Less is More – Muscle Recovery


Less is More – Muscle Recovery

IMG_1228I often encounter new personal training clients who believe that spending several days in a row lifting at the gym is what it takes to build bigger, stronger muscles.  But too much time spent lifting weights is not only ineffective but also counterproductive when working towards strengthening and building muscle mass. Two essential components of a sound lifting regimen are making sure to train the appropriate amount of time for your body and scheduling adequate time for rest between workouts.

  • Overtraining.  Overtraining occurs when athletes train to the point where the body cannot recover.  Training too many hours per week is a common mistake made when striving to meet a fitness goal or expectation which can actually impede muscle growth and decrease athletic performance.  Overtraining can increase cortisol levels and reduce DHEA hormones in the body.  An increase in cortisol can lead to weight gain and a depletion of essential vitamins and minerals.  A decrease in DHEA reduces growth hormones which the body needs to increase muscle mass and muscle strength.  It also reduces protein synthesis resulting in protein breakdown which can lead to muscle loss.  Warning signs that indicate a person may be overtraining include a lack of energy, continuous muscle and joint pain or soreness, decreased performance or intensity, insomnia, reoccurring headaches, increased occurrence of injuries, decreased immune system, irritability and/or depression.  The body requires a balance between both the intensity and duration of workouts and the amount of time given to the body for recovery.
  • Adequate Rest.  Adding days into a training program for rest are vital in order to avoid overtraining.  Incorporating recovery time into your strength training program allows the body to heal and repair muscles that have been broken down.  It is during this time that the body regenerates itself by replenishing glycogen stores the muscles need for energy.  It is important to remember that adequate rest is necessary in a productive strength training program and during this period of rest the body is actually growing and building muscle mass and strength.

In order to build muscle mass, it is essential to utilize your time effectively to avoid overtraining.  Balancing your strength training program with rest will provide optimal results towards building and developing your best physique.

For more information about muscle recovery, workout frequency, losing weight, decreasing body fat, or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.

Training Innovations
2420 Midtown Pl NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 261-1253