The Book on Overtraining Syndrome

About the Book


June 27, 2021

Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is a dysfunction initially alleged to result from a combination of excessive training and lack of recovery, leading to a paradoxical decrease of sports performance associated with fatigue unresponsive to a period of resting, unable to be explained by alterations or dysfunctions that could also lead to impairment of training performance. OTS is a complex and multifactorial disorder, in which the understanding of its pathophysiology and biomarkers lacked, despite the high incidence among elite athletes.

With the new insights discovered by the Endocrine and Metabolic Responses on Overtraining Syndrome (EROS) study, OTS was shown to be even more complex, and not necessarily triggered by excessive training, but by a combination between inappropriately low protein, carbohydrate, and/or overall caloric intake, excessive concurrent intellectual activities, insufficient physical and/or mental resting, unrefreshing and/or bad sleep quality, which takes to multiple negatively synergistic interactions between chronically energy deprivation and shortage of mechanisms of repair, leading to dysfunctional maladaptive processes, in which the sum and intensity of these processes can trigger OTS.

A more elaborated understanding of OTS, which includes multiple losses of previous adaptive conditioning processes that occur in athletes (‘deconditioning processes’), with consequent decreased pace, intensity and volume of training, associated with an overall state of decreased metabolic rate and expenditure (‘hypometabolism’), with both physical and mental burnout, loss of libido, paradoxical body fat gain and muscle loss and blunted hormonal responses to stimulations, in order to save energy.

Hence, the name ‘Overtraining syndrome’ was found to be inaccurate, as it describes a trigger that is now less consistent than other risk factors, and does not describe the key aspects of this syndrome. Instead, we suggest the name “Paradoxical Deconditioning Syndrome” (PDS), which better describes the key pathophysiology that leads to decreased performance, the hallmark of this syndrome.

The book depicts all of the novel findings, concepts, hypotheses, mechanisms, risk factors, pathogenesis, and clinical, biochemical and metabolic manifestations that led to a new understanding of OTS, in an illustrative, step-by-step, easy-to-understand, and logical manner that will allow readers to learn about OTS, naturally infer insights from a logical perspective, and guide researches for efficient models of research protocols. In addition, the book provides highly practical clinical applications from the learnings of the book will certainly help athletes and sport coaches to improve the assessment and detection of athletes at high risk and earlier stages of OTS, when recovery improves dramatically, saving many athletes careers.

The key objectives of the book include:

1.      Build the novel understanding of overtraining syndrome, including the proposal of a novel and more intuitive name (that has been highly accepted by the scientific community)

2.      Provide readers an understandable way to read overtraining syndrome, since its syndrome is highly complex, and the information from previous texts and studies were disconnected between them, which precluded from a logical understanding of what overtraining syndrome is

3.      Describe the novel concepts, biomarkers, diagnostic tools and characteristics of overtraining that have been recently uncovered

4.      Help understand the reasons why so many athletes are still developing overtraining syndrome, despite the adequate training volume.

5.      Unprecedentedly provide an effective preventive approach, which is highly desirable, since overtraining syndrome can rarely fully remit.

This book should be a game changer in the field of Sports Science and Medicine. It should also redirect further researches in the field. And will likely help reduce the incidence of OTS, if properly spread among health-related professionals.

There are unique and unprecedented characteristics of the book that are remarkable for the advances in clinical practice and research not only in OTS, but in overall endocrinology of physical activity and sport. This is the first book to explain Overtraining Syndrome from a truly scientifically perspective, with thorough and comprehensive description of its key characteristics of Overtraining Syndrome. This is at the same time logical, intuitive and highly illustrative book. The book brings an unprecedented view on Overtraining Syndrome as not being caused by excessive training, but by a combination of different factors instead. This is actually the first scientifically accepted understanding of overtraining. We are the first to demonstrate that Overtraining Syndrome is not caused by overtraining. And why Overtraining Syndrome is in fact the Burnout Syndrome when manifested in athletes. This is the first time that a book proposes effective preventive approaches, once overtraining syndrome is truly challenging to heal, and many times unrecoverable, and provides highly practical diagnostic scores for Overtraining Syndrome, that can be widely used in clinical practice.  Finally, this book will feel several gaps in the knowledge and questions researchers and sports health providers have will be filled and answered in this book.

The book was developed in a manner that each chapter can be read independently of the other chapters.

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