Training Frequency and Overtraining
Many of us probably set some new fitness goals and targets in the New Year. Setting achievable fitness goals that will result in improvements in strength, cardiovascular fitness and or flexibility are worthy targets to pursue. When setting and reviewing your targets you should also consider; how often and how much you can your experience, age, health, fitness and other factors such as equipment accessibility and time availability for training.
Too much intensity, volume and frequency too quickly, can result in "overtraining syndrome" can destroy your progress.
Here are some signs of overtraining:
• Fatigue, decreased physical performance
• Viral and bacterial infections
• Unintended loss of weight
• Regular musculoskeletal injury
• Cessation or irregularity of periods
• Hormonal imbalances
• Bone density loss
• Poor sleeping and eating patterns
Training/physical exercises three times per week is probably a good and realistic aim for optimum progression for beginners.
If it is cardiovascular fitness you are wanting to improve as a beginner then at least 30 mins CV, three times a week is a good benchmark to aim for.
If its strength/weightlifting goals, you are following a usual recommendation for novices is to allow at least 48 hours between weight sessions to allow for recovery.
As the days are shorter and colder at the moment it can be harder to stick to those fitness goals that were set at the beginning of the year. Once the initial excitement has worn off if can be harder to motivate yourself to keep at it.
Here are some tips for sticking to your goals
- Write down your goals – having them written down can be a powerful tool
- Don’t think in all or nothing terms – if you mess up, doesn’t mean you have to give up completely
- Be clear about how you are going to reach your goal – “I’m going to wake up 30 minutes earlier to go for a run”
- Plan an activity for each day – a 10minute walk, a swim, walking up and down the stairs
- Focus on what you have achieved, rather than what you still have to do
- Ask for help if you need it
Whatever your fitness aim and goal, just remember to keep reviewing your progress and listen to your body and adjust if needed.
*If you do have health issues or long-term injuries, get your GP’s approval before starting any exercises or nutritional programmes*
Written by: Jayne Hartley L3 Personal trainer Fierce Fitness & Liz Carter L3 Personal Trainer Norse Personal training