Listen To Your Body

Ohio State University Women's Lacrosse

-March 15th, 2012-

As a Strength Coach it is my job to push my athletes to new levels.

To increase their strength and power to make them better athletes, to ultimately help them become better lacrosse players.

I like to show my athletes what they CAN do, that they are capable of more than they thought possible if they put the effort in.

However I also know that the most important thing is that they listen to their bodies.

This past week 6 players from the Women’s Lacrosse team at The Ohio State University were admitted to the hospital with signs of a very serious condition called rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by overtraining. It is the breakdown of muscle fibers that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents (myoglobin) into the bloodstream. Myoglobin is harmful to the kidney and often causes kidney damage, and can cause kidney failure!

Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include muscle stiffness or aching, muscle tenderness, weakness of the affected muscles, general weakness, decreased urine production and abnormal urine color.

I’m always asking my athletes how they are feeling during the workouts. I ask how they felt after the last workout.

I usually have a pretty good idea based on their expressions, body language etc. But having an idea isn’t good enough. I need them to tell me how they feel.

I carefully plan out their training programs. I have it set for them to peak at certain times. Within every phase of the program the intensity gets ramped up. The workouts become more grueling.

However, not every time do the workouts go as planned.

And that’s alright!

It’s knowing that some days you will feel as strong as a bull and be able to set records in the weight room, yet 2 days later you might feel weak and not be able to lift as heavy as you did the week before.

It’s knowing the difference between regular muscle soreness from a workout and extreme soreness and the need to possibly even skip a workout to take another day to recover.

As Strength Coach Anthony Donskov recently wrote: It’s Knowing When to Hold’em and Knowing When to Fold’em!

Listening to your body and getting in the best possible training session that you can THAT DAY based on how you feel is the most important thing.

It’s knowing when to push it and when to back off.

Training is not about breaking you down, it’s about building you up so that you can perform at your best on game day!

P.S. As Anthony Donskov wrote in his blog, a great way to avoid overtraining is to have a properly periodized training program planned in advance that uses incremental increases in intensity so as to avoid going too far past your limit in a single training session.

To get a copy of a sample program enter on the right of this page to get Dan Dawson’s training program, and if you already have it notice how the reps and sets vary as the weeks progress to smartly improve his strength and work capacity and avoid overtraining!!

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