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Are you overtraining?

Overtraining is a very common syndrome in most people who workout vigorously or are starting a new training routine.

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Overtraining develops when you workout so excessively your body can’t recuperate, causing your performance to take a plunge. Undertraining entails performing below your potential. The first produces symptoms which can affect serious athletes, whereas the second may appear all too familiar to anybody who owns a little-used gym membership card. That being said, undertraining doesn’t contribute to major health risks, while overtraining can result in illness and injury.


What are the symptoms of overtraining?

Signs and symptoms of overtraining are loss of endurance and competitive flair, a suppression of the body’s immune system, giving rise to colds, along with a propensity towards niggling injuries. If you feel you might be overtraining, stay away from the gym for several days, make up for loss sleep, drink plenty fluids and eat some balanced meals. If your symptoms are severe, it could take a week or longer to restore your energy.



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Courtesy of iStockPhoto.

Are you undertraining?

Whenever you undertrain, your body is within its comfort zone and does not need to make any positive adaptation to overcome what you throw at it. There is little to no buildup of new muscle tissue. Undertraining can occur whenever you don’t make it to the gym as often as you desire, or because once there, you do not workout at the proper intensity. Maybe you’re too inclined to gossiping with your friends or neighbors, or you’ve stuck with the very same workout for too long and need a change-up. If you leave the gym devoid of working up a good sweat or raising your metabolism, you’re probably undertraining. In this case, make an effort to get to the gym more regularly and revise your training sessions to make them more exacting.


Over Vs. Under

It can be difficult to determine whether you’re doing too little, enough or too much. For the sportsperson or perhaps the competitive athlete, this may be a particularly vexing question. Some experts recommend leaning on the side of caution, such as the sporting adage, “It’s better to be ten percent undertrained than five percent overtrained.” The reasoning is, anytime you are overtrained, you are more susceptible to injury, illness and depression, even though the undertrained individual retains some spare capacity within himself to draw upon. The best recommendation is to listen to your body.

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