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A Multidimensional Approach to Enhancing Recovery

Authors:
  • Setanta College

Abstract

Optimum performance requires a balance between training stress and recovery. Thus, programming recovery needs to be an active and integral part of an athlete's program. Because the nature of fatigue and subsequent recovery is complex and related to a large number of diverse factors, a recovery program needs to be multidimensional and address fatigue and recovery from a number of directions, utilizing both short- and long-term strategies.
A Multidimensional Approach
to Enhancing Recovery
Ian Jeffreys,MS, CSCS,*D
Coleg Powys,Brecon, Wales, United Kingdom
© National Strength and Conditioning Association
Volume 27,Number 5, pages 78–85
Keywords: recovery; fatigue; multidimensional; strategies
In designing any training program, it
must be remembered that athletes
can achieve optimal performance
only when they are able to “optimally
balance training stress and subsequent
recovery” (13). Unfortunately, despite
the importance of optimal recovery
within any training program, recovery is
often inadequately addressed. Time de-
voted to planning the training is often
far disproportionate to the time spent
planning the recovery. For athletes to
achieve optimal performance, proactive
recovery must become a planned and
systematic part of any training program.
Recovery can be defined as an “inter- and
intra-individual multilevel process in
time for the re-establishment of perfor-
mance abilities” (14). Recovery needs to
include an action-orientated compo-
nent and incorporate “self-initiated ac-
tivities, that can be systematically used
to optimize situational conditions, to
build up and refill personal resources
and buffers” (14).
The above clearly highlights the follow-
ing key aspects that need to be addressed
in setting up a recovery strategy:
Recovery is a multidimensional
process involving a number of sys-
tems.
Optimum recovery strategies will
vary among individuals depending
upon the type of fatigue, their cur-
rent levels of training and nontrain-
ing stress, and their capacity to cope
with the stressors.
Recovery needs to be a proactive
process and an integral part of the
entire training plan. This process
needs to involve both short- and
long-term planning. In the short-
term planning, athletes need to
reestablish performance capabilities
(e.g., replacing glycogen stores). In
addition, long-term planning is
equally important to develop ath-
letes’ stress tolerance in the physical,
psychological, and emotional do-
mains.
Optimal recovery needs to encompass a
range of methods and techniques that
are all systematically integrated into ath-
lete programs, ideally on an individual
basis. Each method needs to be carefully
planned and have a specific aim to en-
sure optimal return.
The Nature of Fatigue
According to the fitness fatigue theo-
ry, any training bout will initiate both
potentiation effects and fatigue ef-
fects (29). The interplay between
these will depend upon the amplitude
and duration of potentiation and the
amplitude and duration of fatigue.
Any mechanisms that can reduce ei-
ther the amplitude or the duration of
fatigue will clearly have a beneficial
summary
Optimum performance requires a
balance between training stress and
recovery.Thus, programming recov-
ery needs to be an active and inte-
gral part of an athlete’s program. Be-
cause the nature of fatigue and
subsequent recovery is complex
and related to a large number of di-
verse factors, a recovery program
needs to be multidimensional and
address fatigue and recovery from a
number of directions, utilizing both
short- and long-term strategies.
78 October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
effect on the entire training process.
To effectively plan recovery strategies,
it is vital to comprehend the nature of
fatigue. A general definition of fatigue
is “any exercise induced reduction in
the maximal capacity to generate
force or muscle output” (3). In addi-
tion, Calder (5) identifies a number of
types of fatigue, namely, metabolic,
neural, psychological, and emotional
(social).
The relative importance of each of
these types of fatigue will influence the
type of recovery strategy that will be
optimal. An understanding of the na-
ture of fatigue and the stress-related
factors on athletes is an important step
in setting up the optimal recovery pro-
gram.
The Aims of the Recovery Period
According to Viru (25), the main func-
tions of the recovery period are:
Normalization of functions.
Normalization of homeostatic equi-
librium.
Replenishment and temporary su-
percompensation of energy re-
sources.
Reconstructive functions, especially
cellular processes and enzymatic func-
tions.
These functions have different time
scales, with a stage of rapid recovery fol-
lowed by a delayed restitution. The first
2 functions occur in the rapid stage,
whereas the latter two require much
longer periods of time (25).
Fatigue cannot be seen as having a single
cause; therefore, the appropriate recov-
ery strategy will depend upon the con-
tribution of each type of fatigue on total
fatigue (5).
The Athlete as a
“Psychosociophysiological
Entity”
The term psychosociophysiological entity,
coined by Kentta and Hassmen (15),
stresses the complexity of monitoring
total stress on an athlete. As strength
coaches, we are able to closely monitor
the training load placed on an athlete,
and periodized training plans are essen-
tial in the optimal development of ath-
letic performance. However, we often
have little control over training and
nontraining stresses outside our con-
trol (12), and we need to monitor the
total load placed on the athlete in the
entire psychosociophysiological do-
main.
To totally predict the effects of training
stress on the body, we must not see the
athlete as a machinelike entity. Non-
training and training factors will greatly
affect the dose-response relationship.
Stressors can originate from many
sources, all of which accumulate in the
same melting pot. An athlete’s response
to any training load will depend upon
the total stress load and how this relates
to his or her capacity to handle the stres-
sors. Therefore, it is vital that an inter-
disciplinary approach be taken to moni-
tor the level of stress and the related
recovery requirements and that this ad-
dresses the individual needs of the ath-
lete.
In simple terms, stressors fall into 3
main categories: (a) physical stressors,
(b) psychological stressors, and (c) emo-
tional stressors. The effects of each of
these are cumulative and will depend
upon both the amount of stress and the
athlete’s stress tolerance in each domain.
Although we progressively build ath-
letes’ physical capabilities and allow
them to handle large loads, all too often
their psychological and emotional capa-
bilities are less than optimally devel-
oped. Where this is the case, emotional
or psychological stressors can have a dra-
matic effect on total stress and may
therefore negatively affect recovery and
the level of athletic performance. Thus,
a total recovery strategy must focus on
developing all the domains if we wish it
to be maximally effective, and athletes
need to develop their abilities to both
identify and deal with psychological and
emotional stressors.
Kentta and Hassmen (16) recommend
that the approach to enhancing recovery
needs to attempt to achieve a balance in
the training and nontraining stress expe-
rienced, the athlete’s ability to cope with
the stress, and the recovery actions
taken.
Identifying the Cause of
Underrecovery
Given the complex psychosociophysio-
logical nature of athletic performance,
identifying the causes of underrecovery
can be a complex task and requires a
multidimensional approach.
The use of training logs and other
recording systems is vital in our at-
tempt to identify patterns of perfor-
mance and training stress. Within the
training logs, athletes should log all
their physical activities both within
the performance environment (e.g.,
school, college) and outside the per-
formance environment (e.g., other
teams they play for or activities they
undertake). The use of a rating of per-
ceived exertion for the sessions, along
with the duration of the session, gives
information on both volume and in-
tensity of the exercise carried out.
This log, combined with a system of
monitoring recovery, such as that pro-
posed by Jeffreys (12), provides a tool to
allow athletes to identify times when
their recovery is less than normal. One
of the great values of such a monitoring
system is that it helps athletes develop
self-awareness and the ability to identi-
fy periods of optimal and less-than-op-
timal performance. If an athlete is expe-
riencing underrecovery, he or she must
be encouraged to bring this to the atten-
tion of the coach, who then needs to at-
tempt to identify the cause of under-
recovery.
Although identifying the cause of un-
derrecovery can be difficult, it may be
79
October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
facilitated by using a multidimensional
approach. Whereas the overall training
load can be effectively monitored with
the athlete’s training log, other stressors
are less easily identified. To facilitate
this, lifestyle profiles can be used, which
can be set up to identify areas within an
athlete’s lifestyle that could be compro-
mising his or her recovery and perfor-
mance. Areas to address may include:
The quality and quantity of sleep.
The level of performance stress.
The level of academic, work, or
money stresses.
The quality of the athlete’s primary
relationships (e.g., family, friends).
The quality of the athlete’s sec-
ondary relationships (e.g., within
the team and the training environ-
ment).
The quality of lifestyle management.
The results from this type of approach
can indicate where any additional stress-
es may be coming from. Where possible,
athletes can be given advice or guided to
the appropriate support to assist them in
rectifying any specific problems.
Educating the Athlete
Although the coach can direct the recov-
ery process, the athlete will perform
much of the work, often away from the
training environment. Therefore, the
athlete needs to be empowered to make
the correct choices in terms of recovery
and be proactive in facilitating the re-
covery process. This requires a commit-
ment to athlete education. Indeed, the
education program must be seen as an
essential part of the recovery program
and should address the following key as-
pects:
Why recovery is vital to optimum
performance.
The different mechanisms of stress
and fatigue.
Lifestyle management.
Options for enhancing recovery, in-
cluding opportunities to experience
and evaluate various methods.
How to incorporate the various op-
tions into daily and weekly sched-
ules.
The goal is to develop athletes who are
self-aware in terms of training and
nontraining stress, are aware of their
bodies and how they are recovering,
and are empowered to make appropri-
ate interventions to enhance these
areas.
Individualizing the Program
In the education program, athletes must
be given a number of options as to how
to enhance recovery, for many of the
methods available can work on a multi-
level basis. For example, massage may
enhance physiological recovery in some
athletes (18, 26) but not in others (22,
23) and also facilitate psychological re-
laxation and recovery in some athletes
(8). Athletes have to choose appropriate
strategies that they are comfortable with
and that address their own recovery
needs. This empowerment can also facil-
itate enhanced compliance with the pro-
gram.
