“Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Study Design
2.4. Data Analysis
3.1.1. Defining Overtraining
“So, if as part of the rebound... as part of the recuperation week they don’t rebound back to where you expect, you can term that overtraining I guess”(1).
“I guess it would just be being flat-lined or turning in the opposite direction”(4).
“I would say (overtraining) is a systematic decrease in the capacity of the athlete to either endure training... a decrease in the outcomes of desired adaptations and a decrease in performance over a period of time”(11).
“Overtraining for me is generally not listening to your body”(7).
“Feeling bad for a week or two weeks or three weeks, that’s like the colloquial ‘overtraining’… you’re doing too much”(5).
“Honestly, that’s a real difficult one”(9).
3.1.2. Differentiating Overtraining from Overreaching
“I guess there’s a fine line between overreaching and overtraining, and the difference will be the ability to rebound and bounce back in a short period of time...if it comes to the point where it means you have to deviate from the plan... if you overreach, it’s part of the plan, you overtrain you’ve gone too far”(1).
3.2.1. Musculoskeletal Issues
“But when you start seeing someone as overtrained, or trained particularly in a poor way, you start seeing issues with tendon, ligament and bone deformities”(11).
“Well, the most common (symptoms) tend to be like the sore elbows, the sore knees, that kind of thing. And they’re often just a function of people doing too much, way too soon, or when their body isn’t really primed for it”(3).
3.2.2. Psycho-Emotional State
“The definition of overtraining really is to see somebody come in the gym with no motivation at all. It can be other reasons, but if their lifestyle hasn’t changed at all, and they’re coming in(to) the gym and they can’t be bothered... that’s overtraining I think”(8).
3.2.3. General Fatigue
“I think where somebody shows signs of extreme fatigue. That’ll be displayed in a bit more abnormal behaviour. So, they might be a bit more sluggish in getting the weights on the bar and actually lifting the weights”(6).
“Suddenly their bodies were like, ‘I can’t do this’. And so, there was a real peak in strength and then within a week, dropped massively”(7).
3.2.4. Muscle Soreness
“I’d imagine they would talk about that soreness; their readiness would go down; they’d talk about not being able to lift the weight they were doing previously”(10).
“Does it (overtraining) exist in strength sport?... I think in the powerlifting sport, I think it’s more the DOMS and peripheral fatigue”(8).
“If your muscle is sore, get over it. But if your joint is hurting... there’s a difference between soreness and ‘it hurts’. If it’s hurting, I will stop the session or I will change to do something else... because there’s always something else you can do”(12).
3.2.5. Sleep Disturbance
“I think (it) was maybe a bit of fatigue and that messed up his sleeping pattern. He just sort of couldn’t switch off because his body was... I can’t remember what he said. He said he felt twitchy or something with it.”(10).
3.2.6. Immune Function
“And if a lifter’s starting to get regular colds and that, it could be that the system is being overloaded too much”(8).
“You know, some people can bounce back within four days, some people take two weeks, but we never see much beyond those two different extremes”(9).
“Things that they say like, “oh, yeah, I just can’t be arsed today”. But it’s not just one day they say that, it’s a couple of days or a week or something and it starts to become a bit of a pattern or they say… and then you just don’t see them for a few days.”(6).
“In terms of strength sports. I think overtraining is when, just by having an acute recovery period of, you know, one, two or three weeks of minimal training, it brings it back to pretty much baseline. They can go again”(2).
“I’d say probably 18 months to 2 years”(4).
3.4. Experiences and Observations
“I make it very clear that the medical overtraining I have not seen with strength sport athletes”(5).
“I haven’t seen anyone experience it”(3).
“From a performance perspective, no”(2).
“Overtrained? I’ve heard of people... I don’t know of anybody directly myself.”(12).
“I don’t think I’ve experienced overtraining… just doing too much powerlifting is very, very hard to do unless you are doing something insane with max testing all the time… because powerlifting just isn’t that much work”(6).
“It’s not something I see often, or barely at all”(14).
“So, I think it does exist, but I don’t see many lifters, my lifters, who are really overtraining to be honest… and I think some could push themselves a bit harder”(8).
“We had this mentality instilled in these kids from an earlier age of you have to work hard. The hardest worker or the best. There’s this, this valuation of effort over results”(5).
“Is it overtraining or just work ethic?”(12).
4.1. How Did Coaches Define Overtraining?
4.2. How Prevalent Did Coaches Consider Overtraining to Be?
4.3. What Symptoms Did Coaches Associate with Overtraining?
4.4. How Long Did Coaches Consider Was Necessary to Recover from Overtraining?
5. Practical Applications
6. Study Strengths and Limitation
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Participant||Sex||Strength Sport||Location||Experience (Years)||Experience Level|
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Bell, L.; Ruddock, A.; Maden-Wilkinson, T.; Hembrough, D.; Rogerson, D. “Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports. Sports 2021, 9, 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060085
Bell L, Ruddock A, Maden-Wilkinson T, Hembrough D, Rogerson D. “Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports. Sports. 2021; 9(6):85. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060085Chicago/Turabian Style
Bell, Lee, Alan Ruddock, Tom Maden-Wilkinson, Dave Hembrough, and David Rogerson. 2021. "“Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports" Sports 9, no. 6: 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060085