When you’re playing sports and your main goal is to win you’re most likely training too much. More specifically, you have to train in a manner that my not be healthy for you but will get you prepared to win. Training for a competitive sport is very different than training to be in top physical condition. Just about any motivated person can get into incredible shape without spending too much time training each week. They can do this while staying healthy and never hurting themselves by over training and breaking down their bodies.
Why does a World Class Athlete Have to Overtrain?
If you’re a world-class tennis player you need everything—- speed, strength, endurance and obviously tremendous skill. For example, what are the main reasons tennis players have to play tennis for hours upon hours every day for years? Are they doing it to get faster, stronger or more aerobically conditioned? In my opinion, that’s part of it, but the real reason they have to put the long hours in is to keep their neuromuscular system in precise condition. The skill of tennis takes hours on a daily basis to perfect. Plus, when you stop playing tennis the first thing that you lose is your neuromuscular control (your timing and skill). You can miss days of strength and cardiovascular training without any difference in performance. You can possibly miss weeks with minimal training and still stay in world-class condition. But when it comes to the actual skill of the game you have to play a lot.
Athletes get sick and injured because they have to overtrain. These athletes are pushing themselves way beyond a level of optimal condition for their sport to achieve amazing skill. In addition, there is another component that drives an athlete to over train, which is mental confidence. The more some athletes practice and push themselves the more confident they become.
If you’re a recreational athlete and play sports to keep in shape don’t think more is better. The health benefits of exercise pretty much disappear after an hour and I’m being generous with that statement. It could be more like 30 minutes. There’s a famous study by Dr. Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. This study shows how 4 minutes of high intensity interval training improved aerobic capacity by 14% and anaerobic capacity by 28% in six weeks.
Best- Mike Cola