Thursday, February 23, 2017

Signs You Need To Reevaluate Your Fitness Plan...

Hungry for more?

You can have too much of a good thing after all...

Barring a tyrannical takeover or The Apocalypse you may find yourself engulfed in a fitness program 7 days a week that absolutely consumes you. Often in the pursuit of fitness we lose balance and promote overtraining and overuse injuries (both bad and counter-productive). We often lose sight of the original intention of it all (assuming you know why you started). Maybe it is an addictive personality or maybe you are addicted to the social proof postings on Facebook or Instagram. Only you can answer the deep questions why you started and why you might be struggling. Phases can be mazes right?

Hardcore is a habit...

Hardcore workouts are habit forming and it can lead to an unhealthy obsession. Heck, just the Spartan Race alone grew from 15,000 participants in 2010 to an expected 500,000 this year. These social phenomena's perpetuate the idea that you have to go all out to gain the respect of your peers or you must not be trying hard enough unless you are over-doing it. I actually have told many people that I want them to take time off if I notice the beginning stages of overtraining. Read more on preventing overtraining.  

Some of the newest research (Danish) suggests that chronic Crossfitters and obsessive cyclists may develop rhabdo, a breakdown of skeletal muscle that can damage the kidneys. Long time marathon runners are at high risk for scar tissue and coronary plaque in the heart. Even the average person can increase their risk of disease by exercising too much (more than an hour a day for most). Too much exercise creates oxidative stress in your body which is then ripe for disease promotion (the opposite of what we want). Exercise wrong (include food intake) and you could age yourself faster. Crazy huh?

If you are trying to slim down killing yourself at the gym may be a waste of time. 30 minutes can be as effective for weight loss as 1 hour (intensity is the variable here). Shorter and more intense workouts keep your metabolism running for several hours post workout (up to 48 hours in some studies). Read more on high intensity training. People that are short and sweet tend to graze more and tend to keep moving. People who engage in longer, more drawn out workouts tend to eat more and move less post-workout. As I always say...intensity beats extensity every damn time.

The need for control and competition drives people to train hard. In the sweat box people want to feel the same personal power that they try to create in their business and personal life. There is also a need to feel significant. Fitness drives significance very easily, especially in groups. Overachievers often go overboard because they try and achieve perfection instead of shoot for reasonable progress (10% gains). Good programs will always create an easy transition into everyday life and even into sports and include incremental progression.

The Sweet Spot...

Balance is necessary for long term success. Fitness gains often go hand in hand with feeling uncomfortable (different than pain). This creates an elusive sense of balance which is why you should have another set of eyes watching over you. Hire a trainer to maximize your time and your fitness gains.

Overtraining can be hard to recognize sometimes. The body reacts differently to going hard versus too hard. Too hard has a strong carry-over into your personal life and it even affects you physically much like a hangover and can include red flags like depression, appetite loss, trouble sleeping, decreased immunity (increase in colds and flus), low energy, and irritability. A simple check: if your heart rate is 10 beats above your normal rate (50-70 is average range) you may be overtraining.

7 Signs You Need to Reevaluate Your Fitness Plan...

You may need to sit out a sweat session...
  1. Friends de-friend you from their social gatherings because they assume you will never skip a workout. Search for gym-life balance if you start cancelling social events.
  2. Other gym fanatics wonder if you work there LOL.
  3. Your all or nothing attitude creates poor gym-life balance.The idea that "if you are not at work you are at the gym" is a busy trap of monotony. We have to have an excuse to be doing something. Being busy does not make you important necessarily, but it can keep you from doing important things. Bam!
  4. You snap when someone is on or near YOUR (funny) equipment. LOL
  5. You feel the same guilt for skipping RHF Burn30 Bootcamp as you do for skipping Aunt Mae's funeral. You may have a major head problem if you skip a workout and it creates extreme anxiety.
  6. You forgot what it feels like to not be in pain. You are sore all the time. Over-train and your legs are deadweight continually.
  7. You assume rest is for the weak. Most people are unaware that you actually get stronger during your recovery time. Read more.

What is too much?

Runners you are overdoing it if as a beginner you run daily and over 25 miles a week. You will know this when your resting heart rate is high in the morning, fatigue lasts several days, and your pace decreases. Opt to up mileage increases by using the Rule of 10. Add 10% to your weekly total and take days off to recover.

Cyclists you are overdoing it if you ride for an hour or more as a novice or for 7 days straight. You will know this when your sleep diminishes, performance suffers, and your joints ache (maybe your butt hurts too LOL). Opt to get a professional bike fitting to avoid overuse injuries and rest 2 days a week.

Lifters you are overdoing it if you train more than 3 days in a row and try new lifts without instruction and proper supervision. You will know this because muscle pain, swelling, stiffness, or weakness lasts several days and/or urine is dark. Opt to increase intensity and duration gradually and we recommend supervision.

No comments:

Post a Comment