Getting fit: There are two parts to the equation
By Dr. Phil Maffetone
There's a simple equation I use to describe any training program:
<B>Training = Work + Rest</B>
The concept of "training" of course is the desired improvement in your physical fitness. This training effect is achieved through the balance of work and rest.
In the purest sense, "work" is your workout, the daily training routine which builds muscles, improves their efficiency, increases oxygen uptake, etc. In physiology this concept is known as "overload." In the case of a muscle, you must work it slightly harder than it is used to in order to rebuild and improve its function.
But work is not limited to your training. It can also mean house, yard or office work, taking care of the kids, shopping, etc. Many athletes do not take into consideration that these activities still burn fat and sugar, work the muscles, stimulate the metabolism and nervous system. Although this type of work won't necessarily help you in training, it must be considered because it also requires recovery.
An important part of the equation is rest but unfortunately this is the most overlooked aspect in most training programs. For most athletes the work part of the equation is actually the easy aspect of training. It is the rest phase that is most often neglected.
During the rest phase your body recovers, your muscles and other working parts to rebuild and prepare for the next bout of work. During this phase, there should be no training, and sufficient sleep. But if you have to work, shop or take care of the kids, you're not resting as much as you can. Since most athletes don't have the luxury of complete rest, care must be taken to avoid training beyond one's ability to recover from it. For most, that means cut down on training to keep the equation balanced.
If you don't provide enough rest, your body will not be ready for more work. Or, if you work beyond the muscle's or body's ability to rest or recover from the workload, you overtrain. Any of these imbalances can result in a series of malfunctions which may cause injury, ill health or burnout. An imbalanced training equation leads to overtraining.