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Overtraining as defined by The American Medical Association is a physiological and psychological condition that manifests itself as a state of decline of athletic performance. The syndrome can also occur with a loss of strength, chronic fatigue and persistent muscle soreness and even mood disorders with symptoms such as irritability.
Symptoms of Overtraining
The clearest sign of overtraining is exhaustion. However, there is a big difference between being tired and being overtrained.Sometimes you may be tired, and this will make one day you train at a lower intensity, but it does not mean that you are overtrained.On the other hand, we must consider that the practice of any sport is accompanied by more or less extended periods of stagnation without this entailing overtraining.
These are some of the typical symptoms of overtraining but do not worry too much because the causes are very visible and there are effective methods to solve it, but you must know well the problem that you can face.
Loss of performance
Lack of interest to continue training
Irritability and stress
Lack of progress
Disorders of the immune system.
Increased incidence of sports injuries.
Among those who train with weights, there is a relatively widespread belief that overtraining is very common among athletes and that any trainer has ever experienced it.No single characteristic identifies or is easy to diagnose it reliably but one of the obvious consequences of this state, which our body reaches in these cases, is that our physical performance deteriorates and we can not improve it even if we try to train or stimulate our muscles with different exercises.
The body needs a period of time to restore the chemical balance of muscle cells, to remove waste products like lactic acid and to replenish liver and muscle glycogen.It follows that a body that does not recover properly after training will be a body that does not progress, and worse, will be more vulnerable to injuries (sprains, tears, fractures, etc.) and diseases.
Overtraining and Cortisol Hormone
The increase in cortisol hormone levels in conjunction with decreased levels of testosterone hormone results in a deadly combination because it leads to the breakdown of proteins in the tissues of the body. These will inevitably lead to loss of muscle tissue.
Increased levels of cortisol exert an adverse effect on testosterone levels. In fact, one of the major anti-catabolic effects of testosterone and anabolic steroids is the decline in muscle cortisol metabolism. This is one of the reasons why many athletes can overtrain when taking anabolic steroids, and still increase their lean body mass and strength.
Side Effects Of Overtraining
People who suffer from overtraining are more likely to experience distension of ligaments, bursitis, tendinitis, chondritis, joint stiffness, pain, sprains, muscle tears most of them produced by lack of neuromuscular coordination, which in turn favors falls or spontaneous strains due to dysfunction in muscle fibers.
Chronically elevated levels of cortisol have common unwanted effects for athletes, as they result in a recurring catabolic state where decreased muscle mass and increased body fat can also occur.
Overtraining And Nutrition
These effects are worse when an athlete runs out of carbohydrates.Most experts recommend that daily calorie intake should consist of 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 25% fat for those who train moderately. Those who take more seriously training should consume up to 70% of carbohydrates if they are endurance athletes, or 25% of proteins if they are power athletes.
Providing adequate amounts of carbohydrates during training protects against high levels of cortisol. Carbohydrates provide fuel to an athlete’s body to work; since the brain requires glucose to function when the body is hungry for fuel, it cannibalizes lean muscle tissue to provide glucose to the brain.
What Causes Overtraining Syndrome
What we have learned so far is that Overtraining syndrome is a state of exhaustion or fatigue that arises when you increase your training demands faster than your body takes to adjust to the previous loads of training applied.
In any case, the primary cause is usually a very intense training, so that the body is not able to assimilate it correctly. It is quite frequent among those people who start in the practice of fitness and who lack the necessary knowledge to know how to stop in the face of this excessive workload. In many cases, the volume and the intensity are above their possibilities.
Any form of overtraining is bad. However, it is known from experience that overtraining caused by weight training is much worse and prevails for much longer than that caused by cardiovascular exercise.
Recovering from Overtraining
From the above, we deduce that training planning is one of the most important keys to avoiding overtraining and the possible injuries that can occur due to it.The most recommended thing to do to recover from overtraining is to take a break for at least a week or more to regain strength and the body to return to its normal work cycle.
Determining the right training volume can be easy when you are starting. You must learn to use common sense based on your ability to recover.A beginner should set the goal to improve each workout, and if this is not happening, it’s probably because the workout is too high in volume or intensity.
Stretch the muscles immediately after any exercise. Focus on the muscles that are most prone to the pain and muscles you used during exercise.
Plan your training based on your goals, maintain a diet according to your needs and if you have doubts, put yourself in the hands of professionals who can advise you in an individualized way and not based on miracle training methods that promise overnight results.