Overtraining syndrome is a condition where an individual is experiencing fatigue and a decline in performance in spite of consistently training. This is also known as burning out. This is very common in the world of fitness. Everyone thinks the more work you do the better the gains. This is not true when it comes to strength and conditioning. It’s all about working smarter not harder.
The main reason individuals overtrain is that they are not recovering properly from the physical and mental stress of the previous training session. The demands of strength training can be very strenuous on the body and mind at times. The individuals that see the most gains are the ones who properly refuel the body and mind after a tough session. Here are some tips to prevent overtraining:
Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night. Sleep is the most underrated recovery tool there is. Sleep gives your body time to recover, conserve energy, and repair and build up the muscles worked during exercise. When we get enough good quality sleep, the body produces growth hormones that help with that repair and build process.
Eating an overall healthy diet can ensure that you don’t develop any nutrient deficiencies that may impair your muscles’ ability to recover. Try to minimize your consumption of processed foods. Eat whole foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables, getting at least 0.6 to 1gram of protein per body weight. Drink more water and I always recommend tart cherry juice, which is filled with anti-oxidants that helps with inflammation and stress from working out. As far as supplements go, I do recommend them for optimal performance which I will discuss on another blog.
Soft Tissue Work
Massages, body tempering, Gua Sha, Cupping etc. are all added recovery tools that will benefit in the long run. These different techniques help release tension and knots in specific areas. They also allow for great blood circulation to those sore areas.
Stretching is a must. It helps keep the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. I also recommend ART (Active Release Technique). ART is a patented soft tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia (connective tissue), and nerves.
Outside of your sport and hobby I always suggest individuals to supplement training with other recovery sessions (yoga, walking, swimming, etc). Activities that are not super strenuous on the body. 1 or 2 sessions a week would be optimal. These sessions are also underrated but play a significant role in body composition and overall health.
In conclusion, the overtraining syndrome is a real thing. I see it week in and week out. The main focus is to recover as hard as you train. If you have questions on how to recover properly. Please contact us!
Jermaine Hough Jr., MS