Frequently Asked Questions


The curvilinear relationship between power output and the time for which it can be sustained is a fundamental and well-known feature of high-intensity exercise performance. This relationship ‘levels off’ at a ‘critical power’ (CP). The CP may be functionally defined as the highest power output that can be sustained without progressively drawing on W', where the latter represents, at the onset of exercise, a fixed amount of work that can be done when CP is exceeded. Therefore, CP separates power outputs that can be sustained with stable values of, for example, muscle phosphocreatine, blood lactate, and pulmonary oxygen uptake (V?O2), from power outputs where these variables change continuously with time until their respective minimum and maximum values are reached and exercise intolerance occurs. The amount of work that can be done during exercise above CP (the so-called W') is constant but may be utilized at different rates depending on the proximity of the exercise power output to CP [1]. CP is obtained from a minimum of 2 maximum trials lasting between 2 and 15 minutes [2] and it is a power that can be sustained from 20 to 40 minutes until exhaustion in relation to the level and characteristics of the athlete [3].

The most used periodisations in endurance sports are two: the polarized and the pyramidal training intensity distribution (TID) [4]. These two periodisations consider a classification of 3 main intensity zones: zone 1, below LT1 (aerobic threshold); zone 2 between LT1 and LT2 (anaerobic threshold); zone 3 above LT2 [5].
Both TIDs provide most of the training time spent in zone 1 in terms of frequency, but if the first TID (polarized) focuses mainly on zone 3 for the rest of the time, the pyramidal TID instead foresees more time spent in zone 2. The combination of the two different TID in relation to the period of the season and the level and objectives of the athlete allows to optimize performance. In particular, it seems that - with the necessary individualization - the transition from a pyramidal to a polarized TID could lead to greater improvements in terms of performance [4].

The reverse periodization, especially used in recent years, seems to be a valid alternative for those who have little time to train in winter due to the few hours of light available; in fact, it provides an inverse approach, with greater intensity and lower volume of sessions in the winter period, for example by concentrating long sessions at the weekend and shorter, more intense indoor sessions on smart trainers during weekdays when time is short, and an increase in volume in correspondence of the lengthening of the days, where it is also possible to carry out midweek sessions on the road. It has been seen that this approach does not lead to differences in amateur level athletes in terms of improvement compared to a traditional approach [6].

Metabolic flexibility is the ability to use the optimal energy substrate (fats and carbohydrates) in relation to the current metabolic demand [7]. It is not only essential to use a predominantly lipid fuel to save glycogen (carbohydrate) reserves during exercise, but also it is important to have an excellent carbohydrate oxidation when the energy situation requires high-intensity efforts. The proposed metabolic flexibility index considers the interaction between the glycolytic rate (production of lactate and, therefore, use of carbohydrates) of one's own metabolism, the power and capacity of the aerobic oxidative system and the body composition. The integration of these parameters generates an index ranging from 5 to 20:
• Green/high (17 – 20) in the case of professional or semi-professional athletes;
• Yellow/medium (13 – 16) in the case of amateur athletes of good or excellent level;
• Orange/low (9 – 12) in the case of beginner, novice recreational athletes, moderately active people, medium-low level amateur;
• Red/very low (5 – 8) in the case of people with medical conditions and sedentary people, poor active people.


It's well established that total daily energy expenditure (EA) may be calculated as the sum of the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), NEA (non-exercise activities) and EEE (Exercise Energy Expenditure).
In regard to BMR, OVERVAM APP uses for males the Harris-Benedict formula (Balci et al., 2021; Frontiers in Physiology) and for women, Liu's formula (Rao et al., 2012, The European Journal of Medical Resources).
The NEA energy expenditure derives from the non-exercise activities performed during the day. The esteem of the energy expenditure uses MET's (metabolic Equivalent), as Harvard Scholl of Public Health proposed.
EEE energy expenditure derives from the fitness level of an athlete (anaerobic Threshold or FTP) and the duration of each training session.

Concerning energy intake, OVERVAM APP's primary resource is the IOC Consensus Statement on Sports Nutrition (2010). Literature references from the most prominent IOC Scientific Contributors, such as Marie Louise Burke and Asker Jeukendrup are as well incorporated in OVERVAM algorithms.

OVERVAM APP uses the IOM (Institutes of Medicine) recommendation of AMDR (acceptable macronutrient distribution range)(Manore M., 2005), which guarantees to offer the athletes a healthy macronutrients range suitable for recovery health and performance.

A stable body weight requires an energy intake equal to energy expenditure over time (O Hill et al., 2013), a state known as energy balance. According to individual goals of optimal body weight, OVERVAM APP applies the most appropriate energy balance to its nutritional daily sports plans.