Goodbye, Overtraining Syndrome & CNS Fatigue

Page:  1 Next »
Print
by STEVE KPA, CPT & CODY RICE, CPT

In the first part of this series, we explored the underlying mechanics of overtraining syndrome and CNS (central nervous system) fatigue. With a deeper understanding of these two consequences of hard training, we now know how much they can limit you from improving. So what can you do to avoid or mitigate these effects? In order to answer this, we must first examine your programming.

Train hard and smart, not just hard

Individual differences due to training history determine your susceptibility to overtraining and the ensuing problems associated with it. While a conditioned weightlifter is more than able to handle both higher volume and higher intensity training, a novice weightlifter can easily be overwhelmed by just three poorly-planned sessions in a week, as neither their body nor their nervous system is accustomed to the higher loading yet.

Within the context of CrossFit, the likelihood of overtraining is greater given the focus on compound (weighted) movements. Cody Rice of CrossFit Southbay puts this into perspective:

…CrossFit is very, very good at challenging and improving your nervous system… the more muscles recruited during a movement, the more our nervous system becomes involved. Simply stated, this means that the more that you need to coordinate multiple parts of your body to perform the movement, the harder your nervous system has to work, as it is your nervous system that is coordinating the sequence of the firing of all the muscles stabilizing and driving your movement. Thus, a back squat that requires you to use almost every muscle from your head to your toes is going to require more from your nervous system than a machine-isolated bicep curl that uses only the muscles of your shoulders and arms. Same with running vs. a calf raise.

Thus, it is important to realize and address where you are in terms of conditioning. Proper adaptation requires balance between training hard and training smart. Acknowledging your current level of work capacity is a huge part of this. Just because you aspire to be like a star athlete does not mean that you can mirror that athlete’s current training regimen.

How do I avoid or mitigate the effects of overtraining?

“Easy — just rest!”

Of course, this is never the answer we like to hear and for the most part, this is too general of an answer for the competitive mindset ingrained in most of us. A better answer would be that we need to rest an appropriate amount in relation to the intensity of training. But how much rest is appropriate? To properly answer this question, we need to understand the most important factors of rest and recovery to put you more in tune with how you should be programming your training. Improving performance takes time; don’t be shortsighted with your goals.

Sleep

The importance of sleep has really garnered a lot of mainstream attention in the last few years. By now, mostly everyone realizes its pivotal role in overall health. With strength training specifically, sleep serves important restorative functions by way of the endocrine system (i.e., the release of human growth hormones, testosterone, etc.). While we sleep, our bodies seek to reverse the stressors placed upon it during the waking hours (a process known as catabolism) through a process known as anabolism. Here is an illustrative excerpt from ShapeFit.com:

When anabolism exceeds catabolism, net growth occurs. When catabolism exceeds anabolism, net loss occurs. Therefore by reducing the rate of catabolism, anabolism is increased, and results in faster recovery, an increased growth rate, and an overall higher level of performance.

Many studies have shown that deprivation of sleep negatively impacts your body by altering the amount of several hormones:

  • Cortisol - releases too much. Cortisol is a catabolic stress hormone that increases abdominal fat storage and stimulates the breakdown of muscle tissue for use as energy. Too little sleep causes your body to release extra cortisol, thus storing extra body fat and breaking down extra muscle tissue.
  • Testosterone - lowers your body’s level. The higher your levels of testosterone, the more muscle you can build, but a lack of sleep lowers your body’s testosterone level.
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH) - limits your body’s production. During sleep, your body experiences a natural surge in HGH which helps build and maintain muscle. Thus, by missing out on this critical time of recovery, you limit your body’s production of HGH.
  • Insulin - reduces your body’s uptake of important nutrients into your cells. Less sleep translates to higher insulin resistance levels, meaning your body needs to release higher-than-normal amounts of insulin to compensate, which can lead to excess fat storage, diabetes, or heart disease. In addition, increased insulin-resistance reduces your body’s uptake of important nutrients into your cells.

Addressing the quality and quantity of your sleep is a great place to start: make sure you are consistently getting enough sleep in proportion to your training. However, it is important to note that the quality and quantity of sleep transcends the issue of overtraining and CNS fatigue.

Page 1 2 Next »
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 

Contribute to this story by commenting below:

Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p9

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

Week21 day3 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p8

CrossFit 209 Sport shared a link on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=928875053808844&id=574926115870408

CrossFit Los Gatos posted an article
CrossFitOfFremont posted an article
Kristy Parrish published the post How Do I Choose the Right Workout Program? on Tabata Times
Results outline the efficacy of a workout program. With a sound, objective foundation (i.e...
CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/whiteboard/ Who's on top?

