How overtraining happens
- Just like anything else in life, your body has limits. Pushing your limits and going beyond your comfort level is good in order to grow your muscles and improve your fitness, but it is important to know when enough is enough. The people who you see in the gym for 2 hours at a time are one of two people. 1: the person concerned with quantity over quality who think that if they are working out for hours on end, they will see results faster. or 2: A knowledgeable person training very specifically for a specific goals- these people usually defined as “body builders” take 3-5 minutes of rest in between sets which naturally extends their workout.
- My point here is do not be the quantity over quality person. The quality of your workout will always be more important than the quantity. If you are consistently working your body for 2 hours there will come a point about halfway through that workout where your body will reach its limit, your performance will start to decline, your muscles will begin to starve and beg for fuel, and you could potentially be entering a damaging state for your muscles. Same goes for 2-a-days. If you choose to do these make sure you work different muscle groups/ type of exercise in each workout such as morning cardio and afternoon lift, and make sure to do them for less than half of your workout days, your body does not need to be worked that much. Go into the gym with a purpose, a plan, and go at it! If you are dead after a 30 minute workout then that means you did quality right!
Signs of overtraining
- Consistent or extreme fatigue during your workouts that normally is not an issue
- Why? your muscles are starved and yelling at you, your fuel is completely exhausted, as is the rest of your body
- You are not seeing a change in your body composition- despite your hard work
- Why? Overtraining will put your hormones out of whack which messes with your metabolism
- Why? You are working out twice as much and twice as hard, but you are still consuming as much food as a baby rabbit- throwing your metabolism out of whack again
- You can’t remember the last time you had a rest day, or a “light day”
- Why? I cannot stress enough the importance of REST! When you workout you are literally tearing your muscles into unusual states and the only way to recover and go back to normal is to rest. Light days are equally important for the same reason, as well as throwing in some muscle confusion, it is good to switch it up!
- You are having issues sleeping- either troubles going to bed, or falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow
- Why? You are exhausted and it is showing in one of two ways. Science shows for a normal person who is not exhausted, it should take about 10 minutes to fall asleep, if you fall asleep faster than that consistently, it is time to take it easy.
- You are getting sick more often despite your good hygiene
- Why? When your body is tired, overworked, and fatigued, your immune system is compromised
- You are noticing odd aches in pains in your joints and various parts of your body
- Why? Your muscles are not the only thing that is being worked in a workout, your joints are going through too much range of motion too often, leaving no time to recover