Guilty as charged. I’m a complete sucker for training and training hard. I love the sensation of pushing my body to the limit and then the feeling of accomplishment when it’s all over. But am I where I want to be? No. Defiantly not. It could be something to do with early onset of overtraining …
Most magazine articles, blogs and pages generally give you ‘tricks of the trade’ to get up and go by integrating exercise within your daily schedule and keeping it there. But believe it or not, and affecting over 60% of competitive athletes, there is something as ‘Overtraining Syndrome’ which can significantly damage progress and your health if done is excess.
Now before you suddenly use the above as an excuse that exercise is bad for you, and think that having multiple days on the sofa is the right thing to do, your wrong! Overtraining only occurs when your body is placed under more stress than it can handle to repair itself from constant high intensity training, however, this is the training we need to do to achieve that that lean and muscular physique we all crave for. As harsh as it sounds, we place significant trauma to our muscles during an intense workout, resulting in a substantial rise in a number of hormones after we’ve completed that gruelling workout. Yet without these increased hormones our muscles can’t repair and restoring them stronger than before and making you one step close to your goals. The problem arises is when intense exercise is executed numerous times daily and these hormones don’t get a chance to balance themselves out again, leading to a catabolic state where we can become moody, sleepless and even start sacrificing our muscle to be able to store more fat! – Something that none of us want! If overtraining isn’t spotted early, it can not only result in hormonal imbalances but also, muscular and neurological imbalances within the body causing poor performance both in and out of sport, standstills in menstruation for females, injuries and illnesses, fatigue and even depression.
The good thing? It is easy to overcome! The first thing to address, is to make sure we keep a record or schedule of our training and incorporate rest days or even ‘active recovery’. As I mentioned previously, by skimping on rest, thorough regeneration of our muscles can’t occur. Furthermore, we need to make sure our nutrition is sufficient. In order to perform to our best, we need to fuel our body with the right nutrients, avoiding those processed and sugary foods. Healthy fats are essential to support the functions of hormones, our brain and even nervous system, where adequate protein in our diet supports our new and improved muscle development.
Overall, my argument is that you don’t need to be exercising 24/7 to reach where you want to be by the end of 2017! And even if you do, it can give you complete adverse effects! Be proactive by planning and modifying your training as you go along. Fuel yourself and listen to yourself.