About the dangers of excessive zeal

About the dangers of excessive zeal

May 21, 2021 Off By Oliver Lester
Does more always mean better?

The Health & Fitness Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine published an article by Brad Roy, executive director of the Kalispell Regional Medical Center, “Overtraining / Overtraining: Bigger Isn’t Always Better.” The author warns athletes against overworking the gym, which can lead to overwork.

Overload is functional and non-functional. Non-functional overload reduces the effectiveness of training for a longer period than functional overload, and is accompanied by changes in neuroendocrine and / or physiological functions. Overtraining is a very serious non-functional overload. She has more severe symptoms and reduces the effectiveness of her training by more than two months.

For a workout to be effective, you need to strike the right balance between exercise and rest / recovery. Too much workload or insufficient recovery can cause psychological and physiological changes that limit performance to the point that classes have to be stopped altogether. And normal rest can be interfered with by work, family, stress, physical activity not related to training, missed meals and insufficient sleep.

During exercise, endorphins, dopamine, and other compounds are released that affect the brain and can become addictive to exercise. This addiction prompts the athlete to train too often, and he does not have time to recover. Frequent exercise, especially when combined with the increasingly popular intense multi-stage endurance competition and intense group training, puts the athlete at risk of non-functional overload and, in more severe cases, overtraining syndrome.

Signs and symptoms

Over 125 signs and symptoms of overtraining and overtraining have been reported in the literature.

The most common are:

  • constant heaviness, fatigue and muscle inflammation;
  • constant general fatigue, a feeling of physical powerlessness;
  • decreased training efficiency, inability to comply with the training regimen;
  • frequent infectious diseases, colds, headaches;
  • severe, sometimes chronic injuries;
  • sleep disorders;
  • deterioration in mental concentration (it is difficult to concentrate on the exercise), impatience;
  • increased anxiety;
  • depression;
  • tachycardia or, in some cases, bradycardia;
  • loss of appetite and weight;
  • changes in intestinal peristalsis;
  • lack of menstruation.

Treatment and prevention

In such cases, the best medicine is good rest, and in severe cases, training will have to be interrupted for a long time. Full recovery requires sound, prolonged sleep, proper nutrition, and fluid loss (hydration), as well as getting rid of non-exercise stress. If the health condition requires it, the doctor will give additional recommendations.

To ensure that training is always beneficial and enjoyable, we must not forget about the prevention of non-functional overload and overtraining. To do this, follow these guidelines:

  • listen to your body and allow extra time to recover;
  • follow the ten percent rule: do not increase the volume or intensity of your workouts by more than 10% at a time;
  • Observe periodization: alternate intense or volume training with extended rest / recovery periods and / or cross-training;
  • recovery / rest between intense workouts is essential as muscle tissue regenerates and grows during this time. Recovery takes 24 to 72 hours, depending on the intensity and volume of the workout;
  • after a workout, you cannot feel fatigued. There must still be strength to continue the exercise. If you don’t have the strength, you have overdone it;
  • proper nutrition and hydration are very important, it is useful to consult a sports nutritionist about this;
  • get enough sleep;
  • diversify your workouts, do not do the same thing all the time.

Keeping a workout log is helpful to keep track of your condition and not miss the moment when you need extra rest. It records your resting heart rate, sleep, weight (if you need to lose it), mood, intensity and duration of exercise, muscle and joint response. Make a long-term plan for periodizing your workouts, remember to recover, and you will minimize the risk of overload and will be able to train and compete with pleasure.