130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4 Overtrained

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4  Overtrained

How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm? Listen to your body. As an example, one of my personal “sure fire ways” of knowing I am entering this phase is illustrated in the following scenario.

In my training diary, I keep track of every set, every rep and every weight lifted in every session. I note how each set felt with an alpha character beside the log entry for that set. It is either an “E” for easy, an “M” for moderate or an “H” for hard.

If my training is going really well and I find myself writing down how much weight I will be lifting a month from now on the present program…I know it is time to change or one of two things will happen:

1. I will get hurt (more than likely I will be getting hurt)
2. I will not finish the program

Invariably, this is a major clue to me to change the intensity, load, duration, sets reps, or frequency of exercise. If I do not heed the obvious warning signs of my projected gains, I lose in the end.

This little secret has saved me many a time over the past ten to twelve years of developing an injury. Every now and then, I forget and keep pushing ahead anyway.

The last time I ignored it I ended up with a shoulder surgery. I was laid up unable to use it for over six weeks. Yeah I know what you are thinking; he could have done squats with a safety squat bar. I did and the pads on the par extensions hit RIGHT ON THE STITCHES. I kept up squatting. I was complaining (whining) to my doctor about the pads hurting the shoulder he had stitched up so recently. He looked directly at me and said very calmly “Don’t rip out my stitches”. I stopped doing them and went instead to the leg press machines in my gym.

060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3 Background information continued

060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3  Background information continued

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. From this modest start, strength and conditioning specialists have come up with all sorts of training plans. A well-designed program will be characterized by a continuation of the Eustress processes. On the other hand, stagnation, soreness, minor injuries, and a lack of desire to exercise provide an early indication of distress that eventually leads to “Overtraining”. Leading into the overtraining is a condition called overreaching.

Overreaching is a desired effect that results from setting and achieving goals. It is the push to a higher plateau of ability. But if you remain in this zone too long, you soon reach the overtrained condition. Recovery from over reaching is easily accomplished with a few days active rest, a lighter than normal load, intensity and frequency of effort. How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm?