because of repeated racing during the competitive
period. Peaking for major competitions every two to four weeks poses the problem of
choosing between recovering from previous competition and then rebuilding fitness, or
maintaining intensive training and capitalizing on adaptations acquired during the previous
training cycle. Both approaches can be valid, depending on a triathlete’s level of fatigue
after a race or series of races and the time frame between triathlons.
1. ALI A, CAINE MP, SNOW BG. Graduated compression stockings: physiological and perceptual
responses during and after exercise. J Sports Sci. 2007; 25:413-419. [Abstract] [Back to text]
2. ALMERAS N, LEMIEUX S, BOUCHARD C, TREMBLAY A. Fat gain in female swimmers. Physiol
Behav. 1997; 61:811-817. doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(96)00559-8 [Back to text]
KE, RIEBE D. Urinary indices of hydration status. Int J Sport Nutr. 1994; 4:265-279. [Abstract]
[Back to text]
4. BANISTER EW, CARTER JB, ZARKADAS PC. Training theory and taper: validation in triathlon
athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999; 79:182-191. doi:10.1007/s004210050493 [Back
to text]
5. BOSQUET L, MONTPETIT J, ARVISAIS D, MUJIKA I. Effects of tapering on performance: a meta-
analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007; 39:1358-1365. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31806010e0 [Back
to text]
6. BRINGARD A, PERREY S, BELLUYE N. Aerobic energy cost and sensation responses during
submaximal running exercise--positive effects of wearing compression tights. Int J Sports Med.
2006; 27:373-378. doi:10.1055/s-2005-865718 [Back to text]
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
| 2011 | ISSUE 2 | VOLUME 6 © 2011 University of Alicante
hydration on physiological function and performance during trail running in the heat. J Athl Train.
2010; 45:147-156. [Abstract] [Back to text]
8. CHEUNG K, HUME P, MAXWELL L. Delayed onset muscle soreness : treatment strategies and
performance factors. Sports Med. 2003; 33:145-164. [Abstract] [Back to text]
performance impairment with heat stress and dehydration. J Appl Physiol. 2010; 109:1989-1995.
[Abstract] [Back to text]
10. COUTTS AJ, SLATTERY KM, WALLACE LK. Practical tests for monitoring performance, fatigue
and recovery in triathletes. J Sci Med Sport. 2007; 10: 372-381. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2007.02.007
[Back to text]
Individual Interdependence between nocturnal ANS activity and performance in swimmers. Med
Sci Sports Exerc. 2004; 36:2112-2118. [Abstract] [Back to text]
12. HALSON S. Nutrition, sleep and recovery. Eur J Sport Sci. 2008; 8:199-126.
doi:10.1080/17461390801954794 [Back to text]
ND, VOLEK JS, PUTUKIAN M, SEBASTIANELLI WJ. Influence of compression therapy on
symptoms following soft tissue injury from maximal eccentric exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
2001; 31:282-290. [Abstract] [full text] [Back to text]
to training and taper in competitive swimmers. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996; 28:251-258. [Abstract]
[Back to text]
15. MUJIKA I, CHAOUACHI A, CHAMARI K. Precompetition taper and nutritional strategies: special
reference to training during Ramadan intermittent fast. Br J Sports Med. 2010; 44:495-501.
doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.071274 [Back to text]
16. MUJIKA I, PADILLA S. Scientific bases for precompetition tapering strategies. Med Sci Sports
Exerc. 2003; 35:1182-1187. [Abstract] [Back to text]
17. PYNE DB, MUJIKA I, REILLY T. Peaking for optimal performance: Research limitations and future
directions. J Sports Sci. 2009; 27:195-202. doi:10.1080/02640410802509136 [Back to text]
18. THOMAS L, BUSSO T. A theoretical study of taper characteristics to optimize performance. Med
Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37:1615-1621. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000177461.94156.4b [Back to text]
19. THOMAS L, MUJIKA I, BUSSO T. A model study of optimal training reduction during pre-event
taper in elite swimmers. J Sports Sci. 2008; 26:643-652. doi:10.1080/02640410701716782 [Back
to text]
20. THOMAS L, MUJIKA I, BUSSO T. Computer simulations assessing the potential performance
benefit of a final increase in training during pre-event taper. J Strength Cond Res. 2009; 23:1729-
1736. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b3dfa1 [Back to text]
21. TRENELL MI, ROONEY KB, SUE CM, THOMPSON CH. Compression garments and recovery
from eccentric exercise: a 31P-MRS study. J Sport Sci Med. 2006; 5:106-114. [Full text] [Back to
22. WATERHOUSE J, REILLY T, ATKINSON G, EDWARDS B. Jet lag: trends and coping strategies.
Lancet. 2007; 369:1117-1129. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60529-7 [Back to text]
Mujika I / Tapering for triathlon JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2 | 2011 |
23. WEERAPONG P, HUME PA, KOLT GS. The mechanisms of massage and effects on
performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention. Sports Med. 2005; 35:235-256.
