Good Morning FITTNation!
Allow me to change your train of thought for a moment as I would like to address a growing concern in the fitness world – OVERTRAINING.
WHAT IS OVERTRAINING
According to a number of sources, Overtraining is defined as when one exercises to the extreme in intensity, frequency, and/or duration. It can cause a number of symptoms such as fatigue, elevated resting heart rate, and lowered performance. Some other common symptoms are lack of motivation, lack of results (no change appearance, strength, or endurance), increased soreness following a workout, injuries (sprains, muscle tears, etc.), and lack of focus and/or concentration.
Another major detriment of overtraining is the increase of cortisol (the hormone that causes catabolism of muscle and as result shrinks your lean tissue) as well as the exhaustion of your adrenal glands, overtaxing of your central nervous system, and fat weight gain.
In a nutshell: Overtraining is doing too much without allowing your body enough time to recover.
The sad truth is that many people are victims of overtraining, brought on by themselves. There are a good number of people that, as a result of how they may see themselves (or because of past experiences with weight issues for example), they push and push and push…to the point where their body says “I cannot continue, I’m sorry!” The problem is too many times we ignore what the body says and keep going.
Now, some of you may be saying “but YOU and these motivational posts on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter keep encouraging me to push hard and keep going even when I want to stop and ‘never say can’t’ and…and now you’re saying to calm down???”
Allow me to explain. I am all for supporting the efforts of people who work hard. But I DO NOT SUPPORT overtraining or excessive training. Even I know when enough is enough for me and I am a trainer and an instructor. I know where to draw the line. I know when to listen to my body. I know when to stop. I too, as some of you may know, used to battle with weight and image challenges back in the day, and I believed that training for hours and living at the gym and on the treadmill was the key to a better me…and I was wrong. It only resulted in taking supplements that affected my sleep (result: insomnia), fat gain, muscle loss, and fatigue on top of fatigue, not to mention injuries.
No doubt about it, I LOVE seeing people go HAM when they train. It’s empowering, motivating, and encouraging. But if you’re living in the gym…you can’t expect a high five from me. If you’re doing two or three classes a day (and even in a row), you can’t expect a smile from me. No gold star, no thumbs up, nuh-uhJ I encourage healthy active living in a BALANCED manner, not in an excessive manner. You should too.
SUGGESTIONS FOR A BALANCED TRAINING PROGRAM
The reality is this: the information I have just provided for you is what it is – information. I’ve never been one to single people out for what they do because I wouldn’t want to be treated that way either (i.e. the golden rule). So after reading this, you can file it away in your mind as being “cute” or “doesn’t apply to me” or you could just ignore it altogether. Will I be upset? Nope. Will I bring up the topic again at a later point? If someone has a question for me, I will happily answer them in private.
Keep this in mind: what I give you is not to make me look good. I don’t blog for praise. I do it out of genuine concern for people. This topic I just covered was out of genuine concern for people, even if it didn’t apply to you. We all know someone who could use some balance. We all know someone who pushes…a little too much for their own benefit. Overtraining and exercise addiction are known syndromes and are common challenges in today’s fitness world. If I do not take time to educate our young people, clients, friends, and family members about this, I feel like I’m not doing my part.
With that said, keep up the hustle and enjoy the process!
Until next time…
Trainer Profile: Kareem Rawlins
Experience Personal Training – 5 years | Nutrition Counseling – 3 years | Group Fitness – 3 years