Let me begin by stating that I was wrong. Yes, I made the same mistake that most people make when discussing overtraining vs under / poor recovery and continued to blame my poor Jiu Jitsu performance, lingering soreness, and lack of explosiveness to the former not realizing that few people ever truly over train while the majority of people actual suffer from poor nutrition and lack of sleep or in other words, poor recovery methods.
Many Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area are gearing up for the IBJJF DC open. This means hard comp training of two – three training sessions a day of Jiu Jitsu drilling and sparring and possibly weight cutting. Add in a gym workout, a normal 9-5, a family, oh and very little sleep and the result is a lot of mental and psychical stress on the body and what most people will refer to as being overtrained.
Overtraining by definition is a physiological state not an action and is impacted by every single type of stressor vice a sole stressor i.e. training or working out too much. Additionally, overtraining leads to a SUSTAINED decrease in physical and mental performance not one bad day or a couple of shitty rolls. One cannot expect to recover from a state of being truly overtrained by simply sleeping in on Sunday and training light for a week, in actuality recovery can take months.
I’m as guilty as the next guy. I can’t recall how many times I have told someone “If I have a bad night of sleep, I know I am overtraining so I take a day or two off.” Man was I completely off (thanks google for setting me straight). Sure, I was fatigued but I wasn’t overtrained and what I needed was a more holistic approach to correcting my deficiencies and getting back to firing on all cylinders.
Salt baths, ice baths, eucalyptus saunas, foam rolling sessions, cupping, dry needling, etc. have all become the “in things” that people perform for recovery and they are not necessarily wrong for seeking out some of these methods. Doing these activities can and will contribute to your recovery however the two key factors to proper recovery are SLEEP and NUTRITION. As intensity and workload increase, the amount of food and sleep must increase as well. When seeking to correction nutritional issues, it is not simply consuming more food but it is seeking out real food (vice a bar) made from healthy ingredients, ingested at the right times paired with adequate fluid which will aid in digestion. Aim for 8-10 hours of quality sleep (yeah right) a night ditching the electronics and television during the evening and replacing them with a podcast (Work Play Obsession, Life and Jiu Jitsu – plug) or even reading a book (gasp).
I’m not a doctor, coach, therapist, trainer, etc. I’m just a Jiu Jitsu guy throwing some ideas on a computer screen. If this has made you curious to seek out more information I refer you to google. There are plenty of articles and recommendations on things that you can do in order to prevent under-recovery as well as programming that will leave you fully prepared for the your next competition. It’s all just a click away.
Until next time – Keep Grinding