Overtraining is a widely misunderstood subject in fitness.
There is a very large percentage of the fitness industry that knows nothing about over training.
Zilch. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nothing.
That won't keep them from acting like they know what they're talking about. I've even seen many fitness experts get it completely wrong.
Since most of the magazines and websites have it wrong, I am guessing that you have probably been given the wrong information too. But don't feel bad because it's taken me many years to learn exactly what it is — it can get very confusing at times.
I ignored over training for a long time and it cost me some progress along the way.
Learn what it is today and how to combat it for the sake of your progress. Don't ignore it like I did. You've got to be in control. You've got to fully understand overtraining and learn how much your body can really take.
Exactly What Is Overtraining?
Overtraining does not occur from a single training session! It occurs after several days or weeks of too much fatigue on your body.
If you push your body too hard for too long, it will occur and it will hit you hard. The fatigue adds up and continues to add up until your body starts to shut down.
A single workout can lead to more fatigue and can lead to you overtraining much earlier in a weight lifting cycle. But, a single workout should never be labeled as overtraining! Period.
Once you overtrain, you will lose strength and not be able to continue progress in your weight lifting program. Once you get to this point, though, it's too late.
Over training has already occurred.
You will have to take more drastic measures to let your body recover from all of the stress you have put it through. You're body will make you take a break. Our bodies are amazing.
I compare overtraining to going off the edge of a mountain that you have spent so much time and energy just to climb. The further you fall, the harder you're going to have to work just to get back to where you were.
Let's keep climbing the mountain without moving backwards. You don't want to fall off the side of the mountain and have to start over.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Over Training
If you can recognize that overtraining is about to occur, you can do things to combat it.
Well, how do we do this??? Let me tell you how to easily recognize when over training is getting near. Pay attention to this so you fully understand the concept.
Overtraining is a cumulative fatigue that adds up over the weeks, right?
This means you have to listen to your body over the weeks. You have to learn your body.
It may take you some time to learn your body if you are a beginner, but it is something every weight lifter, bodybuilder, athlete, strongman, and power lifter has to go through.
If you don't recognize the cumulative fatigue before it's too late, you will be overtrained but you will have at least learned a valuable lesson.
You will just have to take a little extra time off from weight lifting. It will be better to take the extra time off than dig yourself into a deeper hole.
Learn Your Body — Know When Overtraining Is Near
How do you learn your body? You have to be able to recognize when your body is telling you it needs a break. You will need to differentiate between when you are being lazy and when you really need to take a few extra days off.
Let's say you are coming up on your Friday workout, the last workout of the week…
You're very tired even though you've been getting plenty of sleep and eating plenty of nutritious foods. Just thinking about lifting weights make you sick and you feel like there is no way to beat the amount of weight or reps you did the last workout. You want to know the solution?
Take the Friday off from weight training.
Rest Saturday and Sunday and come back ready for war with the weights on Monday. That gives you Thursday through Sunday to rest and combat the overtraining symptoms.
Now, if these feelings are still with you on Monday and you've been working to failure on many of your sets, you probably need to take a scheduled break of at least 7 days.
If you are feeling like this after only a few weeks, then you have a weight lifting program that is TOO MUCH for you or you did not give yourself an adequate break from lifting.
You will need to scale the amount of work back or eat a greater amount of healthy foods. You'll also need to sleep more. When you take a break from weight lifting, you should take a complete break with no hard physical labor or any tough physical activites. Walking is fine.
STOP: Don't Go Too Far!!!
When you have pushed your body too far, your body will start to shut down on you, and you've fell over that cliff I was talking about.
You may become sick because your body has become weaker. If you get sick, you will have to take a break whether you like it or not. This is your body defending itself against you.
Take a longer break. Give your body 14 full days to recover. If you are still sick, you may have to take up to 21 days off. If so, you have seriously overtrained your body.
Just rest and plan your next weight lifting cycle.
Remember, overtraining is a cumulative fatigue. The only way to get rid of the fatigue is to let your body rest. Rest will do great things for your body and will allow you to continue your journey towards the body of your dreams.
Summary Of Overtraining With Guidelines
You've got to learn your body. When you're getting close, you've got to take a scheduled break. You want to give your body that break and re-charge before you fall off of that edge.
Re-charge before the edge and you can start climbing again with no losses. Here are your over training prevention guidelines…
1. If you are feeling tired and have a lack of motivation take a few extra days off. This will give your body the break it needs and you can keep pounding away after your short break.
2. If you feel the same after your short break and you're sure it's not due to laziness, take 7-14 days off depending on you're assessment of how bad you feel.
3. If you become sick, take at least 14 full days off to recover from your sickness. You may need up to 21 days.
4. Do not dig yourself into a deeper hole. If your body is telling you it needs a break, you better take a break! You will cost yourself several weeks of gains.
5. Monitor your strength gains as you progress on your program. If you are having trouble increasing reps or weight and you have the symptoms in #1 above, then you are probably nearing the edge.
6. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and are not under eating. Many times, the diet can be to blame for symptoms. Eat a healthy diet full of nutritious foods and you will send that over training edge further down the line meaning further gains for you.
7. Be careful when trying to lose fat or weight because you will be in a calorie deficit and it is much easier to overtrain. It is important to eat even healthier when dieting because you'll only have a limited amount of food to take in. If you have trouble with overtraining while dieting, you should try an abbreviated weight lifting program.
Now You Know What Overtraining Is and How to Slap It Right in The Face When it Gets Near
Take what you've learned here today and put it into action.
Use the guidelines above and pay attention to how you are feeling each day.
For example, sometimes I have a tough week at work and at home by not getting the sleep I need. Kids are a little rough on the sleep sometimes.
So I take an extra day off every now and then to keep over training away. I have gotten very good at listening to what my body is telling me. You need to do the same.
Once you learn your body, the stars are the limit. You can get any type of body you want with the WLC System. So do it. Go get what you want. You can do this.