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When overtraining kills your progress- try this

Last week I spoke about overtraining and the negative impacts it can have on our body and body composition goals - be it building muscle or losing weight. 

If you ticked yes to any of those symptoms, it’s time to change your approach to training and incorporate more rest and recovery to your week. Here are my top tips for getting over overtraining and how you can get back to the gym feeling better than ever and ready to achieve your goals:

  • Focus on stripping back frequency and/or volume- frequency refers to your number of sessions per week, for example if you’re struggling with 5 days, maybe let's bring it back to 4. Volume refers to the sets and reps you’re performing per session, maybe we need to look over this so that you’re achieving these sets and reps every week. I tend to program lower volume for my clients, as I’ve always seen the best results using this method.
  • Take a deload week- this means we take things a little easier in the gym, by lifting lighter and or reducing our training volume, with a focus on improving technique and resting so that we can go harder and heavier next week. I suggest taking a deload week every 4-6 weeks depending on how heavy you’re lifting. The more strength focussed the training block, the more deloads you’d be taking.
  • Take out the cardio and HIIT- these can be a great tool to create more of a calorie deficit for ourselves and keeping our heart healthy and happy. But if we’re finding it hard to recover between sessions, it’s a good idea to take these sessions out and focus on good quality exercise, technique and form in our weights session. Instead, maybe add in a couple more walks as your cardio, this will also help get the blood flowing and reducing our stress.
  • Sleep and Stress- Maybe this is a sign we need to reevaluate how many hours of sleep we’re getting and the quality of sleep we’re getting. If this is something you’re struggling with, maybe we need to include some destressing protocols into our week such as saunas or athletic massages.
  • Stretching and mobility- One thing I’ve recently done that’s helped me a lot, is swapping out a weight session in my week for stretching and mobility. There’s so many benefits of doing this, not only does it improve our flexibility but it decreases our risk of injury and improves our range of motion. I’ve also changed my mindset around training to be less strength focused and more mobility focused for the time being.
  • Eat back at maintenance or take a diet break- if you’re in a deficit, taking a diet break might be exactly what you need. This will be a period of 5-7 days on maintenance calories bringing calories up from mostly your carb macronutrient. Or taking an extended period at maintenance to help with rest + recovery. Food is fuel, we need food to give our bodies energy and if you’re really struggling in your training it might be a good idea to eat a bit more. You’ll notice how much some extra food will help you recover more between sessions and achieve your strength goals in the gym.

For someone who loves to train a lot, I understand these might not be the tips you’re wanting to hear - remember it can be a temporary change, but if what you’re doing is no longer working for you, you need to try something new.

If you’re after a killer training program and you’re ready to get real results and build your strength, join Train With Soph today!