A lot of the time MORE does not always equal BETTER. In regards to your training plan you may think that the more often and harder you train the quicker you will see results and reach your fitness goals but that couldn’t be more untrue.
If you’ve been training for a while and haven’t seen any results or actually feel like you’ve gained weight, then it could be likely that you’re over-training. Training a lot might seem like it would speed up results but over-training causes your body to start producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which stores fat, so you’ll actually gain more weight instead of lose it.
The same can happen to your muscle mass. If you are over-training, then your body will start looking for energy and it doesn’t discriminate. It will regularly look to your muscle mass as a good source of energy.
If you are over-training, you can also start to feel rundown, like you would if you were getting a cold or the flu. If this happens, it is best to lay off training for at least a few days until you feel better.
Other major causes of over-training are increased aches and pains, mood swings, lethargy and increased hunger. With this kind of results is it any wonder why it’s the last thing you want to happen when you’re fighting to achieve your health and fitness goals.
So what can be done to prevent it?
The most important and easiest way to do this is REST. It’s as simple as that. Don’t train more than 5 times per week and even when doing that, just listen to your body and see how feels day to day. If you’ve had a hard session one day and wake up extremely sore then just have a short stretching session that day and take a rest day, ready to go 100% again the following day.
The key to long-term progress and proven results is looking after your body properly and using these types of methods as a type of “maintenance” for your body to keep it performing as best as it can.
Always try and get a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night and make time once or twice a week, preferably every few days, for some type of short stretching session, or even something like yoga. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will also help your body and muscles to become a lot more flexible which will increase performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Only you can tell best when you’ve been over-training so take on board the tips in this article and let them help you better understand your body and how to achieve your health and fitness goals as soon as possible whilst staying as fit and healthy as possible!