Login / Register

FITNESS COURSES

Blog Archive

Resistance exercise: How to avoid overtraining

Hadyn Luke posted this on Tuesday 21st of May 2013 Hadyn Luke 21/05/2013

Tags: Training methods

Resistance exercise: How to avoid overtraining

Today’s blog focuses on resistance training and why a fitness professional should be aware of the downside to overtraining.

There are several reasons that a personal trainer might use resistance training with a client (see our blog on Personal training: Resistance training for beginners). These include:

  • General health and fitness
  • To improve posture and proprioception
  • To increase athletic performance
  • Rehabilitation after an injury or accident
  • Increasing bone density and the musculoskeletal system

A definition of overtraining

A “Current Comment” article in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), written by Andrew C Fry PhD defines overtraining as follows:

“If physical performance is depressed for extended periods of time, and requires long recovery periods, overtraining has occurred. This situation may result in a decreased desire to exercise, and can also increase the risk of illness or injury.”

Variables in resistance training

When devising a training schedule, a fitness professional can make use of several variables, including:

  • Choice of exercise
  • Order exercises are carried out
  • Number of repetitions
  • Number of sets
  • Load or intensity
  • Length of rest between sets

Intensity versus volume

One challenge that a personal trainer faces with their clients is determining the best combination of training volume and intensity for each individual. The general rule is that if the intensity of the exercise is high, the volume should be low, and vice versa.

Some fitness instructors of the “no pain, no gain” persuasion may overwork a client, incorrectly presuming that this will always bring results. Others may give the client the same programme to do four or five times a week without allowing sufficient recovery time. Getting the balance wrong can impair performance and even cause harm to the client.

The signs and symptoms of overtraining

Most of the existing research has been carried out on endurance exercise overtraining and more research is needed on resistance exercise overtraining. However, signs a personal trainer might want to look out for include:

Performance

  • Decreased strength and power
  • Decreased muscle and cardiovascular endurance
  • Decreased training tolerance
  • Increased recovery requirements
  • Decreased motor co-ordination

Physiology

  • Problems relating to resting heart rate, blood pressure and respiration
  • Increased VO2, VE and HR during submaximal work
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep and eating disorders
  • Unusual muscle soreness and damage
  • Exceptional joint aches and pains

Physiological

  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Inability to concentrate

Immunological

  • Frequent illness
  • Slower healing
  • Impaired immune system

Biochemical

  • Decreased serum total and free testosterone, testosterone/cortisol ratio
  • Decreased muscle glycogen
  • Low serum haemoglobin, iron and ferritin

Solutions to overtraining

If a fitness instructor believes a client may be overtraining, they should look at either cutting down or finding alternative training methods. 

These may include:

Avoiding going to failure – a personal trainer should avoid continually pushing their client to go to absolute failure with every exercise at every training session.

Recovery days – these can be added to the training week or their number increased so that the client has time to recover before the next training session. 

Reducing eccentric muscle actions – avoiding the excessive use of eccentric muscle actions, where a muscle exerts a force when lengthening, can help prevent overtraining.

Introducing periodisation and split-training days – a personal trainer can set split training days, where the client has a regular routine but only carries it out once or twice a week, with other routines interspersed on the other days they are training. They can also set routines that alternate high intensity, low volume training days with low intensity, high volume training days. This is usually a more effective way to structure a client’s exercise regime (see our blog on Periodisation: What it is and how to use it). 

 

 

 

CMS Fitness Courses

CMS Fitness Courses deliver a range of Fitness and Personal Training Courses in the West Yorkshire region. Offering high levels of support and flexibility to all our students, our values ensure we are market leaders in the delivery of Fitness and Personal Training Courses to the industry.

© 2016 CMS Vocational Training Ltd. - All rights reserved

Registered in England and Wales under company number 4108137
VAT number: 143 4089 23

Our calls are recorded for quality and training purposes

Site Map | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Terms of Website Use | Cookies Policy | Model Cancellation Letter

Website designed & managed by: Fluid Creative Media Ltd.

C.M.S Vocational Training Limited acts as a credit broker and only offers credit products from Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd (registered in England and Wales, Reg No 7232938). C.M.S Vocational Training Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our registered number is 779952. Credit subject to age and status.

Follow us, we are social