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Recovery for Performance in Sport eBook


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    In today’s competitive sport environment, discovering effective methods of facilitating optimal athletic performance is paramount to success. The recovery period is essential in maintaining athletes’ physical and psychological well-being and crucial in the pursuit of intense physical training and satisfying performances. Recovery for Performance in Sport presents techniques and modalities currently used to enhance athletes’ recovery, optimize training time, and avoid overtraining. Edited by members of l’Institut National du Sport, de l'Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP), Christophe Hausswirth, and Iñigo Mujika, the text encompasses the latest scientific research in the study of recovery and draws from the experience of applied sport scientists working with elite athletes in leading performance and recovery centers. Readers will find proven strategies for enhancing the recovery process and learn the importance of structuring an individualized and evidenced-based recovery plan for improving performance.

    Appealing to a broad audience encompassing professionals, athletes, coaches, and students, Recovery for Performance in Sport provides a scientific base of information as well as specific elements that allow for practical application in the real world. More than 30 international professionals contributed to chapter content, including case studies of international athletes and coaches. These case studies complement the scientific explanations by bringing additional context to the discussion of safe recovery modalities and how to apply those concepts to specific sports. Cutting-edge research and techniques allow readers to maximize the recovery of their athletes by learning from the proven strategies of international experts.

    Recovery for Performance in Sport is divided into four parts, each presenting scientific knowledge, practical applications, and related case studies. The first two parts focus on the physiology of optimal training, how to prevent overtraining, and how to peak for optimal performance. Part III is a discussion of current recovery modalities along with strategies for optimizing recovery through the combination of modalities. Focusing on recovery at the muscular level, this part discusses nutrition strategies, electrostimulation, compression, massage, and immersion procedures, among others.

    Part IV of the text considers situations that offer unique variables to consider when choosing recovery techniques. Differences between men and women in postexercise recovery are detailed along with a current discussion of thermoregulatory responses and adaptations to exercise and heat stress. Consideration is also given to the interventions used to alleviate thermal strain and the limitations of various recovery strategies after exercise in the heat. The physiological responses to altitude exposure and its impact on performance and various factors related to recovery are also discussed along with practical recommendations to facilitate altitude adaptation and recovery.

    Recovery is one of the least understood and most under-researched components of the exercise-adaptation cycle. Yet, the importance of the recovery period cannot be overstated considering that athletes spend more time in recovery than in active training and that many adaptations to training take place during the recovery period.The current knowledge and applied information featured in Recovery for Performance in Sport will assist readers in improving the recovery process to help athletes achieve easier adaptation to training loads, lower their risk of overload and injury, and ultimately improve athletic performance.


    Reference for sport scientists, athletes, coaches, students, and strength and conditioning professionals; resource for athletic trainers and therapists, physical therapists, and physiotherapists in understanding how different modalities can be used to prevent injury, enhance recovery, and prevent reinjury.

    Table of Contents

    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    Iñigo Mujika, PhD, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

    Part I: Fundamentals of Fatigue and Recovery
    Chapter 1. Physiology of Exercise Training
    Michael Lambert, PhD, Newlands, South Africa
    Iñigo Mujika, PhD, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
    Overload Physiology
    Overload Variables
    Training and Recovery

    Chapter 2. Overtraining Syndrome
    Romain Meeusen, PhD, Brussels, Belgium
    Continuum of Fatigue
    Prevalence of Overtraining
    Overtraining Syndrome Diagnosis Research
    Assessment of Overtraining

    Part II: Periodization and Managing Recovery
    Chapter 3. Overtraining Prevention
    Michael Lambert, PhD, Newlands, South Africa
    Iñigo Mujika, PhD, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
    Periodization Research
    Models of Periodization
    Monitoring Exercise Tolerance
    Fitness and Fatigue Relationship

