Is over-training a really just a myth made up by lazy people? The answer to this question will be different each time you ask someone. There are several bodybuilders and athletes who claim that over-training is just an excuse that lazy people give to not go all out in the gym every single day.
Now the truth is, most of the average gym-goers will never truly face over-training, provided that they are sleeping and eating enough. Your body has a remarkable ability to adapt too many different kinds of stress factors and if you are giving it enough rest and proper nutrition it will be able to push that much further and grow. There are many magazines and guides that will have you believe that you should be in and out of the gym within an hour, hour and a half max and not a second more.
This is just not true, many great bodybuilders spend hours in the gym, yes I know, they are chemically enhanced, but even then, if you are sleeping at least 8 hours a day and eating enough nutritious calories, there is no reason that you cannot train twice a day on some days or go for 1.5-2 hours in the gym or heaven forbid, do some extra cardio or play a sport and enjoy yourself. Do not let the fear of over-training cut your workout short and make you shy away from pushing yourself further in the weight room or from playing outside with your kids. You will not shrivel up and drown in a sea of catabolism.
Now I’m not saying that over-training does not exist, just that it is not so easy to achieve it. True over-training is very real and will only happen if you are pushing your body to the absolute limit every single day without proper rest and nutrition. Could you do bicep curls every single day and get away with it? Definitely. Deadlifts? Probably not. It is always important to listen to your body and understand what it is trying to tell you. Maybe you just set a new PR (Personal Record) in the gym and you think, well, “I should back away for a bit, I don’t want to over train.” What is your body telling you? Are you truly feeling exhausted and burnt out, or do you think you can go in again for another set?
If you’ve truly been training hard and giving it your all, then yes, you should take some rest and maybe take a week to rest and de-load. Rest lots and eat lots but if you know that it’s all probably just in your head, get back in there and prove yourself wrong.
Stay safe! Happy lifting!
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