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What is OverTraining?

What is OverTraining?

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We eat all the right stuff. We hit the gym hard. We do our cardio every day. Why is then that we can't build more muscle? Looking like skin hanging on bones is not our desire, yet we just can't seem to figure it out. If this is the case for you, you may be overtraining. Beyond diet, this is the number one reason I see individuals not achieving the goals they are trying to achieve. They are simply training too much.

Overtraining is a where we're working out so hard that we don't give the body enough time to recover and rebuild. The result is a lot of effort expended with very little results. You may be lean, but you are not achieving the shapely results you are looking for.

The body needs time to repair the damage done when working out. If not enough time is allowed between workouts for the body to recover, the muscle is not ready to grow. It can be likened to building a gingerbread house. If you don't let the icing dry sufficiently prior to adding more gingerbread, the house will fall apart. The same holds true for the body. You can't sufficiently build on muscle without the base being solid enough to build upon.

So the big question becomes, how much is too much? Well, unfortunately, that depends on the individual. For me, being naturally a leaner body type, or a hard gainer as they call it (it's difficult already for me to put on any muscle), I need a LOT of recovery time. I will only train a body part once a week and my weight workouts are every other day. On my non-weight days I perform intense interval cardio for no more than 45 minutes. Any more than that and I don't see any progress, or even worse yet I lose muscle.

This one was really hard for me to embrace, as I think when we're growing up it's ingrained into our heads that we need to workout more to achieve results. It's similar for the diet thing I suppose. We learned the less you eat the more you lose. We all know now that not to be true, but it's a tough belief to overcome at first.

Once I did embrace this concept, and stopped killing myself in the gym, I actually did see fantastic results much to my surprise. Give it a try and give it some time. You might be surprised too.

Author: Kristin Shaffer
kristin@figureandbikini.org

Member Comments

I went through this crazy phase where I insisted in working out six days a week, twice a day plus do an hour of cardio each day. Sure... I lost weight... Unfortunately, the majority of it was all of the muscle I had spent so much time putting on! Now, I'm back to reality. I do cardio five to six days a week and weight train four to five days a week, once a day. Sometimes working too hard only backfires. I had to learn that the hard way. I tried to take a short cut and to make the changes happen quicker. However, the reality is that this is a sport of patience. It takes time.... But the end result is SO worth it!
--SarahSuss21

Sarah I learned the hard way as well. I'm also finding the older I get the more recovery time I need in order to make any gains.
--fabeditor

As with competing--- a lot of times, it is trial and error. What may be overtraining for one person is not necessarily overtraining for another. That is one reason why knowing your body is SO important!
--SarahSuss21

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