Working out, How much is too much?

You’ve heard it all. Exercise is crucial for healthy living on mental, physical, and emotional levels. Aspects of human living such as strength, speed, mobility, power, and functionality, along with stress-relief are assisted by a proper exercise and nutrition plan. Still, the emphasis on exercise may sometimes lead someone to question if there is an amount of exercise that is too much exercise. This article aims to discuss the idea of overtraining, as well as the contrary in how much exercise is too little.

Halsen and Jeukendrup (2004) defined overtraining as, “an accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in long-term decrement in performance capacity…”. Additionally, overtraining can be described as an uneven ratio of exercise and rest in which training volume is much higher than the amount of rest a person gets on a daily basis. Symptoms of overtraining syndrome (OTS) can include anything from fatigue, excessive soreness, decreased performance and longer needed periods of recovery. According to Swimswam, these types of symptoms can lead to further physiological detriment such as depression and anxiety, depending on an individual’s mental state when OTS occurs.

Yes, this all sounds very intimidating but there are very simple and strategic ways to avoid OTS. On a general basis, people that exercise should log in 7-9 hours of sleep on a nightly basis as well as follow the proper nutrition plans relative to their training. Additionally, a person must be mindful of the amount of time they spend training. Those working towards a general fit state may exercise 3-4 times per week and take a simple approach to nutritious eating while a professional athlete may have to follow a more rigorous diet along with a training schedule of 5-6 times per week. Nonetheless, it is important for a person to understand their own work capacities and follow the proper preventive measures to prevent fatigue.

We also want to speak briefly about the opposite of overtraining, in which a person may have certain goals but has not allocated the proper time and plan to efficiently work towards those goals. Once again, people looking for general fitness can get away with 1-2 days of exercise and an appropriate diet while those looking for weight loss, strength gain, muscle endurance, or any sort of physiological changes, should strive for 3-5 days of training per week along with proper rest, recovery, and eating. Lastly, athletes training for specific sports may have to log in 5-6 days of training that includes several aspects of fitness specific to the sport or competition they are training for.

Anyone that faces confusion on how much training they need in order to pursue a certain goal can reach out to a professional trainer in order to gain assistance in their fitness path. Consulting a medical professional is advised when looking how to train through an injury. Whichever the case, remember, there is such a thing both too much and too little in the exercise world. Strive for what is just right and what will help you become the best version of yourself.

– Coach Jonathan