*The title above reflects my simple concept for a fighter’s productivity. If you follow the three items in the sequence I write them in, your training will certainly yield more. If you swap the order — or, worse, repeat one of them, — your training will not produce the expected results.
Through years and years as a coach and BJJ black-belt, I observed many athletes which suddenly got into a state of overtraining. It is important that you observe and evaluate your own behavior, because some symptoms of overtraining are visible: irritability, insomnia, lack of appetite, excessive tiredness, and a very palpable one: an increased baseline heart rate.
Many athletes and coaches usually do training periodization — something vital to a fighter’s maintenance. However, today there’s always flexibility, because factors like professional commitments and injuries force the athlete to go back to heavy training.
Recovery training is very important within the physical preparation program. But it’s vital that you follow the order of the phases in the title of this article.
After the training, the athlete needs to recover their energies and replenish what the training drained. Thus, it is important that the time between the end of the training and the next meal not be long. Then comes rest. Many allege that they don’t feel sleepy or simply cannot rest. It’s important, however, that you lie down, even without somnolence. Trust me — you must rest for at least two hours. You will feel the result in your next session.
Some tips to avoid overtraining and keep up your productivity:
1. Follow the order: training, nutrition and rest. Never repeat any of them consecutively.
2. Always warm up well, with stretching and breathing techniques.
3. Hydrate during training.
4. Respect your body’s limits. If you feel too tired, something isn’t going great. Immediately talk to your team of coaches to tweak the training.
5. Upon finishing the session, do the many breathing techniques found elsewhere in my writings. Reserve at least ten minutes to lie down with your legs stretched, performing slow, deep abdominal breathing.
6. Finish the session wanting to train! That way you will perform well tomorrow.
And remember: physical preparation is there to help you perform your specific training — that is, to prepare your body and mind, and prevent injury. The important thing is for you to get worn out only in your specific training.
*Alvaro Romano is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt under legendary Master Rolls Gracie Carlos Gracie Junior and Rickson Gracie. Founder and creator of the Ginastica Natural method, he has participated as a Physical Conditioning coach in various MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Soccer, Alpine skiing events.