In elite sport, we are constantly working towards ensuring athletes become better, faster, and stronger. However, it’s important that we understand the detraining effects during periods of low or insufficient training stimulus. Through the understanding of the physiological adaptations and the detraining effects as well as the relative timelines associated with different physical characteristics, we can better plan our training cycles. In part 1, the take-home message is that detraining effects in the cardiopulmonary systems can be seen as early as 12 days after insufficient training stimulus.

When considering elite sports, many teams have centralised programs at different phases throughout a training cycle. However, it’s important that in the periods of “decentralised” training that athletes are exposed to sufficient training stimuli to avoid detraining upon their return to camps. This is also true during congested competition periods, where detraining can become problematic. Thus, through these phases micro-dosing of various training stimuli can help avoid the significant effects of detraining.

The following infographic (Part 1) summarises the papers published by Mjuika et al in the Journal of Sports Medicine, 2000.