Understanding How to Train Smart
Overtraining is a huge concern when someone tells me that they want to train every day of the week. The client might start off on a good track, but too much exercise isn’t necessarily a good thing because your body needs rest in order to become stronger and to rebuild itself. One day between workout sessions for the novice exerciser is adequate, but it all depends on each individual’s ability to recover. Are you moody? Trouble sleeping? Don’t feel like eating? Your resting heart rate is increasing? Then you’re probably overtraining, and if you don’t watch it, you’re going to end up with the bodily dings that are overuse injuries. Resting around 48 to 72 hours per muscle group is about right.
More rest might be required; it just depends on how the body feels. If you are sore to the point that you have a hard time moving and completing daily living tasks, then you shouldn’t train just because it is your scheduled day. Take another day off. Your body will thank you for it. You can actually make it a whole lot worse if you continue to push through the soreness. During resistance training while your muscles are under tension, microscopic tears occur, and if you don’t stretch and eat the proper diet it will take longer for the muscles to repair themselves. If you continually work those same muscles every day, they will never heal.
Think of yourself taking a knife and slicing your hand in the same place day after day. Will it recover or will it stay an open wound? The next thing that will happen is it will somehow get infected and you will have a bigger problem than you started with. This is the same thing that will happen to the body if it keeps going until it can’t fight it off anymore. Then the body will begin to shut down! The warning signs will become more apparent as you continue to tear the body down.
The body isn’t stupid either. Trying to trick it to believe you’re resting it by not lifting heavy isn’t the way to go, because the body still is going to interpret that exercise as stress on it.
Train the body, don’t sap all its energy or drain it. Your body will get to a point where it will plateau, and it will not progress past that point. The workouts should be varied in intensity as well as selection, so your muscles will continue to be stimulated. Progressions and regressions should always be used to prevent overtraining .
Periodized training cycles use variations in training frequency to alter and enhance exercise stimulus and to provide for recovery. Don’t believe in the saying, ‘No pain, no gain!’ Continuous pain means absolutely no gains! Your body actually gets stronger at rest, not when you are exercising. Exercise is just the stimulus that will trigger the response of growth and repair that builds more fibrous muscle, increases the metabolism and makes you stronger. The saying “It’s not always about working harder, but smarter” is not just cliche but totally true.
People often think more is better, but it is not always the case. Less is actually more because it is always better to train moderately then to overtrain. Never stress over your training. If you don’t enjoy your training, find something that you can enjoy. Remember you have a lifetime, so missing a session now and then is just fine.
Thanks For Reading!