Overtraining essentially means that you're giving your body more work than it can physically recover from and it will break itself down (lose muscle) rather than build itself up. Overtraining can easily kill any progress you're making in your training and even set you back.
Everyone is different as to how much training they can do before overtraining. Some people, who are known as "hardgainers" cannot tolerate much before slipping into overtraining.
Hardgainers must be especially aware of the signs of overtraining. Some people can tolerate huge volumes of training and still get great results.
You will know if you are overtraining if you have one of more of the following symptoms:
Factors that influence whether you may be experiencing overtraining include:
To recover from overtraining, the best thing you can do is cut back on your training. You can also cease training for awhile, taking a layoff, just be sure you don't give up exercising completely, as can easily happen when you lose motivation through overtraining. Do about half of what you were doing before and reduce the intensity of the training that you are doing.
Some people are so overtrained that they must reduce or stop their training for several or more weeks.
If you have one of more of the above symptoms, do yourself a favor and reduce your load or take a short layoff. Your body will thank you for it.
Overtraining can actually be used to your advantage to build muscle, using a program like this.
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