Planning the Recovery Program
Recovery needs to be an integral part of
the planning of any training program,
and it appears to work best when psy-
chosociophysiological aspects are ad-
dressed as follows:
Planning the training program.
Nutrition and hydration strategies.
• Sleep.
Postworkout or postgame strategies.
Emotional and relaxation strategies.
Psychological strategies.
Planning the Training Program
A well-planned, periodized training
program that incorporates the hard-
easy principle greatly reduces the likeli-
hood of underrecovery (29). However,
to further facilitate recovery, rest or ac-
tive rest days should be scheduled into
the program and athletes should be ed-
ucated as to why these are in place. This
develops an empowered athlete who is
able to make appropriate decisions on
these days, and it facilitates an athlete’s
adherence to this rest. In general, active
rest is normally prescribed because it
facilitates recovery and is ideal on days
after games, hard training, and so on
(5).
Active recovery needs to incorporate
light aerobic-type activity with stretch-
ing activities. This initially needs to
happen immediately after games and
workouts (a cool down), with the dura-
tion depending upon the intensity of the
exercise undertaken. This facilitates
blood flow and the removal of metabo-
lites while restoring muscle length and
function (5).
Additionally, this type of active recovery
session needs to take place the day after
games and hard training sessions. This is
preferable to taking the whole day off.
Ideally, the activities should be different
from normal training activities to pro-
vide psychological recovery and must be
of a sufficiently low intensity not to in-
duce further fatigue (i.e., to facilitate
rather than hinder recovery). These ac-
tivities must be normally performed in a
noncompetitive environment to ensure
that a low intensity of effort is main-
tained. Pool sessions can be used as ac-
tive recovery sessions (see Table 1), al-
though a number of strategies can be
used.
Nutrition and Hydration
Strategies
A nutritional strategy must attempt to
facilitate a high standard of overall nu-
trition and not focus simply on nutri-
tion before, during, and after the game.
This focus needs to be both quantitative
and qualitative. In general, the nutri-
tional foundation for the diets of the
athletes in terms of the relative calorific
intake of macronutrients (carbohy-
drates, proteins, and fats) is similar to
the current recommendations for the
general population (2). The fundamen-
tal differences are that athletes require
additional fluid to cover sweat losses
and additional energy to fuel physical
80 October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
activity (2). The focus should be on en-
suring that sufficient calories are con-
sumed to adequately replenish energy
stores and that sufficient water and elec-
trolytes are taken in to replace water
and electrolytes that are lost during ex-
ercise.
Regarding hydration, athletes need to
be encouraged to drink an adequate
amount of water to maintain fluid bal-
ance in relation to weather and training
conditions (16). Also, they need to be
advised that thirst is a poor indicator of
hydration status (11). The minimum
requirement of water to maintain nor-
mal hydration is 3.7 L/d for men and
2.7 L/d for women (11). This needs to
be supplemented by additional fluid to
replace any sweat loss (11) and may re-
quire an intake of up to 10 L/d in very
hot and humid conditions (11). In ad-
dition to water intake, the replacement
of electrolytes lost in perspiration is also
vital, with a minimum of 1.5 g/d of
sodium and 4.7 g/d of potassium rec-
ommended as a base value (11). Moni-
toring pre- and postworkout weights,
together with urine-color charts, can be
used to give an indication of whether an
adequate amount of water is consumed
(11).
Athletes should be encouraged to ex-
periment with preworkout meals to
find what suits them best individually,
providing they conform to basic guide-
lines. Preworkout meals should consist
of 500 mL of fluid ingested about 2
hours pre-exercise to allow for adequate
hydration and for the excretion of ex-
cess ingested water (1). Food ingested
should be low in fat and fiber (to assist
in gastric emptying), moderate in pro-
tein, and high in carbohydrates (1).
Carbohydrates should be low glycemic
index (GI) (20).
During exercise, the main goal should
be the replacement of water and elec-
trolytes and the provision of carbohy-
drates at the rate of 30–60 g/h (2).
Concentration of carbohydrate should
be 4–8% carbohydrates (2), predomi-
nantly medium to high GI (20). The
inclusion of sodium (0.5 g/L) is also
recommended for exercise lasting
longer than 1 hour (2). The general ad-
vice regarding hydration is to drink the
maximal amount of fluids during exer-
cise that can be tolerated without gas-
tric distress (2).
Postworkout or postgame meals are
vital in the recovery process, and the
goal is to provide adequate carbohy-
drates to replace muscle glycogen (2).
