Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Overtraining, Undertraining, and the Sweet Spot

"Overtraining, fatigue, and burnout are a state of mind. Certainly, we all get tired after putting in miles of laps, but the notion of burnout is really a psychological one."

-Three-time Olympian Janet Evans

During my swimming career, I took the above sentiment to heart. More was always better -- more pool sessions per week, more laps, more dryland training. I even went so far as to perform 1000 "abs" per day for a while, as per Evans' recommendation.

As it turns out, I'm not Janet Evans, and neither are you, probably. (Unless you are, in which case, thanks for reading, Janet!) Looking back, I was always in my best shape at the very beginning of the college season, after having trained more moderately during the summer. By mid-season, I was exhibiting numerous signs of overtraining, like constant lethargy, decreased performance in competition, and low motivation to train.

A week or two of strategic overreaching (an abrupt and generous increase in training volume) and subsequent supercompensation through a deload (an abrupt reduction in training volume) or complete rest is one thing. But training past exhaustion day after day, week after week, is simply counterproductive and a recipe for overtraining.

The knock here isn't on Evans, of course. Her training methods obviously worked for her. Some genetically-gifted individuals will be able to train twice a day, every day, no problem. Most mere mortals, however, will not. The key is to find your unique sweet spot in terms of training frequency.

Monday, June 2, 2014 Live Long, Lift Long

The Terminator and the Fitness Pollenator recently joined forces. Back from the future, we have a few pieces of advice for you on resistance training for years to come, including a sample three-day training program!

Follow the link below to read all about it in my article titled 'Live Long, Lift Long:'