American Society of Exercise Physiologists
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Issue: #4 April 2009
Dear Exercise Physiologist,

Thank you for being part of our community. ASEP is the specific voice for (historically under-represented) Exercise Physiologists. Please use this Newsletter as a link to ASEP resources from scientific journals to professional papers, to employment and related opportunities. And be sure to click on "More On Us" at the left for the ASEP-newsletter's parent web site.
Also, members please consider the ASEP Annual 2009 DUES Renewal Notice on the ASEP web site.  

Finally, thanks to all who attended the Annual Conference April 2-4, in Wichita Falls, Texas! It was a real succcess.
-Lonnie Lowery and Jonathan Mike, ASEP-Newsletter Editors 
 Editor's Corner

editorialPictures from ASEP 2009 National Conference: Making Fitness Functional 

With the annual conference over, this month we are simply offering a few early pictures from the Wichita Falls event. There was an impressive list of speakers, from industry icons to a Nobel laureate.
Students and faculty in audience...
 ASEP 2009 audience
Part of poster session #1...
ASEP 2009 poster session1
Speakers preparing on stage...
ASEP 2009 speakers on stage
Thanks again to everyone who made the trek and special thanks to Dr. Frank Wyatt, Dr. Lon Kilgore and all those who made the event so great!

Yours in health,
Dr. Lonnie Lowery,
ASEP-Newsletter Editor
Ask the EP 
Q. I would like to know about the recovery process and what it means. Are there specific types of recovery? And how is this connected to fatigue?  

A. Recovery from exercise training is an integral component of the overall training program and is essential for optimal performance and improvement. If rate of recovery is improved, higher training volumes and intensities are possible without the detrimental effects of overtraining (Bishop et al., 2007).While recovery from exercise is significant, personal trainers and coaches use different approaches for the recovery process for clients and athletes. Understanding the physiological concept of recovery is essential for designing optimal training programs. As well, individual variability exists within the recovery processdue to training status (trained vs. untrained), factors of fatigue, and a person's ability to deal with physical, emotional, and psychological stressors (Jeffreys, 2005).                         
Bishop et al. (2007) define recovery as the ability to meet or exceed performance in a particular activity. Jeffreys (2005) continues that factors of recovery include 1) normalization of physiological functions (e.g., blood pressure, cardiac cycle), 2) return to homeostasis (resting cell environment), 3) restoration of energy stores (blood glucose and muscle glycogen), and 4) replenishment of cellular energy enzymes (i.e., phosphofructokinase a key enzyme in carbohydrate metabolism). In addition, the recovery is very dependent on specific types of training. Recovery may include an active component (such as a post-workout walk) and/or a passive component (such as a post-workout hydrotherary treatment).
Muscle recovery occurs during and primarily after exercise and is characterized by continued removal of metabolic end products (e.g., lactate and hydrogen ions). During exercise, recovery is needed to reestablish intramuscular blood flow for oxygen delivery, which promotes replenishment of phosphocreatine stores (used to resynthesize ATP), restoration of intramuscular pH (acid/base balance), and regaining of muscle membrane potential (balance between sodium and potassium exchanges inside and outside of cell) (Weiss, 1991). During post-exercise recovery, there is also an increase in 'excess post-exercise oxygen consumption' (or EPOC). Other physiological functions of recovery during this phase include the return of ventilation, blood circulation and body temperature to pre-exercise levels (Borsheim and Bahr, 2003).
The most rapid form of recovery, termed "immediate recovery" occurs during exercise itself. Bishop and colleagues (2007) give an example of a race walker with 1 leg in immediate recovery during each stride. With this phase of recovery, energy regeneration occurs with the lower extremities between strides. As each leg recovers more quickly, the walker will be able to complete the striding task more efficiently.
"Short term recovery" involves recovery between sets of a given exercise or between interval work bouts. Short-term recovery is the most common form of recovery in training (Seiler, 2005).     
Lastly, the term "training recovery" is used to describe the recovery between workout sessions or athletic competitions (Bishop et al., 2007). If consecutive workouts occur (such as within the same day) without appropriate recovery time, the individual may be improperly prepared for the next training session.
Fatigue is usually perceived as any reduction in physical or mental performance. However, when discussing various aspects of training, fatigue can be described as failure to maintain the expected force, or the inability to maintain a given exercise intensity or power output level (Meeesen 2006). Bigland (1984) expands that fatigue is any exercise-induced reduction in force or power regardless of whether or not the task can be sustained.
There are two types of fatigue: peripheral and central. Peripheral fatigue during exercise is often described as impairment within the active muscle. The muscle contractile proteins are not responding to their neural stimulation. Depletion of muscle glycogen (for fuel) is thought to be an important factor in peripheral fatigue, especially during prolonged exercise (Jentjens, 2003).Central fatigue is concerned with the descending motor pathways from the brain and spinal cord. Bishop and colleagues (2008) explain that brain messages may signal reductions or complete cessation of exercise performance. A central fatigue hypothesis suggests that the brain is acting as a protective mechanism to prevent excessive damage to the muscles. Associative Factors of Recovery Gleeson (2002) elucidates the following related factors involved in the ability of a person to recover. 1) Muscle soreness and weakness 2) Poor exercise performance 3) Decrease in appetite 4) Increased infection 5) Quality and quantity of sleep 6) Gastrointestinal abnormalities.

