Did you know: it is possible to exercise too much! If you have that motivation and you are working out as much as you possibly can, good for you! However, if you reach that threshold whereas the frequency and intensity exceed your capability for recovery, progress comes to a screeching halt. You may start going into a catabolic state; in short, your body will start to go through its muscle for protein consumption. Not good!
Over-training will also have onset signs such as insomnia and extended muscle soreness. If you aren't' giving yourself enough time between sessions at the gym, you aren't giving your muscles a chance to recover properly. Your body actually grows while it is in a resting state – not during those pumps. If you aren't getting the right amount of sleep and your circadian rhythm is all out of whack, you're likely going to sabotage all of your efforts (and hours) you are putting in. Dialing back a bit is all that's required, to give your body the time it needs to get ready for the next session.
There are some key signs to tell if you are over training:
- Elevated resting heart rate
- Diminished motivation
- Lack of appetite
- Never-ending muscle soreness
- Increase in sicknesses
- Lack of focus
- Perpetual injuries
- Progress plateau
- Lowered self confidence
If you find yourself falling victims to any of these signs, what can you do, other than increased rest time?
Take a break – give yourself a week off to reboot
Recharge yourself! It is always good to take a break to fully recover. You can still live actively by taking a week off at the gym. Watch your caloric intake, go on a few walks, and come back to the gym focused and motivated!
Change your routine.
If you do need to go to the gym often, reduce your volume. Can you shorten your rest periods? How about lighter weight but higher intensity? The reality is that the average person will plateau after doing the same routine for about six weeks, so you really need to be changing it up frequently anyway. But more importantly, think about it. Train intelligently. Are you getting delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)? If so, then maybe go lower intensity and train more frequently.
Analyze your daily calorie intake
Are you consuming enough fuel you need for the amount of training you are doing? A lot of people that are trying to lose weight often involuntarily starve themselves of the appropriate and necessary calories needed for the amount of training they are doing. Remember that you will likely need to eat more to compensate. And don't fret . . . as your body fat percentage decreases and muscle mass increases, you will burn more fat more efficiently.
Stretch more often
At G&G Fitness, we are your headquarters for all of your stretching needs. From foam rollers to mats and straps, visit on of our retail showrooms and let an experienced fitness consultant recommend the right item for your specific needs. Incorporate vibration through items such as the Power Plate to maximize your recovery and flexibility!
Schedule a massage
Sometimes you deserve a massage. We may not have a masseuse on staff, but stop in to one of our stores and we can recommend one for you. In addition, we have massage tools in stock. Stop in a G&G store and ask your fitness consultant about a vibration roller!
Do Some Active Recovery
Active recovery happens to be one of the better ways you can keep up your workout schedule while simultaneously giving your body the rest it needs. You don't have to skip a day, just train a little bit smarter and with your body in mind.
At the end of the day, trust your body. If you aren't feeling 100% for that next intense session, dial it back a bit, or skip it all together. It might actually be better for you.