Is Too Much Exercise a Bad Thing?

Yes.

However, most people will never reach this point in their training. So don’t worry about it. Elite athletes are usually the only people that will reach this state, which is called overtraining. Defined as “when a person exceeds their body’s ability to recover from strenuous exercise.”

Many people who are highly motivated to achieve their fitness goals, will rush into exercise programs and try to workout at a high intensity for several days or weeks in a row. This is an example of Hull’s Drive Theory which basically means that being “too pumped” up for a workout can actually be a bad thing for athletes.

We’ve all been there. We decide to begin working out for the first time ever or are just getting back into it after taking an extended amount of time off. We train extremely hard and bang! The next day we are brutally sore and we try to ignore the soreness so we can get back in the gym the next day, and we continue this process until our body has adapted to the amount of training stimulus we are giving it. THIS IS THE WRONG APPROACH! When we overexert ourselves, we can actually undo all of the hard-work and training sessions we put in because we are then forced to take more days off from training in order to recover from that extreme soreness, fatigue or even injury.

Adequate Rest

If we are going to train intensely, then we need to recover at a much higher rate to sustain what we are putting our bodies through. When we sleep, our body is able to repair and rebuild the muscles that we break down throughout the day. This is when good time management skills will come into play to make sure that you are going to bed at the right time to make sure you get the amount of sleep that you need to recover. We all know that we should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night but if your still not feeling refreshed after that, make sure to check out our other article called “Your Lack of Sleep is Holding You Back.”

Proper Nutrient Replenishment

Smart training + proper nutrition = Results.

This is the formula for success that we all know, but cannot execute. When it comes to nutrition, we should all treat ourselves like elite athletes, even if we aren’t. The best athletes in the world are the best at what they do because they see the importance of fueling themselves to perform at their peak. Non-athletes should also be trying to fuel themselves to reach their peak performance so they can be better at their job, have more energy throughout the days, take better care of their families, or even have the energy to get themselves to the gym. Everybody has different needs and everybody’s activity level is different. Our activity level will tell us how much we need to fuel ourselves. Here’s an analogy for you, think of yourself as a Ferrari that only runs on Premium gasoline, and regular gasoline will ruin the engine. Premium is your vegetables, lean meats, fruits, nuts and grains. Regular fuel is those fried foods, sugary drinks, sweetened breakfast cereals and most fast foods. FUEL LIKE AN ATHLETE!

Coaching/Programming

If you are new to exercise or are just getting back into a routine, then we should not train at a high intensity for several days in a row. Scheduling rest days throughout the week are extremely important and just as important as the days you actually workout. Just because we don’t workout one day does not mean that we stop gaining muscle or stop losing weight. When we go through several days of training consecutively, our body begins to fatigue. When we are consistently feeling fatigued day after day, it could mean a variety of different things, including:

  • We are not doing a good job with our own nutrition
  • We are not getting enough sleep
  • Our body is just begging for a rest day

As cliché as it may sound, remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint. Our goal should be to be able to do some sort of physical activity for the rest of our lives. The day we stop moving, is the day we start dying. We’re in this for the long haul so get your ass out there and move!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions/concerns!