On Monday we went over the psychology of your desire to train to the extent of overtraining, and can be found here.
So now that we know why, we need to ask the question, is it such a bad thing?
While there are multiple forms of overtraining, we’re going to talk about the one that most of us are doing right now, sympathetic overtraining.
As a quick reminder sympathetic overtraining taxes and fatigues the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our flight or fight response.
So what are the side effects of parasympathetic overtraining?
They can be, but are not limited to:
Decreased athletic performance
Frequent illness and colds
Elevated resting heart rate
Elevated cortisol levels (the hormone released by stress)
All in all, none of that sounds like anything I want any part of.
Essentially what happens when we’re overtraining in a sympathetic manner, frequent anaerobic exercise, we’re taxing our flight or fight response, so our body is producing more cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
Epinephrine restricts the blood vessels, which increases our blood pressure and the blood delivery to our muscles, which hinders recovery.
Cortisol elevates our blood sugar levels, which can cause us to store more fat in places that we really don’t want to, such as our stomachs. Cortisol also suppresses our immune system! Something that none of us want to be doing right now.
So is overtraining bad?
In my honest opinion, absolutely!
So how do we prevent overtraining?
A typical workout program that I prescribe to most of my clients is 3-5 days of high intensity workouts, for no more than an hour, combined with 2-3 days of rest and/or active recovery. This plan will help most clients reach their goals without overtraining and doing more damage in the long run.
Want help creating a plan? Schedule a FREE Intro Call to talk to one of our coaches and build a plan to reach those goals without causing long term damage.