One of the most asked questions from prospective and new clients is, “How many times a week should I train?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Honestly, it depends. It is hard to give an exact answer because several factors play a role:

  • How intense is each workout?
  • Are you warming up correctly?
  • Are you following a nutrition plan?
  • What is your activity level at work?
  • What other types of physical activity are you doing?
  • How is your body, mind and spirit responding to your current level of training?

The list of questions goes on-and-on to determine if over-training is weighing on you.

While over-training can occur in a variety of different ways, it typically results from a combination of hormonal, neuroendocrine, and nutritional imbalances, secondary to heavy training.

The Signs of Over-Training

Although intense training can produce positive outcomes, if completed too frequently without sufficient rest and optimal nutrition, one’s muscular, endocrine, and immune systems, as well as psychological state can be compromised. Signs and symptoms of over-training can be:

  1. Underperformance
  2. Extreme muscle soreness or stiffness during and in-between training sessions
  3. Unintentional weight loss and muscle loss
  4. Chronic fatigue
  5. Swollen lymph nodes
  6. Depression and/or anxiety
  7. Sleep disturbances

If over-training is suspected, a few simple changes can help to promote recovery while minimizing stress. To assist in the recovery from over-training, we may suggest dietary modifications, as well as support the need for rest and off days during training. Talk to your assigned Actualize Coach to determine if you are over-training.

We all have goals and we are often willing to do most anything to reach those goals. But when we do not listen to our bodies that is when we can do real damage. Training 6 or 7 days in a row has been shown to do more harm than good, especially if it goes on for several weeks at a time. You will start to break down muscle, and with no recovery days, you will never give your body a chance to build and repair.

Maintaining a proper exercise schedule along with a good diet will keep you on a path to your goals and ensure over-training does not occur.

References:

Kreher J. (2012). Overtraining Syndrome: A Practical Guide. Sports Health. 4(2), 128-138.

Zoorab R. (2013). Sports Nutrition Needs Before, During and After Exercise. Primary Care. 40(2), 475-86.

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