Overtraining is simply defined as when an individual’s intense exercise level exceeds their ability to recover. Meaning that after training an individual muscle, the muscle does not completely recover before the next training session.
For most bodybuilders,one of the biggest concerns while bodybuilding is whether or not you are overtraining and also, how to prevent overtraining. The opinions on this topic tend to go back and forth, causing no clear answer. That is why finding a definitive answer is very important. Therefore, after much research and numerous testimonials, the solution to this problem has been found. But, we first need to understand what exactly is overtraining?
Overtraining is simply defined as when an individual’s intense exercise level exceeds their ability to recover. Meaning that after training an individual muscle, the muscle does not completely recover before the next training session. With much research, below are a few tips to prevent overtraining, helping you get the most strength and size from your workouts.
One symptom of overtraining is becoming dizzy or lightheaded; this dizziness is caused from a temporary lack of blood flow to your brain due to not breathing. The most common mistake for most beginners and surprisingly even some advanced bodybuilders is that they will hold their breath while exercising. This lack of oxygen is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing while performing an exercise, oxygen provides the blood with nutrients and these nutrients enter your muscles providing energy. Because of this importance, make sure you are correctly breathing on each repetition, allowing your body to have maximum energy and reduce the chance of overtraining.
Another mistake that often leads to overtraining is a loss of blood sugars and electrolytes. This loss will create water retention and will also affect your performance in the gym. The loss of blood sugars and electrolytes affects muscle fatigue because muscle contraction is considered an “electric process”. This “electric process” uses the electrolytes calcium, magnesium and potassium in order to provide energy for muscle contraction. Therefore if your body is lacking electrolytes, your body will reach the overtraining point much faster. To easily replenish electrolytes and prevent overtraining, an easy method is to drink them. A good source to retrieve liquid electrolytes is by drinking Gatorade, Powerade or Pedialyte. Out of the three, Pedialyte is the best option because of the pureness of the electrolytes and because Pedialyte usually contains no sugar. You should consume your electrolytes about an hour before the gym
As we all know, there are four “legs” to bodybuilding. Each “leg” is obviously 25% of the equation for successful muscle and strength growth. The four “legs” include weight lifting, anaerobic activity, diet & sleep. Together these “legs” build the foundation to earn a hard and strong body that everyone desires. As the actin and myosin filaments rip during muscle contraction, they pull apart and create the pump which means the muscles are engorged in blood. If you are like most of us, you have probably heard that saying,
“You don’t grow inside of the gym, you grow outside of the gym.”
This simple saying is often passed off and ignored but if you want hypertrophy (muscle growth) to occur; we must give our muscles time to grow back. The most important time for muscle growth is during sleep. While sleeping, our bodies release hormones such as HGH, testosterone, etc. which repair the ripped actin and myosin filaments in order to increase hypertrophy. This period of rest is the MOST IMPORTANT time to have if you are trying to increase muscle size and strength. In order to have the most effective recovery during sleep, try to get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Sufficient sleep is vital to prevent overtraining.
The biggest cause of overtraining is working the same muscle too soon before it completely recovers from the last training session. Some believe that training a muscle everyday will quickly increase muscle growth. However studies show that training the same muscle twice in under a 48 hour period, not only creates muscle loss, it also drops testosterone levels by over 50%! A general rule to prevent overtraining is to rest for at least 48 hours before training the same muscle again. Try doing a 5 day workout split in order to work out the entire body and still allow each muscle group to get maximum recovery. It might feel strange allowing a longer span before training the same muscle, but once you notice the massive growth, you will never go back!
If you are feeling like you are in danger of overtraining, try these simple but effective tips. Not only will these tips prevent overtraining, but they will also give you the huge gains that you deserve!