Monster workout today!
You may have read the last post where I mentioned being down with a stomach bug, some evil virus that causes the inside of the guts to turn into liquid and squirt out of one end of the body or other, seemingly at random.
This came on just as I felt my injuries were healed enough to start training again.
But today. Today was different. Today I was on fire and kicked my workouts arse!
It felt gooooooood.
Being forced not to train really sucks, especially when each time I log into facebook I have hundreds of Athletes and coaches all telling me how good their training is going.
But I do understand that breaks are a necessary part of making progress.
A big part of my job is pushing people to reach new limits, but few realise how often I have to reign people in and actually hold them back.
You see training is a damaging process. If you constantly push, always hit a new PR, week in, week out, there’s a good chance you’ll plateau, burn out and hurt yourself.
When you train you damage the body forcing it to not only repair itself but to rebuild itself stronger and better able to resist the stimulus given. Sciency folk call it “Super-compensation”
I know this intimately, I’ve been though it ad nauseam in the past. I’ve also read the academic texts on the subject, but the best lesson is when you experience it.
Many things can signify an impending case of burn out, here’s a few:
- Lack of appetite
- Inability to get up in the morning
- Inability to get it up in the morning
- Lack lustre performance in the gym
- Easy weights feel like 1RM’s
- Grouchy (-ier than normal)
- Niggling injuries start to reappear
If you tick 2 or more of the items listed, you could be due a back week or even a complete rest.
A back week is fairly simple. Cut everything in half.
- Do the same volume (sets & reps) but with half the weight
- Do the same weight for half the volume
- Do the main exercises only and cut out all assistance work
A rest week is simpler still:
- Glue your arse to the sofa and don’t move.
- Or do something different, such as swimming, yoga, hiking anything other than what you usually do. ideally something fun.
A smart coach will program these into your training program. Most of my athletes who are training seriously will have a 4 week cycle where the fourth week is a back week. The more recreational athletes will most likely be given a back week every 6-8 weeks, but truth be told these guys very often take time away due to little thing called life.
Have a look at your training. Are you making the progress you think you should be?
if you’re not, maybe it’s because your body (and mind) is crying out for time to recover.