What is Overtraining?

3rd December 2017

Overtraining syndrome is common in nearly every sport and fitness activity. Overtraining happens when an athlete performs more training than his or her body can recover from, to the point where performance declines. … They believe that the harder they train, the better they become  despite evidence to the contrary.

CrossFit has many different elements to learn, so the potential to overtrain is massive. The balance between optimal and overtraining is so close that it’s very difficult to get right, so how do we know if we are overtraining or not?

Signs of overtraining

  • Always tired or lacking energy
  • No motivation to train
  • Decline in performance and strength
  • Picking up injuries
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant Doms
  • Finding difficult to concentrate

This will be trial and error. Everybody is different and no two people will react to training stimulus the same. Yes we all have weeks that kick our ass but if the signs are constant week after week then something has to change

How to stay optimal

Questions that you should ask yourself

  • Am I getting minimum of 7 hours sleep per night?
  • Am I eating enough calories to sustain my training schedule?
  • Am I letting my body recover between sessions?
  • Am I warming up and cooling down effectively?
  • Am I getting a mental break away from the gym/ have some fun / mix things up /try something new
  • Am I still training with an injury?
  • Am I enjoying the sessions?
  • Am I improving?
  • Do I have a realistic goal?
  • Do I have a goal?
  • Do I keep a log (CFN JOURNAL?)

Have a plan and stick with it.  Jumping from program to program will see little progression and more than likely just frustrate you. A strength block is great but wodding 5 times a week on top isn’t getting the most bang for your buck.

Want to work the gas tank then hit extra interval/crosshiit sessions and stay away from heavy squatting.

Want to improve a movement standard then dedicate a session to skill work, learn everything about that movement, find out who is best at it, ask them what they did.

Need a mental break then go play your favourite sport, have a few days off.  Do some yoga, walking, cycling, swimming get some fresh air. Come back hungry and ready.

If you want progression then training is HARD! I’m not saying put 50% into your workouts but look at training smarter. In 20/30 years’ time I still want to be that guy hitting the gym 3-4 times per week loving every minute and telling stories of baby oil and crazy pumps. If you need me to check over your training plan or just talk in more detail then I’m happy to help.

Get the balance right and remember why you started and how far you have come. Improve little by little each week and you will be amazed how much you can achieve.

MJ Stafford

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