adidas Runtastic Blog: Running, Fitness & Health

If the phrase supercompensation has you confused, don’t fear. You’re not alone. After 50 years of scientific research, there’s nonetheless debate over learn how to apply the speculation. It’s simpler stated than finished. Right here now we have simplified the science so you’ll be able to grasp the artwork.


Supercompensation is the speculation that after coaching, the physique recovers above and past pre-training health ranges. This adaptation is the essence of bodily coaching and permits us to enhance our health. 

Four steps within the Supercompensation Cycle

1.      Coaching

Whether or not tricep dips or triathlon, step one to enhancing health is coaching.

2.      Restoration

Coaching causes fatigue (e.g. dehydration, glycogen depletion, muscle micro-tears), which requires time for recovery.

3.      Supercompensation

Following coaching and restoration, the physique recovers past baseline (pre-training) health ranges in anticipation of future train.

4.      Detraining

Use it or lose it! Detraining is the pure decline in health that follows supercompensation. If no additional coaching takes place throughout the supercompensation part, the physique will return to pre-training health ranges.


Our our bodies are continuously aiming at equilibrium. This state of equilibrium is called homeostasis and is achieved by physiological processes that stabilize inner circumstances. Sweating, for instance, is a key course of that permits the physique to keep up a secure core temperature.

After we train, the coaching “stimulus” upsets the stability of homeostasis. After the coaching session, our our bodies get better to re-establish equilibrium. But when we solely ever recovered to pre-training ranges, we’d by no means enhance.

The wonderful factor about our our bodies is that after train, we get better past pre-training ranges. That is supercompensation and it happens at each stage of our physiology, from muscle fiber measurement to mitochondrial density to glycogen storage.

In impact, your physique is being ready for a better stage of stress to the system. The physique does this in order that it might obtain equilibrium sooner, however the fascinating “by-product” is improved health.


Understanding supercompensation idea helps us to be strategic about when to exercise. The magic trick is to time coaching classes to coincide with peak health throughout the supercompensation part. On this means, health beneficial properties are gathered with every exercise.

This isn’t simple. As you’ll have skilled, consecutive exercises with too little restoration time in between can result in overtraining. Equally, if you happen to depart an excessive amount of time between exercises, the supercompensation impact is misplaced and your health gained’t enhance.

Think about a fortress wall beneath assault. If the assaults are too frequent, the partitions will probably be destroyed. With time nonetheless, the partitions won’t solely be rebuilt, however will probably be bolstered to defend towards future assault. If an excessive amount of time passes and assault is not anticipated, the reinforcements will probably be dismantled.

Bear in mind, your health is in fixed flux. With out additional “stimulus” throughout the supercompensation part, the physique will start to lose health. (There’s no level constructing additional muscle if it isn’t wanted to help regular exercise). That is the “use it or lose it” precept.


The intention on your exercises is to control coaching and restoration to maximise supercompensation. Bodybuilders use supercompensation for muscle bulk, ultrarunners for muscular endurance and coaches for precompetition tapering. No matter your health aim, coaching for supercompensation can enhance outcomes.  

To reap the benefits of the supercompensation impact most athletes plan their exercises in one in every of two methods.

1. The primary includes planning coaching classes to coincide with the height of supercompensation from the earlier exercise, after full restoration

         +         Easy technique, much less prone to end in overtraining

                   Supercompensation after every exercise is smaller and simpler to overlook

Diagram positive supercompensation

2. The second technique includes a collection of intently spaced exercises inflicting fatigue to build up. These exercises are adopted by an prolonged restoration interval which ends up in an gathered supercompensation impact. Some athletes consider this useful overreaching technique results in better efficiency enhancements, although this isn’t at all times the case. [1]

         +         Potential for larger efficiency enhancements

                   Accrued fatigue extra prone to end in overtraining

Diagram positive accumulated supercompensation


Overtraining is an excessive state of fatigue or burnout that outcomes from extreme, gathered coaching load with insufficient restoration. It’s outlined by long-term efficiency decrements lasting months and is typically known as “unexplained underperformance syndrome”. [2]

If you’re experiencing the next symptoms over a protracted interval regardless of relaxation, a clinician might diagnose overtraining syndrome.

