If you think that spending more time in the gym will give you better results, you are wrong.
Going overboard can quickly lead to overtraining – a state of imbalance between training and recovery.
It isn’t unnatural if you want to push harder at the gym. But be sure that you do it according to your body’s needs. This can be clearly understood only after years of careful analysis of the signals and feedback from the body. Until you attain that mastery, follow our guidelines.
Whom does this apply to?
These instructions work for more than 95 per cent of trainees, including advanced professional bodybuilders.
Signs of overtraining
Start ‘listening’ to your body. A common sign of overtraining is lack of motivation to train.
Other signs include constant fatigue, undue muscle soreness for days, uncomfortable stiffness in the muscles, irritability, joint aches, lack of appetite, poor digestion, inability to sleep well, depression, decreased aerobic and strength output.
What to do?
If you can see such symptoms, take at least a week off from all kinds of exercises. Two weeks is still better. Sleep well, avoid all junk food and do not overeat.
Many serious ‘iron-pumpers’ fear a lay-off because they feel their performance may decrease, and that they may gain fat or lose muscle. None of these are going to happen, trust me. If you lift heavy weights mindlessly every day, you will lose muscle and gain fat. Muscle fibres develop small damage during workouts (micro tear or micro trauma). The fibres need anywhere between 48 and 96 hours of complete rest to repair themselves, recover and grow.
Or else, the body may release catabolic (muscle destroying) hormones, which can destroy lean muscle. This will make you put on fat, hold more water and look puffy.
When you come back
Reduce the volume of your workout (total number of sets and number of exercises you used to perform). Spend less time in the gym, but train hard.
Hit the gym hard only four days a week, with each workout running not more than 60 minutes.
It is misconception that the more fit, advanced and big you get, the less rest you need. Be informed that a bigger muscular freak has more muscle than a smaller trainee and needs more rest.
Nothing is insignificant and should not be allowed to go unnoticed, particularly signs like depression.
_ Murtuza S. Rasheed