Wednesday, 02 May 2012

Face Plant Syndrome

About three weeks ago I set myself a challenging physical goal.  I have had this goal stored in my bank for some time now as something long term. A 'one day when I grow up' kind of goal, and three weeks ago I decided to make a 'one day', a 'today'.

Once I have made a decision to achieve something, I give it my everything, all else begins to play second fiddle.

My goal requires solid, consistent training in its field.  Devotion, commitment and dedication, and hell I threw every aspect of my being at it without altering my current regiment around it.

My job is based around developing people, physically, yet the mental side of personal development goes along with it.  I program, I structure, I plan and I put people into action.  I have the methodology, the skill and the attitude yet I struggle to put the pieces together in my own personal puzzle.

Having an addictive personality, and having battled a dependence in the past the natural endorphins released by exercise can be an addiction, and have been.  I look past the science, I look past the signs and I look past the advice to my own detriment, every time.

Three weeks in and I have literally hit a wall. Game Over, do not pass begin, do not collect R200.

Enter the 'overtraining syndrome'.  As a professional, I know that as far as exercise goes, less is more.  I preach the importance of rest and recovery so often to my clients.  When your volume of exercise exceeds your recovery capacity you are going to lose strength and you are going to lose fitness.

Yet applying it to my own story was a different story all together.

The fact of the matter is that strength improvements occur after your rest period, and sometimes if you have been hitting it excessively hard it is going to take more than just one day to recover, it can take a few days depending on the intensity.

What most don't realize is that overtraining is a very real danger for those that are engaging in a physical culture.  It is no secret that in order to improve your performance in something you have to work hard at it.  Hell, in order to be the best, in order to beat your opponent you are going to need to put in the time.

Hard work will however break you down, putting in the time to be the best also means putting in the rest. Its the recovery period that makes us stronger, without it your performance will just plateau.

Not only have I repeated these very things to my clients, but I have instilled it into their way of thinking.  However, now actually experiencing the signs and symptoms from first hand experience can I better apply my teachings.

I have been personally HITTing it hard everyday, not having any down time, my rest days have been spent actively resting, where I should have had my feet up and allowed my body recovery, I have chosen to instead of shifting heavy objects around hit the hills at ridiculous hours in the morning, in the rain.

Before you burn yourself out, before you hit that wall, look out for any general aches and pains in your body,   signs of fatigue, drowsiness, decreased appetite, a notable drop in your performance, insomnia, and anything outside of your normal superhero capabilities, are generally signs of 'face plant syndrome'

Wise up, feet up and slow down.