Overtraining: Research and Athlete Essay

Submitted By rachieboo210
Words: 1810
Pages: 8

Effects seen in Overtrained adolescents and adult athletes
Rachel Jernigan
University of Mississippi

The research I am proposing is based on the idea that athletes who over train their bodies during their childhood and adolescence will create detrimental effects later on in their athletic careers. Most scholars support my hypothesis and believe that increased exercise in children is harmful rather than beneficial and will decrease the amount of capable athletes who are trying to become professionals. I plan to contribute to their research and further support my hypothesis by observing athletes with different training backgrounds while I comparing data to their current athletic levels. I will be monitoring the athletes in a six-week exercise program that will monitor their progress through a series of questionnaires. This study will discuss the overall affects of overtraining on athletes focusing on the reasons behind why overtraining hinders the ability to achieving optimal goals.

In the field of exercise science, exercise is promoted as a way to help improve your quality and quantity of life. However, people who train beyond their peak may experience overtraining which has unfavorable affects to health and athletic performance. A major concern has been the damaging effects on the physiological functions of the human body. However, the latter issue, psychological stress of the athlete, is becoming an increasing concern, as there has been a lot of research on this matter and whether or not a special exercise program would decrease the effects of overtraining. A lot of scholars believe that it does, but there is no definitive answer to it. I hope to make a contribution to this research with my own analysis and examination to explore this question. My research question addresses the issue head on and discusses overtraining, comparing the effects, and determining if those who train the correct way are those who actually make it to the professional level. My question asks: Does the way an adolescent trains affect their ability to become a skilled athlete? I plan to construct a strategy to test my question by gathering and analyzing the data and conclude if indeed the effects of overtraining decreases the performance of these athletes. I believe testing a group of multi-sport athletes and a group with those playing only one sport will show the different effects of overtraining. I hope that through all of the research collected from scholars as well as from my own personal study will aid and contribute to the overall research and academic conversation regarding the matter of athletic overtraining.

Literature Review
Scholars in the exercise science field have debated on this issue of overtraining and whether or not this concept is nonexistent or beneficial, and they did so through studies and articles. While this topic is controversial within the field, it is one that has not been definitely answered and has gaps in the research. Most scholars believe overtraining manifests in negative changes in the athlete’s performance. Scholars Meeusen, Vrijkotte, De Pauw, and Piacentini wrote the study Overtraining Syndrome where they targeted different groups and tested their hypothesis. In the study they discussed that intensified training can result in a decline in performance. However, the appropriate periods of rest will reward the athlete (Meeusen, Vrijkotte, De Pauw, and Piacentini). These scholars acknowledge the fact that the recovery period is beneficial in preventing overtraining. Their research and conclusions prompted me to continue researching this gap in exercise science.
In an article published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine, researcher Morgan agrees with the scholars on Meeusen study that exercise is beneficial. In the article it is explained how overtraining should be employed to reach maximal performance level; however, overtraining can actually produce…