How to Manage Fatigue

Creating fatigue is an integral part of training, by doing so you are able to raise your fitness level. As the fitness level of an athlete rises, so does the fatigue level. It is important for an athlete to recover from workouts, but it is even more important for the athlete to push past their recoverable volume or intensity in a planned program. In doing this, the athlete will super compensate allowing for a greater adaptation.

Overreaching vs. Overtraining

Overreaching is a goal for athletes and anyone who wants to improve themselves in a physical way. It is supposed to be functional and planned in part of a greater picture. This is pushing past your maximum recoverable volume on purpose to force an adaptation. Essentially it is pushing your body to the max and then have planned rest days in order to recover from it. Followed by either light days or a deload week, which we will cover later.

Overtraining is unlikely to occur without a drastic change in training. For example, it likely will happen if a weightlifter decides to start training for a marathon without cutting back on any volume in their lifting. Overtraining is unplanned and unintended, but a real part of the training that many CrossFit competitors need to understand. It is essentially training to the point that your body is unable to recover from. Overtraining is going to take a bit more of a deload or light days to recover from it fully.

How to Manage


Planning a deload where volume is cut down to about 60% of your normal overload volume as well as about 80% of the overload intensity. This is done for a few weeks and by the end of it, everything is feeling incredibly boring and easy. Although the first day might feel like hell, it is still better to lift a little weight than to lift nothing. By the end of the week, you should be able to more than ready to get after some big weight again. The should be done anywhere between 3-7 weeks.

Light Days

These serve the same purpose as deloads but are much less intentional. Instead of a full week, they can be a day or a couple of days in order to let the body recover. They can be full off-days, or maybe a day where you only get one working set in. There is no reason to push yourself to the limit of every single session.

Recovering from the fatigue you gather during lifting as well as other sports is incredibly important to success and longevity. Manage the fatigue, take the occasional rest day or deload week and ensure that you can stay on the bike.

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