Training Stress Explained by my good buddies over at @bros_md
The above graph shows fitness capacity on the y-axis and time on the x-axis.
It can represent a single workout or multiple workouts over time.
The general thought is that we all have a baseline fitness. Whenever we encounter a training stimulus, or stress, we drop below baseline due to fatigue.
Importantly, we physiologically respond very similar to training stress as other types of stress (not sleeping enough, cramming for exams, or making awkward eye contact with a stranger while eating a banana). So these types of stress can also cause negative deviations from baseline.
Once the training stress has stopped, or diminished, the recovery process begins. This mostly entails rest days, eating, and sleeping and is how we get back to, and beyond, the baseline.
Assuming an adequate training stimulus coupled with proper recovery, we can overshoot the baseline and make it to the land of gains.
These gains can ultimately establish a new baseline, but the cycle of accruing fatigue, followed by proper recovery, is crucial to continuing to make improvements in performance.