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A Discussion of Overtraining - What's Your Experience?

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#1
Sylvie

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It just so happened that my (in)famous Overtraining post was automatically retweeted and conversation in comments started. I've always thought that it would be best if a conversation could be had over my article and about Overtraining in general, as it seems that what I've written has both inspired people, but also made others feel bad or criticized (which was not my intention). If we can all talk about our experiences, and also some of the evidence and ways of describing things, then at the very least we are getting somewhere. 

For those who have not read it, this is my original article:

The Myth of Overtraining: Endurance, Physical and Mental for Muay Thai

And these are all the articles I've written on the subject:

Archive of Articles: Overtraining

This is the comment thread from today:

Gabriel: "My takeaway is that running and MT are not the same. Through running I have overtrained, resulting in injury, decreased immunity, and disrupted sleep patterns. CNS overtraining is also a thing.

I run barefoot for long distanCes up and down terrain, often off road. I am also a big guy. Sylvie is small so endurance events won’t be as hard on her body.

This whole piece seems rife with braggadacio. Just a log essay on how much tougher you are than the men who come through your gym."

 

My Response: "Hi Gabriel,

It’s unfortunate that you feel that a 12,000 word essay full of illustrative examples, some research into the history of Overtraining diagnosis, citations of extraordinary achievement by others and fight specific application is nothing more than me bragging on “toughness”. I really don’t think it’s about toughness at all, but rather that many very well intentioned, and probably quite “tough” people have a framework when thinking about their body and limitations that undermines them. They are taught to expect failure (the failure of their bodies) and when they experience failure they become very easily convinced that they have hit the wall that they have heard about, and maybe even experienced many times. They are stopped.

This article has been controversial, especially among those like you who feel convinced that they have experienced overtraining, so this reply goes beyond your comment and speaks to some larger issues too. As I’ve repeatedly said, this discussion isn’t about the experiences, it’s about the diagnosis, including diagnoses that speak to injury. Personally I am injured less, even as a very active fighter, when I train at my upper limits. It doesn’t mean I don’t get hurt, banged, dinged and am not regularly in pain, in fact I do and am. But I am never incapacitated, despite fighting 100 times in 3 years and training at an intense rate. It is my belief that my training (and my fighting) has hardened me, made me more resilient not only mentally but physically as well. Injury discussion is an interesting and important one though – one probably looked at on a case by case basis. But in so far as you have agreed that it is very likely that Muay Thai and long distance running are quite different, then perhaps you’ve taken more from my article than a laundry list of my toughness, because this was one of my points. Even if Overtraining is a real diagnosis, the application of its invention/discovery in ultrarunning to Muay Thai and other fighting arts is simply unfounded and unproven – weightlifting is another category of application that could be wrongly connected. And yes, as a small bodied person indeed I may be less affected than large bodied people, very true. I’ve also been told that it might be genetics, or even many other factors, but this does not mean that my own experiences of my mental limits, and resistance to the repeated admonition that I’m overtaining by various experts (both Thai and Western) are not of value to others seeking to overcome where they are at when they encounter similar barriers. My references to so many (men, but also women) who have come through my gyms have been really about detailing the kinds of thinking that will undermine you, even though you are very serious. It’s best to talk about specific examples not only because I need to qualify my position through what I have experienced and witnessed, but also so that people may recognize themselves in them. I really wrote this article, and others, for particular people. It’s for people who want to do MORE. If you are someone who wants to do more, I’m telling you you can. It might be a little more, it might be plateaus and plateaus beyond what you can even imagine. I’m frankly tired of people who make it their business to regularly tell people they can’t, they shouldn’t, they won’t. We have enough of those in the world. I believe in the Dan Gable adage, “More is More”.

 

Gabriel: I agree many people undertrain but overtraining is a thing regularly experienced by lots of athletes who often train many days a week. You are small and slight which I believe lessens your chance of overtraining. Running 10k for you is not the same experience as someone who weighs 80 kilos. For the latter much more tissue is damaged.

As for CNS overtraining in my experie ce the effects are a accute and occur after sprints, agility training, and plyometric type movements. If you go train wind sprints every day, at 100 percent effort, you will be overtrained. Try it. I’m talking maximal effort here.

But I running in general is more strenuous than MT, I believe. The nature of gravity deems it so. The stress of landing on runs, particularly off road and without padded shoes, causes more tissue damage than hitting a heavy bag and sparring.

