Overexercising: My View

I came across an article today on “Greatist” that posed a very good question; Can you exercise too much?

You can find the article here.

For the most part, I completely agree, especially if you’re new to a routine or exercising in general.  If you’re trying to build muscle, lifting every day for three hours a day is not only inefficient, it doesn’t give your body time to recover from the breakdown of muscle that happens when you lift.  You can say the same thing about any sort of cardiovascular work.

Then you get the guy who wants to gut it out through pain.  I’ve definitely been there and it’s not a good idea.  I’ve had a shaky shoulder since high school (partly due to poor conditioning for baseball) and, every once in a while, it acts up on me in any lift that requires me to do an overhead movement.  If it hurts, STOP DOING IT!  Whenever I ran into this issue with my shoulder, I either lightened my load or have done a completely different movement to work the muscle group (there is no shame in doing lat raises with 20 lbs. dumbbells).

Those two signs I’ve definitely seen most often in guys at gyms.  Sleep is a little harder for me to gauge.  I get as much sleep as humanly possible.  During my work week, I’m in bed by 9 and up by 4 so I can walk my dog, eat breakfast and get ready to hit the weights/treadmill (depending on the day, of course).  If you think you’re going to see gains after 3 or 4 hours of sleep, you are out of your mind.  Sleep means recovery.  Plain and simple.

Anyone else been a victim of overexercising?  Would love to share stories, even if you want to stay anonymous or talk about “your friend.”

2 responses

4 05 2012

After a freak week of warm weather in January I was running every single day because I didn’t know when I’d see that kind of weather again. It turned into two weeks of above 45 degree weather and my ankle was starting to bother me but since I was so happy to be outdoors and not on a treadmill, I ignored it. I ended up having to take about a week off and then a week of light exercise before I could run again which really sucked. I think the most important thing is to be able to differentiate between soreness and actual pain. Soreness is okay but when there’s pain, take it easy.

4 05 2012

Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Soreness and actual pain are often confusing to people who are starting out a workout regimen, or those who are hardheaded and want to “work through it.” I’ve been guilty of it myself. Great insight, Ashley!

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