I train with the understanding that there is no such thing as overtraining, only under recovery.  

I’m not the first to champion that notion.  Hell, it’s been around since I was a kid. I like it though.  It fits my personality.

Now there are some – none of them swole – literalists and naysayers who will poo-poo this idea as bro science.  They’ll spout for you the definition of overreaching and overtraining. Pocket-protector lecturing, as it were.

These Vulcans of the training world also preach perfect, robot-like form.  God (or whatever higher power Vulcans recognize) forbid you perform a rep otherwise. It’ll cause cancer or some such.

Makes me wonder how we ever advanced as a species to the point where we have devices that allow us to maneuver in robotic fashion.

All that construction and hay baling I did as a kid?  I’d been better off spending my summers swimming in agent orange.  Wrestling? BJJ? Forget it.

Back to the “overtraining” thing.

The point is simple: don’t be an idiot.  To view things from the underecovery side of the coin pushes me to train hard and often, while I have to be mindful of smart recovery so as to allow me to train again.

Becuase, again – I enjoy training hard.  I don’t look for excuses not to. I undertake simple methods to allow me to do more of what I love.

That said, I take recovery as seriously as I do the iron game.  Pardon the French, but I do not fuck around with my recovery.

Some pointers:

  • If you’re not sleeping, you’re not recovering.  It’s as simple as that. Have trouble in that area and you’ve already addressed the hygiene side of things (temperature, dark room, comfy bed, etc.)? This is the best sleep product on the market.
  • Track your readiness and train accordingly.  I like the Oura ring and EliteHRV monitoring.  Simple, fast and no frills. Note: I’m rarely in the caution zone and never in the red.  What causes me to drop into the yellow? Alcohol and traveling; never ball-busting training.  Even with a few less-than-perfect, grinder reps in the mix. Sorry, Vulcans. And sorry for me, too.  Because goddamn I do love good whiskey.
  • Eat good food.  Look, I don’t care if you’re Paleo, Keto, Weston A Price (ancient grains!) or whatever.  Just eat real food as close to the earth (and with as few “middlemen”) as possible. And yeah, I like fasting, too.  Intermittent and otherwise. But be mindful of how that affects your readiness. If you’re training hard, a little goes a long way here.
  • I used to poo-poo this, but I really do think the Joovv light is the shiz.  I try to get 15 minutes a night, just before bed.
  • Basic supplementation: no need to go hog wild here.  We’re looking to ensure nutritional gaps are covered.  And no matter how well you eat, you’ve got them. And you need a system and process to help ensure you get this done on the daily, and with the highest quality product possible.  You can waste your time and money chasing hype and shitty products, or you can do it the smart way. Your call.
  • Creatine works.  Again, you can chase the hype and shitty (and good luck getting what the label says is in the bottle), or you can go my route.
  • Limit the daily “life stress” as much as possible.  Adopt a meditation practice, if that’s your thing (it’s not mine).  Practice forgiveness and gratitude. Float now and again (that is my thing); get a message.  Get out in the sun on the daily. It really does help.

This shit is not complicated.  Seriously.

It does, however, require you to set up some basic systems and processes to ensure you’ve got your bases covered.

Train hard, my friends.  Recover harder.

Heal thyself, harden thyself, change the world –


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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


    • Absolutely. I just didn’t include it because most (myself included) don’t have access to it on the daily. But yeah, it would for sure be a deeper dive than HRV alone. One other thing to consider, though: do those in my position (a generalist, no longer a competitive athlete) *need* the Omegawave level of insight? Not sure the ROI is there for me *personally*. If I miss the mark here or there, it’s no big. If I were competitive though… different story.


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