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Show highlights include:

  • The “unsexy secret” to training that’s all too important if you want to maximize your results (1:37)
  • The admittedly weird way your feelings influence your training sessions (2:10)
  • How to spot the common symptoms of overtraining (5:33)
  • The only 3 letters you need to know to make sure you’re not overtraining (7:26)
  • Why the silly, outdated, and archaic model of training will leave you broken and burnt out (11:14)

The most important thing you can do to amplify your competitive success is focus on your nutrition. I created the Competition Nutrition Guide to help you maximize your performance. Get your free copy at http://CompetitionNutritionGuide.com.

If you’re ready to become the best version of yourself, head over to https://RedHShop.com to find the best supplement solution for you. And you can save 20% with the coupon code PODCAST20 at checkout!

Read Full Transcript

Hey y'all and welcome to the everyday athlete podcast recorded live from Omaha, Nebraska and I'm your host, Katie danger U S army veteran and founder of Red H Nutrition providing everyday athletes just like you, clean, effective nutritional solutions, custom formulated to help you reach your absolute potential every single day.

Hey athletes, what is up here we are in episode number 20 I don't want to thank you again for tuning in and taking your time to educate yourself. That's right. I am here to educate you. Knowledge is power and it's really, really fun to share the topics and ideas to get me fired up with you. I really, really enjoy it. So with episode number 20 I'm going to be talking to you about over-training. Through my many years of training, I've had my ups and downs with this word. I've pushed the limits and I've taken way too much time off before. So I've seen both ends of the spectrum. Now as an athlete, the goal is always to progress. The ideal that we have in our minds is that we progress in a linear fashion where the inputs and the stimulus you give your body are directly reflected in your results. You get faster times, you can lift heavier weight, you have lower body fat, et cetera, et cetera. You know all those vanity metrics, but in reality we know that our training is not linear.

(01:17): In fact, if you've got a smart program and a smart coach, you're on a program. That one first is tailored to your specific production capacity, which is your physiological processes and those ebbs and flows. So your coach knows you in and out. And then as well as a period ice training program that works with those ebbs and flows. So that is really how training looks. It is not linear at all. Now this isn't the sexy way to do things. In fact, it is tedious because it takes time. It takes data and it takes honest feedback from the athlete on what he or she is feeling. And yes, feelings are important. This isn't just about throwing around heavy iron and being a robot. How you feel in your body plays a great deal into the efforts that we're able to produce. And when I say feel, I mean in both your emotional sense and how you feel physically in your body everyday on training day, whether we're conscious about it or not, we often succumb to how we feel both mentally and physically.

(02:18): We can't just go through the motions, right? We're feeling something. For example, if you're nursing an injured knee, you'll probably also feel kind of down about the circumstance and that your knee hurts and your training day is probably going to be mediocre at best. But if you've been having some really good training days, and I know we've all experienced this, we've had really good training days, one after the other, we had like a great week and we just feel like we're firing on all cylinders. You've been feeding it well, you've been sleeping, you've also got a really confident mindset heading into your training. So you've got that physical feeling good and you've got that mental feeling good and you rock it. And maybe you're even hitting new PRS. The point is, if we can control how we feel, we can anticipate a better result. After all, it's the results.

(03:00): We're after you guys. The methods of how we get strong and how we train are going to change. There's going to be some new fad. There's going to be new data, there's going to be science. So these systems and these processes to reach the result are going to change. But at the end of the day, we all want results. That doesn't change. So for this episode though, episode number 20 I'm not going to be diving into our emotional feelings today. So if you thought I was going to get sappy with you about feelings, I'm not going there. I have plenty of episodes on mindset. So what we're going to focus on today is how we can feel better physically to prevent overtraining and to tune into our physiological processes so we can operate our physical body at a higher production capacity. We can produce more, we can be more physically.

(03:44): Here's the secret though. I'm sure if your body feels great, your mind's going to be ready for an awesome workout too. So the cool thing about this is learning more about how to make your physical body feel better is going to make your mind feel better too, because results lead to confidence leads to a better mindset. When it comes to training, the central nervous system is King. The central nervous system is how our body in our brain communicates. It's how we know how to successfully execute a lift, for example. It's how our body knows how to do a deadlift, how it knows to do a squat, how it knows to run with proper form. The efficiency and effectiveness of our central nervous system ultimately determines how much force we can apply, how quickly we can run, how much we can lift, how we move our body through space.

(04:29): Like I said, it is King. It runs the show. So when it comes to over-training, there is a spectrum of how our body adapts to the stimulus that we place on our central nervous system. On that spectrum, there's really four major points. There's under-trained, which is there's no changes or adaptations because the stimulus we're providing is not effective. Then there's acute overload and acute overload are minor performance improvements and positive physiological adaptations. Although slow, we're still making those positive adaptations. Then there's overreaching. Overreaching is optimal physiological adaptations and performance. So when it comes down to it on the spectrum, we want to be overreaching. We just want to be grasping outside of our reach a little bit and a little bit over and over again. And then, then there's the bad word, over-training. The O word and overtraining is a maladaptive physiology and performance decline.

(05:27): So the stimulus that we're putting into it, it actually have any negative return on investment. We do not want that. So what are the symptoms of overtraining? Well, you've probably experienced them before, but just to be clear, some are really obvious. You have a decrease in your performance. You lack the desire to train. Your appetite goes down. You can't sleep, your libido drops. Do you have changes in body temperature at night? You're tossing and turning depression, anxiety. You might even lose weight. You're irritable, you know, those are all of us to name a few, but in some way, shape or form. If you've been training long enough, I know you've experienced this and it sucks right below the surface. We have our body struggling to repair itself. Our body starts to react as if we were in this fight or flight mode. Our body, our homeostasis, our balance, it's upset and the feedback loops that generally work in synergy, they work together.

(06:17): They don't know if they're coming or going. So essentially it is chaos. Below the surface it is chaos and probably outwardly it is that way too, especially if we're irritable and not sleeping. It's every sell out for itself and in survival mode, it's dog eat dog. Have you ever seen, ever read the book Lord of the flies? Well, that's exactly how your cells are reacting right now it is total chaos. It is totally unproductive and it is totally primitive. So overtraining is detrimental to our goals. More is not better. And anyone, any coach, any peer, any athlete, whoever tells you that you can sleep when you're dead is an idiot. And they are probably overtraining themselves to a pole. Now that I've given you context to why overtraining is not ideal, you might be wondering how the heck you can know if you're overtraining. Besides it getting to the point where you're over-trained, how can you monitor your body's physiological processes?

(07:10): Essentially, how can you give a metric to your central nervous system and where it's at? No. On one hand you can just be honest with yourself. That essentially takes years and years of training. It takes personal introspection about your training and how you ultimately feel, but the cool thing is there's also a metric that you can add to it. You can monitor your body's physiological processes and you can learn more about it with heart rate variability, HRV, heart rate variability, and for the rest of the podcast I will probably just keep it to HRV. So just know I'm referring to heart rate variability with that acronym. If you've been around the endurance community for even a moment or you've been lucky enough to find a skilled enough coach or some other athletes that have trained with it, you've before, you've, you might've heard of HIV before and you might've heard how it can be used for a deeper, more data backed way to monitor the effects of your training, your production capacity.

(08:04): If you monitor your HRV, you can do three things. You can make informed training decisions, you can quantify your health and wellness and ultimately master your nervous system. Now, HRV is a noninvasive measure, so you don't have to like poke yourself, you don't have to take your blood or anything like that. It's not invasive and we're measuring the autonomic nervous system and the ans, the autonomic nervous system. It responds to everything. It responds to how you exercise, how you recover, how you eat, how you sleep, and how you perceive stress. And here's the big difference between HRV and heart rate. Unlike your heart rate, your basic heart rate, that counts, the number of heartbeats per minute. HRV looks much closer at the exact changes in time between those heartbeats or is what is sometimes called intervene intervals. By measuring and comparing HRV readings on a daily basis, you'll learn what your normal, automatic autonomic nervous system patterns look like Anna's and it's going to help you gain insights into your nervous system, your stress and recovery activity, and give you that data that you need to adjust your training if it makes sense.

