Is Over Training Really Holding You Back?
Everyone knows a person that operates at the gym with the “No Days Off” mentality. That person is in there 7 days a week no matter what but doesn’t seem to be making much progress. In fact, they may even be injured a lot of the time, while still trying to push through.
This is what over training can look like. While some may consider over training a myth, it is in fact real. However, over training comes down to many variables that can vary from person to person.
In this post, you’re going to be learning more about what harm over training can cause, as well as how you can avoid it yourself.
What Can Over Training Cause?
Over training is essentially the outcome of putting too much stress on your body than it can handle. In these cases, much like a vehicle, if you are too hard on it without care it starts to breakdown. The extent at which you are over training does matter, but most often you can find some similar outcomes with it.
People who are over trained will often find that they are injured more than most. This is due to the lack of recovery that is going on, which leads the muscles and joints to wear down. As we train, we’re breaking our body down, but we have to make sure to allow it to build back up. If we don’t, we may find that our bodies can’t keep up.
In addition to injuries, over training can actually cause issues with your energy levels. You can find that an over trained person can’t get proper sleep. They toss and turn in the bed, even though they feel tired. What’s even more is that over training comes about from a lack of sleep, so this is only going to make the issues compound. It’s like your body won’t actually relax because it is trying to play catch up.
Hormones, believe it or not, are also influenced by over training. If you are over training, you are going to have an influx of the stress hormone – cortisol. With your body having an influx of cortisol, you may find that the regulatory levels of your other hormones can fall. In men this can show up as a decrease in testosterone, and in women this can cause disturbances in your natural cycles. Surprisingly enough, doing too much of a good thing can become a problem.
Injuries, lower energy, hormones, and lastly your mood can all come along with overtraining. You may find that if you or someone else is over training that they are constantly in an irritable state. This has to do with lack of good sleep, low energy, and pretty much all of the above. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t feel irritable with all of these issues?
As you can see, working out past your limits can cause a lot of damage. Working out is a good thing, and going for intensity helps drive adaptation, but we have to take into account the recovery side of things.
It should also be noted, that achieving a state of over training can be pretty difficult for some. Everyone has a different lifestyle as well as a different genetic build up and these have some strong influence here.
How Can You Avoid Overtraining?
Alright, so now that you may be worried about over training, how can you prevent it? Like stated previously, achieving a state of over training may be difficult for some. Everyone has a threshold of what they can and cannot handle. So, consider that you may not even be close to being over trained.
However, one of the best ways to make sure this isn’t happening while still allowing you to train intensely is to rest. Sleep is king here. You have to make sure your sleep in on point for proper recovery. While sleeping, the majority of tissue repair is happening. When this is mitigated or interrupted, you may find signs of over training creeping in. You could even take time for naps if you needed to sneak in more rest!
Now, this is all stress related right? Well, your body manifests all kinds of stress in some of the same ways. So, if you work a stressful job and head to the gym for an insane workout, you would be taking on more stress than the person with an easy-going job. While this is totally fine, you may find yourself close to over training. This doesn’t mean you have to switch careers, but more so that you need to be aware of it. Keep a tab on how much stress you take in on a day-to-day basis. You may be getting physical stress from a construction job, and you can factor that into the intensity of your workouts. While this is all goal dependent, it’s a great place to put your attention when it comes to avoiding overtraining.
Eating the right foods are also going to be extremely important here. It’s paramount that you’re getting in enough calories, proteins, carbs, and fats to fuel the activity you’re pursuing. If you don’t, you’ll find that you are sluggish, tired, and beat up. Next to sleep, nutrition is responsible for repairing tissue and priming you to keep working out progressively.
So, sleep, stress management, and food are going to be your main focal points for avoiding over training. You would be surprised what one rest day could do for you and your progress. You’ll be surprised to find that proper rest actually allows for great changes physically. Those muscles can’t build themselves if you don’t give them the opportunity to.
Over training may not be as common as you think. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You can avoid this happening to you if proper steps are taken for your recovery. Without it, you’ll find that you aren’t feeling like the best YOU.
Keep some tabs on how you’re feeling and program a rest day or two into your week. Your body will thank you!