Train, but dont over do it

Published 3:17 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

One of my many duties as a personal trainer is to help motivate people to make healthy changes in their bodies.

There are, however, times when too much motivation can work against you. Many people still feel that, hey, if Im getting good results with a little fitness training, Ill get great results if I train even more.

Ive even known personal trainers who knew better, to over train.

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Just what is over training? Over training is a condition where ones exercise behavior exceeds their ability to recover. There are two ways individuals over train. They train too much per day, or they train too many days a week.

Some of the symptoms of over training include pain in muscles and joints, washed out tired feeling, headache, insomnia, and even loss of interest in training.

Dont get me wrong, its great to have clients that are enthusiastic about their workouts, but over training can be a real problem.

When you over train your muscles, you paint yourself into a corner. The only way to make more progress is to train more, but if you train more, youll hurt yourself.

What I tell my clients is this…getting fit is like a pie with three equal slices. Rest, Exercise, and Nutrition. If any one piece of the pie is too big, the other pieces become too small. In other words, your fitness recipe wont come out the way you wish.

Rest is actually what ties everything in your fitness program together. I also tell clients not to think of time out of the gym as passive, but as an active part of their routine.

Another trap not to fall into is the, Well, I train those extra days only because I enjoy it. Its still over training.

Now, that we know what over training is, what can we do about it? First,be patient. Remember everyone is different, and everyones body reacts to exercise at its own speed.

If youre a beginner, start slowly. Even if you are advanced, more is not always better in the weight room. Muscles dont tone and tighten while you are working out, but later when you are resting.

Remember, whether you are a beginning, or advanced exerciser, make sure you rest at least 24-48 hours between workouts involving like muscle groups. I recommend anyone who is over training, whether beginner or expert to take an entire week of training off. I tell my people of all fitness levels, that sometimes you have to take one step back to go two steps forward.

David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show.