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Old 01-23-2009, 03:41 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 355

The "hormonal fluctuation model" was something that I started thinking and planning as far back as when I was an undergrad at Kansas State University, I eventually did my thesis on this subject to prove it had validity, in fact the title to my thesis was "validation of a hormonal fluctuation training model".

The basic premise was that earlier research had shown that overreaching weeks followed by deload weeks were effective with some people in increasing performance, and the effectiveness seemed to be linked to a drop and then subsequent increases in test/cortisol ratio that occured within certain parameters, but no one had specifically studied what those paramaters were and how to target training to stay within them and get the supercompensation effect.

We used weekly blood draws and hormone level analysis to first establish what the effective parameters were, then discover ways to directly link the level of increase or decrease in hormone levels at specific times during a training cycle with modifications in the training intensity, in other words letting the changes in hormone levels tell us whether an athlete needed to increase or decrease training volume or intensity at that specific time.

We ended up being very successfull, and showing that the decision tree that we developed could consistently produce drops in test/cortisol during a 2 week overreaching period of between 10 and 25%, the levels determined to produce the most effective overreaching, then allow the correct de-loading to allow this hormonal ratio to not only return to normal but to actually supercompensate to above baseline levels by the competition date. We also showed that increased results at competition were very highly correlated with the success in controling the hormonal ratio during the training.

We also learned, IMO, a lot of other useful things about overreaching and deloading for strength athletes in this and subsequent studies by myself and by Michael Hartman, who is now a PhD teaching exercise phys at a college in Florida. Michael did some work with our model that looked specifically at the length of de-loading time and the ability of the model to work using controls other than hormonal measures, something that few have access to.

If anyone has any specific questions about this model of training feel free to contact me. I dont mind reliving the old days once in a while.

glennpendlay is offline   Reply With Quote