HEALTH

Not Accounting For Fatigue Between Gym Sessions Means Fewer Results

It could be time to rethink your routine.

28/07/2017 6:49 AM AEST | Updated 28/07/2017 6:56 AM AEST
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It's important to listen to your body.

Whatever the routine -- whether it's lifting weights, braving the icy morning air to go for a run or riding five kilometres -- through the pain and the tears sweat, we're continually told to 'go hard or go home'.

Though it turns out it's important that we give our bodies a break, particularly if we are a doing a mix of resistance and endurance training.

Sports scientist Dr Kenji Doma told HuffPost Australia that athletes -- whether they be amateur or elite -- must make sure they account for fatigue from resistance training when following it up with endurance training, or risk "sub optimal development".

"The consensus is that concurrent training is beneficial for endurance development. But we found that if appropriate recovery is not accounted for between each training mode, then it may impair endurance development," Doma said.

What is 'resistance training-induced fatigue'?

Put simply, resistance training-induced fatigue is the physiological stress our body experiences after a workout like weight training.

Typically, following 40 to 60 minutes of resistance training (like a weights session) the body is able to recover within a few days, whereas full recoveries can be made within just 24 hours of a routine endurance training workout (like a run).

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It can sometimes take several days for your body to recover from lifting weights.

What happens if you don't account for fatigue?

While it's true to a degree that without pain there's no gain, Doma said that powering through your fatigue and continuing on with another workout will actually slow your rate of improvement, meaning that it'll take you longer to reach your goals.

On the flip side, if you time your endurance workouts for when you've recovered, not only will the quality of your sessions be increased, but so too will the benefit you're getting from them.

"[If] you don't really account for fatigue or consider allowing your body to recover, your overall endurance development becomes sub-optimal," Doma said.

"If they [athletes] are undertaking endurance training under the influence of resistance training-induced fatigue, the quality of the training sessions are impaired."

Paul Bradbury
To get more out of your endurance workout, make sure you've recovered from your resistance training first.

Get the most out of your workouts

According to Doma, to maximise the benefits of your workouts it's important to be aware of fatigue while accounting for recovery between sessions and reviewing the intensity of your endurance training if it immediately follows resistance training.

"If you're having to undertake an endurance training session under the influence of resistance training-induced fatigue, maybe consider reducing the intensity of the session or make it more of a cool down session.

"Really think about recovery sessions as well -- going into the pool, cold water immersion -- all of these can contribute to minimise resistance training-induced fatigue."

"We want to increase the awareness of resistance training-induced fatigue in the hope of encouraging coaches to think about aspects such as the order of the training, the recovery period and the training intensity. We're trying to limit the carry-over effects of fatigue from resistance to endurance training sessions," Doma said.

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Remember to take time to recover.

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