Article written

  • on 24.06.2011
  • at 05:14 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

Exercise Overkill: Are you Overtraining?


Exercising can be addicting. Many fitness buffs get a “rush” of adrenaline when they work out. They live by the motto of “No pain, No gain.” Scientifically, this slogan is accurate because the process of muscle-building requires stressing muscles to their limits, which causes micro-tears.

The body responds to this stimuli by feeding more nutrients to the muscle, which eventually results in a longer, stronger muscle. Unfortunately, if people overtrain, they might suffer any number of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, headaches and injuries.

Symptoms of overtraining

Overtraining is “pushing your body too hard” without providing adequate nutrition or rest. These are some of the symptoms of overtraining:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Headache
  • Immune system damage
  • Injury risk heightened
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Joints, bones or limbs hurt
  • Sluggishness

How can overtraining damage the body?

Workouts should gradually increase in frequency, intensity and length like steps on a ladder. If any of these are increased too rapidly, it could lead to training overkill. After a workout, the muscles have been temporarily damaged; numerous amino acids are burned-up leading to “protein deficiency.”

The body requires a combination of essential proteins (eggs, chicken and meat), carbohydrates (wheat bread, oatmeal and fruit) and fats (olive oil, almonds and peanut butter) to rebuild itself.A lack of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients can lead to overtraining problems. Common vitamin deficiencies that occur with hard workouts include the following: Vitamin A, B12, C, D, E, K and Folic Acid. Common mineral deficiencies after intense workouts include the following: Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc. The body needs time to recover and plenty of nutrients to repair itself.

Long-Term repercussions of overtraining

An adequate rest time between workouts is necessary so that muscles can fully recover. When people overtrain by exercising too hard or too frequently, without adequate nutrition increases and rest, this could lead to permanent damage to the body. This overtraining can lead to decreased athletic performance, loss of strength and muscle-wasting as long-term effects.

What should you do after overtraining?

Immediately, when you feel like you have overtrained, you need to rest your body. Make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep. Wait 48 to 72 hours before working out again. Increase your nutrition – focus on eating foods that are rich in proteins. You will need to reduce the intensity, frequency and length of your workouts.

Tips for avoiding overtraining

Before starting an exercise regimen, take a baseline resting heart rate. Take your heart rate at the same time every day. Your heart rate should go down considerably after your workout. Keep a training log with your workout and recovery schedule. It should show which muscle groups you work on. The fitness regimen should work different muscle groups on successive days, i.e. one day for upper body, the next day for lower body.

Remember that the direct training of certain muscles leads to indirect training of other muscles. Exercise routines must build up stamina, strength and flexibility gradually. The body must be trained to handle a higher threshold of fitness over time. Increase caloric intake when exercising. Add vitamin supplements or protein drinks to your diet. Stretching helps reduce injuries. Massages can help loosen muscles after a strenuous workout. If your muscles ache too much after a workout, then hot-and-cold therapy can provide comfort and prevent injuries.

James MacGrath runs, a price comparison and resource website for sports nutrition supplements, including the popular PhD Diet Whey. James takes a keen interest in reading and writing about nutrition, diet, fitness and general health.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by mikebaird

  • Andreas

    Switch programs more frequently and try to change exercises every 3-4 weeks will help overtraining tremendously. Sleep is another key factor in order to stay out of overtraining !

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  • speedfit

    Dont rush to things exercise is progressive and to do so you must train and rest the same time overtraining will really do exhaust a person greatly so to avoid this try to moderate your program.

  • whey protein

    I never thought that over exercising or workout can cause
    bad side effect to our body, to our health as well. This might be the reason
    why most of the body builder suffering some of these symptom, I mean having a
    headache, muscle pain and other body problem is just natural but never thought
    of that as a bad side effect. To that, I can say too much is not good for a

  • whey protein

    Indeed, too much of everything can be a disaster. Exercise is
    great for the body and health as well but too much, it can different if it is
    taken too much. Too much can cause injury and can be harmful instead of being
    helpful. So it is better to just regulate it to ensure proper and suitable regulation
    of energy.

  • whey protein powder

    It is a fact that too much of everything can be a disaster. Exercise
    is great for the body and health as well but too much, it can different if it
    is taken too much. Too much can cause injury and can be harmful instead of
    being helpful. So it is better to just regulate it to guarantee proper and
    suitable regulation of energy.

  • Phosphorus Mineral

    Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and maintenance of a healthy nervous system.

  • Robert Bowmer

    when is the best time to take whey protein ? before or after work out? Thanks

  • Personal training programs

    Over training is overkill. If you are over training, you will not make the progress you are looking for…Thanks

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