Muscle Recovery & Over Training

In order to build a successful training plan it is often too easy to overlook the importance of including a focus on muscle recovery periodization. This article will help you discover the signs that you are over training and also help you reduce your recovery time.

Just before we get into that we should also consider the fact that rest and recovery is the time when our muscles are repairing themselves, regrowing new fiber tissues and also eliminating any waste products.

This alone should be enough to convince us all that we need to be consciously aware of the signs our bodies are giving us especially when are training plan is fairly extensive and we feel really sore a lot of the time. So with that said, what are the sign and symptoms of over training?

Over Training Signs and Symptoms

The most common signs for over training include:

  • decreased physical performance
  • loss of motivation and boredom
  • fatigue during the day
  • loss of appetite
  • increased number of sprains and strains
  • long lasting upper respiratory problems
  • elevated resting heart rate

Think about this carefully because if you’re particularly finding yourself tired during the day and you’re not sure what the cause is then it is very likely that you are over training and not giving your muscles enough time to recover.

You will generally notice these signs and symptoms occurring when your training regiment consists of 5 or more days of training per week, especially when you are training for longer than an hour at a time.

This may be the first step you want to take, reduce your workout sessions to under an hour and cut down to 5 days a week to see if that will help you with any of the above symptoms.

Muscle Recovery Periodization

If you haven’t heard of periodization it is basically the concept of splitting up a training plan into a set amount of time. For athletes, this set amount of time is usually season dependent and often clustered into a year.

An example of this would be to do 3 months of agility & coordination training, then 3 months of endurance training, followed by 3 months of strength training leading to the 2 months of maximum power which includes all of the learned skills and finally ending with a month off from all training.

The interesting part of it is that the science, research and coaches all attest to including a period where you take time off all training for least 2-4 weeks. The result is that athletes come back feeling invigorated and have had time for muscle recovery and just be well rested enough to fully excel in the season ahead.

So this is your take away especially if you are training at max levels all the time. As soon as you begin to notice that your strength is not going up any more even if you have tried adding variation in your workouts, then you know it’s time to take an extended rest period consisting of at least a couple weeks.

I usually take this as my vacation period and have found it to work really well, giving me results beyond what I ever imagined possible. But it’s one of those things that you have to try for yourself to realize the potential, and I’m with you on this one, if anyone understands how hard it is to take time away from working out it’s definitely me!

Muscle Recovery & Sleep

I’m not going to preach to you here since you already know that about 8 hours is an optimal amount of time to give your body the time it needs to go through the repairing process. Often you’ll find that if you are hitting 6 hours or less you will be much more sore than usual so you MUST up your sleep time.

If you’re having muscle pain problems then it is extra smart to set up some massage therapy, or yoga time in your busy schedule. The benefits of this kind of relaxation therapy is gold for your muscles.

Muscle Recovery and Nutrition

Pre and post workout nutrition are extremely important to the recovery time of your muscles and are a big mistake that most of us make. In this case, supplementation is without a doubt a major boost to your healthy eating plan strategy. (You should have already gone through the healthy shopping list for low carb foods, high protein foods and low fat foods).

When it comes to muscle recovery supplementation, whey protein, BCAA’s, casein protein, glutamine and multi-vitamins are devoid of negative side effects and will drastically help speed up your recovery time while at the same time reducing your chances of over training.

These are my top recommendations for muscle recovery supplements:

Whey Protein – great an hour before your workout and immediately after your workout (Try: Optimum Platinum Hydrowhey)
BCAA’s – a must after your workout (Try: Scivation Xtend)
Casein Protein – great to have before bedtime (Try: Optimum 100% Natural Casein)
Glutamine – anytime during the day when feeling muscle soreness (Try: Optimum Glutamine)
Multi vitamins – best taken as soon as you wake up (Try: Signature Multivitamin with Immunity Boost)

Have any other questions about muscle recovery and over training? Please leave a comment below…