Results don’t come from doing more. Results come from being consistent with your workouts, not training every day.
Sometimes, doing TOO much can prevent you from achieving the success you desire. Results, as you know, are achieved by cleaning up what you eat, working out with intensity, which means working out to get stronger, and working out to make our bodies burn more calories!
It is super easy to believe that working out MORE will help you get to your body-shaping goals faster. This is a myth.
Sometimes our minds will make us think funny things like…..
- Maybe you ate more than you should have, and you need to “workout to make it up.”
- Maybe you missed your workout and you need to double up your workouts on the same day.
- Maybe you are super competitive and believe you need more than 4 super sets, more than 6 exercises or you will not stop until you do 1, 2 or even 3 hundred of a particular exercise!
- Maybe you keep pushing and pushing because you set a goal to increase your strength in a short period of time.
In any case, you get immediate feedback that you are WORKING HARD and this feeling MUST lead to some type of results…right?
You will get results but are they the results you want?
Overdoing IS overtraining and overtraining WILL lead to some issues you won’t be so thrilled about such as these:
- Causing you to decrease your testosterone levels.
- Decrease thyroxine levels. Basically, this means that you will slow down your metabolism.
- Increase cortisol. If you know anything about cortisol you know that when it is high, it leads to all kinds of problems. It could keep you from sleeping well at night and cause your blood sugars to spike, which then creates cravings, and causes weight gain, fatigue, and many other issues.
Bottom line, nothing good happens when we overwork our bodies. Basically, the combination of decreasing testosterone and increasing cortisol leads to muscle protein tissue breakdown.
This should be concerning. What else does over-training cause?
UNDERSTANDING YOUR DIFFERENT BODY FUNCTIONS CAN HELP
Over-training can drastically decrease the levels of antibodies and lymphocytes in your body, making you much more susceptible to illness. Especially during the times we are in right now, it is most important for us to take care of ourselves and make sure our body has the ability to fight any infections.
Here is a list of how over-training can affect the metabolic system. These symptoms are the ones that are most commonly discussed, and are ones we can’t ignore:
- Microtears in the muscle
- Slow, weak muscle contractions
- Extreme DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Chronically depleted glycogen levels
- Excessive accumulation of lactic acid
- Tendon and connective tissue damage
Over-training affects both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the following negative ways:
- Higher resting heart rate
- Weak appetite
- High blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Constant Fatigue
If you are experiencing more than one of the symptoms outlined above, you may be in a state of over-training and should evaluate your approach to working out asap – as always, talk to your doctor about these signs and symptoms, as well just to be sure something else is not going on. These should not be ignored so listen to your body and let it do the talking. Your only job is to listen.
How to determine if you are over-training
It can be VERY easy to determine if you’re in tune with your body. If you are losing interest in workouts, are having trouble sleeping, or feel weak and irritable, you may be in a state of over-training and should take a week or more off.
How do you know if you are having overtraining symptoms
Ask…..”Has my physical performance improved compared to my last workout?” Am I progressing in strength? Do I feel good after my workout or do I feel drained?”
How to prevent over-training
In order to avoid over-training, take some time to determine the correct training volume and intensity, eat supportive foods, and get the right amount of rest and recovery.
Correct Training Volume
Determine how much weight to lift, and how many repetitions and sets to perform for every single workout. Use your own judgment based on your recovery ability and your recovery methods. Remember that the goal is that you improve every single workout, and if this isn’t happening, you have to decrease the intensity of your workouts.
Always strive to increase your reps or weight with every single workout. If this isn’t happening, you need to step back and decrease the intensity. For example, if you are doing 10 reps at 20 lbs and it feels very hard and you try to increase your reps but you can’t, step back and drop your weight to 15 lbs and increase your reps to 12-15.
If you are doing 20 lbs and easily knock out 20 reps, then increase your weight to 25 lbs and decrease reps back down to 8-12.
If you begin your workout and realize that you have not fully recovered….you can either continue to work out at a lower intensity than the previous workout or skip the workout entirely. Your body needs time to recover.
You know that what you eat plays a huge role in your fat loss program. It helps regulate hormone levels, provides energy, and provides the raw building blocks that are used to create new lean muscle tissue.
Do not skip breakfast. This is one of the most important meals of the day. Skipping breakfast is very catabolic, and can promote muscle loss. This also is important for balancing hormone production for those over 40.
Never let yourself get hungry. If you’re trying to increase lean muscle, you have to feed your body quality foods so that it never has the chance to catabolize (eat away) muscle tissue. Eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable and keep hunger at bay.
Make sure you have eaten prior to your workout and you are not hungry.
Rest & Recovery
Rest and recovery is essential when it comes to avoiding over-training.
Rest for at least 7 hours each night, 8 if possible. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time.
Make sure you have days off in between working the same muscle groups. It is important to let your body recover fully in between workouts so that you can keep the “overtraining” symptoms at bay and allow your muscles to grow back stronger and bigger.
Bottom line, MORE is NOT always better.
If you need help with a program that gets you results but doesn’t overdo it, shoot me a message.