Do you engage in strength training? Then you might feel me on the rookie mistake called “overtraining”. Why is it bad to work out the same muscle group too frequently? Let’s explore this one the ExperienceZone way.
It’s all about the balance
The ExperienceZone continent Sports & Relaxation already indicates the importance of mastering both ends of the scale. In my early twenties, I used work out my arms and chest every day. Like an sports addicted, I would develop a training program, which pushed me to my physical and mental edges every day. Bear in mind: Your brain can push your body forward. A strong will is key progress in any kind of sport. However, after months into my plan, I felt frustration creeping up in me. Why’s that? Well, I plateaued. In other words: I simply wasn’t able to make that last rep. Over weeks, the man in the mirror just didn’t got stronger visually anymore. What went wrong? Overtraining. This is what Google and experiences athletes told me.
It seems like your system needs time to rest. The regeneration time differs by level: Your vegetative system regenerates after a few seconds, your cardiovascular system requires some minutes, muscles needs 24-48 hours and your joints and bones can take the next workout after a couple of days. Of course, the regeneration times are a function of your training intensity.
How do you surf the tension-relaxation waves effectively?
Over the last decades, I discovered some die-hard rules. Applying them will ensure great training results and thus retained motivation to tackle the next workout:
- Set training objectives. It all starts with your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to increase your endurance, loose fat or gain muscles? For latter: Which kind of muscles do you want to build – small hard or voluminous ones? Mind the need for clarity about your end-state.
- Design a training plan. Develop your own program, which includes which muscle groups you want to train in which way and how often. Ensure enough time to rest in between. The relaxation window should stretch between 48 and 96 hours for each group. Vary the relaxation types, i.e. passive (e.g. chilling on your sofa) and active relaxation (e.g. lightly run after strength training).
- Start and observe yourself. Engage in strength training and listen to your body as you execute your training plan. Do you “feel” your muscles grow? I’m not kidding. The more you work out your body, the more aware you become of its transformation. Ensure to get enough sleep (at least 8 hours) as well as eat right (best case plant-based raw food).