Thai fighters are incredible in their ability to fight so many times but in the higher weight classes that ability is diminished. Again, your experiences as a small light fighter are very different from the experiences of a heavier person. So different that I doubt your ability to extrapolate.

 

I include Gabriel's comments here because they no doubt reflect what a lot of people think and feel. I realize that this is a very charged topic. They are hopefully a launch point. Not only do people have very real, and sometimes traumatic experiences of breaking down, and others feel very attached to some of the terminology and science-like renditions of what is supposedly happening to the body. I'm no expert, though I have read pretty deeply into the literature and arguments on both sides, some of which I put into the article. At the very least we can say that there is no definitive position of "truth" in this, and as athletes we are forced with finding a way forward in the context of the debate. All that I am doing here is sharing with you my own perspective, arrived at through some reading, but mostly which I have raised by pushing myself past real barriers to find out what was on the other side. I've also observed incredible feats by athletes whose bodies are very different from mine in countless ways, but are similarly pushed beyond what is deemed "impossible."

I'd like to know from you all what your experiences and thoughts are about Overtraining. Remember, keep it civil; an athlete's experience of their body is a highly personal thing, and anything we say that challenges that risks attacking the person themselves, which is not the point nor the gain.

Also, to keep on track of what I'm trying to say here it may be worth reading my followup article:

 

Endurance is a Skill: The Practice of Belief and Fatigue in Overtraining


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#2
cjsreport

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I would imagine it really depends on person to person, circumstances to circumstances.

It wasn't in MT, but JDS suffered from overtraining before his 2nd fight with Cain Velasquez. He developed Rhabdomyolysis, which is when muscle fibers die and go into the blood stream, leading to potential kidney problems.

http://www.webmd.com...uses-treatments


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#3
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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I would imagine it really depends on person to person, circumstances to circumstances.

It wasn't in MT, but JDS suffered from overtraining before his 2nd fight with Cain Velasquez. He developed Rhabdomyolysis, which is when muscle fibers die and go into the blood stream, leading to potential kidney problems.

Well, this is the thing Charlie, overtraining becomes a huge blanket category that is vaguely applied to an almost infinite variety of effects. The very link that you give has a host of causes of Rhabdomyolysis, including:

"The use of alcohol or illegal drugs such as heroine, cocaine or amphetamines" - not to mention several other possible causes. The list is long including the flu and herpes simplex and bacterial infection. Instead it just gets chalked up to "He overtrained."

It is extremely difficult to cite these examples and know at all where they are coming from.


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#4
Darina

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First of all you make a good point. So many people will tell you you're overtrainig who don't even know what hard training is.

Here is an example from weight lifting. In weight lifting we worked every day, too. So many people will tell you that you should only lift three times a week, but it's not true, you just have to be smart about it. You can't lift max loads every day, but you certainly can train every day and improve. I've met a guy, however, who trained based on the Bulgarian method (google it, you'll like it), and like many others before him he busted his knees permanently.

I know Japanese MMA fighters who train the way you do, Sylvie. They are awesome and extremely mentally tough and they keep pushing each other. For example, they would run 5x800m, 5x400m, 5x200m, 5x100m, 5x50m, all of it timed, all of it in competition with each other, with one minute breaks in between. It wasn't about physical fitness any more, it was really just about fighting their way through it. Once I understood that difference, I learned a lot about mental strength. I also messed up my body quite a bit. Your body will adapt to 90% of what you put it through and that will make you stronger. BUT there are the other 10% that will injure you.

I actually tried to tell my Japanese coach about the Bulgarian method, citing it as overtraining. To which he replied "That guy and many other guys may have busted their knees, but somewhere there is one guy who won't and he will become champion." So for these guys, it's not just mental, it's actual physical selection. Can't keep up with training? Go do something else.

After six months of training with him I developped a chronic hip pain, among various other pains that weren's quite so bad. I ran through it, but it really hurt a lot, even when I wasn't running. I came to the point where I accepted that it would just be part of my life from now on for the rest of my life. But it went away when I recently tore my hamstring and was forced to quit running for almost a month.

After running in Thailand for 6 weeks I now have the same pain on the other side. This time I'm taking the week off running to let it heal. I'm still training, just doing other things... But I do believe that I ran too much. I'm heavier than you and it's hard on my body in ways it isn't hard on yours.

