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All-Strong Podcast Notes - #2: How Do I Get Stronger?

Sorry for the late post! Got caught up working 6am-7pm last upload day and never finished the notes in time. Anyway, there's not a huge amount that you need for this episode, but here it all is.

Selye is the father of modern concepts like periodisation, progressive overload and other things you may have heard about in the gym. He's the one who discovered that carefully managing stress can help the body overcome massive adversity over time.

Here are some depictions of the stress-adaptation-recovery-overtraining curves I talked about.

This one doesn't depict the "new normal" as well as other graphs do, but you get the idea of how the body attempts to bring itself back from stress by overcompensating for what's happened when it pushes past its previous homeostatic circumstances.

This image gives a better impression of gradual compounding of progress over a prolonged period when training regularly. You'll see how new homeostatic circumstances are reached repeatedly, each one higher than the last, before more stress is added and then recovered from.

This last image shows what happens when adequate recovery is not available. Either too much stress or not enough time between stress events for recovery, and the body becomes unable to adjust, instead being forced to succumb to increasingly adverse conditions without the ability to adapt to them.

Overtraining is bad. Avoid it at all costs. Below, you'll find the Encyclopaedia Britannica's definition of homeostasis, and in there, you'll find that it says something along the lines of "if homeostasis fails, death ensues." This is not a joke.

Symptoms of overtraining include:

  • Prolonged general fatigue

  • Increase in tension, depression, anger or confusion

  • Inability to relax

  • Poor-quality sleep

  • Lack of energy, decreased motivation, moodiness

  • Not feeling joy from things that were once enjoyable

  • Unexpected change in weight

It might seem like you have to keep training and pushing yourself to get better, and it might seem like the pain is just a part of the training, but take a day or two off and realise what you've been doing to yourself. Stop it before it goes too far.

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