• When considering the greater purpose of the training process, we should be aiming to make sustainable, long-term improvements over the lifespan of the individual athlete. Because of this, the training stimulus needs to be appropriate for their chronological age and training age.
  • When we are working with a relative novice athlete, we want to use the minimum effective dose to elicit adaptation. The further a person progresses into their training journey, the greater the stimulus required to produce gains, until, at a very high level, progress will essentially plateau. So essentially the return on investment from training decreases over time. Therefore, if we push too hard with beginner athletes, we are essentially wasting the stronger stimulus that could be applied later in the training process, and thus decreasing that individual’s future window of adaptability. 
  • The greater an individual’s training age, the greater their load tolerance, and the greater the stimulus required to produce an adaptation. However, there will be a limit to our much training load a person can tolerate and still make progress. We refer to this threshold as the maximum recoverable volume. 
  • So over the course of a person’s transition from beginner to advanced athlete, there will be an initial threshold of that minimum effective dose which is necessary for adaptation, progressing through a period of gradual increase in adaptation, to the other end where the focus is more on maximum recoverable volume. And then as that advanced athlete progresses further we would want to see that maximum recoverable volume increase. 
  • So as we take that individual through the training process we should be monitoring progress, as a decrease or regression in longitudinal progress, within the context of all other factors, will usually be the result of not either insufficient or excessive training stimulus, or insufficient recovery. Therefore, if we start with a relatively low level of training stimulus, we have a good basis to track progress and make adjustments as needed.

#thescienceofstriking #trainingload #sportsperformance #combatsports #boxing #mma #karate

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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By Sam Gilbert