doi:10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181c33918 [Back to text]
24. WENGER HA, BELL GJ. The interactions of intensity, frequency and duration of exercise training
in altering cardiorespiratory fitness. Sports Med. 1986; 3:346-356. [Abstract] [Back to text]
25. WILSON JM, WILSON GJ. A practical approach to the taper. Strength Cond J. 2008; 30:10-17.
doi:10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181636dd5 [Back to text]
... Furthermore, commonly studied HA protocols may not be appropriate for elite athletes in preparation for competition, especially in a multi-modal sport such as triathlon. This is due to the protocols typically involving consecutive days of exercise in the heat which does not fit with the weekly training distribution of athletes tapering into competition (Mujika, 2011). As 97 such, passive HA has recently been explored (Stanley et al., 2015;Zurawlew et al., 2015;Zurawlew et al., 2018). ...
... During all sessions, participants were instructed to manipulate their cycling PO, via the Cyclus 2 or cycling power meter (Garmin Vector), to maintain a HR within the predetermined zone. This high thermal loading was intended to emphasise HA more than the training stimulus 104 to facilitate (PARA) or replicate (AB-ACC) the tapering phase of athletes prior to competition (Garrett et al., 2012;Mujika, 2011). During all sessions, cycling PO was recorded and stored on the Cyclus 2 or a Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer before later export and analysis. ...
... Passive HA sessions were performed on day 2, day 4 and day 7 and were structured to align with triathletes' typical weekly running frequency when tapering for competition (Mujika, 2011;Mujika, 2014). Participants were instructed to undertake their normal run training, or to run for 30 min at a moderate intensity before entering the chamber. ...
Full-text available
Paratriathlon is a multi-impairment, endurance sport which made its Paralympic Games debut in 2016. Athletes’ impairments typically include but, are not limited to, spinal cord injury; cerebral palsy, or other neurological disorders; amputations or visual impairments. However, despite athletes displaying impairments that present several considerations for coaches and practitioners, there has been very little research in the sport. Specifically, there is little understanding of how athletes’ impairments may impact their physiological response to acute or chronic changes in training load. Similarly, it is not known how consequences of athletes’ impairments affect thermoregulation and the ability to adapt to the heat. Thus, this thesis aimed to elucidate these unknown areas whilst bridging the knowledge gap to research in able-bodied triathlon. The first two studies of this thesis investigated paratriathletes’ response to changes in training load, longitudinally (Chapter four) and more acutely (Chapter five). Specifically, Chapter four noted paratriathletes’ mucosal immune function, represented by salivary secretory immunoglobulin A, displayed an inverse relationship with weekly training duration, but not measures of training load. Furthermore, upper respiratory illness incidence was not related to mucosal immunity. In Chapter five, it was shown that paratriathletes are resilient to large changes in training load in the form of a two-week intensified training period. A 14-d overseas training camp did not negatively affect hormonal, immunological or wellness measures whilst self-perceived sleep, stress and recovery parameters were improved. One explanation is that the camp environment minimised external life stresses and coaches’ careful management of training load reduced the likelihood of overreaching. In Chapter six, the thermoregulatory strain of paratriathlon competition in the heat was characterised. It was shown, via the use of ingestible sensors, that paratriathletes’ core temperature reached levels significantly higher than previous research in able-bodied triathletes. Furthermore, trends for category-specific responses are presented, namely between those in PTWC and PTVI, highlighting the differences between impairment groups. Selfreported heat illness symptomatology was also greater than previous research in able-bodied athletes. Acknowledging the thermal strain paratriathletes face during competition in hot environments, Chapter seven sought to present the effectiveness of an ecologically valid preparatory heat acclimation strategy. Utilising a mixed active and passive intervention, controlling the relative intensity of exercise by heart rate, it was shown that paratriathletes are capable of partial heat acclimation through thermoregulatory adaptations. However, the breadth of adaptations was less than able-bodied triathletes. These were the first studies of paratriathletes’ physiological and thermoregulatory response to training load and competition in the heat. It was shown that paratriathletes of a high training level are robust to acute changes in training load whilst training load had no relationship with mucosal immunity, despite a high illness incidence. However, paratriathletes are at heightened risk of thermoregulatory strain when competing in the heat, as shown by high core temperatures and self-reported heat illness symptomatology. Nonetheless, strategies can be utilised to induce thermoregulatory adaptations in this cohort. This provides valuable information for coaches and practitioners working with paratriathletes as they seek to minimise training time-loss and ameliorate the strain of competition in the heat.
... Since mild inflammation in early stages is a helpful protective response against primary cellular damage factors which eliminates external invaders and necrotic tissue and also because too much inflammation causing severe damage to lung tissue can be life-threatening 10 , it seems necessary to take some strategies in exercise training programs including taper to prevent overtraining and immune function decline 11,12 . Taper can be performed in the forms of frequency reduction, repetition and intensity of exercise training 3,13 in different time periods. One of the hardest challenges for sport science researchers and trainers is considered as to determine the most appropriate taper program 14 . ...
