Fatigue – Enemy or Ally?

by Dane Bartz, PhD, CSCS and Alexandra Bartz
NSCA Coach April 2022
Vol 8, Issue 4

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The purpose of this article is to help bring awareness of athletic recovery by useful fatigue monitoring and managing tools, such as external and internal load examples.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

Related Reading



1. Carriker, CR. Components of fatigue: Mind and body. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 31(11): 2017.

2. Cummins, C, Orr, R, O’Connor, H, and West, C. Global positioning systems (GPS) and microtechnology sensors in team sports: A systematic review. Sports Medicine 43(10): 1025-1042, 2013.

3. Fields, JB, Merigan, JM, Gallo, S, White, JB, and Jones, MT. External and internal load measures during preseason training in men collegiate soccer athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2021.

4. Jakobsson, SK, Amasay, T, Mier, CM, and Tamulevicius, N. Influence of fatigue on change of direction performance in soccer players. International Journal of Exercise Science 13(1): 656-666, 2020.

5. Kellmann, M. Preventing overtraining in athletes in high-intensity sports and stress/recovery monitoring. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 20(Suppl 2): 95-102, 2010.

6. Mizuno, K, Tanaka, M, Yamaguti, K, Kajimoto, O, Kuratsune, H, and Watanabe, Y. Mental fatigue caused by prolonged cognitive load associated with sympathetic hyperactivity. Behavioral and Brain Functions 7: 17, 2011.

7. Nixdorf, I, Beckmann, J, and Nixdorf, R. Psychological predictors for depression and burnout among German junior elite athletes. Frontiers in Psychology 11: 601, 2020.

8. Rosenthal, TC, Majeroni, BA, Pretorius, R, and Malik, K. Fatigue: An overview. American Family Physician 78(10): 1173-1179, 2008.

9. Suchomel, TJ, and Bailey, CA. Monitoring and managing fatigue in baseball players. Strength and Conditioning Journal 36(6): 2014.

10. Skorski, S, Mujika, I, Bosquet, L, Meeusen, R, Coutts, AJ, and Meyer, T. The temporal relationship between exercise, recovery processes and changes in performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 1-23, 2019.

11. Soligard, T, Schwellnus, M, Alonso, J-M, Bahr, R, Clarsen, B, Dijkstra, HP, et al. How much is too much? (Part 1) International Olympic Committee consensus statement on load in sport and risk of injury. British Journal of Sports Medicine 50(17): 1030, 2016.

12. West, SW, Clubb, J, Torres-Ronda, L, Howells, D, Leng, E, Vescovi, JD, et al. More than a metric: How training load is used in elite sport for athlete management. International Journal of Sports Medicine 42(4): 300-306, 2021.

13. Yang, J, Xu, H, Liang, J, Jeong, J, and Xu, T. Monitoring the training dose and acute fatigue response during elbow flexor resistance training using a custom-made resistance band. PeerJ 8: e8689, 2020.

About the author

Dane Bartz, PhD, CSCS,*D

Linked Fit

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Dane Bartz is the co-owner of Linked Fit HQ in Rochester Hills, MI, and is the creator of the Recovery Cycle educational system. He loves researching ...

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