Let’s face it, we want instant gratification in many things that we do, especially when we are looking at our efforts to get to our fitness and performance goals. We work really hard, we are committed, and we sacrifice, but do not see the results that we desire. This lack of results can cause us to loose focus and become discouraged in our endeavors. We begin to feel fatigued, we feel mentally drained, and frustrated because we are not getting to where we want to be. Well the fact that we are not getting results is not necessarily because we do not have a great exercise program and nutritional plan, the fact is we may be simply be overtraining. Overtraining is not a topic that is talked about because the general thought is more is better and that we have to work hard to see results. So, what is overtraining? It is an accumulation of training resulting in a long-term decrement in performance capacity with or without related physiological and psychological signs and symptoms (Strength & Conditioning Journal:June 2009, V.31, Issue 3, Kutz, Matthew) Let us look at what can lead to overtraining. Higher intensity training and greater expectations creates conditions conducive to behaviors of reducing or eliminating rest cycles and training at higher intensities for longer durations to gain more progress. When working at this higher intensity, the psychological and physical signs of stress do to training are often ignored. (Strength & Conditioning Journal:June 2009, V.31, Issue 3, Kutz, Matthew) Overtraining has signs and symptoms to be aware of especially psychological depression. In addition, there is an increased risk to the immune system with a common illness associated being upper respiratory tract infections, which may require medical attention. Here are a few symptoms of overtraining: persistent fatigue, difficulty sleeping, feelings of irritation, anger, ongoing muscle soreness, loss of appetite, increased aches and pains, and lack of motivation. (Strength & Conditioning Journal:June 2009, V.31, Issue 3, Kutz, Matthew)
Now, that we know what overtraining is and what causes it, let’s take steps to preventing it or reduce our chances of having to deal with it by having a close monitoring system and record keeping of our results. Ignoring the signs and symptoms will not keep overtraining away but allowing adequate rest and recovery time will. Periodization training can help prevent overtraining and we at Git Right Sports Performance & Fitness focus on the program designs that yield results in a safe and effective process. We actually teach our clients to listen to their bodies and we use active recovery to assist with their overall rest and recuperation instead of just inactivity. We help them find ways to recover without just sitting around on the couch or in the recliner flipping channels. We are aware of the other stresses in life, such as work, family, friends, and competitions and we take it all into consideration for rest and recovery.