... Some reports reveled that time execution of swimmers 16 , runners 17 and bike riders 18 improved due to taper programs. Previous studies suggest the favorable time period for taper is between 4 to 28 days or even more 8,13 . Though many studies have confirmed a two-week period taper, there have been some reports on the improvement of athletes' performance due to very short or very long period tapers 19 . ...
... For a reduction of disorders in immune system, physiological capacity and mood state profiles of athletes following a long-term and intensive exercise, performing a taper with a gradual reduction in the load of exercise can be recommended by the sport trainers to the athletes as an appropriate approach 13 . The results of this study showed that the implementation of taper patterns (frequency, repetition and intensity) after a period of IIT, could significantly decrease the lung tissue inflammation caused by intensive exercise training but the inflammation was still significantly higher in comparison to the control group after 3 weeks of taper. ...
Resumen Objetivos: Durante el período de maduración en el que el sistema inmunitario del tejido pulmonar no está completamente desarrollado, el ejercicio físico puede tener un efecto negativo y causar inflamación. Este estudio tuvo como objetivo investigar los efectos del tapering y del extracto hidroalcohólico de Nigella sativa (NS) sobre la reducción de la inflamación del tejido pulmonar causada por el aumento de entrenamiento interválico (IIET) durante el período de maduración mediante métodos histológicos y estereológicos. Métodos: Noventa y cinco ratas de tres semanas de edad, después de la adaptación, se dividieron aleatoriamente en dos grupos de control y ejercicio y 19 subgrupos. El grupo de ejercicio llevó a cabo un período de seis semanas de IIET ondulado seguido de tres semanas de tapering realizadas por tres modelos en dos momentos diferentes. Las ratas entraron en la fase de tapering y se les administró un suplemento de NS en ambos grupos. Las muestras de tejido pulmonar se procesaron mediante inclusión convencional de parafina, se tiñeron con H & E y se examinaron mediante el método de conteo puntual mediante muestreo aleatorio sistemático en un estudio estereológico. Los resultados se analizaron usando ANOVA de dos factores y LSD post hoc en α = 0,05 Resultados: Los resultados mostraron que el IIET causó inflamación severa en el tejido pulmonar y un aumento en la infil-tración de células inflamatorias y linfocitos en los tejidos conectivos que rodean las vías respiratorias, los vasos y las lamelas intersticiales. Esta gravedad de la inflamación fue considerablemente mayor y similar en comparación con los grupos básico y de control (p = 0,001). El análisis estereológico en los grupos de tapering con NS y sin NS también, reveló una disminución significativa en el grado e intensidad de la inflamación del tejido pulmonar en las mediciones examinados en comparación con el grupo IIET (p = 0,001). Conclusión: en general, se puede concluir que la realización de NS y un período de tapering de tres semanas tiene un efecto notable en la reducción de la inflamación en el tejido pulmonar seguida de entrenamiento de ejercicios a intervalos. Palabras clave: Aumento del entrenamiento de ejercicio interválico. Tapering. Nigella sativa. Pulmón. Inflamación. Summary Objectives: During maturation period in which the immune system of lung tissue is not fully developed, physical exercises may have a negative effect and cause inflammation. This study aimed to investigate the effects of tapering and Nigella sativa (NS) hydro-alcoholic extract on the reduction of lung tissue inflammation caused due to increasing interval exercise training (IIET) during maturation period by histological and stereological methods. Methods: Nighty-five three weeks old rats after adaption were randomly divided into two control and exercise groups and 19 subgroups. The exercise group carried out a period of six weeks of undulating IIET followed by three weeks of load reduction performed by three models in two different times. Rats entered the taper phase were administrated by NS supplement in tapering and control groups. The lung tissue samples were processed by standard paraffin embedding, stained by H&E and examined by using point counting method through systematic random sampling in stereological study. The results were analyzed using by two-way ANOVA and LSD post hoc in α=0.05. Results: The result showed that IIET caused severe inflammation in lung tissue and an increase in infiltration of inflammatory cells and lymphocytes into the connective tissues surrounding the respiratory air ways, vessels and interstitial lamellae. This severity of inflammation was considerably and similarly more in comparison to the basic and control groups (p=0.001). Stereological analysis in the taper exercise training groups with NS and without NS as well, reveled a significant decrease in the degree and intensity of lung tissue inflammation in the examined times in comparison to the IIET group (p=0.001). Conclusion: Generally it can be concluded that performing NS and a three weeks period of tapering has a noticeable effect in the reduction of inflammation in lung tissue followed by interval exercise training. The effect of tapering and Nigella sativa on the histological structure of the lung after increasing interval exercise training. Arch Med Deporte 2019;36(2):92-99
... Tapering is the final stage of a training plan aimed at peaking performance by reducing training load and increasing competition-task specificity. Tapering has been widely studied with endurance (3,9,18,20,(24)(25)(26)28,29,35) and team-sport athletes (5,10,13,16,19,40) but less extensively with strength athletes (11,32,41). Furthermore, the intricacies of tapering for maximal strength are not clear, and most athletes often use tapering guidelines recommended for endurance athletes (9). ...
... Endurance athletes such as triathletes have reported different modes of tapering for their 3 events (3,24). Similarly, powerlifters, strongman, and CrossFit athletes have reported different tapering strategies between lifts before major competitions (32,41). ...
Full-text available
Travis, SK, Pritchard, HJ, Mujika, I, Gentles, JA, Stone, MH, and Bazyler, CD. Characterizing the tapering practices of United States and Canadian raw powerlifters. J Strength Cond Res 35(12S): S26-S35, 2021-The purpose of this study was to characterize the tapering practices used by North American powerlifters. A total of 364 powerlifters completed a 41-item survey encompassing demographics, general training, general tapering, and specific tapering practices. Nonparametric statistics were used to assess sex (male and female), competition level (regional/provincial, national, and international), and competition lift (squat, bench press, and deadlift). The highest training volume most frequently took place 5-8 weeks before competition, whereas the highest training intensity was completed 2 weeks before competition. A step taper was primarily used over 7-10 days while decreasing the training volume by 41-50% with varied intensity. The final heavy (>85% 1 repetition maximum [1RM]) back squat and deadlift sessions were completed 7-10 days before competition, whereas the final heavy bench press session was completed <7 days before competition. Final heavy lifts were completed at 90.0-92.5% 1RM but reduced to 75-80% 1RM for back squat and bench press and 70-75% for deadlift during the final training session of each lift. Set and repetition schemes during the taper varied between lifts with most frequent reports of 3 × 2, 3 × 3, and 3 × 1 for back squat, bench press, and deadlift, respectively. Training cessation durations before competition varied between deadlift (5.8 ± 2.5 days), back squat (4.1 ± 1.9 days), and bench press (3.9 ± 1.8 days). Complete training cessation was implemented 2.8 ± 1.1 days before competition and varied between sex and competition level. These findings provide novel insights into the tapering practices of North American powerlifters and can be used to inform powerlifting coaches and athlete's tapering decisions.
... Tapering is the final stage of a training plan aimed at peaking performance by reducing training load and increasing competition-task specificity. Tapering has been widely studied with endurance (3,9,18,20,(24)(25)(26)28,29,35) and team-sport athletes (5,10,13,16,19,40) but less extensively with strength athletes (11,32,41). Furthermore, the intricacies of tapering for maximal strength are not clear, and most athletes often use tapering guidelines recommended for endurance athletes (9). ...
... Endurance athletes such as triathletes have reported different modes of tapering for their 3 events (3,24). Similarly, powerlifters, strongman, and CrossFit athletes have reported different tapering strategies between lifts before major competitions (32,41). ...
Purpose: To characterize the tapering practices of international level powerlifters (PL) from USA Powerlifting and the Canadian Powerlifting Union. Methods: An online survey was used to identify how North American PL taper before competitions. PL who posted a total at a USAPL, CPU, or International Powerlifting Federation major event (i.e., national championships, world championships) in 2019 were eligible to participate. They were identified using competition results from an online database ( and sent an electronic invitation letter to participate in the survey. The 41-item survey consisted of four sections: demographics, general training practices, general tapering practices, and specific tapering practices. PL competing in the Junior, Open, and Masters 1 divisions were used for analysis. All data are represented as percent ranges and mean ± standard deviations. Results: Ninety-two international level PL completed the survey according to demographic reports (48 males [31±7y, 173±8cm, Wilks Score: 471±69au]; 44 females [28±7y, 161±7cm; Wilks Score: 447±68au]). For general training practices, 71 PL who completed this section stated that competition preparation phase begins 4±2 months out, the highest volume training is implemented 7±3 weeks out, and the highest intensity training is implemented 3±2 weeks out from competition. For general tapering practices, the 71 PL specified that a taper was used prior to competition (step: 30%; linear: 28%; exponential with slow-decay: 17%; exponential with fast decay: 15%; other: 10%) over 9±5 days. Relative to pre-taper training, volume tends to be reduced by 21-50% whereas intensity changes were variable (-30% to +20%). Based on the completed responses of 54 PL for specific tapering practices, accessory lifts are removed from training 2±1 week out from competition to focus on competition lifts. The final heavy training session for back squat and deadlift take place 9±3 days out from competition using 95-98% 1RM and 8±3 days out from competition using 98-100% 1RM for bench press. The final training session takes place 3±1 day out from competition. Conclusions: Contrary to reports of Croatian PL, the step taper mode (9±5 days) is preferred by international level North American PL rather than exponential tapers (18±8 days). The magnitude of volume reduction is also less compared to New Zealand PL (36±21% vs 58.9±8.4%). However, North American PL tend to taper similarly to strongman competitors relative to taper mode, duration, volume reduction, and training cessation. Manipulating training intensity during the taper appeared to be highly variable amongst lifters surveyed. Nonetheless, lifters consistently performed their heaviest lifts ~9 days out, and their final training session ~3 days out from competition. While these survey results are insightful, experimental evidence is needed to determine optimal tapering strategies for international level PL. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Using a step taper lasting 9 days with a 21-50% reduction in volume seems to be the preferred tapering method used by North American international-level PL. Beginning 2 weeks out from competition, lifters shifted their focus towards the competition lifts, and trained with their highest intensities (corresponding to opening or second attempts) ~9 days out, and ceased training ~3 days out from competition. These findings provide novel insights into the tapering practices of some of the world’s best PL.
