Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burnout and Rehab

I want to address a few topics in this post

1. Burnout. 

What is burnout?  I bet there is a professional definition and I could get on webster's online dictionary and provide one but who wants to know what some Oxford Button down Yale grad has to say about burnout.  I mean, depending on the type of burnout we are talking about here I might consult Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, or Chris Farley (Experts in the field if you ask me).

But what I am talking about is Gym Burnout.  Can this actually happen?  We have an awesome gym, so how can you get burnt out on it?  Some of you guys will never experience burnout due to missing time at the gym because of work, family events, and what have you.  These little breaks play a crucial role in keeping you mentally fresh and even physically healthy.  Fathom this:  What if I asked you to Crush/Kill every workout, every day, every week, every year... Could your body actual handle this?  Could you mentally gear up for this every day?  Before you answer this question think about this:  Olympic athletes train in a 4 year cycle.  NFL athletes train in a 10month cycle.  MLB athletes have a grueling season and then 3 months off before the next season.  What do all of these athletes have in common?  OFF TIME.

So if the professionals need time off or time to de-load shouldn't you?  I'll answer this for you: YES!

If you are feeling run down, not sleeping, can't make it through a single workout without feeling like poo poo, then you might wanna sit down and take a look back at your workout log and your nutrition.  How many workouts have you hit in a row?  At what intensity?  How much weight did you use?  Did you try to kill yourself every workout?  In my humble opinion,  I suggest scaling things back every so often.  You know your body better than anyone on the planet and if you can't mentally get up for workouts you might be suffering Burnout. 

Here is some stream of consciousness about burnout:  sick with strep throat for a week and the next week can't finish the workout?  take your time (not burn out).  ate like crap for a week and a half (not burn out) clean up that diet home boy!  My shoulder hurts so bad it wakes me up at night! (take time off and evaluate your shoulder).  I can't finish any workout and my fat loss it at a stand still (look at your nutrition and make sure its on par).  Pay attention to your body, how it feels, how you sleep, how clean your diet is and how high your motivation is... your body will let you know when to push and when to back off.  A good rule of thumb would be this:  Judge yourself at the end of every month.  How do you feel, how do you look and how do you perform.  END OF BURNOUT.  if you have questions let me know.

REHAB-  If you have an injury you need to address it!  Many years ago if I had something that bothered me I would just sweep it under the rug.  And Hey!  if you are 18 and something bothers you, heck you might be able to push through it.  Just yesterday I heard a story about someone ( 13 year old) we know who competed in gymnastics with a torn meniscus for over a year.  Dealing with pain for over a year is NOBLE as all get out.  For most of us, its smarter to take time off from the movements that hurt, and nurse our injuries back to good health.

I'll use myself as an example.  A few years ago my back hurt so bad that I thought I needed a wheel chair.  I had shooting pains down my legs, across my back and hips and even in my shoulder blades.  What was my first thought?  I need to strengthen my back.  So, while my back was hurting dumb old Steve was dead lifting and back squatting.  It makes perfect sense to continue to strengthen your back while its hurt right?

If something hurts you need to #1.  Stretch/Foam roll and Ice.  #2.  Tell a trainer.  3# Adjust your training movements accordingly.

Do not try to work through an injury.  People will disagree with me, but what I have found is that taking a week off is 10x's better than training through 3-4 weeks of pain.

Lastly, if you are over 30 you need to stretch before and after every workout.  You need to pay attention to your workouts.  You need to pay attention to your body.  Treat it right and it will do the same!

-Meta World Peace!

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