Are you overtraining?

There is no doubt that a CrossFit work out is intense. This intensity is the very thing that can accelerate you to higher levels of fitness by increasing your output. However, we need to manage that output with adequate amounts of recovery in order to find an effect dose of training. Sleep, diet, stress, and the frequency of your training will all have an impact on the quality of your recovery. Ultimately it is the recovery that allows you to most effectively adapt to your training. If your recovery isn’t matching your output, you may be running the risk of overtraining.

Overtraining is a condition that manifests in a number of symptoms. The following is a list of things to watch for as signs of overtraining.

1- Joint pain

Joint pain is related to inflammation within or around any particular joint. This can be caused by factors including poor diet, poor technique and over use. While training can be a great way to help rehabilitate joint pain, too much training can worsen the problem. If you are experiencing joint pain during your CrossFit work outs, please consult with a coach. The pain may be remedied with an analysis of particular techniques or perhaps a referral to a professional who can direct your recovery more specifically. A nagging pain is your body letting you know that something needs to be adjusted with your training. Don’t dismiss joint pain and fight through it. Talk to your coach and we can help direct you towards better recovery.

2- Loss of motivation

If you’ve felt like your work outs have been lack lustre, or your finding it hard to get yourself to the gym, this may be a sigh of overtraining. When your stress-recovery ratio is out of whack your body does a good job giving you signs. The tough part is listening to those signs. In this case you may decide to take a couple extra days off during the week to soak up some more recovery. Heck you may even need to take the whole week off. If your in a sate of overtraining and your worried about losing fitness by taking a week off, think again.  Remember the recovery from the stress that makes you stronger and fitter.

3-Sleep disturbance

When you train intensely, all the systems of your body are demanded to kick into overdrive. In recovery, these systems relax and other systems activate to rebuild and prepare for the next bout. If your recovery systems aren’t completing their job this can leave you feeling restless and excitable during sleep. Poor sleep amplifies poor recovery and this too can lead to overtraining.

4- Performance decrease

Tracking your daily performance can tell you a lot about your progress. The whole point of training is to see an improvement in your performance markers. If these things take a general dip and continue to worsen, it could be a sign of overtraining.

The remedy to overtraining is simple, get better recovery. Better recovery comes from better diet, better sleep and sometimes taking a break. Taking a break might just be the best thing to accelerate your fitness to the next level. Be aware of the signs o overtraining and make sure to take appropriate action. Overtraining isn’t something you can just grit your teeth and train through. Ask a coach if you think you are feeling symptoms of overtraining. If you’ve experienced any of this personally, please share in comments. Often times people can connect much better with a personal story from a peer than from our ramblings on the website.

People who misunderstand CrossFit commonly view pictures like these as Overtraining. Those who have experienced an effectively coached CrossFit program, and therefore properly understand CrossFit, easily recognize pictures like these as Recovery, a key component to avoid Overtraining.

Speak up! Coaches are there for you.

There is no secret as to why CrossFit training is effective for developing fitness: Athletic, full body exercises combined into a multi-modal format ramped with high intensity. The equation is flawless for improving work capacity. But how do these work outs fair against the needs of individuals. For the able-bodied folks our scaling and modifying systems work great for matching individual strength to weight suggestions and offering modifications to exercises difficult in strength or technique. But what about for those with sore elbows, shoulders or knees?

Chronic inflammation is a common thing amongst our society. Many factors contribute to these types of injuries including poor diet, repetitive stress in the work place or home, sedentary lifestyle, poor technique in the gym and lack of recovery. A lot of the time an individual may not even have noticed these sore spots until endeavouring in some kind of fitness program. Thankfully with some adherence to solid technique and light ramp up these things are rectified with ease. However if these nagging pains go un-checked a far greater inconvenience could be looming. While exercise can be a fantastic fix for chronic inflammation injuries it can also exacerbate the issue. An injury that is repedativley stressed and not given sufficient recovery will worsen. This is an important point in your training where using your coaches becomes crucial. You have to speak up!

At CrossFit Edmonton we employ competent coaches with ample experience. We are there to instruct and help individuals set up for their workout to ensure everyone is able to safely and effectively execute the WOD. However, if you neglect to inform us of a pain or issue, you may be setting yourself up for problems in the future. As coaches we understand these issues and we know how to modify your workout so you can continue to forge towards elite fitness while working on proper recovery from inflammation. We may have suggestions for speeding up recovery or recommend you make alterations to your training schedule. The quest for ultimate fitness is a valiant one, but in our experience, it is unique to each person. Speak up if something bothers you whether it’s at the beginning of the work out or half way through. There is no bad time for us to help you, but you have to speak up. Your coaches are there for you.

Have you experienced working through an injury in CrossFit? Are you currently experiencing any issues? If you’ve felt like a CrossFit Edmonton coach has helped you by making modifications, please share in comments.