Home / Exercise & fitness / Personal training / Fitness / Reversibility

Reversibility training techniques

One factor to consider with regards to your training program is reversibility. Reversibility can be defined as what happens when one ceases to keep up their training at an intensity level that is sufficient to keep the gains they have made.

At the very extreme, an example of reversibility would be an athlete who all of a sudden is put on bed rest (or breaks a bone and thus can no longer work any of the muscles in that area of the body). Since there is no stimulus being applied to those muscles, they will begin to atrophy and detraining will occur. Strength will be lost as well as muscular endurance.

For those who participate in endurance related activities, they will actually see the process of reversibility taking effect much quicker than more strength oriented activities. Generally, you will lose cardiovascular fitness relatively rapidly when you are no longer performing this type of exercise any longer.

Do note however that it is not overly hard to prevent detraining from taking place. In order to maintain your current fitness level, you have to put forth much less work than what was required in order to obtain it.

So for the strength athlete, this could mean simply performing one set for all the major muscle groups using the same intensity of weight. Keep in mind that it is much more important to keep the weight level up than to keep the volume level up.

On the endurance end of things, it is slightly harder to maintain the exact same performance level without doing sessions of the same duration, however for sprint or speed work, reducing again the volume but keeping the intensity the same will prove to be most beneficial. While you may not maintain the exact aerobic conditioning level you have, upon taking time off, you can still maintain decent conditioning level by including a few 20-30 minute sessions per week.

Luckily, general cardiovascular fitness is really not all that hard to maintain, it's the upper limits of this (think marathon participants) that will have trouble maintaining that level of conditioning.

So if you are forced to take a lay-off from your training, keep these factors in mind. Always remember that performing a shorter workout (if you are able) is better than nothing and it's almost always going to be better to keep the intensity level up rather than working to maintain volume with reduced intensity.

Exercise & fitness
Exercise basics
Exercise benefits
Specialist fitness
Personal training
Advanced workouts •
Cardio •
Fitness •
Adaptation •
Flexibility & kids •
Overload •
Range of motion •
Recovery •
Reversibility •
Simple ways to train •
Skill development •
Specificity •
Weight training •
Fitness classes
Fitness goals
Fitness guides
Gyms & clubs
Health & Fitness links
Leisure Jobs
Personal trainers
Sports shop
Useful tools
Sports & fitness articles

  Bookmark this page | Contact Us | Advertise on Gymuser.co.uk

Terms & Conditions | Privacy statement

All content is Copyright © Gymuser 1999 - 2015

The information that you find on GymUser whether it's relating to exercise, fitness, or health is purely for information and is not intended to replace professional or medical advice. GymUser does not offer any medical advice or information across it sites or within it's newsletters.

If at any time you feel ill you should consult your doctor or GP. Likewise we recomend that before you undertake any form of fitness, exercise or even weight loss programs.