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Posted: 3/29/2009 2:24:49 PM EDT
How do you recover from Overtraining?

A while back I was working out twice a day, six days a week, in a major effort to loose a a large amout of weight. Before work five days a week I was bicycling for a half hour; Mon-Wed-Fri after work I bicycled up to 2 hours; I did Weight training after work Tu-Th-Sat (with HIIT or half-hour bike rides before lifting Tu-Th), and Saturday I also went for longer bike rides, up to 3 hours. I had kept this up over a couple of years; but I was not making any progress, and started to feel highly fatigued among other problems, so I googled the symptoms and discovered the concept of Overtraining.

So, six weeks ago I switched to Weights Mon-Wed-Fri (about 1 hr 20 minutes each session). On Tu-Th I now do Squats, Deadlifts, and Lunges (about 20 minutes), followed by HIIT (23 minutes). Saturday morning 2-3 hour bike ride at low intensity and Squats, Deadlifts, and Lunges in the afternoon.

On the old schedule, my legs were wrecked by mid-week; they are fine now. But, my Insomnia is as bad as ever (and it developed when I was on the heavy workout schedule, so I blame its onset on my Overtraining).

Does my new workout sound okay? How long does it take to recover from Overtraining?

I did this yesterday, and I still feel like shit
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:32:41 PM EDT
How much are you truly eating, and your stats? In that post I only read you ate twice that day. I understand it is hard to eat when doing yardwork and it is hot, I cannot eat much when it is hot. However, I think you might be missing something else here.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:12:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:14:49 PM EDT by 3crowns]
Oh no, I ate about five meals that day...I just did not put them all in the thread. But the bike ride alone burned 2,500 calories.

I'm 43 years old, 5'8" tall, 245 lbs.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:13:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:14:21 PM EDT by 3crowns]
oops
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:23:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 3crowns:
Oh no, I ate about five meals that day...I just did not put them all in the thread. But the bike ride alone burned 2,500 calories.

I'm 43 years old, 5'8" tall, 245 lbs.


Gotcha, I am just making sure. I thought you might have eaten more, but you never know.

Based on your activity level, I think you should up the calories some. I am not good at telling other people how many calories they should be eating, just through trial and error have I figured out where I need to be.

I have heard it said something along the lines of "there is no such thing as overtraining, just not eating or sleeping enough." BUT, if you can't get to sleep, you can't recover properly.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:34:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:39:24 PM EDT by BrianTheLion]
One thing to keep in mind is that you shoud try to keep your workouts around an hour long, an hour 15 minutes max. When your body is under stress, it releases a chemical called cortisol into the bloodstream. Basically, too much cortisol does the reverse and can make you gain more fat. When you put a lot of physical stress on your body (weight lifting) for more than an hour, cortisol starts to release. That could have been the major reason why you weren't making any progress.

Try to get in 5-6 smaller portioned meals. If you are trying to lose weight, obviously you have to burn more calories than you take in. If you also try to eat all your carbs towards the morning/mid-day, and eat fruits, vegetables, lean meat for dinner and around the night time, you might find it easier to cut that fat. You don't want to eat a ton of carbs at night as they will sit and store fat overnight. If you start getting that hungry feeling, than you know you should be spacing your meals closer together. I try to eat meals every 3 hours. I get about 5 meals in everyday. When you start to get hungry, your body will start to break down your muscles to use the stored up energy in them. That's why you don't want to prolong your hunger.

As for your workout, you should check out this website: http://www.muscleandstrength.com
It has tons of good information and a lot of good workouts to use. You don't want to train the same muscles two days in a row. Your body needs to recover otherwise you will never make any progress. I do a 4 day split. Monday-shoulders/triceps, Tuesday-Legs, Thursday-back, Saturday-chest/biceps. That is just one example. I hope I helped. And if you already knew all of this information, then I'm sorry. haha
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:36:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:36:42 PM EDT by BrianTheLion]
Originally Posted By Chizzle:
I have heard it said something along the lines of "there is no such thing as overtraining, just not eating or sleeping enough." BUT, if you can't get to sleep, you can't recover properly.


Overtraining actually does exist. Check this out.
http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/overtraining-why-less-is-more.html
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:43:02 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BrianTheLion:
Originally Posted By Chizzle:
I have heard it said something along the lines of "there is no such thing as overtraining, just not eating or sleeping enough." BUT, if you can't get to sleep, you can't recover properly.


Overtraining actually does exist. Check this out.
http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/overtraining-why-less-is-more.html


I'm not saying it doesn't. What I am saying is what I have read in other places. It makes sense, because if more people paid attention to their recovery efforts, there would not be as many cases of overtraining. This is even said in the article you posted "Overtraining occurs when either the overload is too high, or the rest period aka recovery time is too low."

However, this would be hard to diagnose over the interwebs though.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:46:15 PM EDT
True, but it does sound like he was overtraining. He was working out basically all day everyday. It's not necessary.

A ton of weight isn't going to be lost all at once or in a month. It's gonna take a while. Just gotta stick with it man! Keep reminding yourself why you started working out and what you are working towards. Props for making the decision to make the change though.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:54:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BrianTheLion:
True, but it does sound like he was overtraining. He was working out basically all day everyday. It's not necessary.


