When I talk to some athletes about their overtraining, I mean training, they try to impress me with their high volume and constantly intense programming. This is especially true of CrossFitters who are new or recently started programming for themselves. Even some weightlifters I talk to tell me how they are constantly going heavy. This is all great, but it won’t last. You have to rest, and you have to rest properly.
Is Rest Important?
What do the experts say? I am not talking about some research scientist sitting in a lab trying to figure out athletes. I am talking about intelligent athletes who have accomplished some amazing things. What do they say?
A great read, if you haven’t already, is In Search of a Programming God, by Emily Beers in the CrossFit Journal. She outlines the programming of some the top CrossFit athletes. One of the highlighted athletes is Blair Morrison. Some of his accomplishments:
- 7th place finish at the 2009 CrossFit Games
- 23rd place finish at the 2010 CrossFit Games
- 5th place finish at the 2011 CrossFit Games
- 3 weeks on, 1 week off
- On training weeks he trains; Mon./Wed./Fri.
If you follow this blog then you know I am currently using the Wendler Strength Program in my programming. If you haven’t read it you should! In the intro of his book, Jim talks about why he started this training method and why it was necessary for him to be able to continue training. Some of his accomplishments:
- 275lb body weight
- 1000lb squat
- 675lb bench press
- 700lb deadlift
- 2375 total
“Over ninety percent of the clients I’ve worked
with over the course of my career – at least those with a training background
are either overtrained or very close to it when they come to
me for advice.”
That is not good! Are you overtrained? Let’s look at the symptoms:
- Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
- Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Sudden drop in performance
- Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
- Decrease in training capacity / intensity
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
- Decreased appetite
- Increased incidence of injuries.
- A compulsive need to exercise
Fitness as a Lifestyle
I’ll leave you with this…We are here to DO. We are not here to talk about what we did once or past accomplishments. Living in daydreams and past memories is not fitness. Work capacity today, now, is all that matters. A trophy or medal won’t get you through the rest of your life. Make fitness a lifestyle, a priority, and let it help you live life.
Have you found a good rest cycle that works well? Care to share?
Photo by AmySelleck