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Sports 2015, 3(3), 209-218;

Less Is More: The Physiological Basis for Tapering in Endurance, Strength, and Power Athletes

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health and Sciences and Center for Muscle Biology, University of Kentucky, MS-508 Chandler Medical Center, 800 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40508, USA
Department of Kinesiology, College of Health and Social Sciences, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue-Gym 101, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lee E. Brown
Received: 10 July 2015 / Revised: 16 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 21 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning)
Full-Text   |   PDF [262 KB, uploaded 24 August 2015]   |  


Taper, or reduced-volume training, improves competition performance across a broad spectrum of exercise modes and populations. This article aims to highlight the physiological mechanisms, namely in skeletal muscle, by which taper improves performance and provide a practical literature-based rationale for implementing taper in varied athletic disciplines. Special attention will be paid to strength- and power-oriented athletes as taper is under-studied and often overlooked in these populations. Tapering can best be summarized by the adage “less is more” because maintained intensity and reduced volume prior to competition yields significant performance benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: taper; reduced-volume training; periodization; skeletal muscle; fiber type taper; reduced-volume training; periodization; skeletal muscle; fiber type

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Murach, K.A.; Bagley, J.R. Less Is More: The Physiological Basis for Tapering in Endurance, Strength, and Power Athletes. Sports 2015, 3, 209-218.

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