Consuming carbohydrates immediately
after exercise results in higher glycogen
levels 6 hours postexercise than if the
carbohydrate were ingested 2 hours post-
exercise (2). The meal should incorpo-
rate both carbohydrates and protein in a
4:1 ratio (5) with 1.5 g of carbohydrate
per kilogram of bodyweight in the first
30 minutes (2). This mix of protein and
carbohydrate maximizes the replenish-
ment of muscle glycogen (30), provides
the amino acids necessary for muscle
protein synthesis, and may promote a
more anabolic state (2). Carbohydrate
intake at this time should be high GI (2,
20).
81
October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
Table 1
Pool Sessions
The goal of a recovery-based pool session is to promote regeneration with gentle
aerobic exercise,together with stretching activities, that mobilize all the key joints
involved in performance.The stretches and the swimming strokes should focus on
full range of movement.Water depth will determine the degree of weight support-
ed and thus the degree of ground contact. Additionally, deep water can provide
resistance against the upper-body movements.The intensity of work should be
kept low,and poor swimmers may need to reduce the quantity of swimming or
split the time into a number of shorter workouts. Sessions take approximately
20–30 min, during which time the athletes should ensure that they are
constantly hydrating.
Sample session
Swim 3 lengths while alternating the backstroke,breaststroke, and front crawl.
Walk for 3 min in waist-high water with a range of upper-body activities (e.g.,
sprint action, reaching up, side bends,rotations).
Walk 2 widths with full high knee action in shoulder-high water.
Walk 2 faster widths with high knee running action in shoulder-high water.
Walk 2 widths with an ankling action in waist-high water.
Swim 2 lengths with a sidestroke (alternating side).
Walk 2 widths sideways with a side lunge action in waist-high water.
Swim 3 lengths while alternating backstroke,front crawl, and backstroke.
Walk 2 widths,crossover step style, in waist-high water.
Walk 2 widths with a hip-circling action in shoulder-high water (width 1 forward,
width 2 backwards).
Walk 2 widths, lunging in waist-high water, with a variety of lunging combina-
tions.
Walk 2 widths backwards,taking large steps,in waist-high water.
Swim 2 lengths sidestroke (alternating side).
Walk 2 widths with a sprinter’s paw-back action in waist-high water.
Walk 2 widths with a high kick action in waist-high water.
Jog 2 widths in waist-high water.
Spend 5 min statically stretching key muscles in the water.
Logging overall nutritional quality
within an athlete’s training log can fur-
ther stress the importance of nutrition
and remind athletes of their require-
ments in this area. The nutritional
guidelines for during and after workouts
are summarized in Table 2.
Sleep
Sleep is fundamental to optimal re-
covery, and both the quantity and the
quality of sleep are vital. Indeed, ath-
letes need a greater quantity and qual-
ity of sleep than do nonathletes (17).
However, many athletes, especially
those in high school and college, are
sleep deprived (6, 10). In general, ath-
letes should be encouraged to aim for
8–9.5 hours of sleep per night (10);
those involved in heavy training
should aim for the top end of this
range. Of equal importance is the
quality of sleep (24). Sleep cycles
occur in approximately 90-minute
patterns, with the important deep
sleep (stages 3 and 4) and rapid eye
movement (REM) sleep occurring to-
ward the end of these cycles. Deep
sleep is vital for maximizing physio-
logical growth and repair (10), and
REM sleep is vital for the restoration
of neural functions (5). If sleep is dis-
turbed before deep and REM sleep is
achieved, the whole process restarts,
and deep and REM sleep stages are
further delayed. Because disturbed
sleep can result in the interruption of
1 or more sleep cycles and is likely to
reduce the recovery effects of sleep,
athletes need to be encouraged to op-
timize the duration and quality of
sleep in order to maximize recovery.
Some guidelines for enhancing sleep
patterns are given in Table 3.
Postworkout or Postgame
Strategies
Athletes need to develop appropriate
postgame workout strategies that opti-
mize their recovery on physical, psycho-
logical, and emotional bases.
Immediately postworkout, the stress
should be on physical recovery by using
physical and nutritional approaches.
Recovery can take an active and a pas-
sive form. Active recovery should in-
volve an appropriate cool-down, as out-
lined previously, but can additionally
involve a number of passive methods
that can enhance recovery on a multi-
level basis. Hydrotherapies and mas-
sage (either self-massage or by a thera-
pist) may both enhance the physical
recovery (18, 26) and provide a degree
of psychological recovery (8). Hy-
drotherapies may involve ice baths,
contrast showers, whirlpools, and so
on, working on the principle that the
contrasting hot and cold temperatures
force the blood to move quickly back
and forth from the skin to the internal
organs, thereby facilitating the removal
of metabolites (24). Hydrotherapies are
normally used at the end of the training
82 October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
Table 2
Fueling and Refueling Guidelines
Timing Type of intake
Preworkout (2 h preworkout) Low–glycemic index (GI) carbohydrate
(or mixed meal with medium and low
GI) with a moderate amount of
protein.Drink 500 mL of water 2 h
before exercise.
