Pushing yourself to the max when training is key to improving performance. Anything less than 100 percent effort reduces potential performance gains and allows your competition to gain an edge. However, there is a limit on how much training you can perform before your body signals that you’ve gone too far.
You have probably already hit this limit at least once in your athletic career, experiencing dizziness, nausea and even vomiting. These result from lactic acid buildup, which occurs when performing anaerobic strength, power or conditioning exercises, like Olympic lifts, plyometrics or sprints. Yes, such symptoms prove that you’re giving your best effort, but needing a puke bucket also indicates that you’re training improperly.
Think of the times when you’ve hit this threshold. Instead of focusing on putting forth your best effort and properly performing an exercise or drill, you’re just trying not to lose your lunch. The results? Reduced performance, a long rest time to recover, or even ending your workout—all of which are counterproductive to the goals of your training program.
Focus on performing exercises at your max effort, but take a proper amount of recovery time. For anaerobic strength and power exercises, rest for between two and five minutes so your energy stores can replenish and your body can remove lactic acid. For anaerobic conditioning exercises, rest for at least the same duration as the exercise. For example, follow 15 seconds of interval sprints with 15 seconds of rest. If you feel close to experiencing unwanted symptoms, take a break and get some water to salvage the remainder of your training session.