3 Top Tips to avoid Overtraining

Posted on: Feb 26th, 2019 by adminva | Categories: Uncategorized

Overtraining and Periodisation

Whether participating in an individual or team based sport, most people are engaging in some form of strength and conditioning program to complement their chosen sport in order to improve, and ultimately, excel. It is important for these training programs to incorporate strength and conditioning principles such as periodisation (dividing a program into certain phases around their chosen sports calendar) and progressive overload (a gradual increase in stress placed on the body).

A periodised training program can be broken up into microcycles (weekly cycles where training volume is high for two or three consecutive days followed by a period of rest); mesocycles (month long cycles where each microcycle can be gradually increased in volume or intensity followed by a rest to achieve a particular goal such as strength, power, speed or endurance); and macrocycles (yearlong plan which should focus on the most important event of the athletes calendar).

Warning Signs of Overtraining

At times however, overtraining can occur, when the phase of training and the amount of increased stress is too much for the body to handle. Signs of overtraining can include:

  • Feeling tired, lacking energy, or not enjoying training anymore
  • Aches and pains which do not seem to be going away
  • Pain in muscles and joints.
  • A sudden drop in performance.
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased immunity

3 Top Tips to Prevent Overtraining

  1. Proper periodisation. One of the biggest risks to overtraining syndrome is the volume or intensity of training being increased too rapidly. A proper training plan should include fluctuations in volume on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis (microcycles, mesocycles and macrocycles). Also ensure that appropriate rest phases are incorporated into the plan. A 10 percent rule should be followed which guides people to not increase activity by more than 10 percent which includes distance, intensity, amount of weight lifted, and/or time of exercise.
  2. Listen to your body – if any of the above signs are being experienced, decreasing your training volume for a short period of time can help to give your body a chance to recover. Placing further stress will only exacerbate the symptoms.
  3. Warm Up and Cool down. Increasing the duration spent warming up and cooling down can have benefits to reducing the risk of injury, as well as improving recovery rates following heavy training sessions. Utilise methods such as foam rolling and stretching to improve blood flow and reduce restrictions in the body.

Other ways to help your training in general is to ensure that you are getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy, well balanced diet, ensuring that you maintain adequate hydration both during training sessions, and supplementing.

How can an Exercise Physiologist help?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are university-qualified allied health professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions.

An Exercise Physiologist can help you with your training by looking at your goals for your particular sport, identifying limiting factors, and designing a periodised training program to improve on these areas.

Am I currently Overtraining? Schedule your appointment with Sean today 

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