|Signs of Over-training for Sports Athletes|
by Patrick Beith
Today's Hockey players train harder then ever. Unlike years ago when players came to camp to get into shape. Hockey players today follow strick diets and workout routines year round. To compete at the highest levels hockey players need to find new and innovative ways to train and gain that competitive edge. But is it possible to train to hard?
Hard workouts equals a lean body; this equation is one most athletes depend on. But does one always equal the other? Unfortunately the answer is no. In fact, chronic over-training can signal the storage of fat. It not only can be telling your body to store fat, but it can also be storing the fat at your waist-line.
Physical training is a form of stress that is applied onto the body. During stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol (a glucocorticoid from the adrenal gland). Cortisol's primary function is to release glucose (insulin) into the blood at times of acute stress. So, the more stress you place on your body, the more cortisol is released.
Chronic stress (overtraining) results in an excess of cortisol, which will cause higher baseline cortisol levels. This excess keeps the body with high insulin levels, which blocks fat metabolism, and sends fat into storage at the waist. Excess cortisol also breaks down muscle tissue, and suppresses immune defenses, which is the opposite effect the athlete is looking for (getting fat, weak and sick is not really ideal).
Cortisol levels rise with exercise but should decrease to a normal range with adequate recovery. Often, the problem is that today's high school and college athletes aren't getting the proper recovery time. It could mean they have a program that isn't allowing them the proper amount of recovery and restoration periods. But assuming the coach is doing his/her job, there are other factors that can influence athlete stress levels.
Stress from school work, a job, relationships, lack of sleep, and inadequate nutrition can add to the stress of intense training that the athlete goes through each day. If you are training hard and cannot seem to get rid of that little extra fat around your tummy, the chances that your cortisol levels are elevated are extremely high.
Here are some signs of over-training:
Look for these signs with your athletes as over-training serverly affects performance. When you suspect that your athlete or athletes might be suffering from over-training, back off of their training immediately and work on their recovery. If you continue to train during this state, injury and low performance level will strike your athletes.
Remeber that it is better to under-train than to over-train, and take that mentality into your program design planning.
About the Author
Patrick Beith, CSCS, PES, USATF II For more sports training information check out Coach Beith's website: Athletes AccelerationFor tips on how to skate faster for your sport go now to: Complete Speed Training
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