Psychobiologic effects of 3 d of increased training in female and male swimmers

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Sep;23(9):1055-61.


Eighteen female and 22 male college swimmers completed a paced 182.9 m swim before and after a 72 h period of increased training. Training volume was increased from 6,800 to 11,200 m.d-1 for the females and from 8,800 to 12,950 m.d-1 for the males. Salivary cortisol, heart rate, stroke mechanics, as well as overall and local ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured in conjunction with the two swim tests. Mood states, as measured by the Profile of Mood States, and ratings of perceived muscle soreness were assessed daily. Significant (P less than 0.005) elevations in stroke frequency, overall and local RPE, fatigue, overall mood, and muscle soreness levels occurred in association with the increased training. Significant (P less than 0.005) reductions in vigor and stroke length were also observed as a consequence of the greater training load. The main effects for gender and the gender by trial interactions were not significant for each variable tested. It was concluded that: 1) affective, biomechanical, and perceptual variables are sensitive to a 3 d increase in the volume of swim training, 2) heart rate and cortisol levels are not influenced by the type of increased training employed in this study, and 3) female and male college swimmers do not differ in their psychological or physiological responses to a rapid increase in training volume.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis
  • Male
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Saliva
  • Swimming*
  • Time Factors


  • Hydrocortisone