Some years ago, I came across an interesting
exercise physiology study -- done at least a decade ago -- concerning
the optimum amount of time spent training in any physical discipline.
According to the findings, 3 training sessions
(of 1-2 hours duration each) per week is the most productive in
terms of both physical conditioning and improving one's skills.
Two times per week was found to be the minimum for maintaining oneself,
but is not enough to make true progress in skill and strength. Four
times per week was found to be not that much more productive than
3X per week.
Allowing time for muscles and joints to
heal and rest is an important factor in between workouts. If you're
training hard every day, eventually you will acrue more damage and
fatigue than your body can handle. People who train more than 3
or 4 times per week should alternate the intensity of their workouts
so that there are "light" days in between the "hardcore" ones.
On the psychological side, how many people
get "addicted" to MA training mainly because they are fascinated
by their martial art and want to drink it all in? And how many get
hooked because the martial art discipline fills a social, intellectual,
spiritual or emotional void in their lives?
Often, people recovering from a broken relationship,
career disappointment, lost religious faith, loneliness and other
ills will train obsessively. Sometimes they end up mellowing out
over the years and come to love the art for itself, but too often
an individual will turn his entire life over to the dojo because
it has become the surrogate for a healthy home and family life,
job satisfaction, or whatever.
It's one thing to find something absolutely
riveting and to devote your life to exploring all its nooks and
crannies, and quite another to become obsessed to the point of burnout.
Just a few ramblin' thoughts on the subject.