That being said I'm probably not the target audience of this piece anyway. The guy who skipped an afternoon session and sulked because he bit his tongue in sparring is...


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#5
Freddy

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I know people easily tell you you overtrain and I came along different coaches telling me different things.
My first coach in the UK is from Bosnia, trains martial arts since the age of 4 and served the army as a sniper for many years. I'm sure the word overtraining doesn't exist for him. I started out training a little and in the end trained 6 times a week twice a day, no one would tell me I overtrain, he would rather pay further and tell me I can go further. Again as it was said above I believe this is more about mental toughness, pushing through than actual physical fitness.
I was fucking strong both mental and physical.
Now here comes the interesting point, when I left that gym I still trained as much as I could, pushing myself. Because I trained in 3-4 different places I had no single coach telling me I'm overtraining, no one cared.
Then I moved again and just trained with a single coach and with him I didn't train twice a day any more, 4 times a week, plus 2 easy fitness sessions. Coming from always pushing through I felt like I lost the lion heart. I kept loosing in fights, because I didn't push through any more, not because of fitness. Fitness is no problem at all. This coach would tell me to rest. My old coach would have told me to get down the gym and I would have done easy technique, shadowing and a short run for rest day.
I never had any problems with training a lot, yes I was constantly tired, bruised everywhere, but no where near overtrained.
I truly think it is mostly a mental state, since we all have the luxury that we can train around injury and pain. Most sports, such as running are simply not able to train around as much as we do.
We can always do technique, use just legs or arms, do just strength, leave out running or sparring if needed. Because of this huge variety in training tools I also think we don't get 'bored' that easily which could lead into a mental depression like state much more easy.


That's at least my own experience.
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#6
dtrick924

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I posted this article on Sylvie's facebook page. http://breakingmuscl...as-overtraining  The author's thesis is that for the average athlete the problem is not with over training but under-recovery.


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#7
Gavin

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First of all you make a good point. So many people will tell you you're overtrainig who don't even know what hard training is.

Here is an example from weight lifting. In weight lifting we worked every day, too. So many people will tell you that you should only lift three times a week, but it's not true, you just have to be smart about it. You can't lift max loads every day, but you certainly can train every day and improve. I've met a guy, however, who trained based on the Bulgarian method (google it, you'll like it), and like many others before him he busted his knees permanently.

Something to keep in mind with the bulgarian lifters is that they were most certainly on performance enhancing drugs.

I used to train Judo and BJJ, I developed lateral and medial tendinosis / tendonitis in both my elbows. After some hard judo sessions I couldn't release the park brake in my car with one hand. I still have this issue 7 years later. Was this overtraining or underdevelopment (of tendons, recovery ability)?

Sylvie, I read one of your articles earlier this week, so these ideas have been swimming around in my head.

On Tuesday night after training I could barely stand my legs hurt so much. On Wednesday I asked my self "Am I injured, or is it just pain?". I decided it was muscle soreness, so I trained Wednesday and now tonight - Thursday. My legs feel a lot better. I wonder if I had rested would I still be limping around or not?

For those interested there is a famous case of exercise induced rhabdomyolysis, involving 13 members of a highschool football team.


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#8
Emma Thomas

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I posted this article on Sylvie's facebook page. http://breakingmuscl...as-overtraining  The author's thesis is that for the average athlete the problem is not with over training but under-recovery.

I enjoyed this article, thanks for posting it! I particularly liked this part:

"I have met a lot of people who are serious about training. I have met a lot fewer people who are serious about recovery"

I think a lot of people are really quick to diagnose themselves as overtrained and say 'well, I'd better take a week off!' A lot of the time, those people aren't overtrained at all, but even if they were, a week of doing nothing wouldn't actually do much for their recovery. Active recovery is key. Personally, I try to invest a lot of time getting massages, foam rolling, using a sauna (thanks to Sylvie for that one!) and getting good-quality sleep, because I believe that they are just as important to my training as the time I spend in the gym. If I trained at the rate I do without doing any kind of active recovery, I would almost certainly hit a wall eventually. I don't think that 'day off' is a swear word, I definitely do take them if I really think I need them, but I don't think it is always the best thing to do. I've had one training partner in particular tell me things like 'you're always so committed to training. I wish I could be like that, but I can't. I have to take breaks sometimes in order to keep enjoying it and stay motivated'. I can't speak on anyone else's mental or physical capacity to train, only they know their bodies and everyone is different, but I think that there is a lot to be said for pushing through and developing mental toughness, which Freddy mentioned above. 


