The idea of spending hours upon hours working out and doing crunches in the attempts to achieve a six-pack or killer biceps is all too enticing. While a person should certainly be commended for their dedication, this type of training can often times lead to overtraining, which can actually sabotage a person’s attempts to achieve a certain look.
1. Twice a Week
Certain parts of the body should be exercised no more than two times a week. This means that if the biceps are the main focus on Monday, they shouldn’t be a focus again until Wednesday or later. The key to building muscle is tearing down the muscle so it can rebuild itself. Without time to rebuild, growth and improvement aren’t possible.
Some might be saying, but when I use my ab belt I’m using it 5 days a week. While this is true, it’s a bit different then working hard in the gym. Many people actually use their EMS toning belt as a recovery device from their other harder workouts.
2. Change it Up
While cardio is a different thing altogether, the body still needs a break every now and again. Realistically, doing cardio sessions five to six times a week is okay, but it is still possible to overtrain. The key to avoiding this is switching up the workouts. Instead of jogging five days a week, jog for two or three times a week and jump on the elliptical or bicycle the other days. This will prevent muscle groups from becoming overused.
3. Stretching is Key
There is a lot of controversy over stretching. Some say that it is necessary to become flexible and limber while others say that minimal stretching is good enough. Regardless of the argument, stretching is still an important part of working out and can keep muscles from becoming too tight and tearing as a result of overuse. It isn’t necessary to be able to do a split, but keeping muscles limber can help to avoid injury.
4. Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you when it has had enough and when it is time to rest. When pressure begins to form behind certain joints or a group of muscles feel tight, take it easy. Give the body a day or two to rest. While it may kill you to skip a few workouts, injury will result in serious downtime.
5. Plan Ahead
Plan workouts ahead of time. Split upper body and lower body workouts to ensure certain muscle groups get a break. This will ensure you get the most out of each workout and avoid over training.