Thursday, 16 May 2013

Overtraining or Undertraining

This is a question that has crossed my mind a number of times and I’m not sure how to figure it out. Recently I have increased my workout sessions. I have 3 workout sessions in a day (used to be 2); I do a cardio session in the morning (45minutes) then weights early evening (90 minutes) and finally a class (spin or interval training – 45 minutes) later in the evening at the gym.
I’m sure if you look at my workout plan you would expect somebody who is very fit but these days I find myself in pain almost every day and I know it is not the good kind of pain, My knee hurts, my lower back hurts and I’m so tired. I know when muscles hurt that’s a good sign but this does not feel like the right kind of hurt to me and the worst thing is I’m scared to reduce my workout, the only thing my mind is willing to let me change is increase more intensity..
Initially I thought it was my eating but my calorie count is what it is supposed to be, I usually stick to healthy food options, when I look at other blogs I feel I eat more than them makes me wonder where I’m going wrong??
I notice so many blogger lift a good amount of weight trust me when I say after my dips I feel like crying each time :( and I’m not proud of the weight I lift either it’s not much .I’m nowhere close to how fit I want to be and I feel my current workouts are tiring me more than making me stronger. suddenly I feel like I have no idea if I'm doing too much or too little. I know I need to get out of my comfort zone (listen to my own advise), I need to leave behind my losing weight mindset and move towards getting fit, talk to a trainer to figure out if all the effort and time I put in are in the right direction I’m so scared to see their reaction.
I worry they will still think I need to lose weight
I worry they will say I’m doing it all wrong
I worry they will tell me my stamina and fitness levels are horrible for my age
I worry so much....
I have to get over this fear because I want to change, become strong and fit. I have to focus on my goal and not on all the negative thoughts that cross my mind...
I had already done research for a trainer, will call her today let’s see how it goes from there.
Has any one of you gone through this? How did you handle it? Any advice as usual will be appreciated :)

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  1. Hi Tanvee! Well, I don't work out as much as you do. You are probably over-training. Over-training is usually not a problem for most people who never try very hard for fitness. However, you try super hard.

    When I over-trained, I felt very sore in my joints, my knee got wobbly, I was very tired every day, and I felt much older, like I had aged 20 years. So I started exercising lighter, and it didn't make me weaker. Actually, I got better.

    You shouldn't do any exercise that makes you want to cry. If that is the case, do the exercise right under that level for a while until you get stronger. These are what I call exercise "projects." I stay at the level I need to be until (if ever) it is time to move up. You're young, there's no rush to improve so quickly. Enjoy the ride.

    It took me several *years* to get to my current strength levels and flexibility levels. We are talking mm's of improvement per month. So just be patient. You're doing great but you probably need more rest days and daily workouts that are shorter.

    :-) Marion

  2. Hi Marion, somewhere in my mind I know I'm over training but the thought of reducing my workouts scares me, I get scared of going back to what I was (overweight and lazy).I do feel so tired everyday and I totally feel older than my age, I actually feel embarrased about how much my body hurts but I still wake up the next day and go workout the same way. This evening I'm sitting down with a trainer and hopefully she can help me make a better workout plan, will let you know :)
    I wish I could get over this fear of going back to my old self...

  3. Don't let the fear of reducing your workouts get you to a place where you get injured and have to lay off your workouts for an extended period of time. I used to workout for 4-6 hours a day, but I realized I wasn't being efficient. I was just exhausting myself. Reevaluating is a good thing. Quantity does not replace quality of exercise.

    I think talking to a trainer is a good idea. Don't think of any suggestions that they have as negative criticism. Rather look at it as good advice that will help you get to where you want to be. It's better than continuing to do something that isn't helping you move towards your goals and is making you suffer.

    You are dedicated and motivated; use it to push yourself through this obstacle and get to the next level.
    Good luck :)

  4. Hi Ayesha, I'm totally in that stage where I fear reducing my workouts or increasing my food, I can see myself get injured more often and so finally I decided to meet a trainer because I'm sure if I continue in this direction I will have to stop my workouts for a while. I did meet my trainer in the evening, that went well, I was the same weight as her ;) that made me happy but I realised I'm eating less for the amount of workout I do because of which I'm having difficulty in increasing my intensity while weight training. I have actually shared myfitnesspal dairy with her and will be meeting her again on sat for a session and then disccuss my nutrition :) (exciting!!!)

  5. Hi Tanvee!!
    You look great!! I just read your most recent post with your trainer and I'm so glad that it turned out well! I am a worrier myself so I know what its like to be concerned about everything! Defanitely follow the guidelines of your trainer and pace yourself. Like you, at first I was so focused on losing weight that I was not incorporating a full body workout. Now I make sure to incorporate abs, and weights to get a well rounded upper body and lower body workout. Good luck with everything, you are doing awesome! :)

  6. Hi Bri, thanks talk with the trainer was very helpful, I'm adding a few more high intensity workouts and changing my calorie intake a little..shifting my mind from losing weight to becoming fit is sometimes really difficult but that's what I want to do so I have started focusing on full body workouts and weight training..
    I remember in one of your posts you mentioned you can squat lifting your own body weight..I'm waiting to say that :)

  7. I recently started a metabolic reset because I had been doing too much cardio at too high of an intensity too many times a day. That's a lot of "too's" to get over. I went from two workouts a day, every day a week to one. It was hard. I did it for three months and then started to push myself again. I am now injured. I am not sure what the right amount to workout is but I do think it is important to listen to your body and if you are sore all the time, maybe it is overtraining.