Principle of exercise and recovery


The principle of stress and recovery (also known as the supercompensation principle) is defined as the dependence of the individual regeneration time on external and internal stress.


The training principle of optimally structuring stress and recovery is based on the fact that after an effective stress stimulus a certain amount of time is needed to set new training stimuli. The load and regeneration must be seen as a unit for successful training.
On the basis of the biological supercompensation, the regeneration not only results in the restoration of the original performance state, but also an adjustment beyond the initial level (Hypercompensation).

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Basis for the principle of optimal design of stress and recovery form 3 central aspects.

  1. burden
  2. Stress
  3. fatigue

1. Load

The stimuli that act on the body / athlete during the training process are understood as stress, also known as external stress. The load is determined by the load normative (Stimulus intensity, stimulus duration, stimulus frequency and stimulus density) marked. In short: how hard do you train?

Different types of loads:

  • physical stress
  • physiological stress
  • sensory stress
  • mental stress

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2. Stress

The stress, also known as internal stress, is understood as the body's response to the stress. Thus, the load leads to stress. It results from the load norms and the individual resilience. Thus, stress and strain are connected via the individual resilience.
Note: The same load leads to different loads at different levels of performance.

Stress and strain can be understood as actio = reaction. The body reacts to the effects of stress with stress.
Basically, the higher the load, the greater the stress.

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3. Fatigue

Fatigue is very closely related to stress.
Features of fatigue:

  • Stress characteristic (Fatigue is always the result of previous exposure)
  • Insufficiency feature (Fatigue reduces the current performance)
  • Reversibility feature (Fatigue is limited in time and is reduced through recovery)

Fatigue can be divided into several sub-forms:

  1. sensory fatigue (Stimulus absorption and processing)
  2. mental fatigue (Ability to concentrate)
  3. emotional fatigue (Willpower)
  4. physical fatigue (mostly muscular fatigue)

Recovery process

The recovery phase begins immediately after the load and the associated strain. This is divided into:

  1. Ongoing recovery
  2. Instant recovery
  3. aftermath restoration
  4. Stress recovery


When it comes to recovery processes, a distinction is made in practice between active recovery and passive recovery. Active repetition means slow endurance runs, running out, and relaxed muscular stress. Passive measures include measures without physical activity (Sauna, massage etc.) Roger that.

Recovery means:
The means of recovery are divided into:

  • educational means of restoration
  • medically educational restorative means
  • psychological restorative means

What is the optimal relationship between stress and relaxation in sport?

Determined training in sport naturally also includes a phase of recovery in which the body regenerates on the one hand and has time to react to training stimuli on the other. An optimal relationship between stress and recovery is essential for a good training result. The principle of supercompensation is behind the importance of recovery and the correct relationship to the load. After a training stimulus, the body is exhausted, the level of performance drops and then rises again above the starting level (adaptation to the training stimulus) before a drop to the original level sets in again.

In general, this process takes approx.1-3 days, but depends heavily on the level of performance of the person exercising and the type of training. If a new stress stimulus is set during the adjustment peak, i.e. supercompensation, there is an optimal relationship between stress and recovery and a long-term increase in performance can be expected. The course of the curve over time and performance-enhancing is very individual, so it is difficult to make a general prediction for an optimal relationship between stress and recovery.

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What is the scissors model?

With regard to supercompensation, there is a connection between stress and the need for relaxation. Stress from training stimuli can vary, they can either be too low for an adaptation to occur, they can be more harmful and overwhelming as stress stimuli, and they can be in the individual performance range. Stimuli that are close to the stress limit also need a longer period of supercompensation, while only a short recovery time is necessary for low stimuli. One therefore speaks of the scissors model. The scissors open (regeneration time increases) the higher the stimulus.