When striving to achieve optimal exercise performance, individuals need to be proactive in planning recovery into the training program. Although there is no consensus on a central strategy for recovery, monitoring and observing exercise performance will always be most insightful in adjusting and planning for this essential ingredient of training. In addition, educating those about the importance of recovery (such as proper sleep) may empower them to complete suitable interventions to enhance the process.  


  1. Bigland-Ritchie B, & Woods J.J. (1984). Changes in muscle contractile
    properties and neural control during human muscular fatigue. Muscle and Nerve. 7(9): 691-699.
  2. Bishop, P.A, Jones E., & Woods A.K. (2008). Recovery from training: a brief review.
    Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research., 22(3):1015-1024. 
  3. Bloomer, RJ. (2007). The role of nutritional supplements in the prevention and treatment of resistance exercise-induced skeletal muscle injury. Sports Medicine. 37(6):519-32. 
  4. Borsheim, E & Bahr, R. (2003).Effect of exercise intensity, duration and mode on post-exercise oxygen consumption. Sports Medicine. 33(14):1037-1060. 
  5. Critchfield, B. & Kravitz, L. (2008). Fatigue resistance: An intriguing difference in gender. IDEA Fitness Journal 5(6), 19-21.
  6. Gleeson, M (2002). Biochemical and Immunological Markers of Overtraining. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 1: 31-41.
  7. Hicks, A.L, Kent-Braun, J., & Ditor, D.S. (2001). Sex differences in human skeletal muscle fatigue. Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, 29(3), 109-12.
  8. Jeffreys, I. (2005). A multidimensional approach to enhancing recovery. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 27(5): 78-85.
  9. Jentjens, R, & Jeukendrup, A. (2003).Determinants of post-exercise glycogen synthesis during short-term recovery. Sports Medicine. 33(2):117-144. 
  10. Meeusen, R, Watson, P., Hasegawa, H, Roelands, B, & Piacentini, M.F. (2006). Central fatigue: the serotonin hypothesis and beyond. Sports Med. 36(10):881-909. 
  11. Rhea, M.R., Alvar, B.A., Burkett, L.N., & Ball S.D. (2003). A meta-analysis to determine the dose response for strength development. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(3):456-464.
  12. Seiler, S. & Hetlelid, K.J. (2005). The impact of rest duration on work intensity and RPE during interval training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(9):1601-1607.
  13. Weerapong, P., Hume, P.A., & Kolt G.S.N. (2005). The mechanisms of massage and effects on performance, muscle recovery and injury prevention. Sports Medicine, 35(3):235-56. 

~Jonathan Mike, CSCS, USAW, NSCA-CPT

Doctoral Student, Assistant Editor

Opportunities Related to Exercise Physiology
Saratoga Cardiology Associates... Full-Time Monday-Friday position to join our medical team located in upstate New York. Candidate must provide a safe and effective cardiac rehabilitation program....more information...

The Department of Kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire... is currently seeking applicants for a tenure track appointment in Exercise Science at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. ...more information...
NOTE: ASEP Board of Directors with approval of The Center for Exercise Physiology-online developed the "EPC Petition Guidelines" for doctorate exercise physiologists to become Board Certified.
Hotel Accommodations for the ASEP 2009 Conference (CLICK HERE)

Thank you for perusing our opinions, facts and opportunities in this edition of the ASEP-Newsletter.

Lonnie Lowery
American Society of Exercise Physiologists

All contents are copyright 1997-2007 American Society of Exercise Physiologists.

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