“there is no such thing as over-training, just under-recovery”
-scrawled in my seminar notebook, GYM JONES, august – 2007

language is important.

10 months ago i started working as a personal trainer at a 24 hour fitness facility. it wasnt my idea. i was asked to. that being said, i was pretty stoked. i picked up clients pretty fast, i was working 40+ hours a week. January and all. i was new, i worked the only way i knew, i did. i worked next to my clients. i pulled heavier weights, and i did it faster. just a bit. just so they would try and keep up.

it was great, i saw people improve, saw them struggle to keep the pace i set for them. it made me feel good that i could operate at that level for 12 hour days, and still hit it hard once or twice a week. the volume of training made me get my diet under control. made me appreciate sleep. got my Deadlift up another 15%. occasionally i worried about over training, but didn’t see any of the red flags. i pushed on. i got stronger. i got faster.

then it caught up.

my joints started hurting, and while i am usually a bitter and contemptuous individual, i noticed i was getting annoyed at things i used to ignore. my right elbow and shoulder started to feel wrong. i went to see a ART specialist. active release technique. massage and movement. the doctor ran me through some ROM tests. she was not happy. simple diagnosis: over trained. fibrotic muscle tissue. lack of flexibility causing stress on joints. as soon as she pointed out my sticking point i knew ten reasons i was sitting on that table. i could see the holes in my training. in my recovery.

lucky for me nothing is ruined. just have to step back a little. make recovery a habit. use the tools given to me years ago. listen and remain vigilant. my shoulder still feels a bit weak, definitely not where i would choose to be a week out from a second trip to SLC. but i will savor it. remember this bitter taste every time i think i don’t have the time to hit the foam roller or the money for a 3rd party assessment.

the question should have never been “am i training too much” but “am i recovering too little”

language is important. take responsibility.