First of all A link to the meaning – Over training
You hear things like “over training is a myth” and you can’t over train. I don’t agree with that at all as i believe over training is a real thing especially in while living in Thailand. I’m no sports doctor and i know that everyone is different but i also know my body and i know when i need to rest and recover. I know that some people may use the term over training to slack off especially beginners who mentally haven’t learnt how far they can push their body. As an experienced fighter i feel that it is a very real thing. I’m currently training in Thailand where a daily training consists of 4-6km Run then 2-3hr Muay Thai training twice a day six days a week. When i run, i run to get fit, i push myself the whole way, i don’t just plod along at a walking pace, so when im done im really tired. At training i push 100% on everything i do, pad work, bag work and all the conditioning exercises. I normally clinch & spar with the hardest most experienced people in the gym which makes me work really hard the whole time. By the end of the training session im struggling to even put my shoes on to leave because i have given everything to the session, like it was the only session i had left! but it’s not, i have to come back and do it all over again in the afternoon and the next day and the day after that. When you are giving that much to every session it is physically and mentally impossible to keep it up 2x a day for 6 days. Yes i have seen people train the whole 2x a day 6 days a week but they don’t train at 100% they just coast through the sessions exerting less energy. I could do this if i wanted to but for me that is not what training is about. I prefer to go hard as i can then have a session or a day off then back to training and go as hard as i can again. Having a couple of sessions off a week or even a day off to reset and recover is very important to me because then i can train harder and retain more information when im there. For me being at the gym training when i have nothing left, no power, brain capacity to hold any information because im just so tired, just not wanting to be there is a waste of time for me and my trainer. It’s also the time you are most likely to get injuries or hurt in some way because you are not on your game. Yes some times you have those shitty days where your tired and not feeling it but they are the days you just push through, those days are different from the days where you really need to take a break and reset mentally and physically. After years of training and fighting im able to tell the difference in those days and also have the discipline to push through the lazy days. Taking a day off or a session off isn’t going to hinder your training, For me i think it makes me better because im going to training feeling fresh, having a good mind-set and being able to retain the information being taught. Some of the things i experience when i feel like i have over trained is fatigue, depression, whole body aching unable to do everyday tasks, loss of drive, mood swings, insomnia, restless legs syndrome and more. When you feel this way i think its stupid to push your body anymore and risk the serious effects just for one days training that you could rest for and it wouldn’t even make a difference. We have to remember in Muay Thai we are only training for a fight that lasts 10min with 4min of breaks for women & 15min with 8min for a males. Even with the most basic amount of training in Thailand with a couple of sessions off a week is going to be more than what most people do at home and they still fight and become champions.
Im going to ask some world class fighters and trainers that have achieved things in Muay Thai beyond our wildest dreams on their thoughts of over training and if they think its real. They would know right!
Name: Kevin Ross
Gym: Combat Sports Academy (CSA)
Fight Record: 44-12 overall 31-8 professional
Titles: Former WBC Super Lightweight International Champion. Former WBC Welterweight National Champion. Former USMF Super Lightweight Champion. Former FIDAM Welterweight Champion. Current Lion Fight World Champion,
1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? I hear people say “Over training is a myth, it’s called under recovery”, which very well may be true but to me you’re basically just talking about the same things. Regardless I know first hand what it’s like to completely burn myself out and ‘over train’ or if you want ‘under recover’. The problem, I find, is that most people use ‘over training’ as a reason to slack off in the gym. The majority of the time people aren’t even close to over training. I’ve always been the type of person who would rather do too much, than too little. Over the years I have learned to listen to my body a bit more and I try to train a little smarter but there’s a very fine line between doing too much and acting like a bitch.
2. How important are recovery days for you? I pretty much only take one day off a week and I’m usually putting in double days for the rest, when I’m in full on training mode. I’m probably the worst person to talk to when it comes to recovery and rest because that is something I lack, always have. I think for everyone it’s different. Some people need to keep pushing and be on the grind constantly, as I do, and that’s works for them, while others can have some days off, light days, etc and perform better. I’ve found that training, along with diet, is never something where one was works for everyone.
3. Do you think taking a session or a day off because you feel over trained is going to impact your fighting? Not at all, if anything it will help. As I said before, however, people tend to start making excuses and being babies just because they are a little sore. It’s the same as the question, ‘are you injured or are you hurt?’, there’s a big difference between the two and 9 times out of 10 you’re just being weak.
Anything else you would like to add? Whether it’s training, diet, recovery, etc, play around with different approaches, tweak them to your specific needs and find what works best for you. It’s always good to get advice from other people but there’s no one way to do anything.
Name:Caley reece Gym: Riddlers Gym Nationality: Australian Fight Record: 58 fights 53 wins Titles: WMC state and National titles. 57kg 6 x world Champion
1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? Absolutely it’s real – I’ve suffered from the effects of overtraining many times. To be honest I’m a prime example of it. I love training, and have high expectations of myself so I tend to do far more than what’s expected, which in the past has been more of a hinder than help. Daz (trainer and husband) is the one to usually pick up on it, telling me a session is needed off or a day and to take it easy as I will just keep pushing and pushing so he watches me closely and will tell me “Cales, that’s enough, it’s time for a day off or morning off” . It’s easy to overtrain in Thailand with the sessions being long, the same and them expecting long runs, sometimes twice a day. Its one of the reasons, I haven’t done lots of long stints there because I feel like I burn out after 2/3 weeks. Especially if you are training for a fight – there’s no taper compared to the western way and i believe to perform well, you need to have that slow “come down” from the hard training which will allow your body to repair and recover before you need to put it through a high level of stress in the ring. I’m certainly not knocking the way Thais train, I just know that two sessions every day at a high intensity for me, I would burn out. When I train, I train hard. I don’t mess around on the bag and go 50%, I don’t clinch at 50% and my padwork is always as best as I can go so if the rest days aren’t there, it soon catches up with me.
2. How important are recovery days for you? Recovery days and recovery sessions are important for any athlete for both mental and physical recuperation. One can effect the other so we need to have those times where we allow our bodies and minds to rest. It doesn’t just mean our muscles get rest. The toxicity and lactic acids released into your body when you train is constant, so it’s important that we give our organs a time and rest also. A day off and a couple of mornings off a week is what i do teamed with 2/3 recovery sessions at the sauna and pool per week. As I’m getting older, this is far more important also – the old saying quality vs quantity becomes more understandable, especially when the body has been training a long time.
3. Do you think taking a session or a day off because you feel over trained is going to impact your fighting? I used to yes. I used to struggle with it, thinking I will lose fitness but the more i did it (the more Daz made me do it haha) the more I realised, in fact, if anything it helps my body as I don’t have that constant tired feeling when i train. The second half of this year, I slipped back into my old ways of training like a maniac and ended up overtraining, putting too much pressure on myself and my body paid for it mentally and physically. It not only impacted my training but it impacted my life so I’ve had a brutal reminder that more is not better. I have just proved this to myself, that overtraining is not a myth if you are training at higher intensities often. It’s taken some time to recover and next year, I will be going back to the smart way which is hard for me because i live to train but as you get older, you definitely need to train more scientific than just guns a blazing!!
Anything else you would like to add? I have been doing a lot of reading on fatigue and overtraining actually and have come across a good article – http://www.cnelm.com/NutritionPractitioner/Issues/Issue_11_1/Articles/3%20Overtrainingformatted4_IC_ML3.pdf which outlines some information about overtraining and fatigue. It’s important to notice symptoms and not just brush them off because constant tiredness can leave towards almost an illness so it’s best to notice these signs and correct what’s needed before you dig yourself into a hole you don’t want to be in. As we like to say ” better to be safe than sorry” Thanks Tash for a topic that is highly important for fighters to be aware of when they are training. Especially those on a mission to become champions and will do whatever it takes.
Name: Darren Reece Position: owner and head trainer Riddlers gym Gym: Riddlers Gym Nationality: Australian
1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? Yes over training is a very real thing. Having lived and trained in Thailand for many years during my fight career I have experienced it first hand though realising so was in hindsight when I became more experienced and learnt that you didn’t have to feel like that to be fighting fit! As a trainer now I try to keep an eye out and take notice on training performance, fatigue levels and mood of my fighters to determine if they are getting over trained, fatigued or perhaps excessively tired from the work/ training combination.
2. Do you think a person who is feeling over trained will gain anything from training or taking a rest? There is definitely a difference between being tired from a hard session or sessions and over training. Sometimes you need to just push through to take you to that next level but then when it is more than that like days on end then I believe taking a rest, active recovery or reducing your workload and intensity to promote some recovery is of great value and benefit and results in the fighter coming back better and stronger.
3. How do you judge if you think someone is over training or needs to ease up a bit? I watch closely and know my fighters. If it’s a one off day from a hard session previous or they had a busy day at work then it’s not so serious and this is where a little mental push will help. If it’s days on end or they’re having a stressful time at work or outside the gym, they’re coming to the gym tired and looking run down and I know what they’re usually like then I often alter a few things. As an example a few of my fighters are tradies or labourers who work outside. If they’ve been working outside in the heat and sun then they are not going to have as much fuel in the tank for training and often after a couple of days of training and work I’ll tell them to have a day off or go do some active recovery and they come back stronger to finish off the week instead of pushing them through and their performance is suffering badly by middle or late in the week. Even for a fighter that is getting to train full time there comes a point after a few sessions that you need to have an easier day or a morning off to allow you to return to optimal performance. Session after session of high level intensity and volume without change is where over training becomes a factor and wears you down.
4. Do you think your student taking a session or a day off because they feel over trained will impact their fighting? Yes. Yes it will impact in a positive way! If it’s scheduled and needed rest day or session it will result in them coming back to perform better in other sessions rather than just struggling through.. No it doesn’t mean they’ll not be as fit or fight as well which is often in our minds when we are a fighter because let’s look at the big picture.. A fight is for 10 mins or 15 mins of ring and round time. Do we really need to do quadruple that amount training morning and night to make it through the fight? I don’t think so! But in actual fact that morning off, day off or scheduled sessions of high, moderate and light intensity will allow you to train better and higher intensity when you ask your body to!
Anything else you would like to add? I have become a big believer in training smart and after years and years of serious Thailand training with crazy volumes I now prefer to train a much smarter way and also utilise modern training methods of sprint training, strength and conditioning and recovery methods. With all these combined together it results in a much better prepared fighter that gets to train with much more variety in their training, less injuries because of the variety, more motivated because of the variety and fighters that are faster,stronger and better athletically repaired! Another thing that is related to this and can be experienced often when training hard or over trained is sickness. I believe it is much more effective to rest for a few days and get better quicker than to try and struggle through making you get sicker and usually for longer trying to train through sick and suffering. You won’t lose much fitness from taking a few days off training because you’re sick… But you will get better quicker and return to normal quicker. Darren Reece.
1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? I think in some cases over training is real, but there is a fine line between using it as an excuse to get out of hard training and actually having nothing left physically or mentally in the tank.
2. Do you think a person who is feeling over trained will gain anything from training or taking a rest? As I said above, there is a fine line and all comes down to how well the trainer knows his student. Some fighters need a push to get through a session especially as you come closer to the bout. Other may need to rest a few days if they truly believe they may have peaked to early or feeling they are starting to get run down. Knowing which line to follow with your student is just a part of being a trainer.
3. How do you judge if you think someone is over training or needs to ease up a bit? This is one of those things that separates the good trainers and the great ones. Rule number one as a trainer is knowing your fighter. Measuring previous training sessions leading up to a fight and assessing the standard at certain points of training.
4. Do you think your student taking a session or a day off because they feel over trained will impact their fighting? I would say, it’s the trainers call to decide if the fighter needs a session or day off, not the fighter. But I believe if you know your fighter and you think that he would gain from a sleep in and morning session off, there is nothing wrong with that! As far as the result goes, it’s the fight game and anything can happen. The main thing is that you send your fighter in to the ring in the best condition they could be in.
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Natasha Sky – Professional Female Muay Thai Fighter from Australia.