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Are You Overtraining?

Are You Overtraining?

Reading Time: 4 mins
Word Count: 500-600 words

Many people who are new to the gym come with a burning desire to change their body, which is fantastic! However, is that passion for fitness hurting their chances at getting their ideal body?

Quality is key

When you come to the gym, you should be focusing on quality.

It is better to do an hour of efficient exercising, than to hang around for 3 hours, chatting, underperforming and ultimately wasting your time.

The same can be said for the number of times you train per week. It is better to come in 3 times a week with the energy to really push the limit and perform at a higher level, than to drain yourself coming in twice a day, six days a week!

Stress can cause injury and sickness

Stress can be created by a multitude of reasons in our day to day lives. Working out, whilst a positive-stressor (due to the many benefits such as increased strength, a better self-image, a more stable and positive mood), it is still nevertheless a stress-causing stimulus.

If we take a cup as our maximum capacity of handling stress then we can say that, whilst different individuals will have different sized cups, ultimately there is a limit of how much stress one individual can take. When we fill this cup with daily stresses such as; taking care of the kids, work, travelling, and working out, it is easy to see how this cup can fill up quickly!

What does this mean for us gym goers? That if this cup overflows, the body can go into something called, Central Nervous System (CNS) Fatigue. This results in the person lacking energy leading to a decreased positivity in their mood, reduced performance in the gym and ultimately, a higher susceptibility to injury and sickness.

CNS in Training

For a change to happen in the body, there needs to be a certain amount of stimulus, which the body then recovers from, and grows stronger because of it. If this stimulus too little, it won’t give the body enough of a reason to change, and if there is too much of a stimulus, there may be an overload leading to CNS fatigue.

This is why a balanced and well thought through program is essential, taking into account the other aspects of your day to day life and finding this optimal zone at which the body can adjust to a balanced stimulus.

Overreaching

There is an exception to this rule, overreaching! This is a term used for pushing the body to its upper capabilities as a training technique. This is generally only safe under the strict guidance of a coach as if used incorrectly can lead to CNS fatigue, also known as “overtraining”. It allows the athlete or person to make progress quickly but it can only be sustained for a limited period before it starts creating diminishing returns.

Conclusion

So the next time you are sick or feeling run down, it is okay to hold back a little. This isn’t to say you should look for excuses not to go in, but be realistic with yourself and listen to your body. I promise you, that intuitive training will help you train for longer periods of time.  The longer you can stay healthy, the more you can train, and the better results you will see!

 

Speak soon,

Matt