General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

How do you determine the supercompensation period for your muscles and body after exercise?

Asked by ninjacolin (13728 points ) April 23rd, 2011

Supercompensation is the post training period during which the trained function/parameter has a higher performance capacity than it did prior to the training period.

But how do you determine when the supercompensation period begins? Is there an average that people can rely on?

Should it be 1 day after exercising? 2 days after? Is it different for different muscle groups? Is it significantly different for different people?

Example: Let’s say you do as many pushups as you possibly can in a normal pushup session. When would your supercompensation point begin?

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3 Answers

auntydeb's avatar

A very quick response @ninjacolin – my Husband is a qualified Trainer, but not available for a while – I think first of all, these kinds of recovery periods are undoubtedly individual. There are bound to be average ‘generic’ periods, but they would not be optimal.

A first piece of advice would likely be to do some training and simply see how things feel. If you are training to ‘burn’ point, then 2–3 days will permit healing of torn cells, then continued training will build strength. It would, I think, be an unnecessary ‘shortcut’ to use figures gleaned from averages.

The optimum way to gain overall fitness, is to train to around 75% of your capacity, frequently, with short recovery gaps. Pushing yourself to ‘do as many pushups as you can’, is something to do once a week, for testing or recording; not on a daily or frequent basis. Hope this gives some help.

gondwanalon's avatar

As Dr, George Sheehan once said “We are all athletes, the difference is that some of us are in training and some of us are not”.

We are all different. Some lucky athletes recover quickly after competition and hard training workouts. They benefit greatly from quick recovery in that their supercompensation period may never reach back down to baseline fitness as they go right back into training. Thus they just keep improving and building strength and can maintain a very high level of physical fitness.

You may determine when your supercompensation period begins by starting and exercise journal in which you record all of your workouts. Then you can chart your progress. It is a great motivator as you actually see your progress. Experiment and see what works for you. But be careful to not get greedy and over do it.

My body requires a long time to recover. By the time I’ve recovered from an intense workout or competition (about a week), I don’t realize much at all of a supercompensation period. Therefore older athletes (like me) are constantly and naturally on the decline physically. This of course makes it all the more important for older athletes to keep up their daily workouts.

drdoombot's avatar

Besides genetic and multitude of other personal factors, it also depends on the number of reps and sets you’re doing.

If you’re training for strength, meaning that you’re lifting around 80% of your one-rep-max, you hit your supercompensation period around 7 days later. If you’re lifting for muscle-mass, it’ll be 2–3 days later. If you’re lifting light with lots of sets and reps, you can do it all again the next day for max benefit.

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