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Friday, June 19, 2015

When Pain Is No Longer A Gain

Chances are if you are reading this article right now, then you love to work out. You hit the gym like an animal without disregard as it hunts for its prey. But one day, you realized that the gym is not as great as you once imagined. You feel mentally fatigued, your body is always sore, and the results are just no longer evident. My friend, you are indeed overtraining. 

Man bent over squat rack | www.THEFITTESTBLOGGER.com

What is overtraining? Overtraining, sometimes known as Overtraining Syndrome, is a point where a person will see a decrease in performance and plateau due to overloading the muscles through excessive working out that exceeds their maximum recovery capacity. 

In laments terms, overtraining happens when you overwork the body without giving it proper time to recover and repair all the micro tears and stress that you put on it. Overtraining will cause you to lose your edge and strength.

And why the hell would we ever want to lose our edge? That’s no-no.

How can you identify overtraining?
Fatigue – You tend to get fatigued often and insist on taking naps wherever you can. You become moody, easily irritated, depressed, less competitive, and sleep patterns become altered.
Insomnia – Insomnia seems to be a horrible factor for almost every physiological and psychological issues that humans seem to have. Insomnia also is a symptom in the fitness world and can be activated because of overtraining.
Prolonged muscle soreness – As we have all heard time and time again, “Pain is Gain,”   which is true to an extent. Once protein synthesis occurs, pain and soreness should decrease or be gone 48-72 hour after training. But if you’re going days and weeks at a time of constantly being sore, then it should be red flag that you need to stop and take some time off.
Injuries increase – Self-explanatory. If your muscles are always sore, then they are not properly healing. Your micro tears may become bigger issues causing injury.  The risk of entering a catabolic state is very high. Tight muscles will also cause injuries in your ligaments keeping you out of the gym or off the field for a longer amount of time. Once that happen, you will only regret that you had taken this post more seriously.
Drop in performance – You plateau at 155 on the squat rack and wondering what in the world is going on. And if you are an athlete, you will see a drop in speed, vertical, lateral movement, mental fatigue; the list goes on.
You get sick often – Your body doesn’t have time or energy to recover from illnesses. It’s rerouting energy trying to rebuild your muscles, while taking away your bodies need to create white blood cells and protect itself from foreign bodies. Now not only is your muscles suffering from overtraining, your immune systems has now become a victim.

How to treat over training

The body is a huge organism where everything works in a succinct and cyclical manner. It works in a way that everything is connected and the body will adjust to the needs of its organs. Think about it the body as a machine.

The machine(Human) needs fuel(Food) to operate. It needs to be maintained (exercise). And  it also needs to be turned off(sleep) to rest before it overheats and breaks down(Death X_X).

Ok you most likely won’t die from overtraining but I’m sure you get the idea.

Adding sufficient rest to your training regimen is a must and your best bet to treating and preventing over training.

You need rest in order for your body to rebuild and regenerate muscle fibers. And we should all know by now from reading past articles that this occurs during protein synthesis and mainly during deep sleep.

Other forms of treating Overtraining include;
Deep tissue massage
Foam rolling for Myofascial release
Taking time off from training
Cross training- Great for mental fatigue
Take a week or two off is also a great option. When you get back in the gym try alternating your days. Don’t go back to the same workout and mix it up. However anything longer than two weeks will most definitely decrease your muscular strength, but you will be rejuvenated both mentally and physically.

If there is one thing you should remember from this article is that progress and physiological improvements only occur from proper rest periods after strenuous training. This occurs because of the maximal overload on your capillaries in your muscles which will increase the glycogen stores in your mitochondrial enzymes within your muscles cells.

During rest, your body will build glycogen levels to compensate for all the stress you are putting on it which will result in your muscles now being able to perform at a higher level. Meaning you will be able to work out more efficiently during your next workout.

But this can only be done after proper recovery. So if you’re overtraining, then STOP.

If you don’t see any of the symptoms of overtraining, then keep doing what you’re doing and continually seek progress every day you work out. And soon, you may become The Fittest.

Did I miss anything? Do you agree or disagree with the effects of Overtraining? Let's discuss in the comment section. And don't forget to share this post with the first person it reminds you of!

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