Overtraining in the bodybuilding industry is a word that seems to be used quite often. The fear of the negative side effects can cause people to not give their 100% effort into each workout.
Rest assured that overtraining is something that does not happen quite often, and you are more likely to get hurt outside of training before you even reach this type of conditioning issue.
Let’s take a look at this word and break the myths you have probably heard.
What Exactly is Overtraining?
This word is used to describe negative effects that come from training too hard for a long period of time with little rest.
You probably heard about the importance of rest days, and overtraining is basically going without rest days for weeks or even months. The whole purpose behind the 24-48 hour rule is because protein synthesis is occurring to repair damaged proteins and replace bad ones with stronger and denser proteins. This is how muscles grow larger and stronger.
Overtraining is when your muscles go into something like a state of shock where they can no longer recover properly and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is extremely high and painful.
Nutrients in the body are not able to reach muscles properly, and the end result is three or more months without training while you get healthy again. Overtraining does not become chronic, but may last a long duration.
Bodybuilder’s Rarely Overtrain their Muscles
This does not mean you cannot train during rest. All that should be under the rest period is the muscle group or groups that you targeted. Those who have adapted to training for bodybuilding fall under a different category. As your body develops a habit it can endure tremendous tasks being placed upon it because that is just how our anatomy works.
A person who has never trained before would not be able to perform advanced workouts, but bodybuilding programs are designed often to where you train for six days in a row, and these men and women never go into overtraining. So how come there is a big use of this term?
Some of these athletes even train twice a day and never over train their muscles. This is because of muscle and endurance adaption along with proper nutrition.
When your body is fuelled with enough nutrients it is able to keep going and training for much longer durations. Without proper nutrient intake you may actually allow yourself to reach the difficult point of overtraining.
Stretching allows better recovery and is another special technique bodybuilder’s use to prevent excessive muscle fatigue.
Studies show that when muscles are damaged they actually benefit more through movement that increases blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow carries extra nutrients such as protein to keep muscle cells recovering properly.
What if I’m Extremely Sore After Training?
Muscle soreness and/or DOMS is something that will always happen following an intense workout. If you were training properly, and eating enough nutrients, then the muscle soreness will not be too harsh and DOMS will be at the minimum.
However, you cannot prevent soreness all together since you are damaging your cells after lifting weights or running sprints. The concept that you hit the point of overtraining is unlikely.
You can injure your muscles if you are doing too much with them. This is not overtraining, but rather a training injury due to improper warm ups for your tight tendons and joints.
When a tendon contracts without a proper warm up it can stiffen while it stretches. This leads to a strain or muscle tear that can be very painful and even require medical attention.
Be Smart and Train Properly
Proper training and nutrient consumption are your keys to preventing anything from happening to your muscles or body. Warm up for five minutes before and after every workout.
While training progressively load the weight instead of going straight into a heavy lift. This prepares your muscles and allows them to stretch with little tension during the lift.
Use a spotter during heavy lifts and everything will be fine. No matter what your muscles will be sore after training since they are damaged.
Protein is the biggest concern when it comes to allowing your muscles the time to repair and recover. Without this nutrient you will definitely notice DOMS being much worse.
A study even proved this when they took lab mice and gave only a group BCAA’s while the others did not. Some of the mice died from not receiving the BCAA’s while the ones who got sick were replenished after receiving them.
This shows the importance of protein within your diet for not just muscles, but your body as a whole.
Train smart, eat healthy, and you will have not worries about the almost impossible overtraining effect.