A Quick Way To Monitor Overtraining
There are many ways to monitor overtraining but for me the simplest way is to take my morning body weight and monitor that. It is simple, quick, and effective.
This is something I learnt from Charles Poliquin many years ago and I still use it now. If your body weight drops 1.8kg or more, cut training for the day. I applied this at the beginning of the week. On Monday morning I weighed 86.6kg. I done my regular weights session and then got back into some Jiu-Jitsu training. I haven’t trained jiu-jitsu for a few months because of an injury before Pan Pacs in October last year and I done a double session so it was quite a big day. Tuesday morning I weighed 84.7kg, down 1.9kg overnight. So, I knew not to train Tuesday. I just ate and recovered. Wednesday morning I was back to 85.9kg, didn’t feel fully recovered but still felt good enough to lift so I did. By Wednesday morning I was back to 86.4kg.
Not knowing this I may have just pushed through and trained Tuesday but I would more than likely have had a poor session and from experience set myself up for injury. Now, it may not have happened on that day but continually pushing through days when I am down that much in body weight has definitely contributed to many of my injuries I have had throughout my life. As a young rugby league player this was normal and you just got the work done. It’s not all bad as it helps mentally but over the long run you are going to break down. So for me I have to be smarter with what I am doing now and pull back at times. I struggle with this the most. For a lot of people I see, this won’t apply. They don’t push hard enough and I believe it would actually be good for them to reach this point to know they will not die.
When using this as a tool to monitor overtraining I am not talking about measuring fluid loss. A lot of the time body weight is used before and after a session to monitor the amount of fluid lost. On Monday I replenished and was back to my 86.6kg in the afternoon but Tuesday morning was down to 84.7kg as mentioned above. So there is more to it. I felt drained, like a deep central nervous system fatigue.
So take your morning body weight, record it consistently and you can use it as a guide to determine how hard to push in your training and when it may be time to back off a bit.