CrossFit Dark Element shared a link on Facebook

http://cfdarkelement.com/daily-wod/

CrossFit Oakdale shared a link on Facebook

http://cfoakdale.com/2014/10/22/weightsmovements-for-the-rx-division-of-the-franniversary/

CrossFit Sweatshop posted an article
Corey's Gym posted an article
Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p7

Morgan Hill CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

week21 day2 http://wp.me/p3Bc8L-p6

cfsausalito shared an image on Facebook

Congratulations to C/S athletes Galo Arias and Sharon Squire for completing the Warrior Dash over the weekend and to C/S athlete Alicia Asensio for running the Nike Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! We love seeing you all express your fitness in different competitive environments -- so proud of you!

CrossFit Modesto shared an image on Facebook

Happy Tuesday! We'd like to welcome Nestor to our community. You know the drill: if you see him, introduce yourself and say hello. Thanks for joining us, Nestor!

CrossFit Modesto posted on Facebook

ANNOUNCEMENTS -- PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE IN YOUR CALENDARS! - CrossFit Modesto will be closed ALL DAY October 31st (Halloween) and November 1st for the Hock Hocheim Knife Seminar. - WODTOBERFEST takes place on October 29th at 5:30 PM and will be the *ONLY* class in the pm (NO 12pm or 4:30pm classes)

American River Crossfit shared a link on Facebook

10/21/2014 http://wp.me/sGeX1-10212014

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Prehab/activation: SMR - rhomboids / low back Banded hip flexor stretch 2x10 hip thrusts 2x10 scap retraction on rings -then- 5 x 250m row sprints - rest 2 mins between attempts, post best and worst time -then- AMRAP in 12 minutes: 15 push-presses (75/55) 12 back rack in place walking lunges (75/55) 9 pull-ups

CrossFit Envy posted on Facebook

Competitors Program Week 1, Day 2: 5x5 @ 75-80% weighted ring dip -alternating with- 5 attempts for max time in an L-sit -then- With a 15 minute running clock: Run 1200m* Followed by max rounds of: (1,2,3...) Hang Power Clean (175/120) (1,2,3...) Burpee over the box jump (24"/20") *do the long 800m course, then around the building twice -then- Every 30 seconds for 8 intervals: 1x20yd prowler sprint (176/108) or use a weight that allows you to sprint 20 yards in under 10 seconds. Then, rest 3 minutes and repeat once more.

CrossFit HEALDSBURG posted on Facebook

Competence speaks through confidence and it is easy to carry others along when you believe in yourself. - Mark Twight

CrossFit Bios shared a link on Facebook

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp is in full swing! We know who'll be ready for the snow!

CrossFit West Petaluma shared a link on Facebook

Good Ol’ Fashioned Strength Day http://blog.genesispetaluma.com/?p=2997

South Tahoe CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

Check out Derek getting low. Over 50lbs lost and an amazing gain in range of motion!

CrossFit Genesis posted an article
CrossFit Avalanche shared an image on Facebook

The paleo challenge day 1. Can you guess who's paleo bank this is?

Jefferson State CrossFit posted on Facebook

Just watched Julie Noyes complete 3 touch and go power cleans with her previous max! -Stoots

CrossFit Anywhere shared an image on Facebook

Our #MCM goes to Blair and Rob as they prep to crush the competition at Iron October 2 this Saturday! Come out to cheer them, and our other competitors on at CrossFit Iron Mile in Natomas from 9-4!

CrossFit Feather River shared an image on Facebook

This Saturday the 25th is the Yuba Sutter United Way Spooktacular 5k/10k Run! Race starts at 9am and there will be prizes awarded for best costumes! Let's get out there and represent CFFR!! https://www.yuba-sutterunitedway.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=15

South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

Even though it's only October, we are already thinking about Decking our Halls!!! Mark your calendars!!! STCF Christmas Party is slated for Friday, December 12! You will NOT want to miss this shindig!

CrossFit Valley View posted on Facebook

This week is a special one! Why you ask?! Well because Our Box owner, Jennifer Correia, the one that brought CrossFit to Los Banos, is clebrating her Birthday this Sunday the 26th and guess what 30 burpees are due! so jump on her ass to get them done and hey, why not have her step it up a bit and make it for time????