Immediately preworkout if needed
(<10 min)
Medium- or high-GI carbohydrate with
a small amount of protein.
During game or workout Medium- or high-GI sport product.
Drink as much fluid as possible and
replace electrolytes during longer
sessions.
Immediately postworkout High-GI carbohydrate and protein
(4:1 ratio carbohydrate/protein,using
1.5g/kg carbohydrate).
Postexercise follow-up Moderate- or high-GI carbohydrates
and mixed meals with protein.
Table 3
Guidelines for Sleep Enhancement
Identify your sleep requirements and try to get this amount daily.
Develop a pattern of sleeping and waking times.
Practice relaxation techniques before retiring to bed.
Try to switch off from any worries before retiring to bed.
Make the bedroom as dark as possible, using masks if required.
Try to maintain a quiet environment,using earplugs if required.
Use as big of a bed as possible (6 in. longer than the body is ideal).
Maintain a cool environment within the bedroom.
Keep your head cooler than your body.
If you do not fall asleep within 30 min, get up and do some relaxation work.
Avoid ingesting high-protein meals,caffeine, or alcohol in the few hours
before retiring to bed.
day (5); however, contrast showers
should be seen as the main tool for hy-
drotherapy, given their accessibility,
and can be used at any time during the
training day (5). General guidelines for
the use of various hydrotherapies are
shown in Table 4.
After the game or workout, relaxation
and social recovery should be facilitated.
Table 5 outlines some strategies that can
be used postgame to facilitate recovery
on a multidimensional basis.
Emotional and Relaxation
Strategies
Athletes should develop methods that
facilitate relaxation and emotional re-
covery. However, the most appropriate
methods tend to be individual (21), and
coaches need to work with and educate
the athletes to make informed and ap-
propriate decisions regarding these ac-
tivities (9). The relaxation strategies
used will depend upon both the nature
of stressors the athletes experience and
personal preferences.
Athletes should be encouraged to par-
ticipate in alternative activities that
will enable them to relax and think
about something other than their
sport. Methods such as watching
movies and listening to music are use-
ful but also depend upon the mood
they induce, so they should be chosen
appropriately (9). For example, televi-
sion can be relaxing when an athlete is
watching a program of his or her
choice, but when he or she is forced to
watch someone else’s program the pro-
duced effect may not necessarily be re-
laxation. Used appropriately, music
may develop the positive mood states
of calmness, happiness, reduced ten-
sion, and reduced depression (9). Ath-
letes should be encouraged to develop
a range of strategies that they can use
in a variety of settings and in their re-
covery programs.
Emotional strategies may focus on de-
veloping emotional intelligence (EI).
83
October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
Table 4
Hydrotherapy Guidelines
Hydrotherapies can be very useful passive recovery tools,and a wide variety are
available.Hydrotherapies should leave the athlete relaxed but mentally alert.
The duration of warm immersion should be controlled and should not result in
lethargic athletes.
Contrast shower
Use anytime.
Alternate 1 min of hot (as hot as tolerable) with 30 s of cold water.
Repeat 3 times.
Hot tub and ice plunge
Use at the end of the training day.
Alternate 2 min in the hot tub (using the jets to massage key muscles and also
stretching key muscles) with 30 s of cold plunge (kneeling in waist-deep cold
water).
Repeat 3–4 times.
Hydrate throughout the process by drinking water.
Table 5
Postgame Strategies
Within the first 5 min
Move lightly for 3–5 min.
Rehydrate.
Eat and drink carbohydrates and protein,in a 4:1 ratio, with high–glycemic index
(GI) carbohydrates.
Stretch.
15–20 min
Use a hydrotherapy tool (e.g.,contrast showers or hot tub and ice plunge).
Self-massage (use predominantly shaking techniques to stimulate neural
recovery).
Continue to hydrate.
Within the first hour
Continue to hydrate.
Take in more food (mixed-GI carbohydrates and protein).
Start to unwind (e.g., use music as appropriate).
In the evening
Relax as appropriate (e.g.,watch television, go to a movie,read, socialize).
Continue to hydrate and refuel as appropriate.
Before bed
Use relaxation skills to switch off.
Follow the usual sleep guidelines.
The next day
Record key indicators.
Take a recovery session (e.g., a pool session) if needed.
Adapted from Calder (5).
Goleman (7) maintains that the most
powerful domain of total fitness is the
emotional domain, and emotionally
healthy athletes have an enormous ca-
pacity for handling physical loads with
enjoyment and efficiency (4). If ath-
letes are unable to handle their own
emotions, major performance and
health problems can result. Athletes
therefore need to be encouraged to de-
velop their emotional health and their
EI. This should involve identifying key
emotions and feelings that they will
face in and out of competition, includ-
ing fear, anger, guilt, embarrassment,
surprise, sadness, happiness, and inter-
est. Athletes then need to develop cop-
ing strategies (7), which must be seen
as a long-term strategy. EI competen-
cies need to be developed in 4 main do-
mains:
Self-awareness: the athletes’ ability
to identify their own emotions and
the effect they have on themselves
and other people.