  •         Fatigue
  •         Melancholy
  •         Demotivation
  •         Insomnia
  •         Anorexia
  •         Weight reduction
  •         Irritability
  •         Agitation
  •         Lack of psychological focus
  •         Bradycardia (HR beneath 60 bpm)
  •         Tachycardia (HR above 100 bpm)
  •         Heavy, sore, stiff muscle mass
  •         Hypertension
  •         Nervousness
  •         Restlessness
  •         Awaking unrefreshed

Diagram negative supercompensation

Short-term efficiency decrements that outcome from gathered coaching load are outlined as overreaching. The place the lower in efficiency is lengthy lasting (a number of weeks), the situation is called non-functional overreaching (NFO). Though full-recovery remains to be potential, NFO ends in a lack of coaching time and is subsequently adverse.

Practical overreaching nonetheless is a optimistic state the place gathered coaching load results in a brief time period lower in efficiency (days to weeks) adopted by supercompensation and efficiency enhancement. Many athletes intention for useful overreaching to maximise the supercompensation impact.


So how do you time it proper? Until you might be an elite athlete with a ardour for muscle biopsy, laboratory evaluation might be not an choice.

Use these tricks to promote supercompensation and forestall overtraining.

1. Plan forward //

Plan your coaching for the weeks forward. Coaching microcycles (1-2 weeks) will assist you to prepare and get better extra successfully than spontaneous exercises.

2. DOMS //

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) can be utilized as an indicator of recovery. DOMS often peaks between 24 and 72 hours relying on the train. Coaching with DOMS can restrict your coaching capability and delay restoration time. Look forward to DOMS to enhance (or disappear) earlier than coaching once more to permit time for supercompensation. [3]

3. POMS //

The Profile of Temper States (POMS) take a look at is a straightforward questionnaire that measures temper. You can provide it a strive here. File your rating at common intervals that can assist you determine adjustments in vigor or fatigue. For those who really feel motivated, relaxed and energized, you might be most likely prepared for a exercise!  Lengthy-term adverse temper adjustments might point out that restoration is required. This take a look at ought to solely be used to help your judgement, not substitute it. Contact a certified clinician for skilled evaluation.

4. Coronary heart charge //

Coronary heart charge measurement is correct, accessible, and inexpensive. File your resting coronary heart charge (RHR) on the identical time every day to determine adjustments over time. If RHR is constantly elevated, it’s best to relaxation and get better

5.  Work–life stability //

Think about different sources of stress. Poor sleep and continual stress can considerably gradual bodily restoration and restrict the supercompensation impact. [4] [5]

6. 1:Three ratio //

The health results of a exercise final roughly Three instances longer than the fatigue results. As soon as fatigue is gone, the remaining health results equal supercompensation. Use the 1:Three ratio to coach within the supercompensation “window”. [6]


After you have a base of coaching you might be aware of – e.g. snug weekly mileage or body weight exercises, strive a supercompensation microcycle (1-2 weeks). For this “super-block” learners ought to concentrate on enhancing depth or quantity, however not each on the identical time. For instance, a runner may embrace anaerobic threshold exercises or enhance mileage by 20%. Both technique ought to present the stimulus wanted to boost health by supercompensation.

Bear in mind, for regular development, weekly adjustments of greater than 10% will not be really helpful. This can be a particular block of coaching which should be adopted by full restoration. Don’t try to coach tougher if you’re in poor health or injured.

Many athletes prepare too laborious on relaxation days and hinder the supercompensation course of. Straightforward days ought to be simple! If consecutive exercises stress the identical physiological programs, e.g. tempo and threshold runs, fatigue will accumulate. On this case, restoration and supercompensation will take longer. Alternate between muscle teams and health areas to advertise restoration. 

Bear in mind, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all supercompensation technique. The supercompensation impact varies between people and in line with the health element being skilled. Expertise will probably be your information as you be taught to stability load and restoration for optimum impact. As at all times, eat nicely, sleep nicely, prepare constantly and progress slowly. Let the beneficial properties start!



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