When I was younger and teaching 15-20 cardio classes a week, I stopped losing weight. I got jiggly and mushy and heavier. But how can that be? You’re a fitness instructor, you should be thin with all the workout you do.
We called it Chunky Butt instructor Syndrome.
The correct term is Overtraining.
Actually: Overtraining is Under-recovery.
Think of it like this. Pretend your body is a car. Let’s say on Monday, you crashed into a tree Yes, there’s a little dent in the car, but it still runs fine. And then the day after, on Tuesday, you crash it again. Well, the car isn’t running well anymore. It’s going slower, and doesn’t look very good. What you needed to do, was bring the car into the shop on Monday after you crashed the first time and give it time to get fixed. You see, you can crash your car every Monday, just as long as you give it time to be fixed, and it will still run fine.
Your body works the same way. Many people say that when they first went to the gym they didn’t know what to do. They worked out the same muscles and did the same machines 6 days a week and saw absolutely no results. You see, your muscles don’t grow when they are being worked; they grow when they are resting. You need to work your muscles in the gym, and then give them time to recover. Each time you work them, and let them recover they get stronger and bigger. However, working them day after day without recovery makes them weaker, stay the same, and sometimes even get smaller.
You can perform the best exercises with the best form, seven days a week and never see results. In fitness, less is definitely more. Throughout most of his movie career, Sylvester Stallone trained upwards of 25 hours a week! Now at age 50 he limits his training to 4 hours a week. In his book, Sly Moves he says “Overtraining wasted thousands of hours of my life”.
Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Under Recovery Syndrome
- Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
- Feeling cold
- Progress stalls
- Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Sudden drop in performance/decrease in strength
- Decreased Immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
- Decrease in training capacity / intensity
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
- Decreased appetite
- Increased incidence of injuries.
- A compulsive need to exerciseHow to train/recover properly
- You need at least 6-7 hours of rest each night.
- Train your muscle groups on splits. Don’t work the same group every day.
- 1-2 active rest days per week
- De-load week every 90 days (See this blog post for more info)
- Do not double up on workouts/classes.I can tell immediately when I’m overtraining. Too much cardio makes me mushy.
If I focus on my lifts I become lean fast.Our current way of thinking tends to lead us to MORE CARDIO! However, remember that more cardio burns away muscle. You need 2-3 HIIT sessions a week for 12-15 minutes each.xoxo