One year on…
Posted August 10, 2009on:
Well this month officially marks one year since I started this blog. My how time flies! I was reading through a few of the posts I’d written way back at the start and a couple of them definitely brought a smile to my face. Some of them I’d completely forgotten I’d written, and others I can’t actually believe I even wrote! Back then the blog literally had maybe one or two dozen people reading it per day (as opposed to up to 5,000 people per day now!) So I though it could be fun to pull a couple out of the archives and repost them now for a bit of a laugh. The one below’s a good example; although I still believe what I’ve written I’d possibly phase it in a more politically correct way now! 🙂
Just while I have you here in NZ we’ve got the quarterly workshop for BODYCOMBAT 41 & BODYPUMP 71 this weekend (oh and BODYATTACK 66 – I’m actually really looking forward to that too) so I’ll be able to post my full review on those shortly for those of you that haven’t done them. As well as that we’ll be releasing those at all the local gyms here too so I’ll post loads of pics from that. And of course I’ve all the goss on BODYCOMBAT 42 and BODYPUMP 72 to write about too as soon as I get the all clear from LM – so look out for that. In the meantime here’s my post from August last year, be interested in your thoughts! 😀
Overtraining??? … Schmovatraining!
Every now and then someone accuses me of “overtraining” – in fact it happened again just yesterday… and to be honest the subject can get me a little riled up. Sure I exercise quite a bit – okay, maybe more than quite a bit! In the last 6 weeks I’ve only had one day off from the gym BUT before you jump on the overtraining bandwagon *sigh* let me say that the VAST majority of my training is cardio. In fact, I’m only doing weights 3-4 times per week (and that includes BODYPUMP classes).
Back in my bodybuilding days I used to have a favourite saying:
It used to be my mantra – and made me smile whenever someone told me I was obsessed with bodybuilding. In fact, whenever someone used the word obsession or addiction I’d just smile a smug little smile and nod knowing the truth – that I was in fact just dedicated to my pursuit of muscle. Now in hindsight perhaps I was a little obsessed (haha – the irony), but now I’d like to take that earlier mantra and amend it slightly (as in no uncertain terms do I consider myself a bodybuilder anymore). My updated version would be:
“Overtraining is a word “normal” people use to describe the dedicated”
What a “normal” person is or isn’t I’ve got no fricken idea – but I have a clue that the average Joe (or Jody) doesn’t wake up in the morning looking forward to getting to the gym to bust their gut every single day – and love every second of it! Certainly if that were normal something like 2 thirds of the population wouldn’t be overweight or obese!
So what is my usual weekly training regime these days? Well, I do at least one BODYCOMBAT class every day, on 2-3 days per week I do two classes per day (occasionally 3 but that’s reasonably rare) and as mentioned above at least one BODYPUMP class and 3 weights sessions per week. Total exercise time per week averages 12-16 hours, BUT again the vast majority of that is cardio. And, in my person opinion it’s almost virtually impossible to overtrain aerobically. Short of running marathons every day I just don’t think you can do it. You push your cardiovascular system harder and it responds by increasing your VO2 max. It’s that’s simple. There’s really no recovery time needed – that makes it unlike bodybuilding where your muscles need 48-72 hours to recover from an intense weight session.
In my experience the biggest question you need to ask yourself when determining whether you’re overtraining is this: “Do I still look forward to my workouts?” If the answer is a “not really” or a “no” – then perhaps it’s time to take a break (this of course assumes there was actually a time when you DID look forward to your training – as again – I’m sure the average Joe doesn’t look forward to working out and he certainly ain’t overtraining!). Absolutely there are other symptoms to consider – fatigue, persistent soreness, irritability, increased incidence of illness to name a few – but, in my mind the number one symptom to look out for is loss of motivation. And in that regard I’m definitely 110% – I spring out of bed every morning looking forward to getting my ass to the gym – in fact it’s the highlight of my day…what would the world look like if everyone were this “abnormal”?