Yesterday I asked a few questions around training, training modalities and recovery, and wanted to lead into a little blurb on where people make some mistakes and end up suffering adverse symptoms from over-training, or just never reach their goals…
Step 1. Work out what it is you want to achieve… That being said, it needs to be realistic. Yes, it’s possible to become a ‘hybrid’ athlete and excel in many modalities (such as explosive type movements such as olympic lifting, while being able to punch our a decent half marathon time as well); however, if you were realistic about it, you would probably need to decide on which it is you want to train for and look to be at the pointy end of either, not both. Everyone should consider:
a. Am I genetically (taking training/conditioning influence out of the equation) more of a fast-twitch beast (bigger bellied muscle anatomy, able to move weight fast, explosive and able to sprint, but sh*thouse when it come to distance running/activities)? or
b. Am I a slow-twitch gazelle that is great at the longer stuff, but not so great when it comes to shifting loads fast?
I will cover muscle anatomy in my next post (and how you can influence your make-up, to a degree)…
Step 2. Ensure you are getting the required recovery… And, what is going to ensure that is a 1000 and 1 invariables! The main ones to focus on that will ensure biggest bang for your buck are:
a. Sleep – Not enough and you will ensure your cortisol levels are raised, which in turn inhibits testosterone production, which in turn lowers your protein synthesis… Get where I’m going?!
b. Stress – Mental and physical have the same effect, and the physical includes exercise/activity… It’s a stressor. Both, if done in excess – to what level you tolerate is an individual thing – will lead to the aforementioned symptoms, but chuck in inflammation and oxidative stress as well!
c. Lack of calories – Calorie deficiency will screw you over! You need to let go of the notion that restricting calories will help you shift body fat! You may lose weight initially, yet most will be a loss of muscle mass, and you will be signalling to your body that you are in ‘starvation mode’; so anabolic processes then become catabolic, ie. your body eats itself. You need to dial in how much you need to consume to sustain the activities you undertake. Sometimes over training can simply mean you are under eating!
d. Training infrequency – Get into a pattern with your training. Yes, factor adequate rest, but over-resting can be just as detrimental to your recovery as under-resting. You need to ensure your body is adapting, on a cellular level, neurally, muscularly… If you rest too much, you never get the benefit of developing resilience to training stressors on those systems and so you never improve. The term is progressive overload…
Step 3. Get help with it all… For those of you Brisbane-based, get in to see who I consider to be the best coaches in town (speaking without bias), Phil and Lil’ Cosgrove at CrossFit Mitchelton.
There are MANY more, but they are the main ones. More tomorrow! Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday as much as Astro and Shan, below: