It is important to make the most of every minute you carve out of your day for workouts because your time is precious. Part of having a do-able way to reach your fitness goals is by ensuring your workouts really work for you – even keep working for you after class! If wellness is going to be part of your long-term daily routine, injury and overtraining cannot get in the way. This is the idea behind Shaudae’s design for her Functional Strength Training (FST) classes.
Shaudae joined Longevita in 2017 in search of fitness classes that were different from things she had already tried at the gym. With her youngest nearly a year and a half old – and having put her own self-care and workouts on hold that whole while – she was eager to get into a routine that would help her lose the baby weight she’d been gaining.
Mother of two littles, she can relate to hectic schedules. And what is more discouraging than going through coordinating childcare and organizing the family schedule to fit in the classes you need only to be sidelined by injury!? Shaudae learned how to use her fitness routine to manage both stress and chronic neck and shoulder pain.
About nine months after making Longevita her home for weekly workouts, she completed her Barre training certification and began teaching. She has since also completed TRX® Suspension training and several functional anatomy workshops, constantly learning more ways to plan workouts that really work without overworking or causing injury.
So, what does it look like to avoid injury and overtraining?
Avoid injury: workout injuries and overuse (lifestyle) injuries
In 2014, an NIH study analyzing 14 years of data collected about fitness-related injuries reported that more than 36% of the injuries had been the result of overexertion or strenuous/unnatural movement (with more than 1/3 of those reportedly happening in an exercise class!?). The advice of those conducting the study is that we workout smarter, being mindful of the potential injuries a class or exercise could create and design classes with injury prevention in mind. We can’t argue with that wisdom!
More recently, a 2018 NIH study published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that people seem most likely to injury themselves during CrossFit or High Intensity Functional Training (HIFT)-type workouts during their first year of starting to workout. Nothing more discouraging than getting yourself revved up and determined to stick to a new fitness routine than injury from class seemingly right out of the gate! That report concluded:
“Considering [the study’s] findings, we encourage fitness professionals to pay close attention to [new clients] and potentially develop “beginner” programs that promote skill progression within the first year of participation to minimize the risk of injuries.”
This is a sentiment Longevita and Shaudae can get behind. Progressively building up your fitness routine is a smarter way to workout.
Sometimes, the cause of injuries seems less obvious. “Weekend warriors” who overexert themselves in a Tough Mudder obstacle race after a week of being stuck in the office (read: sedentary), may wind up with serious pain the following week. Bending and twisting absentmindedly (without deep inner core engagement of the legs and abdomen) throughout the day may set you up for an angry back as well. Bending and twisting (without deep core engagement) to turn on the bathwater at the end of a long, exhausting day is a surprisingly common cause for herniated lumbar discs.
It behooves us to exercise in class in ways that will entrain the body with good biomechanics so that we start to habitually move around all weeklong in ways that keep us going strong outside of class, too.
Avoid overtraining: work smarter in class and get on a smart routine
A number of studies have been conducted on the incidence of overuse injuries in young athletes (who overtrain without adequate rest days or cross training). The underlying issues certainly carry over to adults’ bodies as well. Too much of a good thing, is still too much, no matter your age or fitness level.
As you progressively build up your fitness routine, it is vital to plan time in the routine for optimal recovery – giving the body time to heal, adjust, and grow stronger. Optimal recovery includes both days scheduled for complete rest, which is no formal workout whatsoever, and active recovery, which is low-impact/low-key workouts following a high intensity workout. Without time scheduled for optimal recovery, overtraining results.
Elite coach and exercise physiologist Richard Brown lists these subtle indicators that your routine is lacking sufficient recovery time:
- your morning heart rate is >10% higher than typical
- your morning bodyweight is >3% lower than typical
- your sleep last night (hours or quality of rest) was less than typical
- today’s workout seems harder than usual
When you notice two or more of these indicators is true for you, Brown recommends reevaluating your routine. Insufficient recovery means your workouts are becoming inefficient. And who has time to waste on workouts that aren’t efficient enough to produce real, healthy results?!
The idea of avoiding injury and overtraining is fundamental to FST classes with Shaudae. She’s constantly on the lookout for new exercises and information that she can incorporate into her class designs. Shaudae is always working to create smarter workouts so that you can skip the painful and counterproductive experiences of fitness injury and burnout. Her goal for you: to help you progressively, wisely, build up your fitness routine for a long-term fit lifestyle to keep you strong whether you are stuck in the office the rest of the week or eyeing that next Tough Mudder registration.
You can catch Shaudae at the studio Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, or Saturday mornings! Check out our on-line schedule to book a class and keep an eye on our upcoming events and trainings for an opportunity to do a workshop with Shaudae sometime. Or comment below and share any questions or requests you have so that Longevita can help you get into a better workout routine, too.