I’m four days into my master plan to acquire behemoth calves. Because I’m doing this workout in addition to my usual schedule, I’m training twice a day. Even though the daily calf routine requires only ten minutes, it’s still technically a workout and is by no means easy.
Y’all know I encourage appropriate rest between workouts. Remember, you’re repairing tissue and building muscle while resting, not while working. Striking a balance between training hard and overtraining is a perpetually challenging task. During my offseasons with the Texas Rangers, I found myself consistently fatigued after long weight training sessions followed by batting practice, sprints later in the day, etc. Now in my late thirties, a more discretionary approach is in order. Losing wellness is never worth the risk. From steadystrength.com:
Training multiple times a day puts you at a much higher risk of overtraining, especially if both of the workouts are at a high intensity. Some symptoms may be dehydration, extreme fatigue, [and] longer recovery time…
You want to make sure that you are exerting enough effort to reap the benefits without crossing the line. Make your workouts too easy, and you reap less of the positive effects, like the post- exercise energy metabolism. From the New York Times:
the body starts using more fat and less carbohydrate after a hard exercise session. Several hormones that are released during exercise remain elevated in the blood afterward, increasing metabolism. And extra calories may be burned when the body replenishes glycogen, the sugar stored in muscles.
Most of our regular readers know my current routine, but here’s an update along with the new calf raises.
- Monday: 5 x 5 in the morning, 10 minute calf workout in the evening
- Tuesday: Long walk in the AM, calves PM
- Wednesday: 5 x 5 AM, calves PM
- Thursday: Sprint workout AM, calves PM
- Friday: 5 x 5 AM, calves PM
- Saturday: Long walk/skateboard AM, calves PM
- Sunday: Sprint workout AM, calves PM
I’m not too concerned with the volume here. My 5 x 5s take roughly 90 minutes, including warm ups, the sprint workouts are about 75 minutes, and the walks are barely notable.
The key to adding intensity, volume or any other factor to our sessions is paying close attention to our bodies. You should be continually checking in with your system to determine if you’re simply worked or at risk of doing your immune system and yourself harm. Back off, at least momentarily, when you start to feel run down. More importantly, master the practice of examining yourself and your status.
It’s not dissimilar to learning to distinguish between muscle soreness and the pain of injury. From beginnertriathelte.com:
Post-exercise muscle soreness and discomfort are familiar occurrences in novice and elite athletes. Muscle soreness and fatigue are the normal responses of muscle tissue to overload and exertion and is a part of the adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles tissue recovers and builds stronger.
Buy into “no pain, no gain” and you may push too hard, hurt yourself and be out of commission for weeks or months. Mistake the adaptation process for illness or injury, and you’ll halt your workout in its tracks, lowering your progress bar substantially.
So what’s the trick?
Awareness and trial and error. Notice a theme?