With intense training and competition schedules that last up to several weeks, it is possible for an athlete to gradually experience a decline in performance because of the high level of stress that is consistently placed on the musculoskeletal system.
There is also a risk of developing overuse injuries when the volume and intensity of exercises exceed the body’s capacity to recuperate and regenerate muscle force necessary for strength gains.
As described by Noce et al., the overtraining syndrome refers to an imbalance between stress and recovery, where the stressing factors of physical, psychological and social order, combined with a short recovery time, lead to deleterious effects in the athlete’s performance.
The authors advocate strategies such as the recovery-stress questionnaire for the monitoring of stress and recovery levels of each athlete in a team to maximise performance especially when the frequency of games is high.
The physiological benefits associated with the recovery period include reduction in excessive muscle fatigue, restoration of optimal functionality and attainment of successful performance outcomes in training and competition.
While discussing the effect of recovery time on strength performance following a high-intensity bench press workout in males and females, Judge and Burke observed that the strength recovery patterns of females occurred within 4 hours and of men, only after 24 hours.
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