(09:12): So the autonomic nervous system controls all unconscious automatic bodily processes and it governs the functions of our organs. Some of these functions, our heart rate, our blood pressure, our body temperature, electrolyte balance, digestion, breathing, urination, and even sexual arousal. The ans is two branches, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. Remember a bit ago in this episode I talked to you about that fight or flight and how overtraining makes people feel like they're in a state of panic or survival. They're irritable, they're grouchy, they're not motivated. Well, this leads us directly into the beauty of heart rate variability. It helps us determine ultimately if our body is sympathetic, which is varying degrees of fight or flight or parasympathetic, which controls the rest and digest and is ultimately responsible for recovery are ans if given the opportunity can optimally continue to govern our bodily processes that happen behind the scenes and this is where monitoring with HRV tells us if we're in a sympathetic state or if we're in a parasympathetic state, so are we in fight or flight? Are we chill and relaxed? If you measure your heart rate variability daily, you're going to get a snapshot of how these unseen once on scene bodily processes

(10:29): now can become seen. You can observe them and you can adapt and then respond with your training appropriately. Ever heard the same? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. A major component to your competitive success will be your nutrition prep and I create a competition nutrition guide to help you utilize pre-internet and post-competition nutrition protocols, boost your confidence heading into a competition, recover quicker post comps. You get right back to training and increase your power output and max capacity so you can own that podium. I created this guy just for the everyday athlete and you can get your free copy at competitionnutritionguide.com.

(11:06): I'll say again, competitionnutritionguide.com. So instead of the silly age old outdated, archaic model of I'll train until I can't anymore or I'm just going to grind away, which often leads to days, weeks, if not months of lost training time because eventually you're going to get burned out, you're going to stop, you're going to get injured. So you're going to get a break. And instead of having those moments where you got to take weeks and months off, if you use HRV, you can use it to get accurate data from your real body and its processes. You guys, HRV monitoring is the real deal. And I became a firm believer after your recent bout of long term overtraining. So if the science behind monitoring your HRV doesn't get you excited like it does me, I'm going to share with just my story and how this podcast episode even came to fruition and why this information about over-training is so important to me. First.

(12:01): If you haven't listened to episode number 18 I want you to go back and listen to it because it's all about my juice fast and you got to know about what it's like to not eat for three days. But before I went on my juice fast, I experienced a lot of lethargic in my training. I wasn't motivated. I was also having some serious sleep issues. Like I couldn't sleep at all at night. I could doze away during the day if I let myself though, I just couldn't sleep at night. And if I was sleeping, I was having bad dreams. I had really big temperature swings and I'd wake up sweating and then go back to being cold. It was just, I was off. I knew I was off, but I really just thought it was stress because as a business owner here, always faced with stress, right?

(12:36): So like I just thought it was stressed and the thing was my body didn't hurt. You know, I didn't have the normal muscle aches and pains. That was a little achy, but I've been way achy or before, so I thought we'd just dress. And I was still having results in the gym. Even when I was able to go, like I told you, my motivation was low, but I was still having good results when I would go. So I never even considered that it might be over-training. I always thought over-training was based on these strict physical symptoms, like if my muscles are sore. So my prior baseline as we'll find out wasn't serving me anymore. So getting this HRV data was super important. So I kept on training, right? I didn't think I was over-trained so I kept training. Now one thing I do wear daily is my Garmin GPS watch.

(13:18): You know, it's pretty, pretty much all the bells and whistles. But one thing I track daily is my resting heart rate. And as of this moment, as of recording this, my resting heart rate is 51 which is pretty average for me. Usually my resting heart rate is like 55 right now it's 51 but over a two week period. Before I knew that this was overtraining, I was monitoring my resting heart rate. My heart rate went from a 55 average to 70 plus, and it just stayed there for two weeks and I noticed this and you know, it always kind of heard that resting heart rate is sort of another predictor for over-training. But like I said, I still didn't have that big physical aha moment where I'm like, wow, my muscles are so sore I can't even sit on the toilet. Right? Because my quads are so sore.

(14:04): I wasn't having that. So it really wasn't until I got the bright idea to do my juice fast that I had this opportunity to rest and chill and you know, I was hungry, but I was sleeping better. I was more motivated, I was less irritable. I kind of took a lot of those variables though, like in just that context, it was like, well, of course you're less irritable. Of course you're resting and relaxing, you're not eating right, you're tired. But looking back, it all made sense now. So it wasn't until then that I started noticing my resting heart rate was trending back down, back down into the 50s and it was almost immediately after my first day of fasting and resting that it shot down to 54 it was 75 and it shut down to 54 and it has been there ever since. So it has been over a month since my first juice fast and my resting heart rate hasn't been over 60 so been over four weeks.

(14:52): My resting heart rate has stabilized once again and I am feeling better. I'm sleeping again. Anyway, before I get into that, during my fast I found out about heart rate variability and I kind of thought it was the same thing as resting heart rate. But as we talked about earlier, they are different heart rate variability measures, those inter beat variability. So it's not just how many times your heart's beating per minute, but like the variability between the heartbeat and time in between that. So we can determine if we're in fight or flight or relatively stable and in that homeostasis, that optimal balance, right. So I bought a heart rate monitor after my juice fast. I learned about heart rate variability. I'm like I gotta add this to my training cause I don't ever want to feel that shitty again. So I bought a heart rate monitor, I downloaded an app and I've been tracking my HIV daily since and right now I've got about four weeks worth of data and I love it.

(15:40): I love having another piece of data that can help me make heads or tails of what's going on below the surface and adds even more substance to these educated decisions I'm making about my training progress. It helps put me back in the driver's seat. So athletes, if you want to start monitoring your HRV, here is what I use and here is how you can get started. I use the polar polar brand H 10 heart rate monitor I got on Amazon, it's about 90 bucks after tax. And then for the app to measure my heart rate variability with my heart rate monitor, I use elite HRV and this is free to use. It has so many features like nothing silly about it. You don't have to like give your credit card, it has everything you need to get started for free. I have no interest right now in paying for the app because all of the features seem to be free.

(16:25): So it's really cool. You got to check out the app elite HRV every morning when I wake, the first thing I do, I don't have to go to the bathroom is I do my two minute morning readiness and this morning readiness is a specific test in the elite HRV app and it gives you a quick summary of your readiness and it's based on a spectrum. It starts at one so it's like if you're going left to right on a spectrum, it's one ten one one is on the sympathetic side, 10 is the optimal balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic and then one all the way to the right. So you'll left the right one, ten one that is going to be on the parasympathetic scale. So readiness in this case is defined as your state of relative balance or where your HRV values compare to your peers. So the caveat here and the only caveat here is that you'd have to get some data going to start getting some information on what's going on below the surface.

(17:17): The more consistent you are with this, the more times you do this, the more information you'll get so you can compare you versus you and HRV is a long term approach. It really is. HRV is great for athletes who value long term progress data and results. So there you have it. Athletes, this is a great way to answer the question, am I overtraining? If you have asked yourself in the past year if you've been over-trained, you've got to start tracking your over-training or your your HRV because they will give you a very good insight as to where you are versus where you've been and there really is no better data or better person to compare yourself against except you, you guys, there is no glory and starting a training program only to stop midway through because you didn't listen to your body and you thought it grinding through was the only option in the army.

(18:05): We always use this term before, and I always thought it was silly, but it was used when we really wanted to make a point. So athletes, it would be who of you to start tracking your HRV. If you're tired of the mantra, more is better and you can't sleep or you can sleep when you're dead. There is a better way and over-training doesn't have to be part of your equation. It is not necessary to overtrain to get to the end goal. So don't think that it's some Rite of passage. The best athletes, the best ones out there, no matter their ability level, they know their body and they know it well and they listened to it. So your body is talking to you. Are you listening? Alrighty athletes, that is it for another episode of the everyday athlete podcast. Before we sign off though, I want you to think about all the ways you can stack the cards in your favor listening to the podcast.

(18:50): That's one way you can stack the cards in your favor. There are all these opportunities out there for you to seize and not only improve your immediate fitness performance and results, but to add catalysts that lead to big, big changes in your long term results. I want to help you identify and bridge those gaps. I want to help you as an athlete and when it comes to your training and your nutrition and your recovery, those are three monumental ways that I can help take you from point a to point B quickly, effectively and efficiently. And if you want guidance, if you want guidance, if you want some advice, I am here for you. Send me an email, katie@reddishnutrition.com I just want to see how I can help you. You can also find me on Instagram if you use the handle at Katie underscore danger, send me a message. Let me know how I can help you in the meantime, athletes, remember you can always go to Reddit, shop.com you can find the supplemental nutrition solutions that help you optimize your life and get more from your systems and processes that lead to greater results. Remember, use code podcast 20 and you'll save 20% on every order as a VIP listener to the show. I got you.

(19:54): FitFam so let's get excited for next week's show. I want to give you a little bit of a teaser about the topic we're covering. I'm going to be talking about weight belts and other assistive devices we use as athletes and how they can actually do way more harm than good. So you're gonna want to tune to that episode. If you're using weight belts, knee sleeves, wraps, and other things, I want you to tune in because I'm going to give you some advice on how you can avoid really, really big mistakes and use them to properly supplement your training athletes. I'll talk to you again next week. This is Katie D over and out,

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