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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
Anthony Ronchi
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Overtraining?

So this seems like a logical question. However I think its not. My question is how do you know if your overtraining? More specifically overtaxing the limits of your body specifically? I do the WOD's daily and some times do not take the rest days. That being said I am certainly not a top performer in any of the WODS but I am around the average on most. I have been Cf'ng for about 2months now, I have been working out for 2+ years and never have I been been beat up like CF. I guess Im looking for typical symptoms of Overtraining. I notoriously add something to the WOD as I notice many do. I guess Im eager to be a CF Mutant more importantly excersize is my stress relief. So I willing workout as much as I can. Well Its never been a problem as doing the typical "chest day" "back day" etc workout compounded with some cardio was fine. Well now that I have drank the cf "kool aid" I think that I may be overtraining and I know that can be catastrophic. So I guess Im looking for that stoplight from overtraining. Any help will be appreciated.

Anthony
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:01 PM   #2
Marko Todorovic
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Re: Overtraining?

Don't really know whether this works or not, but I remember reading it on a T-nation article and it sounds like an interesting way of testing whether your CNS is overtrained.

Go to this website and every day at roughly the same time (perhaps just as you wake up) Do the 10 second spacebar press test. Record the number of times that you hit the spacebar in 10 seconds.

http://www.zimm-co.com/PressTheSpace...cebar2000.html (WFS)

You'll see that typically you'll score within +-2-3 keystrokes each time you do it.

The idea of this test is that if your CNS is overtrained you won't be able to hit the key as fast and your 10 sec score will be lower than usual.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:08 PM   #3
Mike Quon
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Re: Overtraining?

I think I read on T-nation as well that a higher than normal RHR is a sign of being in an overtrained state. And a decrease in grip strength is another sign.

I usually test my RHR every morning when I wake up.

I think the term overtraining is often overused though. I think we all know at least a few people who get caught up in fear of overtraining. They're scared to death of training two days in a row assuming that their body is on the brink of burnout before even getting under the bar or lacing up the running shoes.

Last edited by Mike Quon : 07-06-2008 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
Jack Germain
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Re: Overtraining?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Quon View Post
I think I read on T-nation as well that a higher than normal RHR is a sign of being in an overtrained state. And a decrease in grip strength is another sign.

I usually test my RHR every morning when I wake up.

I think the term overtraining is often overused though. I think we all know at least a few people who get caught up in fear of overtraining. They're scared to death of training two days in a row assuming that their body is on the brink of burnout before even getting under the bar or lacing up the running shoes.
Resting heart rate is the best way. Also look for trouble sleeping and weight loss.

Though as long as you are making consistent progress, don't worry.

Last edited by Jack Germain : 07-06-2008 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
Nick Gagnon
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Re: Overtraining?

When I start getting overworked, I feel tired a lot more than usual but have trouble getting to sleep. I also come down with a cold quite easier.

I also agree that for most people, overtraining is something that will not happen. There is only one time in my life I feel that I was truely overtrained and that was from running close to all out 7 days of the week for like 2 months straight, and a lot of those days running hard twice per day (not the smartest thing I ever did, and it resulted in a sub par cross country season). When you are overtrained everything just sucks.

Being overworked is a good thing if you know how to compensate for it; you just push the envelope a little bit than scale things back a bit, then push it a little further, etc. Make sure you are sleeping enough and eating well and you should be fine.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:59 PM   #6
Anthony Ronchi
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Re: Overtraining?

Thanks for the help. I would def agree that overtraining as a term is def overused and that people fear it like the plague. I ask because I do not know if I was overtrained or malnourished. This past 2 weeks I went at it hardcore and well I think we would agree so did coach. The combo of oly metcons and hardcore metcons like fgb have had me sore for literally every day of the last 14. I chose to skip every rest day with the exception of 2. I felt exhausted sore and just plain out of it. I guess as good a sign that I was working hard as any. Problem being that normally I feel great when working out. I think actually more than overworking or overtraining I was/have been undereating. I have been manipulating my zone a bit to efficiently shed some bf as quickly as possible. I lowered my carb blocks and sustained my protein blocks. On many of the days I ended up low on both of my required blocks. I have always been a horrible dieter schedule being the hardest part. I dont eat bad just never enough. So Im going to run a beta test haha and stay spot on the zone and go just as hard on the wods as I have and compare. I guess that will tell me diet or overtraining. As far as sleep though I was exhausted yet couldnt get to bed any night without some tylenol pm. So maybe i did hit the OT wall but hey Im back now gave myself 4 days off ready for tommorow. 3.2.1 Go thanks again.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:23 AM   #7
Frank E Morel
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Re: Overtraining?

