Published on March 8th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Are You Tired of Diminishing Vertical Results? 5 Quick Tips to Avoid Overtraining
Do you follow all your workouts to the letter, eating right and doing everything the pros suggest, yet you see little or no changes to your fitness levels and your vertical jump height?
If yes, then you may be living the nightmare of diminishing results due to overtraining.
Science defines overtraining as “the accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in long-term decrease in performance capacity” while the term “diminishing results” almost always refers to getting less muscle development and athletic performance returns from equal effort.
A Vicious Circle
Diminishing results can indeed drive you crazy, and many athletes respond to diminishing results by working out even harder. Sadly, this works contrary to their benefits, as more overtraining leads to more diminishing results and more diminishing results will push these athletes to (over) train more and more until they are fatigued!
If you stubbornly work out with disregard to your own stress levels, you may actually be shooting yourself in the foot and ruining your performance instead of improving it!
Diminishing results can lead to a plateau of performance with your vertical, and this can only be overcome by breaking the vicious circle of overtraining.
What causes diminishing results?
Contrary to popular belief, diminishing results are chiefly caused by not resting properly. Muscle development requires your muscles to be worn out by training and then reconstructed into stronger versions of themselves during recovery days. So, you actually have to rest instead of working out in certain days in order for your workouts to really have an impact to your vertical performance!
Overtraining doesn’t allow your muscled to repair themselves and after a certain point of overtraining, you stop seeing results altogether.
How to avoid diminishing results?
The simple answer here is “just don’t overtrain in the first place”,
This is easier said than done!
Workout stress can come overnight if you workout without restriction but more often it accumulates over a long period of time, without us realizing. The effects of overtraining may only start becoming obvious after months of slowing building up fatigue in your body, and by that time, you will start seeing diminishing results in your vertical jumps. The best approach is to play it safe. Even if you feel strong and rested, NEVER SKIP your recovery days and NEVER sneak any “stealth” workouts in-between your normal training schedule. Discuss all changes in your training program with your coach or an expert to ensure you aren’t following a plan that may lead to long-term fatigue.
How to tell if you’re overtraining: 5 Quick Tips
So, with overtraining, you essentially pile on fatigue faster than you can rest it off. The effects of this problem can be subtle at first, but there are ways to catch overtraining early on and change your workout schedule so you never face diminishing results due to not resting properly.
Here’s a list of telltale overworking signs you can look out for:
1: Pay Attention to Your Mood
Always pay attention to your mood! If you feel like you’re getting irritable or find it hard to keep yourself from getting angry or anxious for no good reason after workouts, then you probably working out too much and resting too little.
2: Check Your Concentration Levels
Inability to concentrate after working out almost always points out to fatigue from overtraining. If your concentration levels are gradually dropping then you may be piling up long-term fatigue. As concentration is vital not only for your vertical but also for most daily activities this can be a dangerous side-effect of overtraining.
3: Aches, Pains, Small Injuries
Known collectively as “cumulative microtraumas”, small injuries, long-term aches and training-related pains that don’t seem to go away are often big signs of overtraining. These happen more often to athletes that don’t allow their muscles and ligaments time to recover and repair the damage wrought upon them in the workouts. Cumulative microtraumas can develop to serious injuries if an athlete does not rest properly.
4: Check your Vitals at Resting State
More specifically, elevated heart rate and blood pressure at resting are giveaway signs that you’re fatigued. Measure your rested heart rate and blood pressure just after you wake up and if they’re higher than normal, then you should reconsider your recovery days.
5: Check your Overall Health and Immune system
If you find yourself with fever, if you catch the cold easily and if you’re getting sick easier than other people in your age group then your immune system may be weakened due to fatigue. This can cause a host of different health problems as it opens a backdoor for all kind of diseases!
So, if you experience one of the above problems, then you are probably overtraining and if you experience two or more then you may already have been fatigued!
Takeaway: The Importance of Recovery
Overtraining is a sneaky enemy when aiming higher with your vertical. There are many ways to tell if you’ve been overtraining but the signs are not always obvious.
The key to avoid overtraining (and diminishing results that come from it) is recovery.
Having clearly defined, well-spaced recovery days is mandatory if you want to keep your body in tip-toe shape and promote muscle growth instead of fatigue. When you recover, your body repairs the damage from past workouts and builds stronger muscles for future ones and for that reason recovery is as important as working out!
For every heart-pumping workout, you need a proportionate recovery period to let your body do its magic. Improving your vertical is a matter of balance above everything. Balance of body, balance of mind and balance of lifestyle. So, if you manage to balance your workouts and your recovery days, you will keep improving your vertical performance and your fitness level in perpetuity!
Remember: NO REST = NO GAIN