OVERTRAIN & REMAIN THE SAME
Doesn’t sound like fun right? As athletes and fitness enthusiasts, we don’t spend hours in the gym every week, to “remain the same”. But where a lot of people go wrong is they want expedited results, and so they overtrain - not only by frequency but by keeping a repetitive level of intensity and resistance or sometimes a combination of both. Along with negative health effects, overtraining also hinders our progress and performance in the gym.
Here’s the science behind it all... So workouts stress our bodies by challenging our limits of strength and endurance. If we apply the ideal amounts of stress with the right frequency, our bodies will change in response to this stress & adapt in ways that make it better able to handle the same stress when repeated in the future. BUT when we put our bodies through TOO much stress, it causes negative adaptations... Okay so.. every time we train we break down a certain amount of muscle tissue, and the damage is repaired by the inflammation & "fun" soreness that follows as a response to this damage . This is all a part of recovery as the damage heals , through this process our bodies over time become more resistant to future damage. BUT Her'es where the problem with overtraining kicks in. When we continue to add damage on damage ,by repeatedly putting our bodies through hard workouts and under a lot of stress this huge bundle of damage accumulates, and we become sore for long periods of time, and inevitably weaker & more prone to injury AND our performance takes a plunge. Sounds bad right, it is. On top of all of that we don't look or feel our best either.
Signs that you’re overtraining range from, lack of motivation,burnout extreme soreness following a workout(lasting over a week),injury, decrease in strength and performance and a weakened immune system ( getting sick easily).
These are all things I’ve battled with during competition prep,usually because during the days leading up to the show my diet is not as balanced as it was starting out and I tend to get carried away with training legs and my nerves turn me into an insomniac .
This year I'm determined to fight overtraining and the sickness and bad feelings that usually comes with it.
3 TOP WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOU DON’T OVERTRAIN
1. GET ENOUGH REST
Your body recovers and repairs itself while you are asleep. Supplements like protein and glutamine do assist with muscle recovery, especially if you’re an athlete or engage in intense and frequent training, but the cheapest and most effective means of recovery is sleep. Ideally 7-8 hours per night is best.
2. FUEL YOUR BODY PROPERLY
I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, Fitness is 90% nutrition and 10% training. It’s true. You can’t fuel your body with garbage and expect it to perform at it’s best. It’s important to eat for your goals. A balanced diet including protein, carbs, essential fats and lots and lots of water is crucial to recovery and fighting overtraining.
Alternating muscle groups, staggering the intensity of your workouts and creating a flexible schedule for training can assist greatly in avoiding overtraining and burnout. Make an effort to listen to your body, and it's needs and act accordingly.
Maximize your training and do your body and your health a favor by training smart and efficiently. Trust me I know how easy it is to overtrain especially when you're a competitor and even if you're just hungry to see results, but in the end it’s worth it to take care of your body and train the right way.