The Untraining of an Elite Athlete: Lessons, Learned and Insights Gained

Triphasic Training Coaching Mistake: 1

In the world of athletic training, the path of an elite athlete holds valuable wisdom for discerning coaches. Today, we explore a fascinating case study that delves into the complex relationship between training intensity, physiological responses, and performance outcomes. This case revolves around a female collegiate athlete who experienced a profound transition from a grueling college program to a national team regimen, providing invaluable lessons for coaches, trainers, and athletes alike.

Unleashing Extraordinary Performance in College

Our story begins with an athlete who exemplifies greatness by any measure. Throughout her college career, she engaged in rigorous and stress-inducing training, resulting in remarkable accomplishments. One notable achievement was her ability to perform a single-leg safety bar squat with a weight of 365 pounds, an extraordinary feat considering her body weight of 132 to 135 pounds. After four successful years in this demanding training environment, she advanced to national team training, where she underwent numerous performance tests at each training camp, both during her college years and thereafter.

A Pivotal Turning Point: Transitioning to National Team Training

Joining the national team thrust our athlete into a new training program. To facilitate this transition, our staff provided meticulous guidance and a prescribed exercise program endorsed by the national team. An Omega wave train system was employed to monitor her adaptation to the new regimen. However, this is where an unexpected twist occurs. The key finding was that the omegawave device revealed the absence of a parasympathetic response post-training, which is crucial for the body’s recovery and adaptation following a training load.

Decoding the Parasympathetic Response in Athletic Training

The significance of the parasympathetic response cannot be overstated in the context of training. This activation response of the Parasympathetic system plays a vital role in preparing the body for recovery and subsequent training sessions. In our athlete’s case, the absence of this response signaled a fundamental flaw in the national team’s training program, which lacked the necessary training stimulus (heavy or demanding exercises).

Analyzing the Training Regimen: Identifying the Core Issue

A stark contrast emerged when comparing the athlete’s collegiate training program with the national team’s regimen. Her intense, high-load exercises, such as the heavy single-leg squats, were replaced with significantly lighter exercises like 20-pound kettlebell swings. This drastic change resulted in a notable reduction in the stress response, negatively impacting the effectiveness of her training.

A Warning Sign: Decline in Performance

Over a three-month period under the new, low-stress program, the athlete experienced a tangible decline in performance across all ten testing areas of the national team. This decline highlighted the inadequacy of a stressfull training program, which failed to provide the necessary intensity and challenge required for an elite athlete.

The Absence of Stress Response in New Training

The modified training program, which lacked intensity, failed to elicit a sufficient stress response that is vital for improvement and adaptation. Even when conditioning and training were combined, the desired physiological response was noticeably absent.

Conclusion: The Crucial Role of Adaptation in Training

This case study serves as a clear demonstration of the significance of adaptations in training, particularly during the off-season. The athlete’s new program, lacking in intensity and stress, resulted in a failure to induce the necessary adaptations for enhancing performance. 

Key Lessons for Trainers and Athletes

This story serves as a powerful reminder of the delicate balance required in athletic performance training. For elite athletes, aligning training intensity with physiological needs is paramount. As trainers and athletes, comprehending this dynamic is vital for designing programs that challenge and elevate an athlete’s capabilities. The case of our elite collegiate athlete stands as a testament to the intricate blend of art and science that underlies athletic training and the eternal quest for peak performance. 

In addition to recognizing the impact of stress, it is crucial to acknowledge the significance of applying specific stressors in a particular sequence and order. This concept is referred to as Triphasic Training Principle 1 – Precision AlloAdaptive Modulation.