Myth-Busters: "More is Better!"

In our new Myth-Busters series, we’re shedding light on some popular training myths to help you continue improving performance in and out of the weight room.

Myth: When it comes to training, more is always better!

TRUTH: More is NOT always better...and sometimes, it can actually make you WORSE. 

Athletes thrive at working really hard—and it’s part of what makes a great athlete great! But when it comes to training, sometimes doing more can cause you more harm than good.
The human body does not have an infinite reserve of adaptive capabilities. In other words, your body has a limited number of positive training adaptations it can make in a given day. Pushing yourself beyond that limit—with more reps, more sets, more weight, more sprints, more STRESS—can not only hinder your future gains, but sabotage your current training status as well.

When we expose our bodies to training stress, either in the weight room or on the practice field/court, we need to take time to recover from that stress. Why? Because your body needs to build the necessary adaptations to that training stress (i.e., getting stronger to withstand more weight in the gym) so that you can repeat and improve your efforts in the next session, and that process takes time. The harder you stress the body, the longer it will take to rebound to a functional training state (homeostasis). 

That’s why you need more recovery time between high-intensity workouts than easy sessions—more stress means more damage to repair, which means more time.

This is why having a properly designed training plan is so valuable. A periodized training program will progressively and systematically prescribe the precise training volumes and intensities you need to get better over time, without hindering your ability to recover. A certified coach will also have the skills and knowledge to know when to push you a little harder, and when to help you back off to give you the necessary time to recover.

The main lesson here is to make sure you have a solid training plan, trust that plan (by not doing MORE than what is prescribed), and follow the process! 

Got any myths you'd like to see busted? Tweet your ideas to us @VoltAthletics!

Join over 100,000 coaches and athletes using Volt's intelligent training app. For more information, click here.

Christye Estes, CSCS, is one of the regular contributors to the Volt blog. She is an NSCA-certified strength coach and a Sport Performance Specialist at Volt.
Learn more about Christye and read her other posts | @CoachChristye