Sunday, November 27, 2016

Recovery vs.Training

“Less is more.”  This is a simple statement that can be applied to a variety of things.  In this instance it goes hand in hand with training and recovery.
The latest fitness trends seem to be about High Intensity Interval Training or short-intense workouts for the time crunched athletes.  However, a problem arises with this new trend, the majority of people have no idea when training becomes too much and the risks associated with this increased volume and intensity.  The result is overtraining.
As I have stated before in an earlier blog, there is an inverse relationship with training volume and intensities.  When the volume of training is higher, the intensity will be low.  When intensity is higher, the overall training volume needs to be low.  When people try to incorporate multiple high-intensity training sessions in a week, that inverse relationship is non-existent.
The equation for training is quite simple:
Training = Work + Rest
Overtraining can be defined as excessive frequency, volume, or intensity of training that results in extreme fatigue, illness, or injury.  Markers of overtraining are usually 1:
·    Psychological effects: decreased desire to train, decreased joy from training
·    Acute epinephrine and norepinephrine increases beyond normal exercise-induced levels
·    Performance decrements, although these occur too late to be a good predictor
Overtraining, in its early forms is often unrecognizable as a medical condition as no symptoms may appear. The only signs may be slight decreases in performance, injuries that never seem to heal, or a cold that simply won’t go away. It’s the accumulation of all the stress of work and training that contribute to these factors 2.
You don’t improve from the initial training per se, your body adapts to the stimulus through recovery.  Recovery is vital if you want to keep overtraining at bay and to promote performance adaptations.  Obtaining sufficient rest, becoming rehydrated, and restoring fuel sources are critical issues for the athlete during recovery.
When it comes to athletic performance, training is important, but sometimes recovery can be more so.  Recovery helps with keeping overtraining at bay and ensuring that athletes have restored their energy levels to continue to train and compete.  The saying stay true; “Less is more.”

1Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (4th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

2 Read, A. (n.d.). Overtraining Can Kill You: The 3 Stages of Overtraining, Part 1. Retrieved November 07, 2016, from

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