... The increase in muscle glycogen stores with taper training accelerates recovery and decreases fatigue. In this case, it contributes to the improvement of the performance of athletes (16,17,18). In a study conducted on endurance athletes and by Skovgaard et. ...
This study was conducted to systematically compile and sythesize the studies about taper training in literature and in the most current form, to reveal the physiological changes caused by taper trainings. Qualitative research methods were used for in-depth study and interpretation of the studies on taper applications published between 1985-2020. Document analysis was used as data collection method and the obtained data were analyzed by content analysis method. Taper training is a complex training method that facilitates the systematic reduction of the training load and the attainment of the physiological harmony. Before the major competitions the reductions in load, density, volume or frequency of the training in order to achieve optimal performance are made which is called the taper. The aim of taper training is to reduce fatigue and increase physiological adaptation and performance in athletes through intensive training. Since each sport branch has different physiological demands, taper trainings are applied differently in individual and team sports. The effects of these practices may vary in athletes in different branches. In the literature studies, some increases were found in the blood volume and red blood cells values, muscular glycogen deposits, some enzymes, blood lactate and VO2 max. values and the movement economies of athletes. However, in some studies, some decreases were found in the levels of the respiratory threshold, creatine kinase in the blood and the values of the submaximal ventilation, the diastolic and systolic blood pressures of the athletes. Keywords: Taper training, athlete, performance improvement, physiological changes
... involving multiple days of exercise in the heat, which does not fit with the weekly training 77 distribution of athletes tapering into competition (Mujika 2011). As such, passive HA has 78 recently been explored ( Whilst HA has been studied in a range of able-bodied (AB) athletes (Garrett et The aims of this study were to investigate the efficacy of a mixed, active and passive, 98 HA protocol in the sport of paratriathlon . ...
Full-text available
Purpose To explore the effectiveness of mixed, active and passive heat acclimation (HA), controlling the relative intensity of exercise by heart rate (HR) in paratriathletes (PARA) and determine adaptation differences to able-bodied (AB) triathletes. Methods Seven elite paratriathletes and thirteen AB triathletes undertook an 8-d HA intervention consisting of five HR-controlled sessions and three passive heat exposures (35oC, 63% relative humidity). On the first and last day of HA, heat stress tests were conducted whereby thermoregulatory changes were recorded during at a fixed, submaximal workload. The AB group undertook 20 km cycling time trials pre- and post-HA with performance compared to an AB, non-acclimated control group. Results During the heat stress test, HA lowered core temperature (PARA: 0.27 ± 0.32oC; AB: 0.28 ± 0.34oC), blood lactate concentration (PARA: 0.23 ± 0.15 mmol∙l-1; AB: 0.38 ± 0.31 mmol∙l-1) with concomitant plasma volume expansion (PARA: 12.7 ± 10.6; AB: 6.2 ± 7.7%) (p≤0.047). In the AB group, a lower skin temperature (0.19 ± 0.44oC) and HR (5 ± 6 bpm) with a greater sweat rate (0.17 ± 0.25 l∙h-1) was evident post-HA (p≤0.045) but this was not present for the PARA group (p≥0.177). The AB group improved their performance by an extent greater than the smallest worthwhile change based on the normal variation present with no HA (4.5 vs. 3.7%). Conclusions Paratriathletes are capable of displaying partial HA, albeit not to same extent as AB triathletes. The HA protocol was effective at stimulating thermoregulatory adaptations with performance changes noted in AB triathletes.
Full-text available
Introduction and purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of taper intensity on the expression of caspase-3 in type I and II pneumocytes in the lung of young male wistar rats. Materials and Methods: In the study, 30 five-week-old male wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups of fifteen (control and training groups). After 6 weeks of interval training for the training group and rest for the control group, 5 rats from the training group and 5 rats from the control group were removed from the test period by tissue sampling. Then, the remaining 10 rats of the training group entered the two- and three-week taper period and 10 rats of the control group were placed in two and three week control groups. Progressive interval training was performed in 6 sessions, 30 minutes each session at a speed of 15 to70 meters per minute. Then, a taper phase for three weeks in decreasing intensity pattern was performed. An analysis is done with one-way ANOVA and Tukey test at P<0.05. Results: Immunohistochemical study of lung tissue from different groups showed that interval training causes the significant increase in the expression of caspase-3 in young rats (p≤0.001). While taper training could reduce caspase-3 expression levels in pneumocytes in the lung tissue. Three - week taper versus two weeks taper showed a significant decrease in the expression of caspase-3 in the type I pneumocytes (p≤0.033) and type II pneumocytes (p≤0.001). Discussion and Conclusion: The results of this study show that the use of a period of training load reduction can be investigated as an appropriate method to reduce apoptosis in the pulmonary alveoli after intense exercise, and this investigation can be considered to improve the Lung physiology indicators in human samples problems.
Full-text available
Triatletler İçin Eşik Antrenmanları
Full-text available
Introduction: Adaptation to attitude is a complementary exercise to increase athletes' fitness and physiological performance. The present study investigated the effect of high intensity interval training at the hypobaric hypoxia conditions on weight changes and endurance performance test in rats following a three-weeks tapering period. Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, 25 males four weeks age Wistar rats with average weight (81±9 g) were randomly divided in two groups, exercise and control. Exercise group after the end of 6 weeks high intensity interval training (HIIT) (5 days per week, 30 minutes per session and at a speed of 15 to 70 meters per minute) divided into HIIT, Hypoxia, Taper and hypoxia with taper groups for 3 weeks. Weight changes and Endurance Test Performance were evaluated on the end of weeks. Analyzed is done with one-way ANOVA and TUKEY test at p<0.05. Results: The results showed that there are significant differences (p≤0.05) in fatigue times in hypoxic and taper-hypoxia groups with interval training group, respectively, 30.59 and 37.08. (p=0.001). Also, taper-hypoxic group showed the best performance to compare HIIT and control groups, that was increase significantly (p=0.001). Conclusion: It seems that use of hypoxic training program and taper techniques have a positive effect on endurance performance and time to exhaustion however the use taper with hypoxia condition need to be evaluated in combination.
Full-text available
Abstract Given the limitations identified in the preparation of the force, the objective of developing a methodology for the preparation of the force as a complementary load integrated in the training of the school weightlifter is oriented. It is based on the theories of sports training, using theoretical, empirical and mathematical-statistical methods, as well as the criteria of experts for the assessment of the proposal before its implementation in the 2013-2014 academic year, at the School of Sports Initiation School "Héctor Ruíz" of Villa Clara, in the team 15-16 years of weightlifting. The methodology is distinguished by the theoretical conceptions that support it and the requirements for the preparation of force. The results of the evaluation carried out by the experts show its viability, as well as the results of the quasi-experiment of chronological series for a group, of which positive evaluations are offered on its application. The conclusions and recommendations generalize the results obtained throughout the research process.
Full-text available
The low oxidative demand and muscular adaptations accompanying eccentric exercise hold benefits for both healthy and clinical populations. Compression garments have been suggested to reduce muscle damage and maintain muscle function. This study investigated whether compression garments could benefit metabolic recovery from eccentric exercise. Following 30-min of downhill walking participants wore compression garments on one leg (COMP), the other leg was used as an internal, untreated control (CONT). The muscle metabolites phosphomonoester (PME), phosphodiester (PDE), phosphocreatine (PCr), inorganic phosphate (Pi) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were evaluated at baseline, 1-h and 48-h after eccentric exercise using 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Subjective reports of muscle soreness were recorded at all time points. The pressure of the garment against the thigh was assessed at 1-h and 48-h following exercise. There was a significant increase in perceived muscle soreness from baseline in both the control (CONT) and compression (COMP) leg at 1-h and 48-h following eccentric exercise (p < 0.05). Relative to baseline, both CONT and COMP showed reduced pH at 1-h (p < 0.05). There was no difference between CONT and COMP pH at 1-h. COMP legs exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) elevated skeletal muscle PDE 1-h following exercise. There was no significant change in PCr/Pi, Mg2+ or PME at any time point or between CONT and COMP legs. Eccentric exercise causes disruption of pH control in skeletal muscle but does not cause disruption to cellular control of free energy. Compression garments may alter potential indices of the repair processes accompanying structural damage to the skeletal muscle following eccentric exercise allowing a faster cellular repair.
Full-text available
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a familiar experience for the elite or novice athlete. Symptoms can range from muscle tenderness to severe debilitating pain. The mechanisms, treatment strategies, and impact on athletic performance remain uncertain, despite the high incidence of DOMS. DOMS is most prevalent at the beginning of the sporting season when athletes are returning to training following a period of reduced activity. DOMS is also common when athletes are first introduced to certain types of activities regardless of the time of year. Eccentric activities induce micro-injury at a greater frequency and severity than other types of muscle actions. The intensity and duration of exercise are also important factors in DOMS onset. Up to six hypothesised theories have been proposed for the mechanism of DOMS, namely: lactic acid, muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation and the enzyme efflux theories. However, an integration of two or more theories is likely to explain muscle soreness. DOMS can affect athletic performance by causing a reduction in joint range of motion, shock attenuation and peak torque. Alterations in muscle sequencing and recruitment patterns may also occur, causing unaccustomed stress to be placed on muscle ligaments and tendons. These compensatory mechanisms may increase the risk of further injury if a premature return to sport is attempted. A number of treatment strategies have been introduced to help alleviate the severity of DOMS and to restore the maximal function of the muscles as rapidly as possible. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have demonstrated dosage-dependent effects that may also be influenced by the time of administration. Similarly, massage has shown varying results that may be attributed to the time of massage application and the type of massage technique used. Cryotherapy, stretching, homeopathy, ultrasound and electrical current modalities have demonstrated no effect on the alleviation of muscle soreness or other DOMS symptoms. Exercise is the most effective means of alleviating pain during DOMS, however the analgesic effect is also temporary. Athletes who must train on a daily basis should be encouraged to reduce the intensity and duration of exercise for 1–2 days following intense DOMS-inducing exercise. Alternatively, exercises targeting less affected body parts should be encouraged in order to allow the most affected muscle groups to recover. Eccentric exercises or novel activities should be introduced progressively over a period of 1 or 2 weeks at the beginning of, or during, the sporting season in order to reduce the level of physical impairment and/or training disruption. There are still many unanswered questions relating to DOMS, and many potential areas for future research.
