#50 Avoiding Overtraining Syndrome and Enhancing Performance

#50 Avoiding Overtraining Syndrome and Enhancing Performance

The world’s most elite athletes trust PowerDot Smart Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) and Smart Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) to support their training and recovery. A proper warm-up and recovery strategy, to minimize injury risk and enhance performance, are essential components of a mixed-martial arts (MMA) competitor’s training program. 

Though there is a difference between NMES and TENS, PowerDot has combined these two technologies into one device powered by a mobile app. The wireless TENS units and electrical muscle stimulation may be used in conjunction to reduce injury risk and overtraining syndrome (OTS) from intense training in MMA athletes.

To succeed in MMA, athletes push their bodies beyond extreme limits making strains (muscle injuries), sprains (ligamentous injuries) and general soreness very common. Competitors must balance technical training sessions with sparring as well as additional aerobic or resistance training.

With how taxing on the body training for this sport can be, overtraining is a legitimate concern. This necessitates expedient recovery methods as multiple training sessions are performed in a day and even on consecutive days. 

As fighters train for a fight, the frequency, intensity, and volume of their training continues to increase making them more susceptible to overtraining syndrome. This places them at risk of pulling out last minute from a fight due to injury or not optimally performing… feeling fatigued…  when it comes time to step in the ring.



A perfect example of this is from UFC 196 where Nate Diaz defeats Connor McGregor. Nate Diaz replaced Rafael Dos Anjos late due to an ankle injury. 

Rafael Dos Anjos may have been overtrained. 

Now, with minimal time to train and prepare, some might think Nate Diaz would not be ready to fight McGregor who had been preparing all this time. However, the exact opposite may be true. Diaz may have been more “fresh” and rested than McGregor, having not been through several months of grueling training. Diaz defeats McGregor in the second round. 

Was McGregor fatigued and suffering from overtraining? We may never know as no single test or measurement actually exists to diagnose and treat overtraining syndrome. 

Injuries and overtraining are a major concern for MMA athletes. Although, it’s understood that there are risks associated with the potential major benefits of intense training. NMES and TENS with PowerDot ensures athletes get the most out of their warm-up and recovery preparing their body for multiple intense training sessions each day and for the long haul of months of rigorous training.  

PowerDot Warm-Up

Warming-up is not really an exciting part of training. Though, it is essential for athletes to stay healthy and perform at the highest levels. A proper warm-up utilizing the potentiation setting on the PowerDot app may enhance the numerous physiological benefits of a proper warm-up:

  • Improvements in physical performance due to increases in blood flow and muscle and core temperatures
  • Faster muscular contraction and relaxation
  • Greater economy of movement because of lowered viscous resistance within active muscles
  • Facilitated oxygen delivery and use by muscle, because hemoglobin (protein that carries oxygen) releases oxygen more readily at higher temperatures
  • Facilitated nerve transmission and muscle metabolism

At PowerDot, we were curious how our NMES Smart Muscle Stimulation optimizes an athlete’s warm-up which may help to reduce injury risk and improve performance. So we tested it!

We performed trials with just a general warm-up without using NMES technology and trials after doing the same exact warm-up with PowerDot. We measured landing force of an athlete during a vertical jump test. 

The landing vertical ground reaction force was further reduced after warming-up with PowerDot! 

What this means is that the athlete’s lower extremity muscles were more primed and ready to absorb the force when landing. This reduces the forces and stress placed on the body which may help to reduce injury. 

During this same test, we saw that power output increased as a result of warming-up with PowerDot’s potentiating protocol. We tested this with a vertical jump and saw that the athlete jumped higher after warming-up with PowerDot.

How did this physiologically happen? Via post-activation potentiation (PAP).

PAP elicits faster muscle cross-bridge cycling and/or greater synaptic excitation. The higher velocity muscle contractions elicit greater power production.

More research needs to be conducted beyond our tests but adding PowerDot to your warm-up may improve sluggish training sessions and prevent untimely injury.

PowerDot Between Training Sessions   

With multiple training sessions per day, muscle soreness incurs, which may cause pain. MMA athletes cannot go into a training session feeling sore as this may affect the way they move and perform. 

Using PowerDot Smart NMES and TENS technology in between training sessions can ensure athletes are prepared for multiple training sessions day in and day out.

Many athletes waste time on various recovery modalities and time-consuming exercises to recover between training sessions. 

Electrical stimulation has been shown to enhance muscle fatigue recovery caused by anaerobic exercise and TENS has been shown to significantly reduce pain more so than exercise programs. Using PowerDot Smart may help you to move pain free as you jump into each training session.   


Avoiding Overtraining Syndrome     

A successful training program must avoid the combination of excessive overload with inadequate recovery. When training frequency, volume, or intensity (or a combination of all these) is excessive without sufficient rest and recovery, conditions of extreme fatigue, illness, or injury (or more than one of these) can occur.     

Every training program has (or should have) planned temporary periods of excessive training where short term decrements in performance occur. This is called functional overreaching. The rationale is to overwork the athlete to build-up a greater fatigue tolerance followed by tapering. This allows the athlete to recover and reach a supercompensation of performance.   

Though, when functional overreaching goes too far it results in non-functional overreaching. This is when the intensification of a training stimulus continues without adequate recovery and regeneration. This leads to decrements in performance that may continue for several weeks or months.       

Athletes must fully respect the balance between training and recovery. The first signs and symptoms of prolonged training distress are decreased performance, increased fatigue, decreased vigor, and hormonal disturbances. Now the athlete has gone beyond non-functional overreaching and enters the overtraining zone which can last up to as much as six months and beyond.       

Athletes may display signs and symptoms of either sympathetic overtraining (this is due to high training intensity) or parasympathetic overtraining (high training volume). This begins to alter neuron function and resting heart rate. Sympathetic overtraining will increase resting heart rate whereas parasympathetic overtraining will result in a lower resting heart rate. Changes in blood pressure, appettitte, sleep disturbances, metabolic rate, emotional instability will also become evident. 

It’s a fine line that athletes and trainers play between functional overreaching and overtraining. Without adequate recovery, overreaching can quickly lead to overtraining and then it may be numerous months before performance levels return back to normal. This is why athletes should take advantage of the #1 Ranked Smart Muscle Stimulator to ensure adequate recovery from training.

PowerDot In Your Gym Bag

Whether it’s getting ready for a day of training, recovering in between training sessions, or recovering after a long day of intense sparring and workouts, PowerDot Smart NMES and TENS technology has you covered. 

With long and intense exercise training, it’s important to properly warm-up, optimize recovery and avoid overtraining syndrome. PowerDot provides several distinct muscle warm-up and recovery programs designed to enhance blood flow, reduce inflammation, and minimize soreness.

There’s not one part of your warm-up or recovery that PowerDot should not be a part of as you train. Get your Smart Muscle Stimulator today to take advantage of all the benefits PowerDot has to offer.   

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