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#9
Sylvie

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This discussion is so awesome. I wish I could full quote so much of this, but then you'd all just be reading the thread again.

Freddy and Darina, the "it's not about fitness, it's about heart and mentality," that's so much what I intuit. I find it so strange that these very tenuous studies come around every few years and everyone jumps on board because it's science, but very few actually look into it. Gavin makes a great point about the tendonitis in his elbow, how that is a fact in terms of physical pain and experience (I'm not claiming that people don't really feel the symptoms we collectively attribute to "overtraining"), but it can be interpreted as "under recovery," or even just "under conditioned." Taking a week off may not help as much as training around the injury and gently rehabilitating the elbow.

I was thinking about "stress." It's the catalyst for a myriad physical and emotional symptoms that many of us experience. It can exacerbate heart disease, weight gain or loss, Depression, ulcers, insomnia, etc., etc. So the advice by doctors is "reduce stress." But the thing is, stress is a response to things that are, for you personally, stressors. Maybe my job stresses me out, but I have to keep working, so I just have to find ways to be less stressed by work - I can't quit. And, having worked stressful jobs, I can attest that while were all "working for the weekend" so to speak, very very few people come back to work on Monday saying, "wow, that weekend really invigorated me and I'm totally happy to be here now." Days off can be revitalizing, but they can also just be your escape from what you don't like doing in your job or the people you work with. I think "Overtraining" is like this. It's not the physical stress, it's the mental and emotional stress of how the physical is interpreted.

The problem I have with the popularity of this overtraining concept is that it can hold people back. If you're happy training on days you feel good and resting on days you don't, do it. But if you're afraid of this overtraining Bogeyman, I'm just saying you know more about your own limits than Google does; and you don't have to accept them. There are hard limits - people who aren't as able-bodied as others have very real physical limitations, but you'd be amazed at how they can be worked around.

Batman-expectations-e1431066461608.png

I get upset when people tell each other they can't do things. It pisses me off, actually. I listened to this much recommended podcast while running a few months back and it really stuck with me. "How to Become Batman" by Invisibilia. Through "clicking," blind people can use a kind of echo-location (like bats) to locate themselves in their surroundings and move more freely, more independently. By all accounts of scientific studies of the folks who are adroit in this method, these blind people can actually see. Not metaphorically; they can see. There's a part in here that I think is directly applicable to the discussion of overtraining, and that's when they say that telling a blind kid that s/he can't do something is a huge detriment. Simply not being told, not even telling them that they can, but just not saying, "you can't," allows for greater possibilities. Like, for example, making sight possible. (podcast hyperlinked with the title.)


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#10
Matt G

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I have been around both elite level runners and combat sports athletes. I believe that the biggest thing is determining actual injuries that need to be trained around and just being sore and tired. As stated above active recovery is so important! I also believe that people that that have high pain tolerances and a great deal of determination need to ease into training to build their bodies up. Even though an out of shape person with determination can train or "over train" for, and run a marathon. It is not going to be ideal for them and the risk of actual injury increases greatly. For the person that has been training for years, I believe that over training is much harder to achieve and most people will not get there, I do believe that it exists. The body and mind require rest to perform at their full potential, and if you are "over training" you most likely are not getting the rest required and are "under resting". I think that the mind is an incredible thing and extremely powerful. Some are more powerful than others when it comes to pushing their personal limits, but I believe that minds can be changed as well, with the right mental training. I am also of the feeling that you can not do all of your training at 100% as again the risk of injury sky rockets. I believe both points of view have valid points.


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#11
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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The body and mind require rest to perform at their full potential, and if you are "over training" you most likely are not getting the rest required and are "under resting". I think that the mind is an incredible thing and extremely powerful. Some are more powerful than others when it comes to pushing their personal limits, but I believe that minds can be changed as well, with the right mental training.

