• Avoid Overtraining

      By Parker Cote, ISSA, CFT Men's Fitness

      Have you ever felt like you’ve not only stopped seeing results but have lost progress towards your fitness goals? You might be the victim of a common condition known as overtraining.

      Overtraining occurs when the frequency and intensity of training exceeds the body’s ability to rest and recover. In an overtrained state, athletes experience a slew of negative symptoms ranging from muscle atrophy and loss of motivation, to decreased immune system functioning and moodiness. When motivation is high and results are desired fast, trainees can find themselves losing muscle mass and gaining fat, despite a consistently demanding exercise routine.

      To prevent this paradox, it is crucial to get plenty of rest to recover from intense workouts. It is also important to follow a diet that includes adequate amounts of macronutrients, especially carbohydrates. Providing your body with nutrients and rest will enable the muscles to repair and grow. Although it may seem counterintuitive, longer workouts aren’t always better. Eliminate marathon sessions from your regimen and you will see more results, not less. Implement these seven strategies to ensure that you avoid overtraining and continue to see progress.
      Eat enough carbohydrates.

      According to a study published in in the Journal of Sports Sciences, “the best treatment [for overtraining] is prevention.” The study mentions that sufficient carbohydrate intake is essential to preventing overtraining. Carbohydrates are required for muscle recovery and energy, and when absent from a diet, can cause your body to enter a state of muscle catabolism in which your body uses muscle mass for energy.

      Take two.

      Without proper rest, people can easily enter a state of overtraining. Time out of the gym is just as important, if not more important, than time in the gym. Many people who experience overtraining make a common mistake: they train even harder, pushing themselves deeper into the overtraining trap. When results slow and performance decreases, it’s best to take some time out of the gym and reassess your program. Start by taking two days off completely.

      Set your limits.

      After about an hour, testosterone levels in your body begin to dip and levels of the stress hormone cortisol begin to rise. Since testosterone is responsible for muscle growth and maintenance and cortisol can cause you to put on weight, this is the complete opposite of what we want to happen. Three-hour marathon workouts are a sure way to increase your likelihood of overtraining. Keep your sessions under an hour for best results.

      Snooze more.

      In addition to taking time off exercise, getting an appropriate amount of sleep each night can help you recover faster and repair muscle tissue. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine listed rest as “central to recovery” from overtraining. The amount of rest varies for each individual and depends on training loads, but to be safe, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

      Massage it out.

      Getting a deep tissue massage can loosen up tight muscles, increase blood flow, and rid the body of built-up lactic acid and other toxins. Regular massages will keep your body functioning optimally.

      Get your priorities straight.

      Altering the intensity of your workout in preplanned stages—known as periodization—can help prevent overtraining by allowing your body to recover, as your muscles heal during less intense periods.

      Embrace change.

      New exercises can mean new growth. By introducing new exercises and rep ranges into your routine, you keep it fresh and force your body to adapt to new stimuli, ultimately leading to gains.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...aining-forever
      Comments 3 Comments
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Rest and recovery/feeding is important but its also important to state that most gym-goers have no idea what overtraining really is because they've never really experienced it. This term can be used as an excuse rather than a reason to stay out of the gym
      1. Jason559's Avatar
        Jason559 -
        Need advise!!!! I'm an ex all American football player who is used to traing hard. I have lost my baby fat in the past two years from 6'4" 340lb to a muscular 235. I've been back in the gym for about a year now getting results to where people are asking if I'm on gear. My problem is for the last 4 months I have been going to the gym 2 hours a day every day!! But still seeing great gains. My problem is that I wake up sore but by gym time am fine and feel if I miss then I'm missing out. Ur probably thinking that I must not be working hard enough but I assure u that my training far exceeds the 99% of others. I need to know if its ok to continue, are there signs I can look out for??? The only soreness I have nonstop is my elbows, no matter what work there doing it feels as if there is a fire right at the tip of the elbow!!!!!!! HELP!!!
      1. PalmFist's Avatar
        PalmFist -
        Hey bro, you should post your question in the general discussion forum or the training forum. You're already a member so get in there!
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