Working out and aiming to build muscle is such a great thing! There is no doubt that you can get so many benefits when living a healthy lifestyle and incorporating a workout regime week by week. The reason why I say “week by week” is because “day by day” would be way too much! If you worked out every single day, you would be over training yourself and I am sure you have heard of the saying “too much of a good thing is bad.” This completely rings true in the fitness world!
As athletes we tend to want to over push and overdue ourselves but I can assure you, this will do nothing but have a negative impact. You are not going to get stronger, faster, leaner, better, by over training yourself. Actually, it will have the total opposite effect! If you understand what happens when you’re over trained, chances are you will no longer do it so let me explain . . .
Changes for the worst
First off, if you over train doing cardio your cortisol levels (which is a hormone) will increase. Inconveniently enough this particular hormone is associated with weight gain and stress. That does not sound very fun! It can also decrease your appetite because other hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, are increased. This causes a reduction in recovery and increased symptoms from over training, all because of the inadequate intake of calories. Let’s see . . . weight gain, stress, no appetite, reduced recovery. Doesn’t sound very fun, does it?
Other Negative Impacts
When you over train your immune system will also be suppressed. Your body will be fighting the fatigue and trying to recovery muscles so energy that is supposed to be directed towards your immune system is how working hard to repair damage done caused by overwork. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what a poor immune system can do! When you work out too hard you are also messing up your heart rate! While resting, your heart levels are higher than normal, meaning you’re not resting when you should be. You are also messing with your bones when over training. When you work out your muscles and bones endure microscopic damage and you need 1 to 2 days of recovery. Without it, you get weak, what was once easy becomes hard, you may experience muscle tears or sprains as well. Certainly nothing fun here either!
Am I Overtraining?
It seems that nothing good can come of overtraining and it turns out it is an obvious fact! So the next question is how do you know if you are over training? Here are a few things to look for to determine an answer to your question:
Muscle soreness that persists
Elevated heart rate while resting
Higher susceptibility to infections
Changes in menstruation
Feelings of irritability
Feelings of depression
Loss of appetite
How to fix it?
Now that you may have noticed that you yourself have been over trained you can begin to fix it so that you enhance your workouts and not sabotage them! You’re going to need proper nutrition which includes a diet with high carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Since your body has been depleted of nutrients, you will now need to make up for it! You may also have vitamin deficiencies but you can always take supplements on top of eating right. Common deficiencies include Vitamin A, B Complex, B12, C, S, E, K, Folic Acid, and more. Seems like a large portion of the alphabet!
You should also incorporate massages which can help to release tension. Even a self massage will do! Don’t forget the hot bath, cold shower, sauna, or whatever you need to do that will stimulate your immune system and enhance circulation. If you have fell victim to over training, these things will certainly help!
Don’t forget to reduce your training schedule, after all that is what got you here in the first place! You may want to lower your weights, reduce your reps, and find a comfortable place. When you’re not training, allow time to recover. There is nothing wrong with taking a break! Revive both your mind and body before you resume your next workout. I assure you this will help and is a necessity!
The only way to enhance your workout is through knowledge. After all, how can you fix something if you don’t even know the problem? Now that you have been enlightened, note it, fix it, and rock it!