Sunday, January 16, 2011

Make me sore!!!!!! Part 1

"Give me a good thrashing today..."
"I want to be super sore tomorrow..."
"I had such a great workout, I can barely move today..."

I've heard every conceivable variation of this statement... You see training montages on TV and in the movies where a famous athlete trains for hours on end, beating themselves to death... but what they always fail to show you is the workload progressions and all of the work they do toward recovering... why? well, that's far less glamourous.

The purpose of today's post (and the others in this series) is to get you thinking a little bit about what's actually required to achieve your goal... When you think about it, too much of any good thing can eventually become bad for you... if that particular thing doesn't kill you, its the other things you're neglecting that will...

The key to training is balance and understanding what you may be sacrificing/neglecting as you're working toward achieving your goal. Then use that information to help build a personalized program. It's not always about beating yourself up.

The question is what exactly are you balancing? Here's a few to keep in mind... some obvious... some not so obvious...

  • Muscular fatigue : Thrashing a body part sounds like a good idea (since that's what our hormone enhanced bodybuilding forefathers have beat into us over the years), but guess how long it will take you (the natural athlete) to recover from that thrashing?  Most likely it's going to prevent you from performing your best in practice/work/training the next day. 
  • Training Frequency/Duration: From a hormonal perspective, with shorter bouts of training you'll naturally produce hormones which will enhance recovery and help you build stronger and bigger muscles... but if you over do it your body will release hormones to break muscle down so that you can continue training... ultimately delaying recovery... Something to think about next time you decide on that  2 hour marathon gym session. 
  • Nervous System fatigue : Muscles aren't the only thing to fatigue... ever wake up and feel like you got hit by a truck? If you feel drained, you're not going to be performing your best.
  • Immune System fatigue : When you're body is focusing on fighting off an illness, it's not going to be there to help you recover from an intense workout... plus when you're sick, you're typically getting everyone else sick. 
  • Injuries: The more work/volume you do, the more prone you are to injury... train smart, when you're tired, you tend to lose focus... when you're not thinking you make mistakes... when you make mistakes you or someone else gets hurt. 
To be continued... 

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