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Knowing the Difference Between Hard Work and Overtraining Training Database Advanced Training Tips Knowing the Difference Between Hard Work and Overtraining


Any bodybuilder knows that in order to ensure the quality growth of muscle you need to force your muscles to be do more and more work from one workout to the next. After your muscles adapt, you will need even more resistance to overcome this adaptation and make your muscles remain growing. But, is it possible to train too much to the point where your performance, or even your health will suffer? The answer is yes, and if you are training so intensely and so frequently, that you find your muscles shrinking, and your energy levels quickly depleting, you may be the victim of classic overtraining.

Overreaching and Overtraining


Symptoms of overreaching can be physical as well as psychological. If you are lifting to much weight too often, and not allowing your body the necessary time to recover, you may find you have caused some minor tissue damage or other training related trauma. If you do this continually, it will eventually lead to overtraining.


Overtraining is extremely noticeable when it finally comes about. Training and performance will be impaired, energy levels will be low, and muscle gains will be stalled, or even lost. In some athletes, recovery from overtraining may take anywhere from several weeks, or even months depending on the severity of the situation. If you find yourself overtrained, employ some of the tips below to help you get your energy levels back up so you can start working out again:

• For about seven to 10 days, engage in one or two hours of active rest at some point throughout the day. This may involve some light walking or stretching, but can also include sports such as volleyball, basketball or swimming.

• To maintain muscle mass, make sure you are eating enough protein, and make sure your diet stays top rate. Some light pushups, or other light bodybuilding activities can also help you maintain your muscle.

Of course, the best cure of all is prevention. If you are a beginner, just starting to train, start by training 3 or 4 sessions per week. If you are finding you are unable to keep up with this, lower the amount of days you train, or the length or your training sessions. Employ the Instinctive Principle. In other words, find out what works for your body, and keep doing it. If training your back is difficult for you to do once a week (as is the case with some beginners), decrease your training frequency for your back muscles once every 10 days. Find out about how long it takes for you to recover, and use that as a guideline for scheduling your workouts. And remember, if you ever feel overly sore, lethargic, or find your muscle gains have stalled or even reversed, be sure to take a break, assess your situation and determine if you have been overtraining or if it was just an off day or two. If you work hard, assess your gains regularly, and follow the simple rules outlined above, you should have no problem eliminating the possibility of overtraining and increasing the speed in which you attain your goals.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your training, or if you are uncertain, feel free to e - mail me anytime to discuss your situation. But, as always, be sure to contact your doctor before commencing any training or nutrition program and if you suspect you have overtrained.

Take care,

Matt Canning

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