Overtraining…Your Worst Nightmare-

12 Dec

I know that I am always pushing everyone to get active and work out however, there is something else that you need to be aware of if you are active.  Overtraining.  This really can be your worst nightmare.  If you are working out t0o many days of the week, not eating correctly, and not resting enough you could very well fall victim to overtraining.  Your body absolutely needs to have rest and time to recover and repair from the workouts you are putting it through.  How do you know if you are overtraining?  Here are some signs and symptoms that could indicate you are overtraining:

  • Persistent muscle soreness (Delayed onset muscle soreness)
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased susceptibility to infection
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Mental breakdown
  • Weight loss and loss of muscle strength

Muscles and strength can only improve after the rest period following hard workout. This process can take days to complete  (usually about 72 hours) and of course it depends on the intensity and duration of exercise leading to the overtrained state.  If your body doesn’t get the sufficient rest it needs, then the muscle regeneration cannot occur.  When this imbalance persists, than a person performance will then start to plateau and decline. Depending on how severe the overtraining is, it can take several days, weeks or even months for the body to fully recover from overtraining.

People who are malnourished and dieting a lot while exercising are also at high risk for overtraining. This is because their body isn’t getting the sufficient nourishment it needs in order for the body to repair itself.

It is also important that you have a structured workout schedule that allows you to work different muscle groups on different days so that you can allow other muscle groups to recover from your previous day’s workout.  Enlisting in the help of a personal trainer is an excellent idea.  A personal trainer can help design a routine that is best suited for your body and your needs so that you can stay on track, allow your muscles to recover and have a trained professional helping you each step of the way.

Making sure to get your zzzzz’s as well as time out of the gym is also important.  Cell repair and regeneration are at its highest when you are asleep, so making sure you are aiming for that 8 hours of sleep is crucial when you are training.

One of my favorite phrases I like to use is work the muscle, feed the muscle, rest the muscle.  By doing these three simple things, you can help reduce the risk of overtraining significantly.

Until next time, train hard, nourish your body, and rest.


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