How Not to Overtrain

Overtraining is a common condition experienced by most athletes at some time in their lives. Overtraining can impede results and hinder continuous improvements from workouts, the good news is that it can easily be avoided by following a few basic steps.

Prevention

Rest

Overtraining is the result of not getting enough rest between workouts.  To avoid overtraining ensure that you are properly resting your body.  Workouts break your muscles down and it is during the rest phase that your muscles actually repair and become stronger. The majority of this rest occurs during sleep so it is important to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you begin to feel like you may be entering a state of overtraining then it is advised to take 48 hours off from working out to allow your body to properly heal. If you continue to workout during a state of overtraining you could experience chronic overtraining which could require multiple weeks of rest to fully recover.

 

Diet

In order for your body to recover and your muscles to become stronger you need to supply your body with the proper nutrients. It is imperative to supply your body with sufficient macro-nutrients, especially carbohydrates and proteins. If you begin to feel the onset of overtraining it is wise to increase your caloric intake to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients. While you increase your calories be sure to consume nutrient dense foods such as vegetables and fruits as well as lean proteins. Competitor has identified a list of the top-30 super foods based on the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) which includes: Collard, Mustard & Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Berries and more. Competitor has also developed a sample diet for the average athlete fighting off overtraining.

Planning

A properly planned workout routine is essential to avoid overtraining. A properly planned workout will include plenty of rest, a combination of high intensity workouts and low intensity workouts, and it will not increase duration or intensity of workouts too quickly.

A good workout plan should include plenty of rest. It should include one to two rest days a week, depending on the intensity of workouts. It is important that your plan include rest weeks as well as rest days.

It is wise to not increase your weekly training volume by more than 10% from one week to the next. This is refereed to as the 10% rule and can help keep inexperience athletes from trying to increase their workloads too quickly.

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If you begin to feel the onset of overtraining then be sure to get ample rest, eat a clean nutritious diet and plan accordingly. Comment below on what you do to recover from overtraining.

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