[matt quoting you here, but only as a start]

One of the most important distinctions perhaps is that what Sylvie is talking about is training for performance IN a fight. There are two things at play in the overtraining story. Do training regimes that far exceed "normal" or even some "professional" recommendations give you a physical edge? And, do they give you a mental edge? A lot of the training that Sylvie does brings her into non-optimal states, and the mental dimension is about learning how to perform at a high level when your resources are down (both mental and physical resources). Much of the overtraining story does not seem to serve non-optimal performance increases well, as you are told to, or you come to, ever be on the look out for physical diminishment, symptoms that are telling you that you need to stop or slow way down. Given the Brain Governor Model of fatigue, the brain will be telling you to stop when you have plenty left, in many instances. It seems like a very slippery slope to start down, and the opposite of what you are trying to achieve in fighting, which is how to fight and respond to deficit (real and imagined).

This goes a little bit towards a way of thinking that both the west and Thailand share (differently), that you want to fight as close to 100% as possible. The west more than Thailand thinks about it in terms of physical capability I think, that your punches are faster and harder, your cardio is way up, that you generally just feel GREAT when you fight. (In Thailand it is almost an obsessive focus on rest before a fight: sit here, lay down here, don't move, as if you might expend some little bit of energy that will be wasted.) We've found that you almost never feel GREAT when you fight, and training towards feeling great does you no real benefit. In fact you are always injured, always sub-optimal. You aren't trying to shave hundredths of seconds off a 100 meter time. You aren't trying to close a minute off of your ultramarathon, or even lift more under pressure than you have before. You are trying to respond to an opponent who is trying to actively put doubts in your mind, and doing so with a mind that is reading back to you distorted information about your own reserves and capabilities. You are fighting in a land of doubt. How do you relax? How do you proceed forward? The overtraining story is essentially a doubt factory to me, pushing your eye towards an ever watchful state looking for warning lights. I can't tell you how many times Sylvie has been in states with the red engine light going off and she simply found ways to do more. It does something to you.

The other question is of physical benefit. Is risking your limits something that actually improves your physical capabilities? This is harder to say. Certainly we know that sometimes it does. I am utterly convinced that Sylvie has grown much harder physically. Not only is she stronger, and has more endurance, but she just is made of tougher stuff, than she would have been with a much more reasonable regime. Not only is her pain tolerance high, but she literally does not get hurt in fights. When she clashes against experienced opponents, bone to bone, her opponent gets hurt. We saw this in Master K Sylvie's original teacher (in his 70s), and you feel it in the bones and muscles of old Muay Thai fighters. They are made of different stuff, like iron. Phetjee Jaa doesn't like sparring with Sylvie because Sylvie's bones can be felt through the shin pads though they aren't kicking hard. I don't know the real answer to this, but it does feel like the western, finely tuned sports car approach to the fighter is far more fragile, far more susceptible to injury than the relentless Thai style approach to repetition - keeping in mind Sylvie kind of trains beyond the typical Thai approach as well.

Of course the emphasis on active rest is an important and really vital one that Sylvie's talked about a lot. But perhaps the deepest lesson is getting to a place where you can rest and recover in your work, during your work. This maybe is the biggest change I've seen in Sylvie, especially after she took up mental training, her recovery time from both physical and mental diminishment is faster and faster. Something that would have put her in a valley for days sometimes is gone in a minute. This I think is the most interesting thing about the overtraining story. It isn't about hitting the gas every single minute. It's about finding your plateau, wherever you are at on that day, and feeling, believing you always can do more. And finding ways to do it.

Also, a really interesting distinction here is that Sylvie basically trains herself. She puts herself in the hands of different trainers, but the entire framework and commitment comes from her. That is, if you put her training exclusively under an all powerful coach who was just pushing and pushing and pushing it would be a very different experience, and maybe a unhealthy one (?). A big part of Sylvie's resistance to the overtraining story is that other people are telling you what your limit is. When Sylvie helps others with their training she's never a driving task master. It's more about making people feel and see that they can do more, sometimes in small ways. Becoming aware of all the habits and pull backs that come from the fear of hitting limits.

Just some thoughts as an attentive onlooker to what Sylvie is doing.


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#12
missmuaythai

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I actually really believe that over training exists.

I have been out here in Thailand for almost a year and a half and I have experienced the symptoms myself.

I trained muay thai before moving here, had 4 modified thai rules fights.

When I moved here I really suffered at the hands of what I was doing to my body.

A year on, in the best shape of my life, with an excellent nutritionist at my every whim, a great recovery program and good rest, I still suffer sometimes.

I am a very strong willed, determined individual - I wouldn't have given up my life to be here if I wasn't, however some days I have nothing to give and it is not for lack of want or trying. My manager even says that I am the hardest working person at my gym (not to brag) but given I am surrounded by MMA fighters, this gives you an indication of my work ethic. On top of all of my muay thai sessions I cross train 6 days a week. 3 high intensity cardo sessions and 3 strength sessions. And I feel it. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because my body is so over stressed from the amount of training I do.

I also suffer from guilt if I don't train so I push myself to train even when I am exhausted. But then I come home. I am agitated physically and mentally. I have days where I can't even nap because my body is under so much stress. My brain can't switch off and I can't get comfortable.

I use a nutrition and recovery program that champions of the sport use, but I do believe when you max out your body, even with the best care, you can really suffer. Even my weight loss can be affected when I train too much. My body panics and wants to hold on to everything because it is so overworked sometimes.

Maybe this isn't considered over training. I am not sure. But I definitely feel the physical and mental side affects of pushing my body harder than it wants to go.

Don't get me wrong, pushing myself this hard has yielded amazing results, but I definitely think there is something to it.
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#13
Sylvie

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I actually really believe that over training exists.

I have been out here in Thailand for almost a year and a half and I have experienced the symptoms myself.

When I moved here I really suffered at the hands of what I was doing to my body.

A year on, in the best shape of my life, with an excellent nutritionist at my every whim, a great recovery program and good rest, I still suffer sometimes.

I am a very strong willed, determined individual - I wouldn't have given up my life to be here if I wasn't, however some days I have nothing to give and it is not for lack of want or trying. My manager even says that I am the hardest working person at my gym (not to brag) but given I am surrounded by MMA fighters, this gives you an indication of my work ethic. On top of all of my muay thai sessions I cross train 6 days a week. 3 high intensity cardo sessions and 3 strength sessions. And I feel it. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because my body is so over stressed from the amount of training I do.


Maybe this isn't considered over training. I am not sure. But I definitely feel the physical and mental side affects of pushing my body harder than it wants to go.

Don't get me wrong, pushing myself this hard has yielded amazing results, but I definitely think there is something to it.

Gemma, I've edited the quote above just to be more concise for what I'm responding to, but I really love your addition to this discussion. In my blog posts, which are long and I know not everyone reads them, I do state that the symptoms of overtraining are very real. What you describe are things I've also experienced and not being able to sleep when you're dead tired, fatigued, and your brain is fried... it really can make you suffer both mentally and physically.

And I'm not trying to come off like people who don't train 100% every second are lazy. I believe that we are experts of our own selves and in knowing our own bodies and minds we can make decisions about when to take a break, when to slow down, when to push harder, etc. The overtraining notion that I recent is as if it's only possible to train this many days, this many hours, this many reps, etc. My response is "how the fuck would you know?" And I totally accept that exact response being directed at me by persons who know when they need a rest or what's too much for them. I don't know.

A friend of mine described a machine that's next door to her gym (or at a gym but it's not the Muay Thai part) that is basically like a heart-rate monitor. You hold a metal piece or stick your arm in or whatever, and it reads your "vitals" and then gives you a red, yellow, or green light. Red means no training; yellow means take a light day; and green means go ahead and have a hard day. I call bullshit on the whole thing. It's the pseudo-science of a gadget telling you what you can do; or an internet page or article. Your nutritionist and trainers, that's different because you're working together.

And I connect to your point that being overworked sometimes doesn't necessarily mean overtraining. I just was talking about this to my husband over dinner. I do believe there's a translation issue in defining "overtraining," in that it can't be defined singularly. So the definition that some people hold may not be the definition I'm taking to task. What I am most staunchly critical of, however, is the definition of overtraining as being a permanent limit.


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#14
Darina

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After six months of training with him I developped a chronic hip pain, among various other pains that weren's quite so bad. I ran through it, but it really hurt a lot, even when I wasn't running. I came to the point where I accepted that it would just be part of my life from now on for the rest of my life. But it went away when I recently tore my hamstring and was forced to quit running for almost a month.

After running in Thailand for 6 weeks I now have the same pain on the other side. This time I'm taking the week off running to let it heal. I'm still training, just doing other things... But I do believe that I ran too much. I'm heavier than you and it's hard on my body in ways it isn't hard on yours.

