Residual training effect

Articles > Residual training effect

Residual training effect operates with the retention of changes by systematic workloads after the cessation of training beyond a certain time period. The residual training effect is related to the process of detraining, which was previously understood as the loss of „trainedness“ when training is stopped (Issurin 2008). The decrease of the abilities after lowered training load is very different and depends on the ability itself (some physiological systems retain the increased adaptation longer than the other) and the performance level of the athlete. However, before the decrease of the ability is evident there is so-called residual effect, where the capacity of the ability does not decrease. Therefore, an effective sequencing of different training targets should take into account the duration of different training residuals.


Table 1. Training residuals of different physical abilities. (According to Issurin 2010)

Phsical ability The duration of residual  effect (days) Physiological background
Aerobic endurance 30±5 Aerobic enzymes activity↑,  number of mitochondria ↑, glycogen storage↑, muscle capillaries↑, oxydation rate of fat↑
Maximal strength 30±5 Neural control↑, muscle hypertrophy by fiber enlargement
Anaerbic glycolytic endurance 18±4 Anaerobic enzyme activity↑, lactate accumulation rate↑, buffering capacity↑, glycogen storage↑
Strength endurance 15±5 Hypertrophy in slow twitch fibers, local blood circulation↑, lactate tolerance↑
Maximal speed 5±3 Neuromuscular control↑, motor control↑, amount of phosphocreatine↑


The Table clearly shows that some abilities retain its capacity for only about a week (maximal speed), while endurance capacity for about a month. Therefore, if the development of some certain activity is stopped, we should predict how long does it take for that ability to retain at the level that is satisfactory.



Issurin, V. (2008) Block periodization versus traditional training theory. – J Sports Med Phys Fit, 48: 65–75.

Issurin, V. (2010) New horizons for the methodology and physiology of training periodization. – Sports Med, 40: 189–206.