You're correct. Once I figured out that I did not have to spend hours a day at it, I felt much better, and life just gets better. I now lift on Mon/Wed/Friday, and do some form of cardio pretty much every day, but nothing too strenuous. I also took a week off around Christmas time, and never felt better.

If I were 3crowns, I would drop the length/intensity of some of the cycling, etc. Hell, might even take a week off and just rest. You will come back feeling better. Also, it might be time to re-evaluate your nutrition and calories. I've been big before, above 260lbs, and am now around 207-210lbs, and unlike before, realize it is a marathon, not a race.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:59:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Chizzle:
You're correct. Once I figured out that I did not have to spend hours a day at it, I felt much better, and life just gets better. I now lift on Mon/Wed/Friday, and do some form of cardio pretty much every day, but nothing too strenuous. I also took a week off around Christmas time, and never felt better.

If I were 3crowns, I would drop the length/intensity of some of the cycling, etc. Hell, might even take a week off and just rest. You will come back feeling better. Also, it might be time to re-evaluate your nutrition and calories. I've been big before, above 260lbs, and am now around 207-210lbs, and unlike before, realize it is a marathon, not a race.


Yeah breaks are super beneficial. If your body is totally jacked and your muscles are killing to the point where it would hurt to work out, take a week off or at least until you feel better. Plus, after being on a certain routine for 8-12 weeks, and you are about to switch to beat the plateau, sometimes it's good to take a week off before you switch to a new one.

And just like you said Chizzle, it's definitely not a race, but is more like a marathon. It's a long term thing.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 5:44:56 PM EDT
Hmm... I used to work out just continuously. But for the last two years I use an cycle of 8 weeks on, 1 week off. So I'm getting recovery periods in.

As far as the Cardio goes, I usually cycled in the "medium to high effort" range. This is not in the greatest fat-burning zone...but I figured that the greater total calories burned would off-set this, which does not seem to be the case. That's why I'm combining HIIT and LISS now, but I wonder about what Brian said above about workouts longer than an hour, and Cortisol release.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 6:01:16 PM EDT
Some sort of cardio is obviously necessary for fat loss, but it has actually been proven that weight training for at least 30 minutes will continue to burn fat for the next 48 hours whereas doing steady-state cardio for 30 minutes basically does you nothing. Yeah you'll lose water weight and some calories, but probably not overall fat. Unless you are doing HIIT like you said, then it won't do very much for you. The other bad thing about steady-state cardio is that in order to actually increase the intensity, you have to keep running longer. I don't know about you, but I don't want to go running for an hour and keep increasing as my body gets used to that distance and endurance.

When it comes down to losing fat though, your diet is huge. Gotta eat the right things, enough small meals to keep your metabolism going to keep breaking down the food and using the nutrients and energy.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 6:32:39 PM EDT
I've been doing the six-small-meals plan for a couple years.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:16:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 3crowns:
.

So, six weeks ago I switched to Weights Mon-Wed-Fri (about 1 hr 20 minutes each session). On Tu-Th I now do Squats, Deadlifts, and Lunges (about 20 minutes), followed by HIIT (23 minutes). Saturday morning 2-3 hour bike ride at low intensity and Squats, Deadlifts, and Lunges in the afternoon.

I did this yesterday, and I still feel like shit
I'm 43 years old, 5'8" tall, 245 lbs.



I would follow the advice of some of other posters here and take a week off from exercise. During your week off, write down everything you eat and then go figure up how many calories that is, and the percentage of fats/carbs/proteins in your diet. This is easy to do with the internet.

Work on a diet plan. Get rid of junk food and replace it with healthier food. Also, once you know you daily caloric intake, you can slowly lower it reduce your weight. You shouldn't go faster than 1 pound per week.

As for exercise, what are your goals? If you want to be strong, I suggest doing Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. On that program, you will lift 3 times a week. Keep at it for a month, then consider adding one day per week of light cardio.

Getting strong will help you lose weight also, since muscle burns more calories than fat.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 8:27:21 PM EDT
Gosh, I've already done all this stuff. Everything. I know the calories for everything I eat. I got my metabolic rate medically tested and I know how much I burn. Several small meals, week off of exercise, it's all there. So the question here is Overtraining, and how to get back on track.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 9:20:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 9:22:15 PM EDT by BrianTheLion]
Originally Posted By 3crowns:
Gosh, I've already done all this stuff. Everything. I know the calories for everything I eat. I got my metabolic rate medically tested and I know how much I burn. Several small meals, week off of exercise, it's all there. So the question here is Overtraining, and how to get back on track.


If your body is hurting right now, then take a break until you feel alright again, to where your muscles are healed. Then get back to a workout that is suitable to you. And don't overtrain again. haha That would basically answer the question of overtraining and how to get back on track.

EDIT: Sorry for all the extra information that you already know. I wasn't aware of your knowledge on those things so I thought I'd bring them up anyway. Glad to hear you're informed though!
Link Posted: 3/30/2009 6:25:58 AM EDT
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