Health log: how to prevent overtraining?

Fit & Training door thijs

A few blogs before I told you about the health log: a diary about your own progress in health! It’s a perfect tool to keep an eye on your progress, because sometimes it’s hard to see your progress when you’re working on getting more fit. A health log could show you more clearly that you’re certainly going the right way! In my food log of a few weeks ago you could read what I eat and how I evaluate my eating habits. Today it’s time to evaluate my training log!

Health log: how to prevent overtraining?


About a month ago I was suffering from an overtraining injury. Main reason: not taking enough rest. Yes, that’s why all of you should take your rest days every now & then! But what is overtraining exactly? Fit Girl Suzanne already wrote a blog about supercompensation a little while ago. In short, supercompensation means that you get stronger by planning your workouts on exactly the right moment. This moment is when you’re fully recovered from your last workout for that muscle group. When you use it right, you get stronger every single workout. But when you don’t take enough rest in between your workouts, the opposite will happen: you get weaker every time! This is overtraining.

So I was overtrained, not even a little: Some muscles in my leg were so hypertonic that I couldn’t even bend my knee anymore! I was so stubborn, ignoring all the signals from my body…not the way to go! After some confronting conversations with my coaches and manual therapist, I decided to give in and take my rest to recover. This recovery process took over 2 weeks! But after that I certainly felt so much better.

To prevent overtraining again, I’m using a new way to log my training progress and this is what I want to share with you! Because this way it’s easier to see if you’re going the right way. First I will share my schedule, after that I will explain what you see.

Ok I think the schedule already speaks for itself, but here’s my explanation. In the first line you see the week days. Since I plan my workouts from Saturday-Saturday I started this day. Then you see the description of my workout. Then you see the colors, this is the most important part. These colors show how I felt in weakness, tiredness and muscle soreness.

Green: feeling good, could workout the next day
Orange: feeling ok, but slightly tired and sore
Red: highly sore muscles, feeling tired, muscle weakness

These colors make visual if you’re still on the right track. When you end up in red, you should definitely take a rest day! Besides that I created intensive weeks and low-intensive weeks. Week 1 and 3 are low-intensive, week 2 is high-intensive. By creating this structure, your body gets more time to recover in the low-intensive weeks, so you can give everything you got in the high-intensive week. This is especially very useful when you’re a competitive athlete. For example for me as a figure skater, it doesn’t work to plan my workouts by muscle group (like body builders do), because figure skating is all about co-ordination and big movement chains. Another way to regulate the intensity is to switch between aerobic (cardio/LISS) and anaerobic (strength/HIIT) training sessions.


In this low-high-low intensity schedule, my muscles still get time to recover from the workouts and the high intensity weeks help me to develop more strength. I tried this kind of schedule for about a month now and until now it really feels so good! When it takes you more discipline to take a rest day than to workout and you want to prevent that you get overtrained, then this schedule is the way to go! So get on your kicks, create a schedule and go! When you know you’re good but can always be better, right? ☺