CrossFit Valley View shared an image on Facebook

Starting off the day right

CrossFit 530 posted on Facebook

CrossFit 530 is closing. Friday will be the last day of business. All billing has stopped and will be refunded on a prorated basis. We sincerely thank everyone for their contribution to our CrossFit community over the last several years and wish you all health and happiness.

mqprunty published the post Why I Compete on
I wasn't quite sure where to go with this article...I first started with – “Why YOU Should...
South Tahoe CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

#crossfit #stcf #mental #southtahoecrossfit #neverquit #mexturesapp

John Mariotti published the post 3 reasons you get hurt at CrossFit on
There is a huge amount of bad press about CrossFit hurting people. I hear about Doctors and...
CrossFit Genesis shared a link on Facebook

October 20, 2014 Workout of the Day #holdthebar #alivetribe #workout #roseville

CrossFit Folsom Lake shared an image on Facebook

Lateral box jumps? Yikes!! Switching it up a little today :-)

Auburn CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

ACF – October 20, 2014 http://t.co/e5cyBN9E97

Hilary Wiebe published the post 10 Things I've Picked Up in My First Year of CrossFit on
This past September was my one year CrossFit anniversary. I’m really excited for what lies ahead...
CrossFit Monterey posted on Facebook

Training 141020 Strength: Back Squat 3 @ 7, 3 @ 8, 3 @ 9, plus one down set (load drop) Conditioning – 4 Rounds for time: 400m Run 4 Deadlifts, 115#/75# 4 Power Cleans, 115#/75# 4 Push Press, 115#/75# 4 Front Squats, 115#/75# Post results to comments.

CrossFit Valley View shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Redding posted on Facebook

After meeting with the council we have decided to put the 6am Class on hold. The Mon-Wed-Fri 5a class is still alive and well. 6am'ers gather your peeps and lets get this going again!

arielyve published the post All You Need to Know on Preventing Cancers on
Everyone has cancer cells in their body and these cells never get caught in normal tests until...
CrossFit 38 Degrees North shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit translates to all aspects of life, hopefully it influenced these guys aim over the weekend. Here is four of our 38 North boys on a camo heavy bonding trip into the wild. And the WOD for tomorrow is.......... "The CrossFit Total" 15 Min to find 1RM Back Squats -3 attempts 15 Min to find 1RM Press-3 attempts 15 Min to Find 1RM Deadlift- 3 attempts add highest rep from each movement together to find total

CrossFit Feather River shared a link on Facebook

Workout of the Day for Monday October 20th, 2014

CrossFit CSA posted on Facebook

In teams of two, with only one teammate working at a time, perform the following within 28 minutes: 6 x 100 Meter Row (Each partner rows 100m AND resets it to Zero) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs (24"/20") 10 Rds of Cindy (5 pull-ups-10pushups-15 squats) 6 x 100 Meter Sprint Run (50m down and back, then partner goes) 10 Rds of Cindy (advanced do Chest to bars) 50 Burpee Box Jump Overs MAX Double Unders Score is number of double unders you complete. It will be very difficult for most teams to even make it to the double unders. *for the run sprints, instructor will set up cones outside 50m apart, where each teammate will run down and then return and tag their partner. ** advanced player please perform chest to bar pull-ups

CrossFit 580 posted on Facebook

Save the date! Saturday November 1, wear your Halloween costumes for the team WOD!

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Sam getting one of his 165lb thrusters. #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #affiliatecup #thrusters http://t.co/z3ryd7nr2o

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Was that my last Burpee? #crossfitready #readynation #crossfit #burpee #checkwithyourjudge #teamfitaid… http://t.co/T5www0zbgn

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event#1 awesome team! So@proud of everyone #crossfitready #crossfitcommunity #crossfitcompetition… http://t.co/fdgVE5P9PS

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event #1 open team! #crossfitready #crossfitcommunity #readynation arivas411 http://t.co/AmnkWStE2e

CrossFit 580 shared a link on Facebook

http://www.crossfit580.com/wod/320/monday-10-20-14

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Alison with a solid 1st Event #crossfitready #crossfitready #readynation alimisenar crossfitkeely http://t.co/cymX9MnAxJ

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event #1 Masters at work! notthebarbie paulmation #crossfitready #readynation #crossfitcommunity… http://t.co/HfnSZcF3S3

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Scott showing us what Masters are made if shellyalberi #crossfitready #crossfitcommunity #crossfit… http://t.co/zBchVajG1M

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event#1 Paul making thrusters look easy. paulmation #crossfitready #readynation #crossfitcommunity… http://t.co/EZAYhWeLcT

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Brother and sister killing it on wod #1 together side by side. #crossfitready #readynation… http://t.co/SQLaPdnmgJ

CrossFit Ready shared a link on Facebook

Event#1 Paul making thrusters look easy. paulmation #crossfitready #readynation #crossfitcommunity… http://t.co/DhRBfxufeN

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV