You’ll read articles and hear personal trainers tell you that if you’re not making progress, you’re not working out hard enough, but that’s not always the case. It’s why we create personalized programs at Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey. If you’re spending hours at the gym pushing yourself extremely hard, but aren’t seeing the results you desire, you might need to cut back on your exercise program. Slowed or diminishing progress is one of the signs you’re working out too much.
It’s all about continuous intensity.
When you’re really pushing it during a workout, particularly a strength-building workout, you’re actually causing small tears in the muscles and causing stress on your body. Those micro tears in the muscle need time to heal and your body requires time to recover from the stress. After a tough workout it can take up to 72 hours for your immune system to be back to peak performance. The body needs time to repair before starting the process again. If you don’t give it time, your stress response goes into overdrive and those muscles never have time to build more muscle tissue that’s stronger.
Getting stronger and fitter isn’t just about working harder, it’s also about working smarter.
It’s about the design of the program, the level of intensity, the type of workout and not necessarily about how often you exercise. If you’re training for a competitive sport, you’ll know you’re working out too much if your performance and progress starts to lag and instead of getting better, it diminishes. If you alternate your workout, so you do upper body strength-building one day, aerobic the next and lower body strength-building the next, then back to upper body or vary the intensity, you won’t have a problem.
Watch for these signs.
Working out too much can take its toll in your everyday life. It can cause moodiness, depression, irritability and confusion. You might find you get sick more frequently or more exhausted when you workout or reach that exhaustion level more quickly. Your recovery period is longer than it ever was previously. If you’re working out more than once a day, make sure you have at least six hours of rest between. That doesn’t include the people who break up their half hour to hour workout to smaller ten to fifteen minute sessions.
- Is your resting heart rate high? It might be a sign that you’re working out too much. If it’s normally 40-60 and then suddenly jumps to 75 bpm or higher, it’s a sign you’re overexercising.
- Are you having problems sleeping? That’s a good sign you might be overdoing it at the gym. Even worse, besides overworking, you’re not getting the sleep you need to stay healthy.
- Working out too much can even cause muscle loss, since you’re not giving your body time to rebuild. It can cause loss of appetite, so you won’t give your body time to rebuild. It can also cause weight gain by decreasing thyroid hormones and increasing cortisol, which is linked to insulin resistance and belly fat.
- If you have any of the symptoms don’t forget to tell your trainer. As a trainer, I pride myself in providing a program specifically for your needs, but I don’t know about the exercise you’re getting when you’re not at the gym. All information is important.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio