Unlocking Athletic Performance: The Power of Microdosing in Sports Training

In this enlightening podcast episode, Dr. Matt Cuthbert, a seasoned sports scientist and researcher, takes us on a deep dive into the revolutionary concept of microdosing in sports training. Joined by Dylan Carmody, they explore how this innovative training methodology is reshaping athletic performance across diverse sports and athlete levels.

Introduction to Microdosing in Sports Training

Microdosing is a training approach that involves meticulously dividing the total training volume for a specific timeframe, typically a week (referred to as a microcycle), into smaller, more frequent training sessions. The key innovation lies in the distribution of training volume, offering athletes a level of adaptability that traditional training methods often lack.

Defining Microdosing

Dr. Cuthbert begins by defining microdosing, breaking it down into two fundamental components:

  1. Volume Division: Microdosing involves dissecting the overall training volume into manageable segments. This partitioning allows for a flexible and tailored approach to training.
  2. Increased Frequency: Athletes then engage in these smaller training sessions with higher frequency within the microcycle. The ability to fine-tune training frequency aligns with individualized goals and specific training needs.

Understanding Residual Training Effects

A crucial element in understanding microdosing is the concept of “residual training effects.” Dr. Cuthbert explains that various training adaptations exhibit distinct lifespans:

  • Long-term residuals: These adaptations encompass changes related to motor control and neural adaptations. These skills and movement patterns, honed over years of training, potentially last a lifetime.
  • Medium-term residuals: These involve adaptations in the cardiorespiratory system, such as increased stroke volume in the heart. These adaptations may take a month or two to deteriorate if training ceases.
  • Short-term residuals: These include attributes like strength, power, and anaerobic capacities. These aspects can decline rapidly in the absence of repeated, specific training stimuli.

Understanding these residual training effects is vital for designing effective training programs tailored to optimize athlete performance.

Application of Microdosing

Dr. Cuthbert goes on to highlight the primary application of microdosing, particularly in sports with extended competitive seasons. Microdosing serves as a potent tool for preserving strength, power, and overall athletic performance throughout demanding fixture lists.

The core challenge lies in preventing detraining during the season, where recovery and consistent performance are paramount. Microdosing enables athletes to maintain their hard-earned skills and physical attributes at a high level, even amid grueling schedules.

Reaping the Benefits

Dylan and Dr. Cuthbert delve deeper into the benefits of microdosing. They emphasize that the essence of microdosing is achieving the same training volume while distributing it differently. By doing less but more frequently, athletes can become more engaged and enthusiastic, leading to improved compliance and enhanced performance.

Importantly, Dr. Cuthbert underscores that microdosing is not a one-size-fits-all solution; it requires individualization to align with an athlete’s specific needs, goals, and preferences. This adaptability is central to achieving favorable training outcomes and athlete satisfaction.

Conclusion and Contact Information

In conclusion, this podcast episode featuring Dr. Matt Cuthbert offers an in-depth exploration of microdosing in sports training. It underscores the adaptability and advantages of this training approach, making it essential listening for sports scientists, coaches, and athletes seeking innovative and effective training methodologies.

About the Author
Andy is the Host / Co-Founder of Inform Performance and a dual qualified Physiotherapist / Strength & Conditioning Coach. Andy is based in Philadelphia & works for Total Performance who provide a multi-faceted, elite level diagnostic, rehabilitation and performance service. Delivered by a team of world leading specialists to organisations in the NBA, NFL, English Premier League, the LTA and England Rugby.