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  1. #1
    Elite PillarofBalance's Avatar
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    Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!



    Quick review of the basics for any newbies in the audience. You don't grow in the gym! When you lift, you cause epic destruction at the cellular level. Then you rest and feed the muscles to bring on the adaptation. Yes this is very much simplified, but I don't think there is a need to get hung up on this part.

    Each individual has a certain capacity for recovery. There are factors that affect that capacity such as years training, diet, training intensity, diet, hours of sleep, lifestyle, stress, illness and even menstruation. Over-training is when you train beyond your body's ability to recover and happens with some frequency, particularly in the bodybuilding community or other sports in which a desired weight is achieved through dietary restriction. Even without the dietary restrictions in place, it may still occur in the powerlifting community due to an overload of the central nervous system.

    Some symptoms of overtraining that you should know and be able to recognize in yourself or your training partners:
    Persistent Muscle Soreness
    Persistent Fatigue
    Elevated Resting Heart Rate
    Increased Susceptibility to Infection
    Increased Incidence of Injury
    Irritability
    Depression
    Mental Breakdown
    Excessive Weight Loss
    Constipation or Diarrhea
    Insomnia
    Absence of Menstruation
    Loss of Appetite
    Loss of Competitive Drive or Motivation
    So if you start feeling like you're experiencing some of those symptoms and its beginning to negatively impact your life or training then you've reached the point of over-training. So now what? Do you have to stay away from the gym for a week? A couple of days maybe?

    Well the treatment plan depends on the severity of your level of over-training. If you're at a point where you are experiencing negative gains, have no appetite, are lethargic yet can't sleep and are becoming ill then yeah, maybe you should consider taking time off from the gym. How long? I can't say for sure, you'll have to use your own judgement. When your symptoms subside, you're good to go. But lets not have that happen again.

    If your level of over training is low - that is maybe a chronically strained muscle (Posterior Chain is the most frequent offender) or you wish to prevent over training you should/MUST do the following:
    Careful review of your caloric/macro intake. If you aren't competent to do this, keep a food log for a week then post it up in the nutrition forum and ask for help. Calories in should be equal to or greater than calories spent. If cutting, the calorie reduction should not be so great as to cause a protein deficiency.
    Plan your training using periodization. Proper organization of your training will bring you to your peak for competition time, and provide for de-loading; that is a reduction in weight/intensity of training. The proper term for this is a transition face and it can last anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks depending on your particular macro-cycle.
    Try a split routine that allows for a trained muscle to rest. For example, train shoulders after they've had an opportunity to recuperate from the ancillary work they provide on chest days. Do not attempt full body workouts several times per week with excessive volume. If severe Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness still persists in a muscle, do not work it again just yet.
    Increased sleep time. Its generally recommended that the average person get 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night. We are super human so lets aim for ten. Take a nap if you can. A 20 minute power nap with your feet slightly elevated taken mid-day can do wonders.
    Muscular Therapy - Foam rolling, deep tissue massage, chiropodiatry, ischemic compression and stretching should be incorporated into your training plan to keep the muscles healthy and limber. Foam rollers are inexpensive and this can be done in just minutes at home. Deep tissue massage one to two times per year can help eliminate tough knotting and build up of scar tissue in the muscles. A chiropractor can manipulate both bones, joints and muscles to reduce or eliminate pain from muscle spasms as well as provide greater range of motion and balance among opposing muscle groups.
    Not for the faint of heart - Contrast baths or showers. This involves heating and icing sore muscles. An example would be a sore lower back. You would enter the shower set to a temperature that is as hot as is tolerable for you, and allow the water to run over the affected area for 4 minutes. At 4 minutes, drop the water to its coldest setting for one minute. For sore joints, heat for 4 minutes then plunge into a large tub/pot of ice water.
    Consider Supplementation - Start with a good quality multi-vitamin. I strongly recommend the addition of a good quality BCAA.
    Over training is a miserable place to be. We work so hard to make progress, and its always so slow coming so to have your progress reversed for the sake of "being hardcore 24/7" is simply not wise in my opinion. In fact allowing yourself to over train isn't hardcore either. I think that a real hard core competitor or fitness enthusiast will exercise the discipline to de-load. Also, you must remember that AAS will not stop you from becoming over trained if you are not resting and eating properly.

    So hopefully you're not reading this and thinking "Oh my God that's me!" But whether you are recognizing that or not, you should still work to incorporate some of the treatments and prevention strategies I have outlined above.

    Stay Strong!

    ----PoB----
    "Overzealous dosing" -Jin

    Rest in Peace Robot Lord. First round of Natty Boh is on me when I make it up there with you brother.

  2. #2
    Elite PFM's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    Great post!

    After I slowed from a bad accident and could only train from a wheelchair I realized I was over training for the last 30 years. Only able to do limited weight but mostly duration of exercise load I grew every week and scared everyone is the nursing home.....true story!

    I now find one or two balls out sets is twice as effective as 4-5 of the sets I used to do. I am not as strong but at my age......it's about the look :-)

  3. #3
    Elite Lulu66's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    Nice post... That was me for a while. Was training the same muscle group twice a week and gains became stagnant at best. Swapped to a 5x5 and trained a muscle group once a week and gains picked back up.
    US Goverment Policy: If It Ain't Broken, Fix It Till It Is.

  4. #4
    Elite JOMO's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    Great read. My lower back never seems to get enough rest between back and leg day. Too close together they hinder the next workout. Had to drop 50lbs on squats tonight to do clean reps after doing deads and rack pulls on thur morning.

    I have to give that 5x5 program a go.
    "There are only two days in the year nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow"

  5. #5
    Elite gymrat827's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    nice post man

  6. #6
    Elite gymrat827's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    i try to get a massage done to certain areas 1x a month. helps qutie a bit. also a good stretch pre/post.

  7. #7
    Elite grizzldsealpoacher's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    Thanks brother I needed to read this , I am gonna go see a chiropractor and get some stim pads and a adjustment
    Enjoy Your Ride!

  8. #8
    Elite Malevolence's Avatar
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    Re: Overtraining: Recognize it and Prevent it!

    Good for sure!!!! The different signs to look for help.
    The predetermined wish to destroy everything you know through your own arrogance.

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