    Chapter 4. Managing Active Recovery
    Yann Le Meur, PhD, Paris, France
    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Thierry Blancon, Régis Mollard, Christian Palierne, Frédéric Sadys
    Recovery Methods and Interval Work
    Recovery Methods and Development of Aerobic Qualities
    Active Recovery and Repeated Performances
    Single-Performance Recovery

    Chapter 5. Psychological Aspects of Recovery
    Jean Fournier, PhD, Paris, France
    Nicolas Lemyre, PhD, Oslo, Norway
    With: Christophe Hausswirth, PhD
    Effects of Poor Recovery
    Motivation and Burnout
    Engagement and Motivation Pattern
    Evaluation Methods for Psychological Recovery

    Part III: Strategies for Optimizing Recovery
    Chapter 6. Stretching
    Giuseppe Rabita, PhD, Paris, France
    Anne Delextrat, PhD, London, UK
    With: Cédric Lucas, Arnaud Daufrène, Frank Métais, Christophe Cozzolino
    Types of Muscle Stretches
    Physiology of Muscle Stretching
    Effects of Stretching on Performance
    Stretching and Recovery Research

    Chapter 7. Hydration
    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Véronique Rousseau, Éric Joussellin
    Distribution of Water Loss During Exercise
    Dehydration Processes
    Dehydration and Physical Performance
    Dehydration and Mental Performance
    Hydration Recommendations

    Chapter 8. Nutrition
    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Véronique Rousseau, Éric Joussellin
    Protein Metabolism and Recovery
    Combining Protein, Carbohydrate, and Leucine for Muscle Recovery
    Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Postexercise Mental Performance
    Sugar and Recovery
    Coingestion of Carbohydrate and Protein

    Chapter 9. Sleep
    Yann Le Meur, PhD, Paris, France
    Rob Duffield, PhD, Bathurst, Australia
    Melissa Skein, PhD, Bathurst, Australia
    Stages of the Sleep Cycle
    Physiology of Sleep Deprivation
    Sleep Deprivation and Exercise Performance
    Sleep Deprivation and the Perceptual State
    Tryptophan and Sleep Cycles
    Hyperhydration and Sleep Disturbances
    Effects of Alcohol and Stimulants on Sleep Quality
    Advantages of Napping

    Chapter 10. Massage and Physiotherapy
    Antoine Couturier, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Yann Le Meur, PhD, Cécile Huiban, Marc Saunier, François-Xavier Férey
    Massage Techniques
    Physiological Effects of Massage
    Massage and Recovery
    Physiological Effects of Electrostimulation
    Electrostimulation and Recovery

    Chapter 11. Compression Garments
    Antoine Couturier, PhD, Paris, France
    Rob Duffield, PhD, Bathurst, Australia
    Physiological Responses to Compression
    Effects During Exercise Performance
    Compression and Recovery

    Chapter 12. Local Thermal Applications
    Sylvain Dorel, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Cédric Lucas, Lorenzo Martinez-Pacheco
    Physiological Responses to Local Thermal Applications
    Muscle Function and Performance Effects
    Current Uses and Modes of Application

    Chapter 13. Variations in Thermal Ambience
    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    With: François Bieuzen, Marielle Volondat, Hubert Tisal, Jacques Guéneron, Jean-Robert Filliard
    Physiological Responses to Air Temperature
    Whole-Body Cryotherapy
    Dry-Heat Sauna
    Far-Infrared Therapy
    Humid-Heat Steam Room

    Chapter 14. Water Immersion Therapy
    François Bieuzen, PhD, Paris, France
    With: Marielle Volondat, Marc Michnowski, Christophe Cozzolino
    Physiological Responses to Water Immersion
    Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Immersion
    High-Intensity Exercise and Immersion
    Field-Based Studies

    Part IV: Unique Considerations for Recovery
    Chapter 15. Gender Differences
    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, Paris, France
    Yann Le Meur, PhD, Paris, France
    Recovery and Maintenance of Energy Stores
    Metabolic Responses After Brief, Intense Exercise
    Chronic Fatigue and Daily Energy Balance
    Recovery and the Musculoskeletal Regeneration Process
    Targeted Recovery Strategies

