Whether you are excited about getting in shape or are desperate to lose weight, weight training is one of the most effective fitness strategies. This has made it extremely popular with millennials today, and weight training is included in almost every fitness routine. Lifting weights helps to build muscle mass and also increases strength.
To actually increase strength or promote weight loss, you obviously need to challenge yourself, overloading the muscles, but also giving them a chance to relax and recover. If there isn’t adequate rest or recovery time, you can cause further damage.
The Problem With Overtraining
“Overtraining doesn’t just cause fatigue & exhaustion, but also increases the risk of joint injuries & may also cause muscle loss & depression”
There are two ways in which you can overtrain when you’re lifting weights – you could be overdoing it with the frequency of workouts and inadequate rest days for recovery, or you might be training at an excessively high intensity, lifting excessively heavy weights whenever you’re training.
While working out excessively without breaks will lead to typical signs of overtraining syndrome that athletes often suffer from, lifting weights at too high an intensity will adversely affect your performance and can cause joint injuries.
Warning Signs Of Overtraining
In addition to impaired performance and a loss of pleasure from working out, you can also expect to notice these signs of overtraining:
– Loss of strength and power, and reduced levels of endurance
– An increase in heart rate and possible onset of hypertension
– Fatigue, exhaustion, and feelings of illness
– Muscles soreness, body aches, and joint pain
– Frequent respiratory infections like the common cold
– Sleeplessness and impaired sleep
– Feelings of low self-esteem, depression, irritation, and loss of interest
How To Prevent & Deal With Overtraining
Overtraining problems can be easily averted if you recognize those early warning signs. The hardest thing to do is actually the most important, and perhaps the first thing that you should do – take a recovery break.
In addition to taking a few days off to rest and engage in less strenuous activities, you also need to ease back into your training routine. Make sure to follow these basic precautions to prevent overtraining.
– Make sure to add extra days for recovery to each week. This is important as it allows the muscles to heal and grow, without which you will not see any gains.
– To avoid muscle injury and strains, switch your routine in such a manner that you exercise different muscle groups on different days, rather than following a repetitive routine that will overload the muscles.
– Make sure to avoid the mistake of increasing both frequency of workouts and their intensity simultaneously.
– Training to failure is another mistake you should avoid, despite what you may have heard before. This basically means that you shouldn’t keep doing reps until you have no muscle strength to perform another. If necessary, only train to failure for the last set.
– Follow a periodization workout plan that systematically divides your training program, providing variation for both high intensity and low intensity workloads, so as to maximize gains while minimizing the risks.
If you’re desperate to get in shape, don’t be fooled into thinking that more is always better when it comes to weight training. You need to strike a balance between workout frequency and training intensity to see sustainable growth and avoid overtraining. Despite the expense, the best thing that you could do is to workout with a professional trainer, who can guide you and keep a lookout for signs of fatigue or overtraining.
August 3, 2018