Most Common Mistakes - Over-Training/Under-Recovering
It’s a common belief that more is better. If training is good for you, then MORE training will be better.
If you can build muscle training 3 times a week, then training 6 times a week must be better…
What you have to remember is that your body needs time to recover from workouts.
The muscles you’ve worked and stressed are slightly damaged and need time to repair and grow bigger and stronger for the next time they have to face that same stress.
Overtraining doesn’t tend to be a huge issue generally, because for the most part, people don’t train with enough intensity that frequently - it’s hard to maintain that intensity for long periods, so unless you’re a professional athlete or training multiple times a day, overtraining probably isn’t the issue.
What is a common issue though is under-recovering.
Even if you’re only training 2 or 3 times a week, you need to recover.
Adequate, good quality sleep, good nutrition, hydration, recovery work and downtime are all essential for recovery.
You don’t have to train 7 days a week to be under-recovered. Even just 2 or 3 sessions a week could be too much if you’re not sleeping properly and eating junk.
It’s good [if you’re training with high intensity] to program in some recovery weeks every now and then - a week of lighter training to give your body a chance to recover.
It can also be useful to program in high and lower-intensity workouts into your training, so it’s not all guns blazing, all of the time. You could alternate between high and low intensity workouts, as well as including rest days or days where you just do some mobility and stretching to aid recovery.
I’ve seen it many times over the years where people do too much.
They can’t possibly train with full intensity for all of the sessions, but they’re just doing so much that they’re not giving their body enough time to repair itself.
This almost always leads to injuries and/or getting ill more frequently.
It always annoyed me when someone came to one of my classes, supposedly worked as hard as they could, and then went straight on to another class straight after.
Double sessions are rarely a good idea unless the second one is more recovery based, like yoga or mobility work.
You cannot work at full capacity for 2 hours back to back. So you’d be better off putting 100% into just ONE session, rather than doing 2 sessions at maybe 80% and 50%.
Work your arse off for one session, then either do some recovery work, or if it’s calories you’re trying to burn, go for a walk or swim afterwards.
It’s so important to avoid burnout and injury.
Nothing will set you back more than an injury, so thinking you’ll benefit from doing MORE is counter-productive in the long run.
If you’re well-rested and get sick or injured, you’ll recover sooner and bounce back.
If your body is over-stressed and you get sick or injured, chances are you’ll suffer more with it, and take a lot longer to recover - meaning the time off will more than compensate for all the extra work you’ve put in.
It’s all about balance.
Balance your high intensity work with recovery work.
Programming doesn’t have to be complex for most people, but it’s important to find what works for you.
Some people can train hard 5 times a week for weeks on end; other people can only sustain 3 times a week for a few weeks at a time before they need to dial it down briefly.
It’ll take some time to figure things out for you, but once you do, you can really push yourself when training and back off when you need to, and see better results than if you’re just trying to do more and more.
As always, if you’re fed up of putting in the effort but not seeing the results you want, and you need some help figuring out a program suited to YOU, get in touch and let’s talk about working together :)