• Mike Hammond, CSCS, TPI

Mt. Everest Recap and Overtraining

Seven weeks ago, I started the Papillion Landing’s Mt. Everest Challenge. The challenge was intended to be for incline walking and/or running, but I decided to put my personal twist onto it. I was going to jump the 29,029 feet to the top of Mt. Everest in box jumps. (I really like jumping exercises and they are great for building leg strength and power.)

However, just like attempting to climb the world’s tallest mountain, this would turn out to be an impossible task. Using the plyo box I had available to me with sides of 18”, 24”, and 30”, the quickest route to 29,029 feet in seven weeks would have been 237 30” box jumps per day. To put that into perspective, I did 594 box jumps inside the 50 days of the challenge. And that was trying to cram as many jumps in as possible while avoiding overtraining.

My official challenge turned into jumping 29,029 inches. I typically did box jumps three days per week, on my two leg days and my Sunday recovery/freebie day. On Monday and Thursday leg days, I would do four sets of six 30” box jumps. On Sundays, six sets of various types of box jumps including static, single-leg, rotational, depth to box, and traditional box jumps. My total results: 16,632” (57.3-percent of my goal, 4.77-percent of Mt. Everest, ~100’ higher than the Empire State Building) and better jumping form. Unfortunately, I did not have the equipment available to test my vertical jump before and after, but subjectively I think it’s at best, slightly better or at worst, the same.

The challenge brought up the topic of overtraining for me. Overtraining can lead to poor form, which leads to injury. It can make it tougher for your body to recover for your next workout. It will make you slower. Overtraining can be done on accident very easily and the sign to look for is pain. If something is hurting during or after your workout, you’re doing too much. Soreness is another topic, but it should really dissipate after a few weeks for beginners and over soreness (painful soreness) shouldn't be a problem after that.

Most injuries in sports happen when the athlete is in a fatigued state. When an athlete is in a fatigued state their movements will mimic the patterns trained in the weight room while in the same fatigued state. Think of the last couple of reps on a tough set. If your knees start to cave in on a squat, your brain and body will start to think that is the most efficient way to move. Now when you are in a fatigued state, on every step, jump, or golf swing your knee will cave in. If you’ve seen any grotesque injury while watching sports, it’s usually from the knee caving in.

A common example for golfers is lower back injuries. These injuries often are a result of the inability to separately move your shoulders and hips. This is called upper or lower body disassociation depending on which joints have the movement restriction. What happens when you can’t separate is the muscles in your abdomen (abs, obliques, lower back) work harder than they need to because your body believes it will become injured if your shoulders and hips don’t stay square. Then once you play, your muscles can’t handle what your brain wants them to do any they signal with pain. This pain can become extremely debilitating, not just when you’re golfing, but in your normal, everyday tasks.

All you have to do to avoid this type of lower back pain is improve the range of motion throughout your trunk, then strengthen your body through that entire range of motion. Never overtrain again and eliminate your lower back pain by training with Gateway Golf Performance.

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