Great Question from CH – a high school student in South Australia:

“Where is the line drawn between people who habitually over train and people who are simply fit and healthy?”

GREAT question CH!

Please allow me to state some basic facts on over training from a real life perspective and then back up and answer your question.

There are three things that prevent over training:

  1. Experience
  2. Recovery
  3. Planning

Experience – as one trains more frequently, our bodies adapt to the stress of the load.  The more you train, the better the hormonal response to training, and therefore the less stress on the body.  As I am sure you are aware, an expert is defined as someone who has done something with intent and purpose for at least 10,000 hours and 10 years.  This is one reason we do not hear of a lot of over training concerns in professional sports.   The more experienced someone is with their training, the less likely over training occurs.

Recovery – Recovering from intense exercise or sport is key to maintenance and prevention of over training. Recovery includes nutrition, sleep, ability to handle stress, and hormonal optimization (using nutrition and sleep).  Supplying the body with the building blocks for repair (protein) and the correct amounts and types of fat and carbohydrates, done at the right time – all cause a hormonal/repair/growth cycle that prevents over training.  I know of a number of athletes that do the same thing, seven days a week, and seem to do it better over time.  Most would be in an over training state, but with the right nutrition at the right time, over training can be prevented.  The importance of sleep is likely obvious.  As a side note – THE primary action of anabolic steroids is recovery…hence their advantage in sports.

Planning – to prevent over training one has to plan their routines: when to train, when to eat (and have the food ready), when to sleep in the right environment, etc.  Planning makes a huge difference when you compare those who over train and those who do not.

So to answer your question: Those who are ‘simply fit and healthy’ do it on a regular basis, eat well, sleep adequately, and plan it daily!

I hope that helps CH!  Do not hesitate to email me if I can do anything for you! Have a wonderful day!

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