Full-text available
Ensuring athletes achieve an appropriate quality and/or quantity of sleep may have significant implications for performance and recovery and reduce the risk of developing overreaching or overtraining. Indeed, sleep is often anecdotally suggested to be the single best recovery strategy available to elite athletes. A number of nutritional factors have been suggested to improve sleep, including valerian, melatonin, tryptophan, a high glycaemic index diet before bedtime, and maintenance of a balanced and healthy diet. Conversely, consumption of alcohol and caffeine and hyper-hydration may disturb sleep. Strategies such as warming the skin, hydrotherapy, and adoption of appropriate sleep hygiene (maintenance of good sleep habits and routines) are other tools to aid in sleep promotion. Ensuring athletes gain an appropriate quality and quantity of sleep may be important for optimal athletic performance.
Full-text available
Environmental heat stress can challenge the limits of human cardiovascular and temperature regulation, body fluid balance, and thus aerobic performance. This minireview proposes that the cardiovascular adjustments accompanying high skin temperatures (T(sk)), alone or in combination with high core body temperatures (T(c)), provide a primary explanation for impaired aerobic exercise performance in warm-hot environments. The independent (T(sk)) and combined (T(sk) + T(c)) effects of hyperthermia reduce maximal oxygen uptake (Vo(2max)), which leads to higher relative exercise intensity and an exponential decline in aerobic performance at any given exercise workload. Greater relative exercise intensity increases cardiovascular strain, which is a prominent mediator of rated perceived exertion. As a consequence, incremental or constant-rate exercise is more difficult to sustain (earlier fatigue) or requires a slowing of self-paced exercise to achieve a similar sensation of effort. It is proposed that high T(sk) and T(c) impair aerobic performance in tandem primarily through elevated cardiovascular strain, rather than a deterioration in central nervous system (CNS) function or skeletal muscle metabolism. Evaporative sweating is the principal means of heat loss in warm-hot environments where sweat losses frequently exceed fluid intakes. When dehydration exceeds 3% of total body water (2% of body mass) then aerobic performance is consistently impaired independent and additive to heat stress. Dehydration augments hyperthermia and plasma volume reductions, which combine to accentuate cardiovascular strain and reduce Vo(2max). Importantly, the negative performance consequences of dehydration worsen as T(sk) increases.
Full-text available
A marked reduction in the training load in the lead-up to major competitions allows athletes to reduce the fatigue induced by intense training and improve competition performance. This tapered training phase is based on the reduction in training volume while maintaining pretaper training intensity and frequency. In parallel to training load reductions, nutritional strategies characterised by lowered energy intakes need to be implemented to match lowered energy expenditure. The Ramadan intermittent fast imposes constrained nutritional practices on Muslim athletes, inducing a shift to a greater reliance on fat oxidation to meet energy needs and a possible increase in protein breakdown. The training load is often reduced during Ramadan to match the absence of energy and fluid intake during daylight, which implies a risk of losing training induced adaptations. Should coaches and athletes decide to reduce the training load during Ramadan, the key role of training intensity in retaining training induced adaptations should be kept in mind. However, experienced elite Muslim athletes are able to maintain their usual training load during this month of intermittent fasting without decrements in measures of fitness and with only minor adverse effects.
