Less Is More - The Muscular Battle Against Overtraining!
Find out how overtraining destroys your body, and how you can fight its damaging effects, tapping into serious muscle growth.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.
As many of you know, a ton of factors play a role in the overall success of any bodybuilder. If just one of these factors is overlooked or ignored, strength and muscle gains will be severely shackled. Overtraining is one aspect of bodybuilding that is usually forgotten and because of this, gymgoers everywhere end up paying the ultimate price – a severe musclebuilding plateau!
Bodybuilders often fall into the trap of going all out on their training sessions, then ignoring necessary rest time and wondering why they haven't gained any quality muscle size. Without proper rest, building lean muscle won't come easy and odds are you'll worsen the situation by hitting the gym with a new forceful vengeance. It's a vicious cycle of limited success that can sink the confidence level of any serious bodybuilder. The harder you work your body, the more time you need to rebuild!
Aside from commonly known injuries, the rest of this article will outline how overtraining destroys your body, and how you can fight its damaging effects, tapping into serious muscle growth.
Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) can have many unwanted effects on the body, such as ongoing muscular/joint soreness, increased sickness, decreased appetite, plus much more. Obviously, the most frustrating thing to any bodybuilder is not becoming the muscle-bound freak you had your mind set on. Months of sweat and supplements down the drain can be a huge piss-off to rookie lifters, and devastating to those who eat, sleep and bleed hardcore musclebuilding.
Overtraining occurs when you hit the weights hard without giving your body the right amount of time to recoup. This can affect one particular muscle group (localized), or your entire body (systemic). Systemic overtraining is more severe because it can trigger a negative nitrogen balance (catabolic state) to your system, producing more cortisol (stress hormone) and demolishing the chance of reaping any muscular rewards. Catabolism is the breakdown of muscle tissue and unfortunately the worst enemy for anyone trying to build massive amounts of muscle. The right amount of rest, recuperation and supplementation is vital for a positive nitrogen balance (anabolic state) and full supercompensation to exist. If your body isn't in a true anabolic state, you are simply selling your body short and restricting groundbreaking results.
Understanding Your Body
Proper supplementation is just one component to help fight off negative overtraining symptoms. Training BIG, eating BIG and resting BIG are three other rules that any serious bodybuilder must live by to develop the earth-shattering power needed to lift heavy and get jacked! With this said, it seems ridiculous how many can forget about the third and most important rule – rest! Physical anatomy is another greatly overlooked topic that will eventually lead to the pitfall of muscle gains. For instance, biceps, forearms and calves are smaller muscle groups that don't require the same amount of intense sets and reps when compared to more advanced muscle groups (ex., upper legs and back). The reason these three body parts are underdeveloped for most is because they are worked as if training is going out of style. You have to remember that it's incredibly difficult for muscles to grow if you keep tearing them day after day. Given the right amount of recuperation time, you'll be surprised how quickly you can build those baseball biceps or Popeye forearms.
Preventing OTS is not a life-altering event and anyone can do it on a daily basis. Some basic changes that can be made to your regime are:
- Increase sleep to utilize more of your natural hormones.
- Occasionally receive massage treatment to relieve muscle tension.
- Work each muscle group only once a week and a maximum of two muscle groups per session.
- Take a full week off from the gym every 8-12 weeks.
Avoid the Nightmare
Harder is not always better. Overtraining can lead to months of wasted time and effort because of its catabolic effects – and that's every bodybuilder's biggest nightmare. Don't get confused over what's being said; if you want to ignite the feeding frenzy on those pythons or build boulder shoulders, you still need the forced reps, bone-crushing weight and anabolic atmosphere of a determined machine. However, the key is to not overexert your body and slip into a catabolic state day after day. Allow for the right amount of rebuilding time to get the most out of each training session. Also, keep in mind that different people can handle different amounts of loaded muscular stress. So listen to what your body is preaching and constantly self-assess OTS symptoms to unleash a heavy-duty attack on stagnant muscle gains!