As I come closer to my figure competition, I can tell that my body is in need of some recovery and relaxation. I have been training hard for the past 3 months, and haven’t had the chance to allow for a break. I plan on taking a full week off from working out right after competition to allow my body to recover fully before training again. The reason being, if you constantly stress and fatigue the body, eventually you will get run down, and your body will fight against you. This is true for athletes and those seeking weigh loss. As a San Diego personal trainer, with my clients I always work in a week every 8 weeks for them to recover. We may do less sessions that week, or do something less intense when they come in. If you are one of those go-getters that works out very week 5-6 times a week, and is training for event after event, it’s time to stop and allow your body time to recover. At a certain point too much exercise can become harmful.
Working out 6 days a week for 90 minutes or less with one day off is the most you really want to do to your body. Many athletes such as marathon runners, tri-athletes and sprinters should take at least two days of rest a week. Resting is crucial for the body to build and recover from intense training sessions and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Without adequate rest your body is not given the time it needs to restore and strengthen itself for the next training sessions. If you continuously train everyday without letting your body recover, you are only hurting yourself.
So how do you know if your body is suffering from over-training?
1. Frequently getting sick or colds
2. Constant fatigue and lack of energy
3. Remain sore for days after each workout
4. Increase occurrence of injuries
5. Decreased appetite
6. Decrease in performance
9. Elevated Resting Heart Rate
Checking in with myself I noticed a lingering cough, constant fatigue, and constant soreness. That’s when I knew to back it off. So the past couple weeks I have lowered my intensity drastically and went to bed an hour earlier each night. My cough is still there, but I have a lot more energy and don’t feel as physically fatigued that I did the week prior. Sometimes, we need to stop and just listen to our bodies. So if you have noticed that your performance hasn’t increased, or maybe your weight loss efforts have hit a plateau maybe it is time for you schedule a recovery week for yourself. Don’t be afraid to take some time off from your workout program, your body will thank you.
Andrea King is a certified San Diego fitness trainer working with clients of all abilities. Designing effective training programs that allow each client to successfully reach their personal fitness goals through strategic programming and instruction.