800m run
30 muscle-ups / snatch
800m run

Ben tags Walker in a team workout while Dizon waits for Hank. Julia observes.

Why We Overtrain

Before we bring all of this rest day business full circle and talk about how to apply it to your everyday life, let’s take one last post to examine the three main reasons I think people overtrain.

1. The “cool-looking” Workout
This scenario is fairly CrossFit-specific.  Athlete needs rest day – peaks at day’s post – sees cool attractive workout – goes online to see if there’s space (there is!) – reserves spot and bam, the product is 5-6 days in a row.

The temptation of the “cool-looking” workout is great, we know.  Thoughts such as, “that might not come up for a long time so I want to make sure I do it”, “I missed this last time so I HAVE to get it in this time”, or “everything has rep loads over 100 so it must be awe-some” flash through our head.

We know CrossFit is fun, addictive, and well, really fun.  It’s hard to choose NOT to come to the shop, hangout with your workout buddies, and sweat through a grindfest.  We get it, but remember that too many dives into the “cool-looking” workout trap will leave you overtrained and slogging through sub-optimal workout after sub-optimal workout.

2. Getting Ahead or More is Better Syndrome
The 2012 Regionals are just 395 days away and not a moment can be lost letting athletes across the Rockies gain an edge.  I must get stronger.   Oh wait, and better and gymnastics too.  And wait, my Oly needs some work.

CrossFit provides us with this wonderful array of exercises and movements to learn and perfect but it can also lead to a schizophrenic phase where an athlete tries to do everything all the time. Pick your battles and make them small, challenging, yet attainable, and then move one.  Don’t try to conquer the world on four different continents.   You know more isn’t better, that’s what CrossFit has taught you.

3. Burning Calories
If I don’t workout then I won’t have burned any calories today and if I don’t do that then I’ll surely get fat.  Stop connecting diet and exercise!  They are two separate pieces of a healthy profile.  Did you know that people actually GAIN weight when they are overtrained or under-slept?  That’s right.  So take a rest day and please please do frame your beautiful CrossFit workout in calories burned – stick with pounds lifted, time, and rounds!

So did we miss anything?  Are there other reasons why we overtrain?  Post to comments.


DISCLAIMER: By writing this post I am not saying that I have never overtrained.  I have; however, I paid the consequences.  We all need to be reminded about the downfalls of overtraining as it’s something that constantly tempts athletes, including me.