We have covered the topic of recovery quite a lot via our blogs. However, it is just as important to understand fatigue itself, not just how to recover from it. You may know that sleep, diet and general lifestyle choices can hugely impact on our recovery, but how much do you actually know about fatigue? Can you measure fatigue? Are there different stages? Can fatigue be a good thing? In this post I will hopefully provide a brief insight into fatigue and its different stages.


Acute Fatigue

You can think of this as a small dose of fatigue. While acute training induced fatigue may be perceived as high fatigue, there is generally no decrement to performance within 24-36 hours of rest. Generally speaking acute fatigue occurs when a short and sharp training session takes place without causes excess stress on the body.


Functional Overreaching

A longer period of intense training that can take several days of weeks to recover from. This kind of fatigue has very high rating of perceived fatigue, with a short period of decreased performance. However, this is necessary to drive adaptation, you cannot improve if you do not challenge your body. Purposefully pushing your body further than it has before, in a controlled manner can lead to super-compensation and improved performance. It is important to note this will only happen when sufficient rest is given!


Non Functional Overreaching

Very intense perception of fatigue! Pushing the body to new places but for too long and too hard. This type of fatigue can cause decrements to performance for up to a month. Furthermore, performance will only restore to its prior state, rather than improving. Essentially your body is only manage to return itself to a previous state, not adapt further.


Overtraining / Chronic Fatigue

Overtraining or chronic fatigue is simply the same as above but over a larger time period. Failure to return to baseline levels of performance mean that fatigue continues to build upon itself. The likely result of this will be injury or illness. Check out some easy ways to avoid overtraining here.


Training Induced Fatigue Can Be Good

Out of the four stages mentioned above, you want to be aiming for the second stage. You need to progressively overload the body, however you must allow time for adaptation. Often when clients within the Camberley and Frimley area wanting to do more, more and more! As an Expert Personal Trainer, it is important to no when to push and when to pull back. Understanding the stages of fatigue can help manage training load and know when to rest and when to push.