A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 8: Exercise Programming 178 Stimulus-Recovery Adaptation Curve It is important to remember that the physiological adaptations associated with chronic exercise occur during recovery, not training. With this in mind, it is essential that adequate rest be afforded between training sessions. The amount of time required to fully recover depends on the type and intensity of training performed. The body’s response to training and its need for adequate recovery is represented in the stimulus-recovery-adaptation (SRA) curve depicted in Figure 8.5. Figure 8.5. Stimulus-Recovery-Adaptation Curve The SRA curve can be a helpful tool in determining when to conduct subsequent training sessions. Performing a training session too soon may result in the body not being fully recovered, thereby limiting the physiological adaptations, and increasing the risk of overtraining and/or injury. Similarly, waiting too long between training sessions can result in training plateaus and/or detraining. As depicted in Figure 8.5, Point A represents the training stimulus (e.g., 3-mile run or a deadlift workout). Point B represents the fatigue that occurs as a result of the training session. The amount of fatigue that accumulates is dependent on the type and magnitude of the training stimulus (e.g., 6 sets of 400-m sprints accumulate more fatigue than a 1-mile jog). Point C represents the initial stage of recovery where fitness levels return (go up) to where they were before the training stimulus. Point D represents the second stage of recovery, also called overcompensation, where fitness levels increase above where they were before the training stimulus. Point E represents detraining, also called adaptive dissipation, where fitness levels return (go down) to where they were before the training stimulus. In essence, the SRA curve provides guidance as