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Types of Overtraining Training Database Advanced Training Tips Types of Overtraining

Introduction to Overtraining

Overtraining is a problem bodybuilders may potentially face during the course of their training. There are different types of stress and overtraining which can occur and also ways to avoid them. Aside from disturbing regular bodily functions, overtraining will lead to paused bodybuilding goals at best, and at worst, reduction in what you already have! All this, and additional fatigue which will only hurt you in the rest of your daily life.

Muscle Soreness Versus Muscle Strain

Aside from overtraining, it is very important to be able to recognize the differences between muscle soreness and muscle pain. Let us begin by analyzing muscle soreness, which is what can and should be expected after intensive bodybuilding training:

Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness occurs to areas of your body that you trained, and is usually noticeable the day after training. For example, after a heavy day of chest training, you should expect your chest to experience muscle soreness, as well as possible soreness to the secondary muscles for many of the movements you performed. For example, if much of your workout was comprised of bench presses, you can expect soreness in your chest, as well as possible soreness in your triceps and delts. However, normal muscle soreness primarily effects the main muscle group exercised.

Soreness as a Training Guide

If you schedule chest training once every five days, and at that point, your chest is still feeling sore, you can use the instinctive training principle and exercise sometime later in the week. If you are still feeling sore, it is a sign that your muscles have not fully recovered, and additional rest and recuperation will be required before you continue training the target area (in this case, chest).

Muscle Strain Unlike muscle soreness, muscle strain is not a sign of productive training, and it can be recognized immediately. Muscle strain is characterized by a larger amount of immediate structural damage to your muscle tissue. This is not caused by productive and intense training, but rather by overdoing it.

Types of Overtraining

Short-Term Overtraining

Progress is very easy to recognize. However, progress may become stagnant if workouts are not mixed up to shock the body into new growth. At some points, a plateau may be seen. If at this point, the bodybuilder continues to train intensely with the same routine, overtraining may occur. After the plateau is met, you may experience fatique in your workouts, or worse yet, a reduction in gains of both strength and muscle. At this point, it is important for your workout program to taper and allow for full recovery.

If you continue to train without full recovery, the muscle fibers that you recruit during a workout become prematurely fatigued. The physiological response from your body is to call in new motor units for you to continue your workout. This will cause you to have elevated heart action, heavier breathing, and very noticeably - higher levels of lactic acid buildup. All, very uncomfortable and counter productive situations you can create for yourself. Recruiting these additional muscle fibers will not help your bodybuilding gains, as they are not normally used for the range of motion in your exercise. This will only hinder your results.

Long-Term Overtraining

Long-term overtraining is different from short-term overtraining and degrades your body even more (for a longer period or time and with additional side effects). Unlike short-term overtraining, it will not be possible to work through long-term overtraining with minimal negative effects. Long-term overtraining will require rest and recuperation in order to continue on with your normal bodybuilding progress.

Signs of long-term overtraining are fairly easy to recognize. Expect to see a higher resting heart rate, loss of strength and muscular endurance, greater feelings of emotion and irritability, abnormal sleep patterns, loss of appetite, and a drop in bodyweight.

Observe the table below for signs and symptons of both types of overtraining and possible solutions:

Types of Overtraining and Solutions
Muscle strain. Massage, muscle rub between sets.
Short-Term Overtraining:
  • Fluid loss.
  • Depleted glycogen stores.

  • Negative nitrogen balance.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Fatigue during the set.
Long-Term Overtraining:

  • Increasing protein utilization.

  • Dealing with chronic workout stresses.

Difficulty sleeping.

Take care,

Matt Canning

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