 

FINALLY after all this time I've seen a doctor with whom I speak a common language and who genuinely cares. My pain does not come from running, it comes from a muscle imbalance (overdevelopped quad dragging along injured hamstring) and wrong/not enough stretching. The definition of under-recovery. Point taken.


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#15
michelle

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I'm not going to read through all these replies, because frankly this entire thread and the comments Sylvie posted from her original article are irritating and difficult to read. I'm going to say one thing about this and then I'm done.

If you think you overtrained, then you overtrained. If you think you're sore, then you're sore. If you think you fucked something up, then you probably did. But here's the thing, no Matter what you read, who you talk to, and what your doctor says, the only person who can for sure know what's wrong is YOU. It's called having body awareness and trusting yourself to know that something is wrong to begin with. And if you have your mind set on one thing and one thing only with no room for other possibilities (meaning, you know something is wrong, but you only see it as being the result of one thing therefore there are no other possibilities,even when that is ruled out and there could be hundreds of other reasons you're having issues), then quite frankly I feel you are setting yourself up for failure. be aware of yourself, and be openminded. It is the hardest fucking lesson to learn (for fucks sake just take a look at society), but for the love of whatever you may believe in, please fucking learn it.
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#16
Sylvie

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I'm not going to read through all these replies, because frankly this entire thread and the comments Sylvie posted from her original article are irritating and difficult to read. I'm going to say one thing about this and then I'm done.

If you think you overtrained, then you overtrained. If you think you're sore, then you're sore. If you think you fucked something up, then you probably did. But here's the thing, no Matter what you read, who you talk to, and what your doctor says, the only person who can for sure know what's wrong is YOU. It's called having body awareness and trusting yourself to know that something is wrong to begin with. And if you have your mind set on one thing and one thing only with no room for other possibilities (meaning, you know something is wrong, but you only see it as being the result of one thing therefore there are no other possibilities,even when that is ruled out and there could be hundreds of other reasons you're having issues), then quite frankly I feel you are setting yourself up for failure. be aware of yourself, and be openminded. It is the hardest fucking lesson to learn (for fucks sake just take a look at society), but for the love of whatever you may believe in, please fucking learn it.

As these threads continue on, there will be times when we can't read everything. However, for the sake of the quality of our discussions here, let's try to keep everything respectful to one other. Openly stating "I'm not going to read your thoughts," is not respectful. And I understand your frustration. But we're not trying to win arguments here - this place is for discussion, conversation, sharing of ideas, helping one another, etc. We won't always agree, but we do need to consider one another.

I agree with you that "self awareness" is the key point to all of it. I'm not - nor do I think anyone is - claiming that physical pain, injuries, fatigue and mental strain are imaginary, or that the people experiencing the symptoms associated with Overtraining are making it up. My argument has always been that you are the expert on you, not some formula you can google for how many hours per week you can push.

A guy at my gym who is new to Muay Thai absolutely loves it. He's 60 years old and fit. He's just eating up all the technique and training with a lot of enthusiasm. He asked me three times now if I think he should rest. I asked if he felt the need to rest, to which he said he'd rather train. So I advised him to train. He was clearly concerned about this potential for over-doing it without feeling that he was getting close to it. I put it this way to him, "it's like asking me, 'should I eat?'... Well, if you're hungry, eat; if you're not, don't eat." Can hunger be incorrect? Can you emotionally "feel" hungry without actually "being" hungry in terms of your body's needs? Do you sometimes have to eat when you're not hungry in order to keep your engine running? Of course. I believe training is like this.  90% of the time how you feel is a good indication of what you need, but there are times when your emotions and mental states don't necessarily match what your body is capable of - and that goes in both directions. All this discussion about overtraining is about a tiny portion of that 10% of the time that how you feel can be an incomplete picture for what you're actually capable of. And what you're trying to do or trying to be out of how you push yourself is entirely up to you.


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#17
michelle

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My apologies. I'm in a mood. I shouldn't have posted my thoughts in a rash And harsh manner.

I did read some of the responses to this thread though, I do want to make that clear. I just didn't read all of them.

My thing is that when you get to that 10%, I would hope that a person is able to recognize it before going so far that you don't. My own personal belief being that body awareness and awareness of self are so important, that I would try my damnedest not to let myself ever get to that point. Do I want to push myself mentally and physically and emotionally ? Hell yes. But not to the point that I'm hurting myself. I find it counter productive in that respect.

