Overtraining And Three Ways To Prevent It
You’re training hard almost every day week after week and things are going well. You’re regularly setting PRs and getting in great shape for your sport. Then things start going awry. Your strength declines. You feel exhausted. You’re not injured, but something just doesn’t feel right.
In this case, you might be suffering from a case of overtraining, which occurs when we push our bodies through extreme training conditions without proper rest between training sessions. This is generally caused by either working out too frequently, doing too many exercises or reps (volume) or training at too high an intensity.
The result is extreme fatigue, excessive soreness, staleness, burnout, illness or injury, all of which are associated with lack of rest, recovery and poor nutrition habits (NSCA Essentials, 2008).
With the onset of overtraining, it can take several weeks to several months to recover. This is a particular problem if it times up with your sports season, and can be a major setback for your training.
Individuals should engage in a planned training program to increase intensity when necessary and then taper training to improve performance. A successful training program incorporates adequate rest between training days to prevent burnout and injury. Below are three tips to help prevent overtraining to ensure an active and healthy training program.
Learn How to Recover
Many athletes believe that more training is always better. However, you need to recover to allow your body to adapt, or supercompensate, and actually get stronger and bigger. For a high school athlete, 3 to 4 60-minute workouts per week should be more than sufficient. For optimal recovery, perform the workouts on non-consecutive days.
Plan Your Rest Days
A rest day doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. Instead, do some passive rest or active recovery with a low-intensity cross-training activity such as a hike, walking or a light cycle workout. You can also take a rest day to improve your mobility.