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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sacred Fire


In the past, being on fire--you know, that feeling you get when you've hit your stride, when your motivation and energy are at an all-time high--has always signaled a green light for me to Really Bring It by increasing my intensity and adding in a few too many extra workouts.

My thinking during these periods has always been: if I do more, I will achieve more, and if I feel the energy, why not just really go for it?

Oh, there's nothing like that feeling of being on! It really is an on-top-of-this-world kind of feeling to really push your body to its limit.

And oh, there's nothing like that feeling of suddenly being struck with the multiple symptoms of overtraining: persistent fatigue, thirst, headaches, insomnia, and depression. Trust me, it ain't pretty...and, as I have learned, it definitely ain't worth it.

Your body just can't keep up with that kind of intensity. Eventually and inevitably, you will burn the house down.

Both times that I have overtrained by doing too many doubles and pushing too hard, I have had to practically drag myself to the finish line of P90X. And both times, my tired body has forced me to take WEEKS off to fully recover.

Make no mistake about it: the period of recovery is not pleasant. Feeling tired, down, irritable, and sore for weeks on end sucks.

It has taken me a while to understand, but overtraining is foolish (foolish on my part because I knew better!) and COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE.

But, after two very unpleasant experiences with overtraining, I finally learned my lesson: I learned to HOLD ON TO THAT SACRED FIRE.

I am finishing up my 4-week rotation of Slim Series strong. I started out slow and while the temptation to do more was present at times, I did not cave in to it.

I will glide to the finish line this Saturday, rest on my laurels by taking a recovery week, and then, I will be ready to start round 3 of P90X.

Brrrrrrrring It!

Barbie

10 comments:

Jim said...

You can be such a demanding little thing! :)

Not only do you want us to 'read' your blog, but you also want us to 'comment' too!?!?? Where does it stop, when does it end? Will it ever be enough to satisfy! ;)

I can completely relate with your thoughts on this one. The good old 'Managing our excitement' and not over doing it! Easier said than done I know, but very important to remember.

Being in the final phase of P90X myself, I have to remind myself to not 'over do it'. It is so tempting to double up on the workouts to ACHIEVE even MORE! (More... Must do MORE!, More better results..... where does it end!! :) )

When is enough, enough? A very individualized answer for each of us. But thanks again for the warning about overtraining!

And that we should all remember to keep that SACRED fire burning strong!!

MikeJ said...

"p.s. I need a little encouragement by way of comments on my blog. I know you guys read it, but you know, it gets lonely in there sometimes! I need to have a little commentary going! "
-Barbie

"Not only do you want us to 'read' your blog, but you also want us to 'comment' too!?!?? Where does it stop, when does it end? Will it ever be enough to satisfy! ;) "
-Jim

I think Jim and I would get along quite nicely. I'll leave it at that. ;) LOL. (you know we think you're awesome)

Everybody would do well to listen to your warning about overtraining. As motivating as any of the BB workout programs can be, the possibility of getting too "into it" is real. The videos are motivating, the feelings of accomplishment with the adrenaline/endorphine rush from a great workout are motivating, and starting to see actual personal results is extremely motivating. All driving us further and sometimes to look at overdoing, which is almost always counterproductive. Sometimes even dangerous. Motivation is great, but so is the voice of reason to know when to slow down so that motivation does not cause the situation where "your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash".

Julie said...

Hi Barbie! I feel like that warning was meant for me! I've been so happy with my results, I was starting to think that I couldn't take a recovery week. (The idea is if you hold back on your workouts, you would lose progress). Thanks for reminding us that is not the case...all we need to do is look at your great results to remember that!

Oh and I love mike's comment about overtraining, "your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash." I should remember that line :)

Alright, that said, time to burn it up with Debbie!

Coach Barbie said...

Simmer down, boys!

Coach Barbie said...

Okay, now, thanks, guys for your insight on the dangers of overtraining.

Personally, it's difficult for me to listen to the voice of reason when I'm doing doubles. It's like the adrenaline takes over.

I've learned, I hope, to not get to that point where it takes over. So, when I begin to feel the burn, I talk to myself and say, "Barbie, you're feeling the fire, but be wise and don't do doubles five times a week. As a matter of fact, barbie, just stick with the program."

It's been working so far!

Keep Bringing it!

Barbie

Lisa said...

We definitely don't want Barbie feeling lonely over here! Thanks for the words of wisdom about overtraining. With Debbie's workouts, I have always taken my recovery weeks, but sometimes have thought about skipping them because I was "on fire." Now that I'm doing the X, I know I cannot succumb to that temptation. If I even think about it, Barbie has permission to give me no end of grief.

MikeJ said...

"Oh and I love mike's comment about overtraining, "your ego is writing checks that your body can't cash." I should remember that line :)" -Julie

Julie - it is a great line, but I can't take credit for it. rewind about 20 years to Top Gun and you'll find it. ;)

Mike

Jim said...

You know we heart you Barbie, just teasing!

Jim said...

It really is amazing, how letting the body to recuperate, and not 'over doing it' helps make us stronger.

For the first 2 months of P90X, I could not complete a full pull-up. I started out recording 1/4 pullup as my starting point. (That's one quarter, not 1 full, and 4 assisted) :)

During the 2nd month, I managed to make it 1/2 way to the bar.

But then amazingly, after the recuperation week of Phase 2, I grabbed the bar and was able to complete a pullup unassisted finally!

It does seem counter productive, to not push ourselves to the extreme as often as we can to achieve better results.

But as has been pointed out by Barbie and numerous others, too much really can be too much!

And to repeat those words of wisdom Barbie drilled into my head while doing the Slim-n-Six routines:
"Just trust the Program" - It really does work!

Thanks again Barbie, you're the best!

PCramer said...

I just love this Barbie. Very timely indeed since I am just starting to feel my fire myself and suffer from the do more, get more mindset. Great message!