Variable dose-response relationship between exercise training and performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Jul;35(7):1188-95. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000074465.13621.37.


Introduction: The aim of this study was to propose a nonlinear model of the effects of training on performance. The new formulation introduced a variable to account for training-related changes in the magnitude and duration of exercise-induced fatigue.

Methods: Goodness-of-fit of the proposed model was compared with that of earlier models presented in the literature. Models were applied to six previously untrained subjects volunteers over a 15-wk endurance-training program composed of an 8-wk period with three sessions per week and a 4-wk period with five sessions, and the remaining weeks without training. Training sessions were composed of performance trial and intermittent exercise with 5-min work interspersed with 3-min recovery repeated four or five times. Performance was measured three times each week using average power during a 5-min all-out exercise.

Results: The training program resulted in 30 +/- 7% improvement in performance. The proposed model exhibited significantly improved fit with actual performance obtained in each subject. Standard error was 6.47 +/- 0.71 W for the proposed model and from 9.20 +/- 2.27 W to 10.31 +/- 1.56 W for earlier models. The model output using model parameters averaged over the six subjects was found to be similar to data published elsewhere obtained in athletes with more intense training.

Conclusion: The data obtained allowed us to demonstrate an inverted-U-shape relationship between daily amounts of training and performance. The fit between experimental data and model-derived predictions in similar situations showed the usefulness of the proposed model to predict responses to training with varied regimens.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Exercise*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Task Performance and Analysis