Rome wasn’t built in a day – and your body can’t repair and rest that quickly either. Overtraining happens when we exercise without giving the body enough time to recover from the strains we put on it during workouts.
Pushing our bodies too far leads to physical and mental fatigue, strained muscles, ligaments and joints, as well as poor performance and unachieved personal goals. Basically, going hard can actually be harmful to your body, mind, and progress.
More reasons overtraining doesn’t actually help:
It makes you more prone to illness
Firstly, overtraining can lower our immune system, leading to us open to mild viral infections and respiratory infections.
Getting out of bed on a cold morning is hard regardless – it’s even more negatively affected by overtraining. There are times we set goals for personal performance, weight loss and muscle tone, then push ourselves to exercise too often and too hard. We end up prolifically aching from muscles we didn’t know existed – hello burnout, goodbye enthusiasm to return to the gym.
In order to avoid this, you have to recognise when you’re doing it. If you’re:
- Exercising for too long, without giving the body time to rest and repair tissue and muscle damage.
- Pushing yourself to higher limits too quickly, in the hope of fast, more obvious results.
- Not giving ourselves sufficient fuel to match the higher levels of exercise. Not eating and drinking enough forces the body to take energy from reserves, which can lead to difficulties with cardiovascular and intestinal systems.
Don’t hurry a good thing. We need to train smart, not hard in order to avoid overtraining. This will lead to a more sustainable and achievable exercise regime and longevity of overall fitness.
How to avoid overtraining
An effective training program
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If your training program and workout has worked well for you then why change it? Lacking the knowledge of how to safely advance in exercise can be less effective. If you feel like you need a higher impact on your training, take advice from our friendly, qualified personal trainers – at hand to support and guide you through your levelling up.
Eating and drinking need to be in tune with the high levels of exercise you’re about to perform. If you’re determined to work out harder for your goals, always make sure you’re putting the right fuel into your body, too.
This is crucial. We all need rest between anything we do so why would exercise be any different? That old saying “no gain without pain” doesn’t mean pushing yourself until the mind and body are exhausted. It means pushing yourself to manageable limits.
Keep a training log
This is a nifty tool to keep on track and understand your limits. You can look back on the training log to see where you struggled the following day with muscle strains, aches or pains – then go easy on yourself in the future.
Set achievable goals
Don’t be led astray by what others have told you about how they reached their peak performance. You’re unique and need goals that are achievable to only you. Set them and stick to them.