I came across this article from Les Mills on fb about overtraining. I can really relate to it so I thought I’d tell you my relation to overtraining and how I’ve avoided it despite being close to it a couple of times. I’m definitely not a fitness professional, training is my hobby and it’s what I do in my spare time. I call myself a workout enthusiast so these words really hit home…
“These ‘exercise addicts’ identify their favorite types of training and then just go and go and go – they don’t stop! And they have a tendency to add to their regime [rather than replace] when something new comes along.” – Bryce Hastings
This is exactly how I would describe myself. Right now I don’t workout as much as I used to but a couple of years ago when I really got into Les Mills I started to workout purely because it was so fun. This led to a lot of classes and mostly high intensity ones. I could tell the results where coming slower and my performance during every class was not as good as before but I didn’t workout for the results anymore so why did it matter? I never got to the level of true overtraining but I could feel the onset, one part was the performance decline and also after doing lots of similar classes I would feel some pain in my knees and feet. See, when you love something it’s easy to forget the pain because often it doesn’t hurt while you do it, it comes afterwards.
So what stopped me from basically breaking my body by doing something I love? For me it’s all about being honest with yourself and humble to your body. I could push through a Grit class with my favorite instructor, knowing it wouldn’t feel great afterwards but I would do it because I knew eventually I would take my time to rest. Because lets face it, your body is amazing… it will do almost anything you ask of it and handle it with grace, whether its eating something that’s not very good for it or exercising too much. That is why I always took that rest, even if it was a couple of days too late to be optimal, because my body works for me so I have to work for my body. I think you can call that my “secret”. When all I wanted to do was to workout, I had to remind myself to take a step back so that I would be able to keep training and not get any injuries. It’s all about realizing that if you want to keep going you have to accept that the body needs some rest every once in a while.
My advice is to try to stay humble, I promise it will be easier to find balance then. It’s okay not to stay within the lines all the time because your body will tell you when something is wrong. Listening to your body is not that hard, it will tell you loud and clear if you workout too much or eat too much ice cream (yes I’m a sucker for ice cream) and all you got to do is accept what it’s telling you and do something different the next day. That doesn’t mean you have to decrease your training drastically but a little variety in your workout routine can go a long way for a tired body.
That my story of overtraining, even though I never actually where overtraining. But stay humble and as we say in Sweden “lagom är bäst” which roughly translate to “just the right amount is the best”. That’s true about almost anything in life. Thanks for reading!