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Posted: August 22, 2015

Are You Overtraining?

Are You Overtraining?

There are always driving forces or motives behind everything that we do. We wouldn’t go to work if we didn’t get paid, or go to the gym if we didn’t see results. So what are your motives for doing CrossFit? Better question, what are the outcomes you’re looking for from doing CrossFit?

It’s so important that you answer this question honestly for yourself: When you first started CrossFit, what were your goals? To look better naked? To run a 5k? To get harder, better, faster, stronger? How have you lost sight of those goals? 

Many times losing focus will lead into over training. We hear people talking about it, we think about the idea of it. But do we realize when we are doing it? We have all heard of people like Michael Phelps whose phenomenal training program led him to multiple Olympic gold medals but can we all sustain that level of training? And does one size fit all? What value does training 5-6 times per week or even multiple times a day bring to you?

These questions are even more relevant in the Crossfit community where a lot of media attention has suggested that Crossfit might lead to overtraining, injuries, and the “dreaded” Rhabdo. A lot of this attention is due to the highly competitive nature of CrossFit, while the competitive side of CrossFit leads to amazing results and accomplishments, by focusing on the weight moved, repetitions, or time completed cause too many of us to lose focus on our end goal.

The box has become a place for us to socialize as well as workout. Being there can become addictive. We love the high we get from the WODs or our lifting session and want to do more, or we may have some other goals like trying to burn as many calories as we can so we push beyond our own limits leading to a decline in our performance and progression rather than getting stronger or fitter. Over training can take on many appearance such as a rapid increase in training volume, extended training sessions, not enough recovery or nutrition. What we have to keep in mind is that its absolutely crucial to provide yourself with ample rest and recovery. For example your 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games Champion, Ben Smith, has stated in an interview with the Rx Review that he regularly listens to his body and to what its saying while maintaing a workout schedule of 3 days on, 1 day off.

Other than being completely addicted to CrossFit and drinking our fair share of the Kool-Aid, we also tend to compare ourselves to others on the board and forget we are all different. It is important to realize that the whiteboard is a great tool to push ourselves to a higher level of fitness, but also keep in mind that just as we all look different in appearance we also all have different training thresholds and each “CrossFitter” needs to monitor and track their own levels of fatigue and performance. Improving as individual is more important than beating your neighbor. We all have to try and function at a level that our bodies can sustain. If you find yourself competing against others, ask yourself “why?” Why is it important for me to beat them? What am I gaining? Why do I feel the need to lift beyond the recommended weight and go 5 days in a row to beat my “competition”? Who is really “winning” if I’m not training smartly?

Keeping a record of your training should also include monitoring how you feel, sleep, and function – lifting 400 pounds one night but not being able to move the next day is not going to help your overall health and performance. Like all things with the help of a good coach and patience you need to build up to higher performance levels.

So as with all things in life you need to think intelligently and go at a pace that fits your life and current fitness levels and your own strengths and weaknesses. Take off a day from CrossFit. Take some time to mentally & physically restore your body. Eat healthy foods. This is different for everyone – could be meditation or could be gathering with friends and family; the key is to engage in activities that make your life full and help you recharge your batteries. – so do you think you are overtraining? Check out these articles for some tips about overtraining

Coach Yaz