Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Do Athletes Recover from Overtraining?

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

AJ asked: What do you have athletes do to recover from overtraining/over exercising?

Great question as this is an all too common challenge. The athlete's training program of exercises, sets and reps (including diet, stress levels, sleep patterns) must be assessed. Many athletes overtrain, but there are varying degrees of symptoms. Some are evident and some not. A few examples are decrease in strength, endurance, poor sleep and elevated resting heart rate. Active rest/recovery is one of my favorite mechanisms for someone who overtrains and just will not rest. OK, once we literally almost had to lock a US ski team member in the closet for a weekend. After convincing him of how to stop overtraining he performed the best he had done in years.

An example might be a light cardio day keeping heart rate in 60% range followed by full body foam roller and stretching. It does depend on the sport or goals of why they are training, but rest and or active rest/recovery are a good place to start. Did you ever notice how strength can increase with some time off from lifting?

You might need to decrease volume, intensity, frequency or all three. Get help from a trainer and most importantly, listen to your body and train smart.

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