Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Overtrained


Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that with just three sessions per week and a bit of cardio one could overtrain.

Well, I had been training with rather heavy weights quite intensely, but each muscle only once a week. I didn't think it possible that way, today however I got proof. Let me turn the story back a bit, though.

I had encountered the phenomenon of overtraining before: at that time I was training heaviest weights, in 3-5 sets with less than 8 reps each, twice a week. Then I learned about High Intensity Training, where each muscle is only trained once the week, the weight is reduced to about 70 %, the sets reduced to maximum of 2, repetitions raised to 10-12, the exercise executed very slowly and possibly weights are ripped at the end or half reps are done. It kicked in like mad, the number of injuries went down and I looked better than ever.

I however didn't have an aim at that time and so I always had phases when I trained less  intense or took breaks altogether, hence I never had problems. Now I had decided to do the competition and religiously went to the gym week after week. Then I realised that I got a persistent muscle ache from the slightest endurance session, I felt tired, I couldn't concentrate and the muscles felt flat. Those were exactly the same symptoms as last time, but  I still thought that it could not be and that I maybe coming down with something.

Well, eventually I caught a cold and took a break, but the next session still felt not right. And now we had the Christmas break. I felt rather grumpy about all the days the gym was closed, it however turned out to be the best thing that could happen to me. The reduced training during the weeks before and now another two weeks off gave proof that the reason for the whole moaning was overtraining.

Today I went back to the gym for the first time. And although I still feel some leftovers of the cold I had a really good training session. Got through the whole thing without feeling hungry or sleepy, although the gym was stuffed and oxygen scarce. I lifted max weight with max reps and it felt good. And then I remembered a blog about overtraining which I had read some years ago, confirming all the symptoms.

So it seems that I am back now, and it seems that I have to organise my training and my sleep even better. I will have to take down times with smaller weights and just pumping some reps, without actually exhausting the muscle and I will have to use those down times for posing training.

The task now is to count backwards from the 5th June - Competition Day - and to make a proper plan. Yay! I get to write another list.

Will keep you posted!

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