Over training is not overtly, its real. Very real, and well researched and documented. Numerous Pro careers are halted for a while and make a "come back"
Over training has many aspects to it. The single most identifying symptom (what you complain about) is the constant fatigue or tired feeling.
Its being tired, strung out regardless of how much sleep you pack away, along with constant muscle soreness, moody cranky feelings that impairs your judgement and enjoyment. Basically its like the old saying.. "bone tired, or dead dog tired." This does not go away in a couple of days or after a decent meal. Overt raining has been seen in professional athletes linger for weeks or several months despite scheduled or mandated recovery periods
Think Over training as long term disability.

Over reaching is short term disability. Over reaching is the normal result of working out or training. Basically its the well known muscle soreness that plagues you after workout cycle. You hurt, your tight, your hungry, your sleep pattern is a bit off (ie falling asleep at any time is super easy to do), that ongoing runny nose never seems to go away, You start finding excuses for not going to the gym. Males start seeing issues with their lack of morning glory erections.

But with rest periods, proper nutrition, hydration, and allowing your body to literally recharge its self, over reaching is negated and you begin to turn around but with over training never seems to go away.

The big debate is which spurs either? Volume or intensity?
Both aspects hammer the body's metabolic condition, drain hormonal balance, tax the central Nervous system and injuries are caused.
Yet, a reduction in either or both, recovery begins and the body works its magic to find that balance once more depending where you are on the spectrum. Empty batteries, longer charge time.


Professional sports have their Md draw blood and track sample results and try to adjust training programs and recovery periods around what the labs show.

Going back to the original question.. how to recognize if your overtraining?
Answer is ...... listen to what your body is telling you. If its hungry.. feed it. if it wants rest, take a nap or several. If its being aggressive and your flipping off every driver with a cell phone to their head, go decompress.

a training diary can be of useful knowing what intensity and volume spurs what kind of fatigue, what symptoms and performance results.

over training maybe used inappropriately but it should be feared.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:20 AM   #8
Camille Lore
 
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Re: Overtraining?

I'm in the middle of of a week off bc I was cranky, tired all the time, dealing with elbow tendinitis that wouldn't go away for weeks. I wanted to skip workouts, felt tired when I got up, never had any energy. No sex drive.
I'd also been zoning for several months with some cheating. I had been losing weight but it stalled a bit recently.
I mentally feel better now, though still a bit physically low on energy.
I'm taking time off from training and from the zone, thanks to advice from a few on Performance Menu. I had been CFing for 5 months and took my last 1/2 intensity kind of half-a$$ed 10 weeks ago.
Interesting to note that the P90x program has built in recovery weeks every 4 weeks. Some people on PM said they follow that schedule with CF.
Your adrenal glands can get burned out as well-might want to search for "adrenal fatigue".
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:30 AM   #9
Dave Parmly
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Re: Overtraining?

I am not sure if isolated over-training is relevant but I think I may have been experiencing that.

I think the GTG protocol I was on for pull-ups ( 4-to-6 sets of 10-15 reps during the day plus the CFWU plus the WODs I was doing) resulted in over-use of the shoulders that has caused some prolonged discomfort. It is near the top of the bicep on both arms. It's minor and easily ignored during the day but harder to ignore when trying to get to sleep. I've been Motrin-ing, usu. just before bed but when awakened at 0400 it's been tough to get back to sleep. I took 3 full days off over the weekend, resisting the temptation to go to the park and do some pull-ups. I have been doing slow dislocates using a heavy-duty dyna-band and I intend to limit my PUs to just the CFWU and whatever the WOD says.

I may stay scaled back as I will be canoeing for 11 days in the Boundary Waters starting 2 weeks from today and do NOT need any shoulder/arm issues during that trek.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:24 AM   #10
Larry Cox
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Re: Overtraining?

About 10 years ago I think NOVA did an episode about athletic training. They tested a group of swimmers (swimmers are notorious for overtraining, so much so that their hair becomes brittle from all the pool chemicals because they are in the pool so often) by actually sampling some muscle tissue, from the trapezius area. I remember at the time being extemely facinated with the process as it looked like they were taking a small, corn kernel sized chunk of meat from the swimmers. After testing they figured out that the swimmers were indeed overtraining and instituted a higher rest schedule which lead to increased performance and a higher win rate at swim meets.

I'm sure the technology has progressed since then, perhaps they only have to take some blood and not muscle tissue. However it seems like this is something that only a sports medicine hospital or a well heeled athletic department can look into, scientifically at least.

Crossfit seems to have a good rest schedule. . .
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