Self-management: the athletes’ abili-
ty to control emotions and develop
strategies to cope with these emo-
tions.
Social awareness: the athletes’ ability
to recognize the emotional states of
others and their effects on their own
emotional state.
Social skills: the athletes’ ability to
interact socially in the most appro-
priate way to enhance the quality of
relationships, thus reducing levels of
interpersonal stress.
An emotionally intelligent athlete is
more likely to develop excellent inter-
personal relationships and build a strong
social and emotional support network,
thereby resulting in low levels of emo-
tional stress.
Psychological Strategies
The development of psychological
strategies is very important because
they can be used to enhance recovery
and performance. The development of
effective psychological skills can pro-
mote recovery by reducing the psycho-
logical stressors on athletes and also by
enhancing their stress tolerance (7).
This has the effect of increasing their
ability to handle the stressors in the
future and can be vital at times of
major psychological stress, for exam-
ple, during major competitions (19,
27).
Weinberg and Gould (27) recommend
the following strategies be included in a
program to prevent burnout. These also
provide an excellent model on which to
build a psychological strategy for en-
hancing recovery:
Develop psychological and self-regu-
lation skills. These require develop-
ing psychological skills such as anxi-
ety control, relaxation techniques,
mental imagery, and so on that can
have a huge influence on perfor-
mance and recovery.
Set short-term goals for competition
and practice. Effective goal setting is
fundamental to the planning of an
athlete’s training program. Goals
should follow the SMART principle
(Specific, Measurable, Action Ori-
ented, Realistic, Timely) and should
be a part of the athlete’s training log,
which should be monitored at regu-
lar intervals.
Analyze and communicate feelings
between the athlete and the coach,
thus identifying periods of psycholog-
ical stress. This requires the develop-
ment of a trusting environment where
athletes feel able to communicate
their feelings regarding any aspect of
performance or any factor affecting
performance. This also requires the
development of effective self-aware-
ness skills in both the athletes and the
coach.
Take relaxation breaks from train-
ing. These breaks are vital for long-
term psychological health and need
to be written into the program and
enforced, for some athletes are reluc-
tant to take time off.
Manage postcompetitive and post-
training emotions and provide a sup-
portive atmosphere. The effective
management of postgame emotions
requires the development of EI. A
postgame debrief that focuses on the
emotional requirements of the ath-
lete, not the coach, should always
follow competition. This debrief
may result in an athlete not overde-
liberating on a poor performance
and may lead to a significant reduc-
tion in postgame stress. This should
be followed by appropriate opportu-
nities for social and emotional recov-
ery in a “safe” environment away
from media.
Keep a positive outlook. Encourage
athletes to stay positive and focus on
aspects of performance within their
control and not dwell on factors
outside their control. Creating a
positive social support network is
vital.
Conclusion
Optimal recovery requires effective
planning in a multidimensional do-
main. Recovery needs to be proactive
and an integral part of the planning
process. It needs to work where possible
on an individual basis and be based on
an education program, empowering ath-
letes to take control of their own recov-
ery. In an optimal recovery environ-
ment, the quality of the athletes’ lives
will be enhanced, and the following will
be evident (28):
A balance of all aspects of their lives.
A balance between training commit-
ments and recovery activities (e.g.,
rest, nutrition, active recovery, relax-
ation).
Time to deal with nonsport matters
(e.g., school work).
Unconditional support from their
primary social group (e.g., family).
Support and acceptance from their
secondary social group (e.g., coach-
es, teammates).
Athletes should take responsibility for
their own recovery and should follow
84 October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
the adage “train smart, train hard, recov-
er well.”
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Ian Jeffreys is currently Director of Sport
Science and Athletic Performance at
Coleg Powys in Brecon, Wales, United
Kingdom. He is the Strength and Condi-
tioning Coach for the Welsh Schools
Rugby Union National Team at under 16
level.
85
October 2005 Strength and Conditioning Journal
Jeffreys
... At the same time, the research focuses on the effects of a one--off treatment [1,2,5,6,9,20,24,26,39,55] or a series of treatments [14,16,18,25,28,37,49,52]. A number of water-related factors which affect the body, not only temperature, but water pressure (hydrostatic or hydrodynamic), as well as active or passive behaviour during the bath (buoyancy, resistance) need to be considered when planning the use of hydrotherapy in post-exercise recovery [47] (Figure 1). It was also emphasized that optimum strategies for supporting biological regeneration will vary between individuals, depending on the type of fatigue, training intensity and individual efficiency, as well as the bodily ability to adapt to and counteract the effect of such stress [27]. The individual bodily response to treatments also needs to be taken into account [5,42,46]. ...
