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Are You Overtraining | fuel your strength podcast

Are You Overtraining?

Overtraining is a common issue for athletic women. You might assume that overtraining is always due to problems with your training plan itself. However, overtraining can happen for other reasons that have nothing to do with your training plan.

If you’re concerned you might be overtraining but not sure if your training plan is to blame, this episode is for you.

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If You Want to Prevent Over Training:

  1. Make sure that you are fueling appropriately for the level of activity you are doing
  2. Learn how to fluctuate your intensity in your training to promote active recovery
  3. Don’t forget the importance of viewing sleep as a non-negotiable

Is it Overtraining or Underfueling?

If you want to have a high energy output when it comes to your training, you need enough energy input. Not fueling properly for your activity level results in an energy mismatch. And this can have a serious effect on your results and your health.

Not eating enough is the biggest problem I see in my clients and community. Undereating for the level of activity you are doing will put you in a state of low energy availability (LEA).

Chronic low energy availability can put you at risk for relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S).

The Importance of Rest and Recovery

The good news is an athlete over 40, you don’t need to do less of the things that you love; you just have to be clever about it. Allowing your body to properly and actively rest is another major key to gaining better adaptation through your training. 

Fluctuating your intensity to allow for proper rest is the only way that you are going to make progress in a sustainable way. By blending active recovery with higher intensity effort and integrating auto-regulation, you can avoid overtraining and get better at the things you love to do.

Have you ever considered that your overtraining might have to do with something other than your movement program? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Understanding my personal backstory when it comes to overtraining (3:12)
  • The problem with making up your own programming when you don’t have enough experience (10:33)
  • One of the biggest issues I see out there in the world that may be impacting your training (15:00)
  • The first thing that you need to do to prevent a state of overtraining (22:14)
  • Why you need to be strict about your sleep and active recovery (29:09)


“I have made all of these mistakes. I have taken the long ass way to figure them out. And luckily for you, I have been able to condense all of that learning, all of the education, from both formal education to the school of hard knocks, and put it in the resources, the podcast, the private podcast, the courses, the coaching that I do.” (7:26)

“I’m doing this episode for you because I want you to be able to look outside of just the training plan itself and figure out if you are really overtraining or if there are other things at play.” (10:02)

“Your eating has to support your training.” (20:29)

“You can do it! You can do it all! You just have got to fluctuate the intensity of those things.” (24:17)

“Yes, having a smart training plan matters. But being able to adjust the plan is just as important.” (28:20)

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Related Episodes

FYS 394: Within-Day Energy Deficit

FYS 392: Understanding Total Daily Energy Expenditure

FYS 391: What is Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)?

Are You Overtraining? Transcript

Steph Gaudreau

Cast your mind back to the year 2010. Let’s go back in that mental time machine, I want to tell you a story. I had just come off of a season of racing endurance distance mountain bikes, long, long races, and then I transitioned right into racing the Xterra Off-Road triathlon. I had never done a triathlon before. But I had done lots of distance running, of course, lots of distance biking. So hey, why not just go all the way and start adding swimming in and doing triathlons, which I did. After my last Xterra race of the season, I was completely depleted. I was just exhausted. And I burned out. I burned out from racing.

Now, that event ended up being a blessing in disguise, because I found strength training after that. But if I had to look back and say, did I really burn out from racing, was I overtraining, I’ve learned a lot from that experience that I want to share with you. Because oftentimes, what we pin on overtraining, as we’re just doing too much exercise is actually down to three key things that I see my students getting wrong very, very often until they come to work with me. In this episode, I’m going to be sharing three tips to prevent overtraining that you may not have heard before.

Of course, the topic of overtraining goes very far. But today on this episode, I want to go into three important things that I want you to look at, besides the training plan itself, if you suspect that you might be teetering on the edge of overtraining.

If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself, and doing hard shit, the Fuel Your Strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train and recover smarter, so you build strength and muscle, have more energy, and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach, Steph Gaudreau. The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery, and why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s go.

Hello, and welcome back to the podcast today. Thanks so much for being with me, hit that subscribe button on your podcast app. And if you’re not a YouTube watcher yet, head over to YouTube, hit the subscribe button there, and ring the bell for more notifications. If you’re watching me here on YouTube. Hi, Hello, thanks for being here. Okay, this episode today is a little bit of a riff. And I’m going to set up the backstory for you that when I go out for my walks in the morning, or I’m out rucking, I will oftentimes do what I call walk & talk where I just talk to the camera.

How Do I Know If I’m Overtraining?

And I always posted on my Instagram Stories, where I’m going over either a question somebody asked me or something that’s been on my mind for a teachable moment. And this topic has definitely been coming up a lot lately. Because there are a lot of people out in the world that are like, oh, if you’re over 40, you should just do like, really low-key easy exercise until the day you die, which I disagree with. So we’re gonna kind of go into that. And I made a series of Instagram stories about this, you can still find it go over if you don’t watch my stories, what are you doing with your life?

But seriously, go watch the story highlight called Walk and Talk. Because oftentimes I turn these into podcasts. But you know, if there’s like you just wanted to kind of get a peek inside my brain or learn from me. And they’re like short snippets of I would say usually three to five minutes.

I packed so much in those little Walk and Talks. So go check that out on Instagram Stories, for sure. Okay, so I did make a story on this today on my walk and talk. And this is a bit of a rough episode. I didn’t It’s not scripted. Beyond what I talked about. I literally have my notes on my computer. I use the notes app, and it says three tips to prevent overtraining. And then bullet one, bullet two, bullet three, and it’s literally five words. So this one’s a little bit more of a riff than some of my other episodes, which tend to be a little bit more scripted so that I make sure I hit all the points and it sounds, you know, super professional.

Can You Exercise Too Much Over 40?

So suffice it to say this topic comes up a lot because a lot of you over 40 are concerned with this idea of overtraining, of course, overtraining can happen to you, if you’re under 40, you just have to know that this is the person that I’m speaking to because I am over 40 as well. By the time this episode comes out, I will have turned 44. Okay, so I’m right there with you. I’m like big 40s mid-life. And I’ve been training for a while I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I’ve been weight training since 2010, since that story that I told at the top of that episode, and I’ve learned a lot of shit along the way.

If y’all are wondering why I do what I do today, it’s because I did not have the reach there were not very many people back then. Especially talking to people my age bracket, in that at that time, I was in my 30s, but specifically not talking to women. They weren’t talking to women in endurance sports about why you needed to eat enough. And I didn’t know this stuff. And then, of course, I transitioned after I talked about my burnout or is like, I just can’t do this anymore. I’m fucking exhausted. And I then joined a CrossFit gym, and I started doing CrossFit training. So shout out, Rick, Santa Maria, and the whole crew over at CrossFit Chula Vista, you, y’all are still amazing, folks, Melissa, and everybody over there.

And a huge also, just side note, thank you to cross the Chula Vista to Rick and the whole crew over there because they let us go in and shoot photos for you know, marketing and for the website and social media in their gym space. And I’m you know, that’s such a nice thing that they do. So I just want to give a little shout-out to CrossFit, Chula Vista, and everybody over there. But when I started doing CrossFit training, the main thing that people were saying back then is like do this own diet, which is a preposterously small amount of food. So look, I have made all of these mistakes, I have taken the long ass way to figure them out.

And luckily for you, I’ve been able to condense all of that learning and all of the education from both formal education to the school of hard knocks and put it in the resources, the podcast here, the private podcast, my courses, all of the stuff that could the coaching that I do and that I offer, you know, all of the things that I’m here doing is because I am so galvanized by this mission to get better quality solutions into your hands, stuff that at the time, hardly anyone was talking about it definitely was not as prevalent. And you know what we what I do, but in my little bubble here, we still have a long way to go.

Overtraining from Endurance Racing

Okay, so when I burned out from racing, and I had been racing endurance distance mountain bikes for several years at that point, but racing bikes for eight years. And then my racing got I went from like downhill and cross country into more long, slow endurance distance. And what I’m talking about is 24-hour racing and 12-hour solo racing, eight hours of solo racing, six hours of solo racing, and a lot of time with my ass on a bike seat.

And then I took that I went right from that season, immediately into triathlon. And when I look back at pictures of me from that time, there’s a picture I always share, and I recently shared it on social media. It was, we’re in Lake Tahoe. There’s a waterfall there. I think it’s called Eagle falls. I should have looked that up before this episode. I forgot. But we’re, um, we’re standing at Eagle Falls. This is what my ex and myself we both did Xterra in Tahoe that year. And was the first or in the middle of kind of the racing season, we had done several Xterra triathlons, off-road triathlons at that point. So we, you know, we’re taking pictures at this waterfall. It’s super beautiful. And I’m sitting there posing, trying to look like all Hench.

And like, like, muscular and doing all these poses. And at the time, I thought, Gosh, I’m huge. And, you know, I’ve told this story many times about feeling like I needed to lose even more weight and be even skinnier. And I look back at those pictures and I’m just a fraction of the size that I am now and not looking anywhere remotely identifiable. And you know, it’s just super interesting because looking back at the time if you would ask me are you overtrained?

I would have said yes. And looking back and kind of what I know now, I would have said possibly, but I think some other stuff was going on as well. So I’m doing this episode for you because I want you to be able to look outside of just the trading plan itself. And figure out am I really overtraining are there other things at play?

Overtraining Due to Your Training Plan

Most of the time, when I hear people talk about overtraining, they are referring to the actual training plan, that you’re doing too many, too much, too much volumes, whether that’s endurance training, its weight training. And look, of course, okay, first and foremost, if you’re programming for yourself, and you don’t have experience, I’m not saying you can’t learn how to do good programming you can, there are so many resources available, and courses and all sorts of stuff out there. But it’s hard to learn how to program well. And if you bought a training plan from someone, hopefully, they know what they’re talking about.

Of course, there are many elite coaches and things of that nature, who will do personalized programming for you. And that’s certainly an option. But if you’re making up your own programming, a lot of times what I see is to two extremes.

Either people will go and do way too much like the lovely gal and I don’t remember her name, but on Instagram, and she was like I do both areas split squat six days a week. And I was like, Please, God, no, stop doing that. So we see like, too, too much either too much volume, too much intensity, those sorts of things, or it’s just like really poorly programmed, or we see people not doing enough. And what I mean by that is, of course, they’re going to be minimums.

And you can actually get by with you can do a lot with a little recently, I was listening to Jeff Nippert on Instagram on YouTube. And he was talking about sort of minimum effective doses, especially for things like strength, health, and hypertrophy. I’m on the like, less is more squad for that. And maybe it’s just training age or experience. But yes, you can get away with doing less, as long as it’s done.

Well, you know, most of the women that I see who are kind of coming in, and they’re like, I’m not getting really great results. And it’s really a training issue. It’s because we’re not pushing the right intensities. It’s not heavy enough. And so yes, you can get away with doing not so much. And I don’t want to I don’t think anybody can wait for this episode. And things stop saying telling me I should just lift seven days a week, not at all, we can get away with doing less. And actually, I think sometimes some of you need a little bit less, but you need to do it better. And by better, I mean, like training to higher intensities, taking your rest time, if that’s necessary, and those sorts of things. But those issues aside, I don’t always believe that overtraining is down to just the training plan. So I want to talk a little bit more about that in this episode.

Strength Nutrition Unlocked

Quick side note, though, before we go any further, if you’re like, Yes, I just need someone to help me make sense of this stuff and put it together in a cohesive system. But not just that, to give me support, to give me coaching to create community, and accountability for me to make it so that I do want to show up. And I’m able to work through the questions and the sticking points that I have, and the mind trash that gets in my way, as I’m going through this process, then I want to invite you to apply for strength nutrition unlocked. This is my group program. We’re going to do all those things with you and more. And you can find out more and apply over at StephGaudreau.com/apply.

Okay, so let’s go into these three things that I went over in my walk and talk, and I’m doing this episode for you on the first thing that I see, again, we’re gonna assume that the actual sort of training itself, whether you’re doing endurance or cardio, or you’re lifting like that the training plan itself is you’re doing kind of the right things, all of that aside, the biggest thing that I see is that you are not eating enough, and therefore, that is causing you to get exhausted, you’re not supporting your training, is you’re not eating enough. You’re not fueling properly. For the things that you do. And this question kind of came out, I should have said where this question came from.

How to Avoid Overtraining

Somebody was like, how do you do all this? All this stuff? Well, okay, first things first, I don’t have your life, my life is different. And I probably have availability on my schedule you might not have. But when they were like how do you not burn out? How do you not overtrain? So I lift weights, I do BJJ, I rock and walk. And I’ve just started sprinkling in a little bit of running because I want to get better at being able to rock and slightly Rock Shuffle. So like rock really fast while carrying loads. So I’ve started doing a little bit of running here and there. How do I do all of that and not overtrain is that I implement these three things? Right?

The first one is I eat appropriately for the kind of activity level that I have, and that is one of the biggest issues that I see out in the world right now when my students come into the program when my one-on-one clients come into work with me when I’m talking with all of you on social media in the DMS, you’re hitting me up on the Instagram DMS isn’t what the kids say, these days, sliding into my DMs, I don’t know, I’m 44. I don’t know what kids say, these days when you’re emailing me, and you’re like, help, I don’t know what’s wrong, I would say nine out of 10 times, it’s because there’s an energy mismatch in terms of the energy you’re taking in, and therefore that’s also affecting your energy output.

Your training sessions aren’t going super well, you’re not able to hit the intensities that you need to like, look, let’s, let’s go back to what I said earlier, you could live twice a week, that’s what I do most of the time, I do have a higher training age than you if you’re just coming in. Because I’ve been lifting consistently, for 13 years, it’s just hard to believe it’s been that long, I can get away with a little bit less and maintain, right. But when I’m in there, I’m able to lift heavy enough to make it count to maintain that strength.

And of course, I can kind of go, you know, maybe I’m doing a microcycle or a mesocycle that’s biasing toward a particular area of my body or toward a particular strength goal that I have, for example, recently, I wanted to be able to get back to 10, strict pull-ups. And so I started working a lot more upper body pulling and drilling, the things that I need to do to get my pull-up volume back up, and I did it.

Is it Overtraining or Undereating?

I haven’t had that haven’t had 10 strict pull-ups in about five years, because I haven’t really been practicing them. So it was like, You know what, let me go do that. But in order to support all of those things, I need to eat enough in order to have the output to push hard enough in those sessions, when I need to, to then get the adaptation.

So long story short, there is a lot of you are just trying to, you’re trying to squeeze all this juice, all this training juice out of just drops to like it, there’s just nothing There are crumbs, right, you’re far under eating for what you really need in order to be able to put out the energy output the intensity because it’s through the training the intensity of the training. And that doesn’t always mean we’re doing 10 out of 10 or going reps to failure. But we’re able to put in enough intensity in our training that we then recover, then we then get the benefits of that through super-compensation. That’s what we want to be able to do.

Okay, we need that to happen. But if we’re not able to hit those intensities, or we’re just kind of like cutting the rep short or we’re not able to pick up heavy enough weights, to make those reps really count, then we’re not going to see much changing. And then this is where I also see things coming in like being super sore, just overall lack of motivation to train, we have hammered on these topics and other episodes of the podcast. So go check those out. And listen, you can dive into each one of those things specifically. So yes, you have to eat enough. And the challenge here comes in when we think of what we see on social media.

Fueling for Performance

Okay, I’m not going to debate this episode things like the value of aesthetic-based sports or aesthetic-based training versus performance-based sports and performance-based training. That’s up to you to decide. If you do decide to go the aesthetic route, please just follow somebody who knows what the fuck they’re talking about. Okay, that’s just my only ask for someone who has good-quality information and can back it up. It’s science-based. And it’s reasonable. But what I see a lot on the sort of the vast swath of the internet and social media is that you will see people doing aesthetic-based pursuits, and they’re fueling in a very different way they are, they are manipulating their diet. They’re very specific and very tightly in order to have predominantly aesthetic outcomes for which the training is just one more lever to pull, but a lot of their outcomes are coming from dietary manipulation.

Some of you see that and you’re like, Oh, that looks good. And then you try to apply it to things like BJJ or whatever martial art you do. You do powerlifting or you’re just doing an overall well-rounded strength plan. You’re really in there trying to push the intensities. You know, you’re doing some kind of other sport maybe a field sport and you’re playing I don’t know soccer or volleyball or something like that. You’re really out there doing your shit. You’re out there doing your thing.

You’re pushing for it, you’re pushing for performance, you’re running, you’re doing ultra’s. Like, there are so many amazing athletes in this community and beyond doing cool as shit. But you’re like, Oh, I see such and such eating this way, and you’re watching their ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos, and you’re like, oh, I should do that too. And you then try to apply it to something that’s performance based where you’re eating has to support your training, the training outputs, the training inputs, and outputs, like the inputs that you’re putting in and the outputs that you want.

So it’s very easy to get lulled into this sense of like, we should all be eating this meager amount of food because we see specific types of aesthetic-based athletes sometimes putting their stuff out into the world. And we just, again, we’re failing. It’s not that they’re doing things wrong, per se, is that we’re using the wrong filter. We’re looking at our situation through the wrong filter. And then we’re saying, Oh, well, that makes sense for me, when contextually it doesn’t make sense. Okay, so we really cannot be existing in this low energy availability, state and pushing hard. Even if we’re recreational athletes or recreational exercisers, we still need enough energy intake, we have done so many shows on low energy availability, Red-S energy flux, if you haven’t, go back and listen to all those episodes if you need more background on that.

High Energy Output Requires High Energy Input

But suffice it to say, if we want to have a high energy output, we need enough energy input. Okay. And enough energy input. If we don’t have that appropriate energy input, our body’s going to adapt metabolically in the downward direction. And we also see that we’re starting to slow down, we slow down, we’re less motivated to train, we don’t have as much energy, we have less desire to move, and all those things that we talked about in the episode on total daily energy expenditure. So go back and check that out, too. So the first thing that we need to do, assuming the training plan is of good quality training plan is to eat enough to prevent this state that we call overtraining. Again, overtraining, overreaching, and overtraining are absolute concepts that can go along with poorly designed training plans.

But a lot of the times when I see people saying that they’re they think they’re overtraining is because they’re not eating enough. They’re not fueling adequately. So that’s point number one.

What Happens if You Train Too Intensely?

Okay, point number two. And this is something that I do with my own training is that I have learned how to fluctuate my intensity in my training. So I, I listed out all the things I personally like to do, I like to be active. I have been that way since I was a kid. I’ve been in sports since I was a kid. Physical Culture and movement it is life to me, I have like I just, yes, I stay still. And I rest, but I, I love to move, I think better, I’m less anxious, I’m more creative. I’m distressed, like when I move, I can be in movement, and not in my head, I am an in-my-head kind of person.

I just am I am a deep thinker. I’m an over-analyzer. And sometimes for me, movement is the one time where I can really just like be connected in my body and not all up in my head. So that’s just a little bit little insight into me. But the thing I’ve learned how to do since I do like to do multiple things, which is many of you that listen to this podcast, you’re always like, I like to do lifting and sometimes I go to CrossFit and I like my peloton and I go hiking with the kids or I like to stand up paddleboarding or I do BJJ or I do pickleball or whatever it is, you like to do many things and that is absolutely a fucking okay, you can do it, you can do it all you just have got to fluctuate the intensity of those things.

In other words, if I were to have a week where I tried to do BJJ and lifting and rocking and walking and running to 10 out of 10 intensity, I would die I wouldn’t blow up there’s just no way. So this is a little bit related to that idea of the training plan itself. But you’ve got to know that if you use the other multi-passionate, athletic humans out there even as we’re getting older in our 40s doing lots of different things. We are not doing them at an intensity of 10 out of 10 all of them all the time.

Quick example today is Friday. Ha, thank goodness it’s Friday. And yesterday was a particularly challenging day I went for a run. And I went to BJJ and I had a lifting session. Okay, so today, I went for an easy rock, and I went to BJJ. But my intensity of BJJ was much lower. If you don’t, I don’t think I said this Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Okay?

If you’re like, What the hell is BJJ? Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, martial art, a grappling martial art. Okay, so at BJJ today, we did fewer rounds today anyway, but I did sit out one round and my other two rounds were fairly easy. On the ground in the grand scheme of things, it was not Posada. today. It was, you know, Portuguese, you know, a lot of us like going hard. It was not so hot today. It was it was chill. Okay, so it was I was there I was moving, but the intensity was much lower. So you have got to either talk to your coach and figure out how to fluctuate your intensity so that you can treat some activities as active recovery.

Do You Have to Take More Rest Days?

Some of you are like, but you, but don’t you dare take my activities away from me, no one’s saying you have to do less of the things that you love, you just have to learn how to box clever with it. Sometimes you might put the hammer down, other times, you’re gonna back off and treat it more like active recovery. When you’re starting out, it’s easy to get excited about certain things, or you’re just like, oh, I have to because you have the belief that you have to do the most all the time.

No, we have to be strategic with how we push the intensity. And we also have to allow for adequate recovery, and a blend of active recovery with pushing intensity, okay. And where I see a lot of you get into trouble is you think, well, I suck because I’m not going the hardest all the time. Or you believe that in order to make progress, you have to go 10 out of 10 intensity all the time. This is why a lot of training plans offer you something like an RPE rate of perceived exertion to guide your lifting. Now, spoiler alert, Easter egg, will become important in some of my offers. In the future. It’s all I’m gonna say. But you have to learn either through experience or learning your own body. And I really think this is important.

How Does Autoregulation Work During Exercise?

As you’re aging through your 40s, you’re going to go through the menopause transition, you have to learn how to read your own body, learn your body signals, I’m a huge fan of autoregulation, we go into that a ton in strength nutrition unlocked, it’s one of our principles that we kind of abide by is like, we have to learn how to auto-regulate, we have to learn how to adjust. And that can be hard for those of you that are like but just tell me what to do exactly this on exactly this day at exactly this effort. Sometimes you have to make adjustments on the fly. And in fact, the more flexible you can be and develop that sense of autoregulation for yourself, you start to learn that, yes, having a smart training plan matters, but being able to address the plan is just as important.

Is it Good to Deload?

Those who live and die by the letter of the training plan, oftentimes struggle in the long run. Because you end up pushing through things you shouldn’t. And, and or sometimes on the flip side, although I mean, I’m, I’m pretty, pretty much an evangelist for making sure you do your deloads and things like that. But sometimes you feel good. And you’re like, Yeah, I’m just gonna go with it. But you know, most of the time I see it on the flip, where it’s telling you to back off, and you’re like, oh, no, I’m gonna go harder, right? So it’s just keeping in mind that cycling through your intensity will allow you to do the things you’d like to do.

And make sure that you’re getting the flip side of the effort, which is the recovery piece. That’s not just taking time off and sitting down, right? It’s how do we moderate the act of recovery? How do we moderate the intensity and still be able to do all the things that we like? So that’s the second piece, the third piece that is absolutely essential. And this is something I am so strict about with myself and in my life is sleep. It was not always the case, though. And so when I tell you about these three points, I have made all these mistakes before it is not coming from a place of judgment.