Another aspect that probably ticked me off to begin with is that it sort of felt like some of what... Gabriel ? Your first post with the pasted comments from your article, that guy.. Was saying (and mind I may have completely misinterpreted what he waa trying to say), is that, regardless of whether or not overtraining is a real thing, that I wouldn't know my own body. And the overall small mindedness of his argument.. I mean .. I see small and large people equally injure themselves, both undertraining, overtraining, no training. I mean. This entire thing, with what I believe you pointed out, is that it's like... People trying to tell other people what they can't, shouldn't, and won't do.

Again my apologies if I've hurt or offended, I responded emotionally and with feelings. I hope this clarifies.
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#18
threeoaks

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I felt I could determine what my limit was (none) until I got older and started having more and more small tendon and ligament injuries. For me there had been a learning curve trying to distinguish pains that I should work through (ignore as I would have as a young athlete), and those I should work around (as Sylvie and others have discussed in training regimes). Because my old sport was so simple (Faster! What pain? Keep your form, go faster), it's been a whole new world not just of complex new movements & patterns but also of attentiveness to small pains in order to try & learn what is fatigue and what is injury. Driven me nuts actually, but I'm starting to get a handle on it. Good to have assistance from my boxing trainer & also this particular debate to help me sort through having the mind of a champion in one sport (yes I was %** great) with having the same mind, only way more skilled for the lessons of age and this phenomenal new form. Respect, always respect.
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#19
Sylvie

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I felt I could determine what my limit was (none) until I got older and started having more and more small tendon and ligament injuries. For me there had been a learning curve trying to distinguish pains that I should work through (ignore as I would have as a young athlete), and those I should work around (as Sylvie and others have discussed in training regimes). Because my old sport was so simple (Faster! What pain? Keep your form, go faster), it's been a whole new world not just of complex new movements & patterns but also of attentiveness to small pains in order to try & learn what is fatigue and what is injury. Driven me nuts actually, but I'm starting to get a handle on it. Good to have assistance from my boxing trainer & also this particular debate to help me sort through having the mind of a champion in one sport (yes I was %** great) with having the same mind, only way more skilled for the lessons of age and this phenomenal new form. Respect, always respect.

I find this really interesting because it's something I've felt off of retired fighters turned trainers. I'll specify that it's women I'm referring to, but I'm sure we don't have the "Lion's Share" of this quality and men must do it too. Anyway, I've seen these coaches who take an authoritative tone about how "I trained like this and it was stupid, then I changed to this other thing and it's a shortcut or 'hack' and that's what all fighters training under me should do." My problem with this approach is two fold, the first being that one regime doesn't fit all - but hey, coaches design programs, so I get it; but the second is that a lot of what these coaches say they went through and then later "discovered" was bad probably changed because they just got older. I'm feeling myself getting older already, but I recognize that someone who is 20 can probably do what is harder for me now without hurting herself. Like, these coaches are saying training "x" number of days is better than "y" number of days because you get the same results with less time or impact on the body. But that might not be true at all ages and levels.

My mom doesn't need as much sleep as I do, or as much as she did when she was 15. That doesn't mean she's realized that sleeping 10 hours is more than anyone needs, it means that now, where she's at in life, 10 is more than she needs. It doesn't means she was wrong when she was 15 or 25, or 40. Things change. And I think that goes for how we train, what we're capable of and motivated to do.


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#20
threeoaks

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Ah and do you see me taking an authoritative tone on it? Not meant to be - just for me paying attention to a pain, any pain was personally insulting to myself haha. This is specifically because of my experience in endurance training, a distinction between that and fight training you made in a thread elsewhere in the stew of controversy over over/training). I feel like a total beginner in that regard; I simply dismissed all pain as a barrier to achievement before. Getting cracked in the face and trying to coordinate to not react & move away & respond is vastly more complex. It's literally going from an isolation tank (water) to a teeming metropolis of sensory experience. This is one reason I focus in "old" on fighting so much because apart from the movements, it's the relaxation under pressure that fascinates me. Thank you for weighing in, Sylvie. You got a lot of bluster from a female trainer, it seems :). I have far fewer trainers to compare (5) and though I crave the family or "team" experience of training in one gym, my restlessness has acquired value from what I learned about teaching style (& is emboldened by your bigger example).




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