Full-text available
Authors of most field studies have not observed decrements in physiologic function and performance with increases in dehydration, although authors of well-controlled laboratory studies have consistently reported this relationship. Investigators in these field studies did not control exercise intensity, a known modulator of body core temperature. To directly examine the effect of moderate water deficit on the physiologic responses to various exercise intensities in a warm outdoor setting. Semirandomized, crossover design. Field setting. Patients or Other Seventeen distance runners (9 men, 8 women; age = 27 +/- 7 years, height = 171 +/- 9 cm, mass = 64.2 +/- 9.0 kg, body fat = 14.6% +/- 5.5%). Participants completed four 12-km runs (consisting of three 4-km loops) in the heat (average wet bulb globe temperature = 26.5 degrees C): (1) a hydrated, race trial (HYR), (2) a dehydrated, race trial (DYR), (3) a hydrated, submaximal trial (HYS), and (4) a dehydrated, submaximal trial (DYS). Main Outcome Measure(s): For DYR and DYS trials, dehydration was measured by body mass loss. In the submaximal trials, participants ran at a moderate pace that was matched by having them speed up or slow down based on pace feedback provided by researchers. Intestinal temperature was recorded using ingestible thermistors, and participants wore heart rate monitors to measure heart rate. Body mass loss in relation to a 3-day baseline was greater for the DYR (-4.30% +/- 1.25%) and DYS trials (-4.59% +/- 1.32%) than for the HYR (-2.05% +/- 1.09%) and HYS (-2.0% +/- 1.24%) trials postrun (P < .001). Participants ran faster for the HYR (53.15 +/- 6.05 minutes) than for the DYR (55.7 +/- 7.45 minutes; P < .01), but speed was similar for HYS (59.57 +/- 5.31 minutes) and DYS (59.44 +/- 5.44 minutes; P > .05). Intestinal temperature immediately postrun was greater for DYR than for HYR (P < .05), the only significant difference. Intestinal temperature was greater for DYS than for HYS postloop 2, postrun, and at 10 and 20 minutes postrun (all: P < .001). Intestinal temperature and heart rate were 0.22 degrees C and 6 beats/min higher, respectively, for every additional 1% body mass loss during the DYS trial compared with the HYS trial. A small decrement in hydration status impaired physiologic function and performance while trail running in the heat.
Full-text available
A key element of the physical preparation of athletes is the taper period in the weeks immediately preceding competition. Existing research has defined the taper, identified various forms used in contemporary sport, and examined the prescription of training volume, load, intensity, duration, and type (progressive or step). Current limitations include: the lack of studies on team, combative, racquet, and precision (target) sports; the relatively small number of randomized controlled trials; the narrow focus on a single competition (single peak) compared with multiple peaking for weekly, multi-day or multiple events; and limited understanding of the physiological, neuromuscular, and biomechanical basis of the taper. Future research should address these limitations, together with the influence of prior training on optimal tapering strategies, and the interactions between the taper and long-haul travel, heat, and altitude. Practitioners seek information on how to prescribe tapers from season to season during an athlete's career, or a team's progression through a domestic league season, or multi-year Olympic or World Cup cycle. Practical guidelines for planning effective tapers for the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympics will evolve from both experimental investigations and modelling of successful tapers currently employed in a wide range of sports.
The number of travellers undertaking long-distance flights has continued to increase. Such flights are associated with travel fatigue and jet lag, the symptoms of which are considered here, along with their similarities, differences, and causes. Difficulties with jet lag because of sleep loss and decreased performance are emphasised. Since jet lag is caused mainly by inappropriate timing of the body clock in the new time zone, the pertinent properties of the body clock are outlined, with a description of how the body clock can be adjusted. The methods, both pharmacological and behavioural, that have been used to alleviate the negative results of time-zone transitions, are reviewed. The results form the rationale for advice to travellers flying in different directions and crossing several time zones. Finally, there is an account of the main problems that remain unresolved.
This review has grouped many studies on different populations with different protocols to show the interactive effects of intensity, frequency and duration of training as well as the effects of initial fitness levels and programme length on cardiorespiratory fitness as reflected by aerobic power (V̇O2max). Within each level of exercise duration, frequency, programme length or initial fitness level, the greatest improvements in aerobic power occur when the greatest challenge to aerobic power occurs i.e., when intensity is from 90 to 100% of V̇O2max. The pattern of improvement where different intensities are compared with different durations suggests that when exercise exceeds 35 minutes, a lower intensity of training results in the same effect as those achieved at higher intensities for shorter durations. Frequencies of as low as 2 per week can result in improvements in less fit subjects but when aerobic power exceeds 50 ml/kg/min, exercise frequency of at least 3 times per week is required. As the levels of initial fitness improve, the change in aerobic power decreases regardless of the intensity, frequency or duration of exercise. Although these pooled data suggest that maximal gains in aerobic power are elicited with intensities between 90 to 100% V̇O2 max, 4 times per week with exercise durations of 35 to 45 minutes, it is important to note that lower intensities still produce effective changes and reduce the risks of injury in non-athletic groups.
Athletes and researchers could benefit from a simple and universally accepted technique to determine whether humans are well-hydrated, euhydrated, or hypohydrated. Two laboratory studies (A, B) and one field study (C) were conducted to determine if urine color (Ucol) indicates hydration status accurately and to clarify the interchangeability of Ucol, urine osmolality (Uosm), and urine specific gravity (Usg) in research. Ucol, Uosm, and Usg were not significantly correlated with plasma osmolality, plasma sodium, or hematocrit. This suggested that these hematologic measurements are not as sensitive to mild hypohydration (between days) as the selected urinary indices are. When the data from A, B, and C were combined, Ucol was strongly correlated with Usg and Uosm. It was concluded that (a) Ucol may be used in athletic/industrial settings or field studies, where close estimates of Usg or Uosm are acceptable, but should not be utilized in laboratories where greater precision and accuracy are required, and (b) Uosm and Usg may be used interchangeably to determine hydration status.