... Although its mechanisms of action remain unknown, it is seen as an effective method for reducing the symptoms of muscle damage and associated DOMS [49]. Body exposure to alternating high and low temperatures is believed to accelerate blood circulation, which facilitates metabolite elimination [27]. Contrast water therapy causes significantly higher lactate reduction, as compared to passive recovery [28]. ...
... Research articles on HWI often recommend supplementing this recovery intervention with other treatments, e.g. massage of selected muscles using high pressure jets of water and/or air [27]. Vasodilatation (smooth muscle relaxation in vascular walls) and the resulting increased blood flow are the typical effects of HWI. ...
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Hydrotherapy is commonly used in order to alleviate or remove the effect of intensive cardio workout [3, 12, 25, 41, 42] and to quickly restore a good psychophysical condition in sportspeople [1, 2, 14, 31, 39]. It provides an alternative to other post-exercise recovery-promoting physiotherapy treatments, such as massage, sauna or cryotherapy [11, 12, 30]. Full and partial immersion baths [1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 25, 26, 34, 37, 38, 41, 49, 50, 54] and showers [10, 11, 28, 38] are the most common hydrotherapy procedures. Treatments can be performed at various post-exercise time [16]. It was noted that the efficacy of hydrotherapy in promoting post-exercise recovery may be affected by not only the choice of a procedure, but a number of other factors, such as: the method [1, 10, 11, 22, 26], including water temperature [7, 21, 49, 50, 55] and treatment duration [1, 2, 21, 51], as well as the interval between the end of training and the treatment [1, 9, 11, 39] or individual characteristics, e.g. sex [12]. At the same time, the research focuses on the effects of a one- -off treatment [1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 20, 24, 26, 39, 55] or a series of treatments [14, 16, 18, 25, 28, 37, 49, 52]. A number of water-related factors which affect the body, not only temperature, but water pressure (hydrostatic or hydrodynamic), as well as active or passive behaviour during the bath (buoyancy, resistance) need to be considered when planning the use of hydrotherapy in post-exercise recovery [47] (Figure 1). It was also emphasized that optimum strategies for supporting biological regeneration will vary between individuals, depending on the type of fatigue, training intensity and individual efficiency, as well as the bodily ability to adapt to and counteract the effect of such stress [27]. The individual bodily response to treatments also needs to be taken into account [5, 42, 46].
... Sleep (quantity and quality) [24,25] and nutrition are the main sources of recovery [26]. The effectiveness of other methods (e.g., cool water immersion, sauna, or massage) also depends on the right timing [27][28][29] and the individual preferences of the athletes. The same method can work very well for one athlete but not for another. ...
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The right balance between stress and recovery is important to improve an athlete's performance (e.g., super compensation) and prevent overtraining and injuries. Although there are a number of objective (e.g., physiological or biochemical) indicators for the stress-recovery balance, they are outper-formed by subjective indicators (i.e., self-reports on strain and recovery). In the present paper, a six-item inventory to monitor physical and mental strain and recovery in sports is presented. Based on empirical findings, and experiences from sport psychological practice in different sports, we discuss the pros and cons of self-report monitoring tools. On a more general level, we give advice on how and when to use such monitoring tools. In addition, we describe how different settings (e.g., monitoring during a whole season vs. monitoring before important competitions, like the Olympic Games) and samples (team vs. individual sports) might affect how such a monitoring tool is used and on what factors a successful application might depend. Finally, we offer guidelines on how to respond to unexpected monitoring results, ranging from clarifying discussions between athletes and (athletic) coaches to sport psychological consultations.
... Understanding the physiological concept of recovery is essential for designing optimal training programmes. As well, individual variability exists within the recovery process due to training status (trained vs. untrained), factors of fatigue, and a person's ability to deal with physical, emotional, and psychological stressors (Jeffreys, 2005). ...
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... La recuperación es un proceso multidimensional que se puede ver afectado por el uso de una o varias técnicas/estrategias que permitirían favorecer la reducción del tiempo de manifestación de la fatiga, además de disminuir el riesgo potencial de padecer una lesión (Marqués-Jiménez et al., 2017). Una recuperación óptima favorece la restauración de los procesos fisiológicos, psicológicos y sociales, que han sido dañados durante el entrenamiento y/o la competición (Ohya, Aramaki & Kitagawa, 2013;Pinar, Kaya, Biçer, Erzeybek & Çotuk, 2012), además de tratar de conseguir el restablecimiento de la homeostasis, la restauración de las reservas energéticas y la reposición de la energía celular enzimática (Jeffreys, 2005). En este proceso, y según la bibliografía especializada, el factor psicológico parece tener un impacto importante a la hora de maximizar la eficacia del mismo, e incluso el tipo de técnica empleada puede seleccionarse en función de distintas variables como los niveles de estrés o de los estados de ánimo generados por la práctica deportiva (Calleja-González et al., 2018;Crush, Frith & Loprinzi, 2018;González-Boto, Salguero, Tuero & Márquez, 2009). ...
