I feel that out of all the “scientific” fitness terms, this one is the one that is used the most. Some believe that it doesn’t exist… others believe that it will occur after the slightest bit of training. The truth however, lies somewhere in the middle.
Rather simply put; over training is where you are training so hard that your body cannot properly recover before its next session. This can lead to a variety of problems, some terminal others short term, that we will explore later in the article.
I think firstly we need to identify how it happens. So as badly explained in the above paragraph over training is just working yourself too hard but that doesn’t mean that what you do in the gym is the main factor. Sleep is one which a lot of people seem to pass by but it is very important for muscle growth and repair. Since your body is at rest for the longest time while asleep, you will grow and repair the most during that time. Skimp on sleep and you will lose out. Take it from me. The second thing which people seem to miss is the right nutrition (and I am not just talking about protein here). Of course a lack of protein will mean that less muscle protein synthesis can take place resulting in less muscle built- but things like iron,carbohydrates and vitamins are all required so that your body has enough energy to power the internal chemical reactions and so it can absorb certain nutrients most efficiently.
So if you think you have over trained, then what can you expect to happen to you? Well if we look directly at your gym performance, then we can expect to see limited results. Now this could take the form of a number of things: it could mean weight which you could normally do comfortably now feels heavy, or that you can not nearly achieve as much volume as you could previously.But worst of all would be some sort of injury whether that is muscle related, a tear or pull, or tendon related. These are ones you should definitely watch out for because these will have you out of action for years if the injury is bad enough.
Probably the most important part of this article will follow now and its about how to avoid over training. Its really quite simply actually- just don’t do everything that causes it. Make sure you get enough sleep each night regardless of whether it is a training day or not, alongside this you can space out your training days so that ample rest is achieved (my recommendation is to have no more than 2 weights days in a row). Nutrition is very personal and should always be treated so, therefore take what I say with a pinch of salt; in order to make sure that you supply yourself with enough fuel to keep training at a high standard do not ignore vegetables. I often find that people really don’t struggle with getting their macro nutrient requirements, its the micro nutrients that people struggle to consume so please don’t ignore your vegetables… they may just save your training.
I hope none of you reading this will make this mistake and of course any questions you may have, on this topic or not, you can always ask me via email or Instagram. Both are available on my homepage.