I love me some Tamara Grand. First from afar. Next I made her my friend. Then declared her my GoToWoman for all things 40+ fitness. Please to enjoy her post as she’s here by my
I love Carla’s approach to exercise.
Fitting it in around life as opposed to letting it take centre stage. Figuring out what HER body needs to stay fit and healthy. Consistently making movement a priority. Finding that perfect balance between not doing enough and doing too much.
Her approach embodies what I (after learning the hard way…) strive to teach my personal training clients;
‘Be your own detective’. Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise and adjust the frequency, intensity and format of your workouts until you start seeing the results you want. Start slow, set yourself up for success and figure out the least amount of work you need to do to make noticeable progress towards your health and fitness goals.
I’m aware that this approach flies in the face of what we all see daily on social media. “Killer” Pinterest workouts. “No pain, no gain” fitspo photos. #2aday Tweets. “What’s your excuse?” T-shirts.
All of which encourage us to exercise longer, harder and more frequently than is necessary to achieve health, happiness and improved fitness.
But how much is too much? How can you tell if you’ve fallen victim to the ‘more is better’ campaign?
1. You’ve stopped moving towards your health and fitness goals. Despite longer and more frequent sessions at the gym, you’re no longer losing weight or increasing the size and strength of your muscles. Worst case scenario? You may actually gain back the weight you’ve lost and/or regress on your lifts.
2. You’re physically tired. All. The. Time. Remember how exercise used to invigorate you? How it gave you energy to get through the rest of your busy day? Too much exercise can have the opposite effect as your body conserves energy in an attempt to repair and regenerate itself between workouts.
3. You’re injured more often. While mild aches and pains are to be expected whenever we push our bodies to do things they’re not used to doing, frequent and repeated injuries are an indication that you’re not giving your body enough time to rest between workouts. Frequent sprains, strains, bouts of tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries are sure signs that you need to reduce the frequency and intensity of your workouts.
4. You’ve stopped enjoying working out. Remember when you used to look forward to your workouts? You enjoyed the feeling of pushing yourself and accomplishing a challenging task? While you’re still hitting the gym frequently, exercise has become a slog. You push through because you’re worried about what will happen if you stop.
- Have you ever experienced any of the above symptoms of overtraining?
- How long did you resist your body’s ‘do less’ message?
Brittany Lesser saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:30 am
Great post! I completely agree. I definitely do NOT advocate two-a-days unless that’s what you like. IT’s totally not necessary though. Fit in exercise when it works for you, and listen to your body always!
Izzy saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:08 am
I fell into the twice daily workout trap and looked amazing.
And I was always injured.
Tamara saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:29 am
That’s the rub, isn’t it?
cheryl saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:38 am
If you are training for a half IM or full IM you HAVE to do two a days…you just do or you will have a really sucky slow race. But then again, most of these posts aren’t about that level of fitness…
Marcia saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:30 am
Excellent, excellent advice! More is not necessarily better and we are all so unique.
Lesli saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:31 am
It makes little sense less can be more, but my body knows that too.
Pamela Hernandez saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:56 am
As the years go buy I have gotten much better about listening to my body. I am sure when I first started this journey I got sick a lot because I was pushing too hard without adequate rest. It’s so counterproductive.
Izzy saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:09 am
And sick too!!
It too me too long to realize why.
Tamara saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:29 am
And it’s so nice to have a morning or two when you can lounge in bed reading blogs rather than running to the gym! ????
cheryl saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:40 am
I am at work by seven and have already done one workout. I have a 45 min commute…what’s this “lounging in bed” thing you talk about????
misszippy saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 7:33 am
This is a great post that needs some sharing (off to Twitter!)
Tamara saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:29 am
Thanks Amanda! Have a great Friday
cheryl saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 8:40 am
Nope nope and nope…
Tami saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 9:10 am
It really is a hard thing for me. Exercise gives me energy unless I do too much and then I am exhausted all the time.
mimi saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm
As soon as either shoulder says anything at all, i listen, slow it down, and take it easy. Thus i don’t have what could be constant shoulder problems.
Kris saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Experienced all be #3.
Ariana saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm
Great post! I 100% agree. A couple of summers ago I was really gung-ho about my fitness; I’d start the morning with a run, then hit the gym for some weights before heading to work at 3. Since I had an hour to wait for my bus after work running in the stairwell in the 31-floor hotel I work at seemed like the only logical thing to do.
I began to notice I had NO energy throughout the day, was taking the bus around town instead of walking, and was taking the elevator instead of the stairs. What’s the point in training hard in the gym if you can’t do any of the normal stuff? Thankfully I learned to listen to my body and now don’t do the two-a-days (unless something fun comes up!), take unplanned rest days when I feel I need them, and spend a morning here and there lazing in bed 🙂
Jody - Fit at 56 saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm
You know me so…. but I will say that I did not take rest days when I was younger & now I take 2 full ones a week. I have also adjusted my cardio to meet my new demo work job.
I think like everything else, it is up to what people know works for them & what results they want from it. I doubt I could do Carla’s routine & get the results I want for me but that is the key – finding what is right for you… 🙂 Great points on figuring it out though… we have to learn to listen to the bod & I have done that all along & even more with age & now this demo stuff! 🙂
Michelle saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm
I’m sending this article to my work friend. She works out all the time and she does look amazing…but she is injured ALL the time.
Coco (@Got2Run4Me) saysSeptember 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm
These are great tips. One of the signs for me is losing my motivation and dreading a workout or run. I rarely exercise twice a day, but I’ve been skimping on rest days with Ragnar training.
She Rocks Fitness saysSeptember 6, 2014 at 4:26 am
I love reminders like this, because they always make me take a step back and look at my current exercise regimen. I definitely feel that I have hit a plateau so it is time to take a step back, switch it up, maybe rest one more day, and think about what I really want, but also what is going to make me feel better. Great post!
Linz @ Itz Linz saysSeptember 6, 2014 at 7:04 am
ever since trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, and having a baby, my views on fitness has totally changed. i’ve been resting for a long time and have learned to be happy with “just walking” or quickie little workouts here and there. life is more important 🙂
Danea saysSeptember 6, 2014 at 9:07 am
As someone who has been dealing with a hamstring injury since April (that is finally healing well), I know I got to that point from over exercising.
Kari saysSeptember 7, 2014 at 7:52 am
Balance is so very, very hard for me. I went through a phase where I was working out 2+ hours a day 5-6 days a week. It didn’t take long for me to realize that was not going to work for the long haul. I still work out 6 days a week, but very my workouts and they are almost always less than an hour.
Linda saysSeptember 10, 2014 at 3:51 am
Sometimes when we feel tired during exercising, it means that organism need to be fed.