Although overtraining is usually considered to simply affect your muscle tissue, a recent study revealed that it also affects the nervous system.
| The Central Nervous System.
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.
This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.
The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.
Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.
This study stated that excessive amounts of heavy exercise breaks down your body's neurotransmitters. When you start running low on these neurotransmitters, the electrical signals to your muscles become very weak, leading to, well... weak workouts.
We all know that weak workouts are almost a waste of time when it comes to trying to build optimal strength and mass. This lack of neurotransmitters will cause your immune system to weaken, opening the possibility of becoming ill. You may also be more tired than usual, with almost a slight sense of being depressed.
3 Rules To The Iron Game
As bodybuilders, we know that there are three key rules in the iron game:
- Train big
- Eat big
- Rest big (recuperation)
Of these three 'rules', the rest factor is usually the most highly neglected aspect, with nutrition coming in a close second. However, training big is usually not a problem for the average person. Without proper recuperation time between workouts, however, it is next to impossible for growth to occur.
You must allow your body enough time to repair the damaged tissue, before you begin to tear it down again. This will ensure that your muscle fibers grow to their maximum size and strength. Tearing them down before they rebuild inhibits growth to a point where it is almost non-existant, or it may even cause the muscle tissue to become cannibalized or lost.
Inadequate nutrition is definitely the number two cause of overtraining. The key here is not to be lazy. If it means having to prepare your meals the night before, then so be it. It is essential that you provide your body with a high quantity of the best possible nutrients for it to work with.
Un-nutritious food = fat body = small muscles.
Nutritious food = lean body = huge muscles.
Once your body becomes overtrained, the longer that you workout, the longer it will take for your body to recover. If you start to notice any of the symptoms listed below, immediately take a few days off. Usually a lay off of two to four days is more than enough if you catch the problem in its early stages.
If you attempt to train when you are in an overtrained state, you dramatically increase your chances of becoming injured. Since your strength levels decrease when overtrained, you may attempt to lift the same weight as you lifted last workout, but are now unable to lift it safely and end the day with a new plague, an injury!
Supplements such as St. John's Wort may help in treating the symptoms of overtraining. It basically works by extending the life of neurotransmitters while the amino acid Tyrosine promotes neurotransmitter production, so start attacking your protein powders and aminos.
List Of Symptoms
Here is a list of potential overtraining symptoms you should be on a sharp lookout for. As I mentioned above, if any of these symptoms are encountered, immediately take a few days off of training, or you are wasting your time and putting yourself at risk.
- Fatigue, no energy
- Lack of desire to work out
- Decreased strength
- Soreness lasting longer than usual
- Decreased body mass
Overtraining is a major factor that will determine the quantity and quality of your gains in the gym. The key to success is to ensure that all three rules of the iron game (stated above) are combined in the proper ratios to each other!
Doubt whomever you will - but never yourself!