Super Compensation


Fitness Level of the human body in training, can be broken down into four periods:
  1. Initial fitness -During the initial fitness period, the target of the training has a base level of fitness (shown by the first time sector in the graph).
  2. Training -Upon entering the training period, the target's level of fitness decreases (training is a catabolic process, shown by the second time sector in the graph).
  3. Recovery -After training, the body enters the recovery period during which level of fitness increases up to the initial fitness level (shown by the third time sector in the graph).
  4. Supercompensation-Because the human body is an adjustable organism, it will feel the need to adjust itself to a higher level of fitness in anticipation of the next training session. Accordingly, the increase in fitness following a training session does not stop at the initial fitness level. Instead the body enters a period of supercompensation during which fitness surpasses the initial fitness level (shown by the fourth time sector in the graph).

If there are no further workouts, the body's fitness level will slowly decline back towards the initial fitness level (shown by the last time sector in the graph). First put forth by Hungarian scientist Nikolai Jakowlew in 1976, this theory is a basic principle of athletic training.

If the next workout takes place during the recovery period, overtraining may occur. If the next workout takes place during the supercompensation period, the body will advance to a higher level of fitness. If the next workout takes place after the supercompensation period, the body will remain at the base level.

Upon the study of this simple model above you can see the importance of getting the intensity correct along with the proper duration to bring about an optimal training effect and then allow enough recovery before imposing more demand (frequency). SAID principle states the body will Specifically Adapt to Imposed Demands. As you can see it is important to introduce that demand (workout) before the end of supercompensation.

In a Nutshell, all training at any metabolic level is "Load & Recover", always paying attention to recovery and adaptation.  It is also very important to learn what whole foods work for your body to assist in recovery and to make sure you get proper sleep.