Gibala, M. J., MacDougall, J. D., & Sale, D. G. (1994). The effects of tapering on strength performance in trained athletes. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 15, 492-497.

Voluntary strength and muscle contractile properties of the elbow extensors were examined over two periods: 10 days of rest and 10 days of reduced volume (eventually 38%), but intensity maintained, taper.

It was found that voluntary low-velocity strength could be increased by reducing training volume but maintaining training intensity after a period of sustained high-intensity training. This is a preferred method of recovery and should not be interpreted as a training regimen. The reasons for this improvement could be enhanced contractile performance or an increase in neural activation, factors that are debilitated by fatigue.

Implication. After sustained strength training, the introduction of a microcycle that maintains the intensity of the training stimulus but reduces volume by approximately 40% will provoke strength performance recovery over a period of 8-10 days.

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