Sports Medicine

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 79–87 | Cite as

Detraining: Loss of Training-Induced Physiological and Performance Adaptations. Part I

Short Term Insufficient Training Stimulus
  • Iñigo MujikaEmail author
  • Sabino Padilla
Leading Article


Detraining is the partial or complete loss of training-induced adaptations, in response to an insufficient training stimulus. Detraining characteristics may be different depending on the duration of training cessation or insufficient training. Short term detraining (less than 4 weeks of insufficient training stimulus) is analysed in part I of this review, whereas part II will deal with long term detraining (more than 4 weeks of insufficient training stimulus). Short term cardiorespiratory detraining is characterised in highly trained athletes by a rapid decline in maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) and blood volume. Exercise heart rate increases insufficiently to counterbalance the decreased stroke volume, and maximal cardiac output is thus reduced. Ventilatory efficiency and endurance performance are also impaired. These changes are more moderate in recently trained individuals. From a metabolic viewpoint, short term inactivity implies an increased reliance on carbohydrate metabolism during exercise, as shown by a higher exercise respiratory exchange ratio, and lowered lipase activity, GLUT-4 content, glycogen level and lactate threshold. At the muscle level, capillary density and oxidative enzyme activities are reduced. Training-induced changes in fibre cross-sectional area are reversed, but strength performance declines are limited. Hormonal changes include a reduced insulin sensitivity, a possible increase in testosterone and growth hormone levels in strength athletes, and a reversal of short term training-induced adaptations in fluid-electrolyte regulating hormones.


Trained Athlete Exercise Heart Rate Competitive Swimmer Maximal Cardiac Output Training Cessation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Research and Development, Medical ServicesAthletic Club of BilbaoBasque Country, Spain

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