Oct 5, 2018
Last week Coach D discussed the signs and symptoms of
overtraining. Today he talks about strategies for preventing
overtraining and treating it when it does happen.
- Nutrition - this is one area that blocks the
progress of many novice trainees. Your eating habits need to
support your training. First and foremost, make sure you are
getting enough protein. For most men, this is going to be at least
200g per day, and for most women 150g a day. The majority of that
protein should be from animal sources. Secondly, don't ignore
carbohydrates! As you advance in your training, you will need
adequate stores of glycogen to complete heavy strength training and
HIIT sessions, and skimping on carbs will impair your performance.
How much carbohydrate an athlete needs will be specific to the
individual, but most of them will require moderate to high
- Sleep - sleep is the body's time to repair,
remodel, and build new tissues, and thus it is a critical component
to the recovery process. You can't short your sleep for very long
before it becomes a drag on your recovery. Aim to get at least 8
hours of sleep every night.
- Mental health - psychological stress is a form
of stress! Not all stressors are physical in nature. If you have
significant psychological stress, either from your job or family or
any of the curveballs that life is known to throw from time to
time, then that is likely impacting your ability to recover from
workouts. Take some time to ensure you are giving yourself space to
relax, to let your brain rest, on rest days. Small habits add up
here. Try to turn off electronics an hour before bed. Sleep in a
dark room. Take a walk everyday. Try yoga or meditation.
- Programming - all programming only works for
so long. If you've been training consistently and hitting it hard
for awhile, it may be time to adjust your programming. There are
many ways to approach this, but it could be as simple as reducing
the volume or frequency of your workouts, or cycling the intensity
so that you're going heavy fewer times per week.
- Review your progress and change programming if
necessary. Have you made progress in 6 weeks? 3 months?
The more advanced an athlete you are, the longer it will take to
make measurable progress. But if you're not making progress on a
timeline appropriate for your level of advancement, it may be time
to change your programming. This is where your training log is a
Additionally, for novice strength trainees an excellent resource
is Mark Rippetoe's The
First Three Questions article. Many novices end their LP
prematurely by failing to account for some basic recovery issues,
especially nutrition. Rippetoe lays out the first three questions a
novice should ask themselves if they find themselves stuck during
the novice linear progression.
Interested in learning the barbell lifts, but don't have a good
coach in your area? Visit our friends at Starting Strength
Online Coaching to get paired with a top notch Starting
Strength Coach who will coach you through all the barbell lifts and
manage your programming on a daily basis
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