Does this mean you can’t do your hardcore training? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. But it means you need more balance.
Start by asking yourself how many green sessions you’re doing per week versus how many red? You should have a 1:1, or even better, closer to a 2:1 ratio of green workouts to red.
Next, ask yourself if you’re fueling your body for your red workouts? On the days you train hard, you also need to fuel smart. Do intermittent fasting if you want. Do keto diets if you want. Go super low carb if you want. Just don’t do it when you’re training red.
When in doubt, go yellow. Traditional weight training is a balancer. When you’re lifting, you’re getting sympathetic, and when you’re in between sets, resting, your body is trying to go parasympathetic. Yellow workouts have a great way of training both sides of the nervous system in this way. This is why these old-fashioned weight training workouts are less likely to burn you out and far more likely to keep you from overtraining.
Whenever you find yourself stuck after coming off a red-dominated period of training, a few weeks back in the yellow zone will help you keep your gains while restoring your metabolic potential.
One great rule of thumb for those who don’t want to think too much about this is the following:
- Start your workouts in the red zone, perhaps 10 minutes of interval training.
- Move to yellow, spending 30-40 minutes in this zone.
- End your workout in the green zone with a long walk.
A few other general guidelines:
- Red zone workouts should stay in the 10-40 minutes time frame.
- Yellow: 90 minutes or less.
- Green: As long as you like.