Tag Archives: Over Training

Are you Over-Training?

As fitness athletes, we are obsessed with training and pushing our bodies to the max. This can be very rewarding for your body and your mind. But sometimes obsession can lead to over-training, which can be detrimental to the body, leading to injuries, illness and even body dysmorphic disorder.

Overtraining is something most of us do not think about. Overtraining can be a very negative thing for your body and overall fitness goals. Here is a list of signs that you may be overtraining:

  • Prolonged muscle soreness
  • Insomnia
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased colds and flues
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increased injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Decrease in training intensity
  • A compulsive need to exercise
  • Decreased appetite

Do any of these signs stand out to you? Chances are you may be over-training. Think about your usual habits in the gym. If you are only training 4-5 times per week for 1 hour, you are most likely not over-training. If you are never taking a break and training 2-3 hours per day, then over-training is probably what you are experiencing.

Use a training log and write down how you feel after every training session to keep yourself in check. Go back and read what you have written down, and look for signs in your own words of decreased enthusiasm and downward trends in your training. It is important to listen to your body signals and rest when you are tired.

Take a break from training to allow time for recovery. If you feel that you may be doing more harm than good, take a few days of rest. Sometimes when injuries happen, or focus and motivation are low, allow yourself one week away from fitness to revive the body and mind. When you return to your usual training, you may have more focus, feel stronger and enjoy your workouts again.

The body repairs and strengthens itself during rest between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes. Taking a day or two off is not going to make you gain weight or set you back. You will allow your body to recover during your days off, which will allow your muscles to get stronger and grow.

Exercise should be enjoyed, and if you are in the gym parking lot dreading to go in, take a break. Your body and your mind will thank you!

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Training and Injuries

I had a heck of a year with injuries. Shoulder injury, lower back injury, ankle injury and my latest a sprained wrist. Seems like one thing after another lately with me!

Setbacks are inevitable to the dedicated athlete or the committed fitness girl!

You simply cannot give 100% all the time, especially when you have an injury. Failing to take time off- whether injured or just need to take a slight break from fitness- can actually adversely affect your ability to reach your goals.

For many of us, myself included, the urge to go to the gym while injured to work the healthy body parts can be quite strong, but sometimes we have to realize when it is time to rest our bodies so we can come back stronger and have a better workout.

Even though training is great for the body, it actually puts major stress on the body as well. Rest days are very beneficial and produce the gains you are after.

If you have injured body parts, sometimes it is important to let your whole body rest so you can speed up recovery time. What may seem like an inconvenience now, training while injured could turn into a major problem down the road.

Now that I am 30-something, my body’s ability to recover is not what it used to be in my 20’s. I used to put my body through the wringer and I would bounce back with no problems. I used to train with weights and do cardio sessions every single day, but now I make sure I take a day off in between weight sessions and also have a full day of rest on Sundays.

Supplementation may also be beneficial during injuries as well. Glutamine is a great supplement for muscle preservation, and taking a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement is known to prevent joint and cartilage breakdown. Fish oil is also a great supplement that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Stretching is a very important step after a workout, and I always recommend stretching to avoid and prevent injuries. Stretching helps lengthen the muscles and return them back to their normal state. I also recommend massage therapy for injuries and have also used acupuncture for treatment, which has worked very well for me and I will continue to use this form of treatment in the future.

Eating a clean, consistent diet every day is just as important to keep the body healthy by providing the proper nutrients needed, which reduces the risk of injury as well. When an injury does occur, it may be necessary to cut back calories in order to prevent weight gain if you cannot do your normal gym routine.

For example, if a knee injury occurs, you may not be able to train legs for a while. Legs are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and training legs will burn a lot of calories. If you cannot burn as many calories during an injury, cutting your calories back by 200 or 300 per day, eating clean and not skimping on protein for muscle preservation may be a good idea.

I have met a lot of injured people who start a pity party for themselves with food, and the outcome of the extra calories is very damaging and heartbreaking a few months down the road.

Always listen to your body.

If you feel an injury coming along, it is best to deal with it right away instead of pushing through and making it worse. We all want to continue with our training, and if it means taking 2 or 3 days off, it is always better than having to take months off down the road!

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