During the initial days of bodybuilding, every newbie is subjected to sayings like ‘more is better’ and ‘do more to get more’. If you put this terms into use, you will see that, over the period that instead of growing bigger, you have ended up being smaller and weaker.
That’s what we call as Overtraining.
Overtraining is nothing but working out too hard on muscles but not seeing enough growth accordingly. If not avoided, overtraining can indeed pose a threat to your long term bodybuilding goals. So, here’s how to avoid getting into the state of overtraining –
1) Don’t work out like ‘every single day.’
It’s quite common to hear from every newbie fitness enthusiast telling about his passion for fitness such that he never skips a day in the gym. However, you should also know that working out every day is something that even greatest of Bodybuilders like Arnold did not recommend instead he advised to train no more than 4-5 days per week.
You need to know that our body cannot keep up with heavy lifting day in day out. Hence, it’s suggested to have at least a couple of days off from the gym and give your prior body rest before starting it all over again.
Take a look at – 4 weight training mistakes a beginner should never do
2) Don’t spend countless hours in gym
Working out for long periods is the most common way to overtrain your body as when you train too long, the levels muscle building hormones like Testosterone drop and stress hormone aka Cortisol rise significantly. The increase in Cortisol level will lead to an increase in fat storage and burning of hard earned muscles which is something that you certainly don’t want.
So, it’s not at all necessary to spend anything more than an hour in the gym; rather you should look for cutting out rest period between sets and increase the intensity of the workout.
Take a look at – 4 training loopholes that are making you weaker
3) Nutrition is the key factor
All that time spent in the gym will be of no use if you don’t give your best effort in diet part.
“If you don’t follow a good nutritional plan, you’re bodybuilding with one arm behind your back”, says Shawn Ray.
Not eating a proper diet will not allow your muscles to recover as they won’t have enough nutrition to regrow.
If you go by the rule of thumb, it says that one should have a balanced diet with protein to a high quantity and carbs and fats in relatively small proportion. And yes, don’t forget the veggies.
Take a look at – 5 training mistakes that are killing your hard earned gains
4) Rest does matter
Not having enough sleep will dampen your recovery process. Slower recovery process means that your muscles will take more than usual time to recover from the last workout session and hence when you hit the same muscle group again, you will be overtraining them. So, how much sleep is needed?
Well, it’s ideal to have at least 7-8 hours of sound sleep in the day. If your work life permits, you can even look forward to 9-10 hours of sleep daily along with short nap in the noon hours.