Are you training every day for weeks straight without a recovery day?


By: Gym Jones

Thank you for the opportunity to write and ask a question. You are right to make asking questions difficult, because there are stupid questions, and time is our most valuable gift.

My question has to do with the process of workout and recovery at Gym Jones. In my gym, body builders and powerlifters look at me like I am insane as I rip out high intensity workouts that leave me dry heaving on the floor, but when I ask them to even attempt a quarter of what I am doing, they blanch, and walk away.

When I found your website I began trying to imitate what you and your diciples have been doing. I have found that even though I am getting stronger and faster, and pound for pound more powerful, I am still full of questions.

When you write out multiple workouts for a day, are you completing all of them in one day? I complete a workout like "Louder than Eleven" or "Those Burpees Suck," and I am finished. It takes me twenty minutes to get my heart rate down to normal, and an hour before I stop sweating. Do you do anything else during your workout day? Rowing, running, or work on the technique for a powerlift like snatch or clean?

I have owned a Polar Heart Rate Monitor for almost a year, wearing this monitor I can see how many calories I am burning during my workout, and I have a rule that I don't end my workout until I've burned at least a thousand calories. This makes my workout almost always extend past just one of the named workouts like the ones I listed above.

My next question has to do with recovery. You have a listed workout for almost every day for a week or more at a time. Are you performing a high intensity workout every day for weeks straight without a recovery day? Doesn't this lead to overtraining, and rapidly so? You also don't mention anything about stretching or cryo-therapy, do you reccomend any of these things to your regular clients? If so, what?

In conclusion, I sincerely appreciate your time, insight, and intensity. Your website, knowledge, and experience has brought much value to my workouts and my fitness.


Training "properly" in a normal gym certainly draws a crowd ...

When multiple workouts are listed it simply shows what was done by different people in the gym or outside on that day. Many are preparing for different objectives hence their training differs. Look at the workout, then see who did what in the Notes section below.

Agreed, one go-round with "Those Burpees Suck" or similar is plenty. That said, there are always supplementary efforts done: general warm-up, specific warm-up, some auxiliary movements done afterward, and a cool down. Circuit training is but one aspect of what is done here. There are heavy days, and technical days, and other stuff going on, which may or may not be noted.

Calories are an interesting way of measuring output. The relevance of the number has to do entirely with the efficiency of the movement. HRMs are typically scaled to very efficient movements (cycling, running) and one's HR cannot truly "describe" the expenditure required by 60 Burpees. Nor are you seeing the post-exercise increase in metabolic rate and O2 consumption when you only measure the effort itself. High intensity, whole body efforts cause greater increase in post-exercise metabolic rate and duration than do low intensity efforts. Other ways of measuring output have to do with poundage, volume (reps), power (watts, on bike or rowing machine), etc. Using HR and the 1000 calorie bar probably isn't accurate for this type of work. How many calories do you burn doing 5x1 Deadlift @ 1RM? Or, more difficult to calculate, 10x1 Snatch @ 95% 1RM (where watts are 3-4 times greater than DL)?

Recovery: it's likely more important than the training itself. No one is training at high intensity in the gym more than 3 days per week. We found that when the boys do four days, combined with their martial arts training (sometimes 20 hours per week) they get hurt. The endurance athletes are in the gym - when they are in the gym - three or more days a week in prep season, 1-2 days per week or not at all during the season. Outside workouts are not always listed in this case. In this regard the site is not so useful ... we do what we can. As for stretching, we don't push passive stretching on anyone. Full ROM movements tend to handle the flexibility issue for most.

Those who do a sport causing chronic muscle shortening and imbalances (running, cycling, etc) know enough to stretch on their own: performance demands it. Cryo-therapy aka the chilly dip (we don't have the facility for it but it's not far to a creek fed by snow-melt), and contrast showers, among other interventions are encouraged.

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