How To Progressively Overload Your Athlete’s Cognitive Training Plan.

The most straightforward way to progressively overload your athlete's cognitive training plan is to either increase the intensity or duration of the cognitive tasks each week.

How To Progressively Overload Your Athlete’s Cognitive Training Plan.

What is Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload is a periodisation method that advocates for the gradual increase of the stress placed upon the nervous system.

Progressive Overload is an important principle in cognitive training. Without progressive overload, you won’t create enough cognitive stress, and training results will be minimal. However, too much overload can lead to under-recovery and mental fatigue.

The most straightforward way to progressively overload your athlete's cognitive training plan is to either increase the intensity or duration of the cognitive tasks each week. It’s a good idea to combine different intensities and durations to ensure the overall cognitive load is higher than the previous week. Without sufficient cognitive load, you will not create enough cognitive stress, and training results will be minimal.

📹 Progressive Overload

Example

Increase Task Intensity

  • Week 1  70%
  • Week 2 80%
  • Week 3 90%
  • Week 4 100%

Example

Increase Task Duration

Week 1

  • 3m cognitive task duration x6 sets

Total session duration 18 mins

Week 2

  • 5m cognitive task duration x6 sets

Total session duration 30 mins

Week 3

  • 3m cognitive task duration x3 sets
  • 5m cognitive task duration x5 sets

Total session duration 34 mins

Week 4

  • 10m cognitive task duration x4 sets

Total session duration 40 mins

Example

Increase Task Intensity & Task Duration

Week 1  

  • 70% intensity
  • 3m cognitive task duration x6 sets
  • Total session duration 18 mins

Week 2

  • 80% intensity
  • 5m cognitive task duration x6 sets
  • Total session duration 30 mins

Week 3

  • 90% intensity
  • 3m cognitive task duration x3 sets
  • 5m cognitive task duration x5 sets
  • Total session duration 34 mins

Week 4

  • 100% intensity
  • 10m cognitive task duration x4 sets
  • Total session duration 40 mins

Once you have periodization we suggest applying specialized training modes on top of tasks. Athletes need more than just a cognitive task that focuses on the cognitive demand, it is important to realise that they need sufficient cognitive load to create mental adaptions that will ultimately enhance their performance. Layering cognitive tasks is the simple key to achieving success with cognitive training.

How To Apply Layers To Cognitive Tasks.
Layering cognitive tasks is the simple key to achieving success with cognitive training.

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