    Chapter 16. Temperature and Climate
    Frank E Marino PhD, Bathurst, Australia
    Thermoregulation During Exercise
    Exercise-Induced Hyperthermia and Performance
    Reducing Thermal Strain and Improving Performance
    Morphology and Heat Strain
    Heat Stress and Exercise Recovery

    Chapter 17. Recovery at Altitude
    Charles-Yannick Guézennec, PhD, Font- Romeu, France
    With: Nicolas Bourrel
    Physiological Responses to Altitude Exposure
    Effects of Altitude on Performance
    Effects of Altitude on Recovery
    Effects of Altitude on Body Composition, Nutrition Patterns, and Sleep

    About the Editor

    Christophe Hausswirth, PhD, has been the senior physiologist at l’Institut National du Sport, de l'Expertise et de la Performance (National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance, or INSEP) since 1995 and is an associate professor and leader in recovery and nutrition guidelines in the research department. In 1996 he earned his PhD in biomechanics and physiology of human movement at the University of Orsay, France. In 2000 he earned his diploma in supervising research dealing with the energy cost of locomotion in long-duration sport events. He also serves on the scientific board of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.

    Hausswirth has performed extensive research on the physiological aspects of endurance sport performance by manipulating cadence in several sports. He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 3 books, and 10 book chapters. He is responsible for running a mission providing clinical counseling and education of athletes, research, student supervision and teaching, development of educational resources, and organization of food service via fact sheets. His research interests include fluid needs for optimal performance; carbohydrate metabolism and performance of exercise in BMX cycling; pacing strategies in triathlon; recovery strategies in synchronized swimming, soccer, and handball players; precooling strategies for exercise in temperate and hot conditions; and postexercise recovery.

    Iñigo Mujika, PhD, is an associate professor in the department of physiology, faculty of medicine and odontology, at the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain. As a researcher, sport science practitioner, and coach, Mujika is widely considered one of the most respected experts on tapering and peaking for optimal performance.

    Since 1992 Mujika has been devoted to the research of applied sport physiology. He has published 3 books, more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and 28 book chapters. He has also presented nearly 200 lectures on sport physiology and training at conferences and seminars worldwide.

    As a sport physiologist, Mujika works closely with elite athletes and coaches in a variety of individual and team sports. From 2003 to 2004, Mujika was senior physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport. In 2005, he worked as physiologist and trainer of the professional road bicycle racing team Euskaltel Euskadi. Between 2006 and 2008 Mujika was the head of the department of research and development for the Spanish professional football team Athletic Club Bilbao. In the lead-up to the London 2012 Olympics he was the physiologist of the Spanish swimming team. He is also a coach of world-class triathletes, including Olympians Ainhoa Murua (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and London 2012) and Eneko Llanos (Athens 2004).

    Mujika serves as associate editor of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. In 1995 he earned a doctoral degree in biology of muscular exercise from the University of Saint-Etienne in France, and in 1999 he earned a second doctorate in physical activity and sport sciences along with an Extraordinary Doctorate Award from the University of the Basque Country in Spain. In 2002 and 2007 he received the National Award for Sport Medicine Research from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He has also received two awards for his work with triathletes: Best Coach of Female Athlete (2006) from the Spanish Triathlon Federation and the High Performance Basque Sport Award (2007) from the Basque Sport Foundation.

    Fluent in four languages (Basque, English, French, and Spanish), Mujika has lived in California, France, South Africa, and Australia. He currently resides in the Basque Country, Spain. Mujika enjoys surfing, cycling, swimming, strength training, and hiking, as well as cinema and traveling.


    "The book covers each of the components that can contribute to optimal performance and adequate recovery. It reinforces the fundamentals, including prevention, and discusses strategies to optimize recovery as well as various unique situations. This is the first book I have seen that includes the scientific evidence along with practical applications and case studies."

    --Doody’s Book Review