It’s coming from a place of like, I’ve been through it. I’ve done it, I’ve made these mistakes, and it’s not perfect, but here’s what I’ve learned, and here’s how we can have better solutions for you. Sleep is something that probably until 2012-2013 I really was like oh, it’s not that important. And so quite oftentimes, again, I look back at this period of burnout for what I thought was just overtraining. I, when I look at these three things, I can be honest and say I was not doing these things. I was in a low energy availability state not eating enough.

My intensity was not cycled adequately. And my training plan because I was kind of training myself at that point was not good. It was not good, right? I really needed blocks of time off in my year or periods of lower intensity in my year because I was racing. So there was a competitive season. The problem is I was not cycling my intensity from season to season. I was going hard all the time. I rolled right from endurance, racing mountain bikes, right into triathlons, right into racing triathlons, then in the fall, I would do cyclocross, I’d be like it was never-ending.

So periodization was a huge problem for me.

Sleep and Overtraining

And then lastly, sleep, I would be lucky to get five, or six hours of sleep a night because I just didn’t, I didn’t go to sleep early enough. So I know sleep is a touchy subject for a lot of people for many different reasons. There will be things about your sleep situation, you cannot change. I’m looking at all of you who are parenting young children, or you’re caretaking family members, and you have to get up in the night or you have interrupted sleep or you’re going through perimenopause, and you’re experiencing hot flashes, or sleep disturbances or you’re someone who has difficulty sleeping. I’m not talking about that. But what I am really looking at here is just getting kind of honest with yourself about whether am I getting adequate rest. And so I see it on to two sorts of flip side or flip sides of the evening, you know, you’re staying up really late.

And I get that some of that is sort of sleep, whatever you call it, sleep revenge, or there’s another term for it that I’ve slipped my mind at the moment. But it’s sort of where you feel like your time is not your own throughout the day. And so you procrastinate, going to sleep feeling like this is my time to just do whatever the fuck I want. I get that. But you also have to be honest are you going to need the rest that you need? And that’s going to be that like seven to eight hours to some people more to really get an adequate recovery overnight so that you can then you know, you can keep up like your training schedule, it’s really important.

On the flip side, some of you are getting up super early, early, hats off to you, I think you’re superhuman, you’re getting up really early to train because it’s like the only time you can fit it in, but you’re doing so sometimes at the cost of less sleep, you’re not going to bed early enough to really make up the time. And so you go to bed late and you get up super early, and then you’re training really hard. And again, the sleep piece is one of those icy is very hard. And I’m very again like I get it, I’m compassionate, I’m understanding. But when we look at overtraining, sometimes it’s down to that piece about sleep.

Is Recovery More Important Than Training?

Remember that we get stronger, we get better adaptation to our training, whether that’s strength or we’re improving cardiovascular endurance or stamina capacity, we’re getting the adaptations to our training, when we recover from the training, not during the training itself. So I know this episode was a little off the cuff, a little bit of storytelling and sharing some things that have worked for me both personally, but also, of course, supported by the literature, in terms of overtraining elements that people oftentimes overlook.

Yes, it could be down to the training plan. But we also talked about the three elements here, have fuelling adequately cycling and learning to work with our intensity in a way that still allows us to do the things we like to do each week as multi-passionate people, but allows us to play in and amongst different intensities, and then also the importance of sleep in terms of recovery. Let me know what you think about this episode. You can send me a DM on Instagram or pop a comment below here on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe on both platforms.

That way you can get notifications of new episodes when they become available. And of course, if you’re like, yes, okay, I’m ready to just make all this stuff work together in a cohesive system where everything is synergistic. I get better results because I’m not doing random stuff. I’m really focused on a system that works and I have coaching support, accountability, and community, then go ahead and check out and apply for strength nutrition unlocked over at StephGaudreau.com/apply Thanks so much for being with me on this episode. Stay tuned for more and until then, stay strong.

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Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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