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This graphical representation shows the decline in performance as training occurs without sufficient recovery time (the overload period), followed by a rest period that allows for full recovery and Supercompensation.

Overload training involves repeated training bouts without sufficient time for recovery (Overtraining), which builds up fatigue. This overload period is then followed by a period of rest to allow for full recovery and Supercompensation to increase fitness. Care must be taken with Overload training to prevent Overtraining Syndrome. Overload training is a normal part of healthy, effective training. Overload (AKA 'functional overreaching') has a short term performance decrement, but without the severe psychological and long lasting negative symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome[1]. The key differentiation between Overload and Overtraining Syndrome is that Overload results in an overall performance improvement after recovery. Overload can be recovered from in a few days[2] and the Overload period is normally between a couple of days and 3 weeks[3]. Overload is part of a Three Phase Taper.


  1. Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the Overtraining Syndrome http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/tejs/2006/00000006/00000001/art00001
  2. Physiological Perspective of Endurance Overtraining – A Comprehensive Update http://ajms.alameenmedical.org/article_vol05-1-jan-mar-2012/AJMS.5.1.2012%20P%207-20.pdf
  3. Overtraining In Sport, Kreider, Fry, O'Toole, Human Kinetics