How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth (PART II)

June 4, 2009

How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth
By Vince DelMonte

Now let’s take a look at the different types of over-training, and what we can do to prevent it.

Is it Worse to Over-Train With Cardio or Weight Training?

Any form of over-training is a bad thing, however, I’ve personally experienced both types of over-training and can honestly say that over-training in the weight room is much worse, and much more prevalent than over-training through cardiovascular training.

Here are some of the reasons why:

In order to grow, muscles must fully recover from their last workout, every workout. If you are over-training and work the muscles before they have fully recovered, you will break down the muscle tissue before it has rebuilt-making it impossible to build muscle!
Over-training with weights makes you more susceptible to nervous systems hormone and immune system issues, which all pose serious health risks.

It can lead beginners down the wrong path, perhaps wasting money on unnecessary supplements, or even worse, steroids.
I personally believe that only competitive athletes such as swimmers, runners and bikers run a serious risk of reaching a state of cardiovascular over-training, since there are often training for two or more hours daily.

The bottom line is that it is much easier for the average person to over-train while weight training than while cardiovascular training, and I think the effects can be more serious.

How do I Determine if I’m Over-training?

Determining if you’re currently over-training is fairly simple. If you’re in tune with your body, you can often see the signs of over-training before they get serious. If you are losing interest in workouts, are having trouble sleeping, and feel weak and irritable, you may be in a state of over-training and should take a week or more off.

If you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms outlined earlier in the article, this should raise a red flag.

Another variable you can use to determine if you are over-training is by tracking the performance of your workouts.

Has your physical performance improved compared to your last workout?

For example, let’s say last workout you were able to perform 8 pull-ups using your body-weight, but were only able to perform 6 pull-ups the following week. This means that you have not “out done” your previous workout, have not fully recovered, and therefore are likely over-training. You nave to re-asses your program and make modifications so that you see progress every workout.

About the Author:

Vince Delmonteis a competitive fitness model and personal trainer, as well as the author of No-Nonsense Muscle Building, a complete guide to building muscle for the hardgainer.

Vince’s program includes extensive diet plans, complete weight training regimens, video tutorials, and full email personal training support.


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