Over-training,is it real ? Does it exist? Can you really over train? Overtraining is extremely misunderstood. The equation for training is quite simple:
Training = Work + Rest
There really is no such thing as overtraining. There are five factors that need to be considered when looking into overtraining as an athlete:
I want to look into these five things and help you understand why the recovery process is important to your training.
-If you think you are overtraining, chances are you are under recovering from your training sessions. Are you taking the steps to support your needs in and out of the gym? Are you taking the time to properly fuel, hydrate and rest your body ? A lot of athletes are not taking time to rest and recover. What happens can be a long list of things such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, missed periods, hormonal imbalance and sleep disturbances. Good news is that you can fix all of this. Make sure you are sleeping 7-9 hours per night. Cut out caffiene to function during the day. Make sure the majority of your foods come from whole sources. Most importantly is vary your intensity levels in training. If you're having a hard time hitting your training as hard as you like, chances are you are missing critical components of your recovery. Fuel your body and watch it grow !
-Find your own personal work capacity. If you go over that threshold too often or too quickly, then you end up digging a hole, instead of getting fitter. I am talking about your body’s work capacity. You should take the time to experiment with your body and how it responds to training. Do you need more high intensity intervals? Does your body do well with strength movements? Or maybe you are like me and need a combination of both. Start to get in tune with how you move and function in the gym. It's your body and your journey.
-Mindset is something learned throughout your training capacity. Some people thrive off of training atmospheres where people clap and cheer. Others like to be silent and just do their things. Whatever you enjoy, your mindset should follow suit. Are you competitive ? You might want to try CrossFit for the athletic edge it gives you. Maybe you enjoy being quiet and slow, yoga or Pilates might be the class for you.Whatever you enjoy doing, make sure you are doing that. Don't try to do things to fit in just because others are doing it. You need to be doing things for yourself and your happiness.
-Is your body working for you or against you? The current state of your health also plays a role in your ability to handle more or less training. Did you know that your gut is a large influence on the rest of your body. Other issues are adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and metabolic adaptations that impact your health.
-Stress. Your stress and my stress look different. How we handle stress is also different from person to person. If your body is over-stressed, you will reap the consequences.Stress will constantly change throughout our lives. De-stress to restore your body and get the most out of your training. Learn to take time for yourself. Take time to rest your body and mind. Get massages, get your nails done and have one full day to just relax.
While it may seem like this is an unwinnable position to be in, at this stage the entire downward spiral can still be reversed through changing diet and training and recovery strategies.