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... If athletes are unable to balance the 6 demands of their sport with adequate rest and recovery, negative consequences may arise, 7 such as athlete burnout (Gustafsson, Hassmén, Kenttä, & Johansson, 2008), decreased 8 performance (Halson & Jeukendrup, 2004), and even injury (Andersen & Williams, 1988). 9 Consequently, recovery is considered an integral part of athletic training and vital for 10 preserving athletes' health and well-being (Jeffreys, 2005;Kellmann, 2002;Kenttä & 11 Hassmén, 1998). In fact, athletes spend more time in recovery than in active training (Bishop,12 Jones, & Woods, 2008). ...
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... Das Kraft-bzw. Kräftigungstraining soll jedoch nicht nur zu physischen Verbesserungen führen, sondern die Adoleszierenden auf die Wichtigkeit einer ausgewogenen Ernährung, genügend Schlaf und lebenslanger physischer Bewegung sensibilisieren [130]. ...
Thesis
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... As the semester unfolds and academic work ramps up, athletes may feel stressed for time and may choose to rush through essential recovery activities. An effective cool down after practices and games not only promotes physical recovery but can also help reduce athlete stress (41,55). Intentional recovery activities should focus on both physical recovery strategies and on psychological well-being (55). ...
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... although it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the efficacy of various recovery strategies upon performance and their impact upon adaptive processes, 11,17,58 it is essential that athletes adhere to basic recommendations surrounding sleep and nutrition requirements. 4,49,91 Most importantly, the timely consumption of carbohydrate and essential amino acids following training is likely to speed recovery and promote a more anabolic state in the muscle. 21 34,94 There are several possible reasons for this observation, but importantly it has been recognised that running involves a higher volume of repetitive eccentric loading: therefore, it is speculated that this may result in a higher degree of muscular damage when compared to other aerobic training modalities. ...
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... l -1 cinsinden kaydedildi. (Jeffreys, 2005). Egzersizden sonra toparlanma amacıyla havuza veya suyun içine girme faaliyeti organizmada bazı yararlı fizyolojik değişiklikler üretebilir. ...
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Founded on an analysis of scientific literature and backed by an abundance of references, this timely new book examines problems related to sports training, as well as the concept that training-induced changes are founded on adaptive protein synthesis. Discussions include: Alterations in the organism's adaptivity during exercise training Intracellular control of protein synthesis points on molecular mechanisms in exercise training Endocrine mechanisms with regard to acute adaptation during exercise, as well as amplification and post-translation control of the adaptive protein synthesis Practical benefits of the adaptation process in training.
Book
The RESTQ was developed to measure the frequency of current stress symptoms along with the frequency of recovery-associated activities. Through the simultaneous assessment of stress and recovery, a differentiated picture of the current recovery-stress state can be provided. Five forms of the RESTQ are available. A general version (RESTQ-Basic) with seven stress scales and five recovery scales is the foundation for the specific versions for athletes (RESTQ-Sport), for coaches (RESTQ-Coach), for adolescents (RESTQ-CA) and for the work context (RESTQ-Work). All versions contain scales measuring specific aspects of stress and recovery in their field. The modular structure is the unique feature of the RESTQ. Each version has its specific time frame of three or seven days/nights. A Likert-type scale is used with values ranging from 0 (never) to 6 (always) indicating how often the respondent participated in various activities or experienced relevant states. The profile of the RESTQ scales provides valuable information immediately on areas where improvement is needed. The questionnaire is useful for research on stress and recovery and ideal for applied settings. While the manual is provided in English, English and German speaking samples have been used to provide data of psychometrics. The German questionnaires are available as print version; the English versions are available on enquiry.
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This study examined strategies used to self-regulate mood dimensions assessed by the Profile of Mood States (McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971) in athletes. One hundred and seven athletes completed a 29-item mood regulation questionnaire (Thayer, Newman, & McClain, 1994) assessing strategies aimed at regulating anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigor. Results indicated that to 'change location', 'exercise', and 'listen to music' were strategies common to each mood dimension. Findings indicate that there were self-regulating strategies unique to certain mood dimensions; "try to be alone" for anger; "analyze the situation" for confusion; "engage in pleasant activities" for depression; and "use relaxation techniques" for tension. Vigor and fatigue shared the same self-regulating strategies although in different proportions. We propose that identification of strategies used to regulate mood lend support to the notion that mood can be controlled by the individual, and is not simply a reaction to external factors. It is suggested that there is a need for further research to investigate mood-regulating strategies used by athletes.
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summary: New research has shown that consuming carbohydrate and protein after exercise speeds the recovery process and optimizes the adaptive response.