(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-3/over-training.html)
Students could generate an energy flow within the first hour of my Intensive Chi Kung Course
Over-training has become a serious issue in our school. It is important to recognise it and to know what to do when it occurs.
Firstly, it is helpful to understand our working definitions of these terms.
Over-training means a practitioner has trained correctly according to how an exercise should be practiced, but the benefit is too powerful for his physical body to bear.
In this sense, overtraining is different from wrong training. Wrong training is when a practitioner has not practiced an exercise according to how it should be practiced. Hence, he has no benefit or he has adverse result.
Strictly speaking, or to split hair, if a practitioner has no benefit, we can cali it incorrect training. The training is not wrong, but incorrect. Therefore he has no benefit. This is the case of most chi kung practitioners.
If a practitioner has adverse result, it is wrong practice. It is not only incorrect, it is wrong. Therefore he has adverse result. This is the case of many kungfu practitioners who sustain internal injury in their sparring.
To split hair further, we can refer to over-training as wrong training. But for our purpose here, we shall differentiate the two. The remedy is different. To overcome over-training, we reduce the training. To overcome wrong training, we correct the training.
Hence, we have four types of training — correct training, incorrect training, wrong training and over-training.
Over-training may result in over-cleansing. The former is the cause, and the latter is the effect. As an analogy, you may earn a lot of money, then you become wealthy. Earning a lot of money is the cause, becoming wealthy is the effect.
Over-training may also result in over-building and over-nourishing, but these are not explained here so as not to confuse you.
How do you know you have over-trained. One good way is that you experience over-cleansing. Before this happened, you might experience strong benefits. Then you feel tired and sleepy. Sometimes you may feel anxious, fearful or angry. This happens when your negative emotions are flushed out of your body faster than you find tolerable. Sometimes you have rashes, pimples or are smelly.
There are a few ways to reduce over-training, which will in turn reduce over-cleansing. Please take note that there may be a time-lapse between the two.
Reduce the time of training.
Reduce the intensity of training.
Expend your energy in wholesome activities.
Stop training for some time.
Perform negative actions.
If you train for half an hour a day, reduce it to 15 minutes. If you train everyday, reduce it to once in two days. But as our training time is short, and we enjoy our training, a more useful method is to reduce the intensity of our training.
An excellent way to reduce the intensity of training is not to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Please take note that even when we do not want to enter deeply into a chi kung state of mind, because of our habitual training, we will still be in a deep chi kung state of mind compared to most other practitioners.
Another way is to focus on your form, or purposely think of your form. This will distract you from your mind level.
Spend time on wholesome activities. Go hiking or swimming. Play football or enjoy music. Roll about on the ground and jump about in the sky. Perform kungfu sets or sequences, focusing on form, not on chi flow, internal force or mind power. If you haven’t got a girlfriend (or boyfriend). get one, and focus on making her happy on a date.
Stop training for a few days, or even longer. Use your training session to spend quality time with your parents. Read some good books, like “The Way of the Master”.
You may even perform negative actions, like tensing your muscles or intellectualising during your training. But perform some gentle energy flow at the end of the training session to clear out negative effects.
It is worthwhile to know that over-training is relative. What is normal correct training to a healthy person, may be over-training to someone who is sick. What is normal correct training to a master may be over-training to a student.
It may also not be easy for some of you to realise how effective we have become in our training. The following facts may help you in the realisation. They are facts, not opinions.
If a practitioner in another school can generate a chi flow after 6 months, it is good result. (I took more than 17 years.) Students who attended my Intensive Chi Kung Course took less than an hour. Roughly this means our students are about 180 times more effective.
If a practitioner in another school can develop internal force after 6 months, it is good result. (I also took more than 17 years, and I was already known as a kungfu genius.) Students who attended my regional courses like 18-Lohan Art and Bone-Marrow Cleansing experienced internal force in a few hours. This means our students were about 180 times effective.