Friday, October 1, 2010

language is important,

"there is no such thing as over-training, just under-recovery"
-scrawled in my seminar notebook, GYM JONES, august - 2007

language is important.

10 months ago i started working as a personal trainer at a 24 hour fitness facility. it wasnt my idea. i was asked to. that being said, i was pretty stoked. i picked up clients pretty fast, i was working 40+ hours a week. January and all. i was new, i worked the only way i knew, i did. i worked next to my clients. i pulled heavier weights, and i did it faster. just a bit. just so they would try and keep up.

it was great, i saw people improve, saw them struggle to keep the pace i set for them. it made me feel good that i could operate at that level for 12 hour days, and still hit it hard once or twice a week. the volume of training made me get my diet under control. made me appreciate sleep. got my Deadlift up another 15%. occasionally i worried about over training, but didn't see any of the red flags. i pushed on. i got stronger. i got faster.

then it caught up.

my joints started hurting, and while i am usually a bitter and contemptuous individual, i noticed i was getting annoyed at things i used to ignore. my right elbow and shoulder started to feel wrong. i went to see a ART specialist. active release technique. massage and movement. the doctor ran me through some ROM tests. she was not happy. simple diagnosis: over trained. fibrotic muscle tissue. lack of flexibility causing stress on joints. as soon as she pointed out my sticking point i knew ten reasons i was sitting on that table. i could see the holes in my training. in my recovery.

lucky for me nothing is ruined. just have to step back a little. make recovery a habit. use the tools given to me years ago. listen and remain vigilant. my shoulder still feels a bit weak, definitely not where i would choose to be a week out from a second trip to SLC. but i will savor it. remember this bitter taste every time i think i don't have the time to hit the foam roller or the money for a 3rd party assessment.

the question should have never been "am i training too much" but "am i recovering too little"

language is important. take responsibility.




  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. B,

    Sometimes it takes a 3rd Degree burn to teach us ... Glad to read it didn't go beyond that.


  3. Good reminder that too much training and too little recovery is training, it's abuse. Thanks for the post!

    Jarrett Smith