Too Much of a Good Thing

Yesterday I talked about brushing your teeth and working out and how both require regular maintenance to not let problems build up. The opposite problem is having too much of a good thing. Imagine brushing your teeth ten times a day. I’m no dental expert, but I would guess this would be problematic.

The same goes for working out. More is not better! Let me use a story to illustrate.

CrossFit can be addicting. It’s exciting, it’s new, and everyday is different. Plus, it’s a bit of a game especially when you see how many rounds you can get or what weight you can lift. Luckily we now use the Level Method to keep people at the appropriate level, but back in the day (c. 2009) there was no such thing. So there were two guys that I worked out with that would wear weight vests for every workout. Squats, box jumps, running – you name it, and they did it with a weight vest. Plus, they were working out everyday and sometimes twice a day doing the same exact workout (yes, back to back classes!)

Their logic was that they should push their bodies to do more. And sometimes their results were better in the second workout, so their thinking was that they were getting fitter. Except that’s not what happened in the long run. They got burnt out and stopped CrossFit altogether. More is not better.

You see, just like brushing your teeth, working out more doesn’t work the way you want. Two hours on the treadmill isn’t twice as better as one hour. Two workouts a day isn’t twice as good as one. Are there people that can handle more volume than others? For sure. Can “more” be a workout + technique work with a broom stick? Absolutely. Can “more” be working on your mobility after a workout because you’re tight in the thoracic spine? Please!

But in terms of high intensity workouts, the right amount for most everyday people (our typical member) is 3-5 times a week. This frequency gives you the minimum effective dose (MED) to burn fat, build muscle, and have enough time to recover between workouts.

More is not better. Better is better.

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