In our fast-paced, fast-living society, the message that is transmitted throughout the media is that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. We have rising rates of lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and many cancers. This is undoubtedly true, at least in the Western world, more movement rather than less is what is needed. The concept of overtraining is not one that is thought to be a problem for many. In fact, extreme training behaviour is often applauded and held up as a goal to be emulated and attained.
The reason why I have chosen this for my latest blog is that I have just read a great article by John Berardi, PhD. How Intense Workouts (and Overtraining) can Ruin your Results ( www.precisionnutrition.com/are-you-overtraining ). This is a topic I feel very strongly about and actually I think that comparisons can be drawn between the training/overtraining paradigm into many aspects of our modern lifestyles both in the workplace and otherwise…….but that’s a topic for another blog, back to exercise.
In the words of a fellow fitness professional and athlete that I used to work with ‘Rest is a Weapon! It is as vital as the fitness training that you do….plan to train or train to fail. I have seen many people, particularly newbies to marathon training, start off at such a pace that you just know that in six weeks time the volume and intensity in the training plan will derail the best-laid intentions. As a fitness professional, I always encourage and support my clients and it can be very hard to rein in an enthusiastic individual with a goal in their sights.
Overtraining can be a problem but another word that is often missing from a well-designed programme is balance.
Training programmes such as HITT(High-Intensity Interval Training) and Tabata are the latest buzzwords in the fitness industry and it is always attractive to feel that you are getting the absolute max out of a training session. The addictive nature of the endorphin high will keep you coming back for more. I love these forms of training and really enjoy their intense nature, however, they are only really appropriate training once or twice a week for the individual. A high-intensity workout every day of the week will exact its toll eventually, injury, illness and burnout are often the results, as the article illustrates. Disciplines such as Pilates and Yoga are a great addition to a training regime, as are other mind-body disciplines(that isn’t to say that Pilates or Yoga can’t be extremely tough practice, depending on what you do). Having lighter training days allows the body time to recover and repair and build itself. Ultimately, you achieve your end goal, which let’s face it, is what it’s all about.
Train hard…..but train smart!