Over the past few months, I have noticed, very slowly, that one of our athletes has been slowing down. Just a tick, and not every time we train. Because he is often with another coach, I sometimes see him only once a week. This athlete has been training with us for a while and has always been a real “get after it” kind of person, always taking the hard route and full throttle from beginning to end. I had initially chalked up the slowing down to perhaps just being tired in the short term, as it was very subtle. Then I realized what was going on.
We had two med balls sitting side by side during a conditioning workout, one light and one heavy because this was a mixed ability group. He opted for the lighter ball without being directed. That was when it hit me…cumulative fatigue. After some investigation, we concluded there had not been a week off in months. I immediately called a rest week for the following week; no anaerobic work, no heavy weight, nothing taxing on the body or the nervous system. Perhaps it was school, work, kids, homework, stress about finals, or a big project for the boss. The result over time was diminished performance.
We have since decided to ease back into things after the rest week. He will probably not return to full speed for a few more weeks. A tired body can take more than one week to recover.
USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach