90% of us are not professional athletes, fighters or full time BJJ pros. This one is for the average Joe .. the BJJ fanatic. The BJJ-JOE.
Over training.. myth or truth?
Firstly lets look at the typical mentality in a gym / martial arts academy. In most gyms it is usually summed up to this... if you train 7 days a weak twice a day then you are 'hardcore' with all good connotations attached to the word HARDCORE and if you take a few days off training or the diet, then you are being uneffective, lazy and these days are known as CHEAT days, with the implication that you should be training and wokring hard rather than cheating your way out of it.
Lets get out of that mentality and truly understand what we are putting our bodies through.
Training hard is good. We need it to improve, learn and condition our bodies to do what we need them to do but the so called CHEAT days are good too.. why?
When you are training, rolling or drilling, we put our bodies, muscles and bones through stress and work, what you are actually doing is breaking down the muscle tissue everytime we work out or exercise. This is experienced in the post work out / training ache and pain. A muscle constantly breaking down will make it weaker, which can cause loss in strength and can lead to injuries like muscle tears and similar very painful injuries which can take very very long to heal defeating the purpose of your hard training. By allowing the muscles to rest, the body recognises that you require to be stronger for the activites that you perform and if given the time to heal and refuel, you will see the muscles, bones, etc... grow back stronger, and you becoming stronger. The Beauty of evolution. By not taking time off during your weekly training, all you are doing is to continue to break and wear muscles, ligaments and bones down further which will eventually lead to overtraining.... and to injuries .. if you are lucky, minor ones and if you are not, it can be very serious. Overtraining can also have other ill effects. (listed below in the Signs of over training) So body rest is not just benficial but it is actually essential to improve and better yourself as an athlete.
Signs of over training:
1) Elevated resting heart rate. You wake up and your heart rate is through the roof
2) Disturbance of sleep. You feel knackered but for some reason its difficult to get to sleep or your sleep is very disturbed.
3) Lack of appetite and unnecessary weight loss Your body is being worked so it should be craving for nutrition and not the other way around. Losing body fat is natural and weight loss due to that is constant. Sudden drop in weight is bad.
4)You keep getting little colds and illnesses Your immune system is more vulnerable during periods of hard training but you shouldn't be getting ill all the time.
5)Little injuries and soreness taking longer and longer to heal
6) reduced desire to participate in activities formerly enjoyed
7) decreased desire for training
8) Depression (serious cases)
AAARRGGHHHH!!! I might be over training!
So what is the solution?
Catch it early and all you need to do is take some time off.. get better, get stronger and get healed. REST.
Serious cases.. definitely go see a doctor and explain the situation. Sooner better than later.
Obviously a good balanced diet goes hand in hand with a good balanced training routine so EAT well, Train well and listen to your body and not to over zealous training buddies and instructors... they might have good intentions but only you can 'hear' what your body is telling you.
So from now on, OUT with calling it a 'Cheat day.' You are not cheating anyone.
From here on out let it now be known as REGROUP day/s.
A chance for your body to regroup physically and not forgetting mentally.
Once your body is all healed up and stronger.. it doesn't hurt to be mentally HUNGRY for the mat!