Overtraining is a very serious problem that can take you completely out of your workout program if you aren’t careful. Far too many people have the best of intentions before they wind up overtrained and simply want to see fast and effective results from their program plan.
As such, they hit the gym daily, giving 110% of their effort every time. What they don’t realize is that without sufficient rest, the body will never recover as it should. Keep going to the gym too often and hitting the weights too hard, and it will only be so long before you are overtrained and sidelined.
Overtraining will put a significant dent in the progress that you’re making so you really must be doing everything possible to prevent it.
Let’s go over a few of the main points that you should know to prevent overtraining.
- Get sufficient sleep at night. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep at night as this is the primary time when the body goes into deep recovery mode.
- Make sure you fuel well after the workout. Looking after your post-workout nutrition will help to enhance the recovery rates that you see.
- Avoid excessive life stress. All forms of stress will take a toll on your body so if you’re constantly stressed out on a day to day basis, this could actually cause overtraining to set in.
- Take at least two days off from weight-lifting each week. This is a very stressful form of exercise for your central nervous system.
- Make sure to get 48 hours’ rest between workouts. Don’t work any given muscle group more than once in a 48-hour time period.
- Use hot baths regularly. These will help to boost circulation to the muscle tissues, helping to speed up the recovery rates that you see.
- Go for massages. If you can afford it, a deep tissue massage can serve as a great recovery aid.
- Eat the right amount of calories. If you aren’t eating sufficient calories, you aren’t providing your body with the raw materials it needs to see a proper recovery.
- Get in sufficient protein. Along with calories, you also need enough protein to build and repair muscle tissues.
- Avoid too much cardio training. While most forms of cardio training won’t stress the body as much as weight-lifting will, if you’re doing too much, it still adds up and may prevent you from recovering.
- Take a one-week break. Every 8-12 weeks of your workout program, take one complete week off to fully let the body rest and recover before you continue on again.
The Bottom Line:
Have a good look at your current approach. Do you see any places where you are inviting overtraining? Make sure that you structure your workout program in such a way as to prevent overstressing your body so that this doesn’t lead to something like an injury that prevents you from seeing success.