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What the HELL is non functional overreaching and why you should care?

As a powerlifting coach, one of the most common mistakes I see athletes make is non-functional overreaching. While pushing your limits is important for making progress in powerlifting, overreaching can actually set you back and hinder your performance gains. In this blog post, I'll explain what non-functional overreaching is, why it's a problem, and how to avoid it.

What is Non-Functional Overreaching?

Non-functional overreaching occurs when an athlete pushes themselves beyond their body's capacity for recovery. This means that they are not allowing their body enough time to rest and recover between workouts or training sessions. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in performance and burnout.

The problem with non-functional overreaching is that it can be difficult to recognize. Athletes may feel like they are making progress because they are pushing themselves harder, but in reality, they are actually setting themselves back.

Why is Non-Functional Overreaching a Problem?

Non-functional overreaching can lead to a number of problems for powerlifters. Here are some of the most common issues:


  1. Decreased Performance Gains: When athletes push themselves too hard without enough recovery time, their performance gains can suffer. Studies have shown that athletes who overreach have lower peak force output and velocity during training, resulting in suboptimal performance gains.

  2. Burnout: Pushing yourself too har


d can lead to burnout. Studies have shown that athletes who experience overreaching are at a higher risk of burnout and may experience a decrease in motivation and enjoyment of the sport.

  1. Negative Psychological Effects: Overreaching can also lead to negative psychological effects, such as anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem. Studies have shown that athletes who experience overr


eaching report higher levels of perceived stress and lower mood states.

How to Avoid Non-Functional Overreaching

The good news is that non-functional overreaching is avoidable. Here are some strategies to help you avoid overtraining:

  1. Plan Your Workouts Carefully: Make sure you plan your workouts with enough rest and recovery time in between. This means scheduling rest days and deload weeks as part of your training plan.

  2. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body is feeling. If you feel fatigued, take a rest day. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, seek the advice of a medical professional.

  3. Monitor Your Training Intensity: It's important to monitor your training inte


nsity and adjust it based on how your body is responding. Studies have shown that athletes who monitor their training intensity are less likely to experience overreaching.

In conclusion, non-functional overreaching can be a major problem for powerlifters. However, with careful planning, attention to your body, and smart training strategies, it is avoidable. As a coach, it's important for me to help my athletes recognize the signs of overtraining and avoid it so that they can continue to make progress and enjoy the sport.


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