My Struggle with Over Training

I joined Burn Boot Camp shortly after I moved to NC last July. It started with a 30 day Groupon, then after I fell passionately in love with the gym, the people and the trainers, I signed my year contract. I was unemployed at the time, actively searching for a new job, but knew the investment in my health was worth the monthly payment.

After I joined my current company, I knew my days of attending 9:30am camps were over. I would be working 8-5pm, commuting an hour both ways and traveling on top of that. I was determined to find a way to fit camp into my life, so I decided to attend 5am camp times. It wasn’t pretty, but I set a routine:


  • 4:15am wake up. Go to the bathroom, where I had laid my clothes the night before, get dressed in there.

  • 4:40am: Grab a banana and my water bottle while drudging out the door
  • 5am camp: sweat it out
  • 5:30am: leave camp
  • 5:50am: get home and hop in the shower
  • 6:30am: have second breakfast
  • 6:40am: leave the house
  • 730/45: arrive at work
  • 5pm: leave work
  • 5:45pm: have dinner
  • 8:30/9pm: go to sleep


I did this for about 5 months. There was a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that I has already completed my workout before most of the world was awake. I had already been up 4 hours before most of my colleagues had arrived at work! I was waking up with the Rock! BUT, I was only getting 30 minutes of what I loved in the morning, including warm up and the finisher. So roughly 25 minutes of the main set where most other camps get 35-38 minutes. My sister and others in  later (45 minute) camps saw more dramatic gains, were able to lift more, and saw changes in their body fat. So, I started doing doubles as often as I could. I would open the Concord gym at 5am and close the Harrisburg gym at 6pm. The fatigue set in. Living with my sister and her family at the time, I started trying to coax my 5 year old nephew to an earlier bed time. There was no way I would go to bed before a 5 year old! But it happened on more than one occasion. I would feel myself trying to nod off on the drive home, lulled by the highway. And on top of all that, I WAS GETTING WEAKER. I started weighting up more. And then I hurt myself. During a 6pm double, I weighted up on chest flies, and I compromised my form to feed my ego. For the next week, I felt a pain in my chest so severe it felt like someone was squeezing my heart. I was almost in tears by the time I reached the top of the stairs. I took a week off to heal and reassess. What was I doing? What could I do differently?

I realized I was over training. Mike and Roger posted a video warning about the signs of over training and I was just checking signs off the list as they said them. Looking back, it was quite obvious, but I was oblivious. Going to two different gyms didn’t help either. Mike in Concord and Roger in Harrisburg were doing their jobs: pushing me during the camp I was attending. There was no way for them to know I was doing a double until I posted about it after the fact. I wasn’t taking proper precautions: drinking enough water, eating enough clean calories, RESTING. I had to make a choice, and I decided to switch to 6pm camps.

The leading factor in switching to an evening camp was money. If my schedule and personal commitments allowed me to attend a later 45 minute camp, I was getting more out of my membership. More time with the trainers, a more consistent relationship with them and my burn family. And I was more attentive and present when I was at home. I wouldn’t be falling asleep at the dinner table.

Now, it’s difficult for me to attend 5am camps, even though I know I did it for MONTHS. My body is out of the routine of waking up that early. I miss that group and getting it done before everyone else, but I love my 6pm crew more than anything. They’ve helped me get my nutrition in order; reminded me to drink a gallon of water most days; become friends with my husband; and they keep me motivated to get to the gym while I’m traveling with work.

What’s most important is finding a routine and sticking with it. Mine is different now than when I started and that’s ok. I’m also stronger now and wouldn’t go back.

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