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How To Avoid Overtraining With Weights

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Whether you are a bodybuilder, an athlete or just someone who wants to add some muscle to your frame the chances that you will get to a point of over-training when you are lifting weights on a regular basis is very high. Most people eventually fall into the trap of doing too much volume with too much intensity.

We all know that if we want to get the most out of our given genetics that we were born with we need to progressively overload in order to gain muscle. The problem is that increasing the weight and the intensity of your workouts will eventually lead to a state of over-training UNLESS you are looking out for the symptoms of overtraining.

So the answer is finding the correct balance between your workout volume that you do, your intensity that you train with and the all-important rest and recovery that you get. This needs to be combined with eating correctly as well because if you are damaging the muscle without getting the required nutrients to do the repair work then you will lose muscle.

Over-training will affect your nervous system and your hormone production which directly affects the results that you get. The nervous system consists of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic system which will be affected in the following way if you are overtraining:

Higher resting heart rate

Weak appetite

High blood pressure

Weight loss

Trouble sleeping

Increased metabolic rate


Early onset of fatigue

Over the last 15 years there have been countless studies that have been done specifically on how over-training will negatively affect the constantly changing hormone levels that we have in our bodies, as well as the hormone response that we get from training with weights or high intensity.

The three most important facts about over-training and how it will affect your hormone levels are that it will decrease testosterone levels and also decrease your thyroxine levels as well as increase cortisol levels. All of these will directly affect the way and the speed that you are able to add muscle to your body.

The dramatic affect that over-training has on your immune system and your metabolic system cannot be stressed enough, however we need to concentrate more on solving the problem, rather than looking at the complicated results that over-training will cause.

The first thing you need to do when you are weight training on a regular basis is to know your body and how you feel. Getting in tune with your body is more difficult for some but the first signs that you are over-training will show when you start losing interest in how you will work out, having trouble sleeping, or feeling weak and irritable.

If this is the case with you then you should take a week rest from training so that you can re-motivate yourself again. However you can avoid getting to this stage of over-training by having a multi-faceted approach to your training. This means getting the correct balance between your training volume and your intensity, plus eating correctly, and obviously resting or sleeping at least 8 hours every night.

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