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No, overtraining is real. If you are consistently training hard and pushing yourself in the gym, and not taking the steps needed for muscle recovery between workouts, then your ability to train with any level of great intensity will suffer.
But overtraining, where you’re chronically overstressing the body is actually pretty rare. Common symptoms of overtraining can include; increased resting heart rate, increased sensitivity to bright light, and the weights feeling ‘cold’ in your hands.
Yes, if you hit tons of volume, lift heavy weights and have long workouts several days in a row, each subsequent training session will turn to crap and you’ll be cranky as hell. But overtraining isn’t something that happens after a few days. This is because most times people rarely train as hard as they think they do and unplanned deloads where you miss a workout or go away for the weekend, often happen.
Get lots of rest, eat good whole foods, drink lots of water, and periodize the intensity of each workout so that you can naturally recover and gain the supercompensation effects of hard training.
Always remember that lifting weights and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a journey…not a race.
Yes, on the surface we all want to look better naked, and when that doesn’t happen fast, we get discouraged. But I hope you’ll consider an alternative benefit of training. If you’re connected to something bigger, it might make all of the difference in your motivation when things get tough.
Let me ask you something personal. Who do you love? Who counts of you?
Becoming stronger and leading a fit lifestyle will allow you to show up in a bigger and better way for those who you care about, and those who care about you. Training strengthens the body, strengthens the mind, and develops an unbreakable mindset.
When ‘life happens’ and things get tough, it is the guy that can drive forward and keep moving that will inspire hope in others.
While keeping your long-term goals in mind, try shifting your immediate focus to the workout at hand. Concentrate on each and every set and each and every repetition. Be in the moment and enjoy it.
Meet the Lift Doctor
Jim Smith is a highly respected, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach. A member of the LIVESTRONG.com Fitness Advisory Board, Jim has been called one of the most “innovative strength coaches” in the fitness industry. Training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors, Jim has dedicated himself to helping them reach “beyond their potential.” He is also the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning in Elmira, NY.