Effects of repeated days of intensified training on muscle glycogen and swimming performance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988 Jun;20(3):249-54. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198806000-00006.


Twelve, highly trained male swimmers were studied before, during, and after 10 successive days of increased training in an attempt to determine the physical effects of training over-load. Their average training distance was increased from 4,266 to 8,970 m.d-1, while swimming intensity was maintained at 94% (SE +/- 2%) of their maximal oxygen uptake, resulting in an average caloric cost during training of 2,293 kcal.d-1 (+/- 74). As a result of the intensified training regimen, the swimmers experienced local muscular fatigue and difficulty in completing the training sessions. Nevertheless, their swimming power, sprinting (s.22.86 m-1), endurance (s.365.8 m-1) performance, aerobic capacity, and muscle (m. deltoid) citrate synthase were unchanged as a consequence of the 10-d training regimen. Four of the 12 swimmers were, however, unable to tolerate the heavier training demands, and were forced to swim at significantly slower (P less than 0.05) speeds during the training sessions. These men were found to have significantly reduced muscle glycogen values, which was the result of their abnormally low carbohydrate intake. The findings of this research suggest that some swimmers may experience chronic muscular fatigue as a result of their failure to ingest sufficient carbohydrate to match the energy demands of heavy training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Glycogen / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / analysis*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Swimming*


  • Glycogen