This might come as news to some but always training hard is a bad idea. For this past year I have been training very intensely only to lose tons of energy and recover from bouts of colds and flu due to low immunity. Got to say I’ve learned my lesson. Hard. So, if you think that cutting carbs and training for hours on end at the gym is a sure way to your dream figure you just might be on your way to overtraining. Overtraining may be a controversial topic but in this case the term applies. When you train intensely for prolonged periods of time you may do yourself more harm than good.
High Intensity Training Tips
First of all, if you’re doing high intensity training chances are your goal is to shed weight (i.e. fat). You are probably in a calorie deficit and you hit the gym hard doing exercises with no rest in between. If you don’t train five days a week splitting HIIT or circuit training and cardio doing it all at once can be a crazy overload for your body. It’s true that our body can adapt to almost anything in terms of physical activity but we aren’t limitless. Especially if your diet is restricted and doesn’t provide more energy.
So the first rule of high intensity training is to finish your workout in an hour. Don’t linger in the gym, do not waste time and energy on cardio. If you can do it, choose another day for it. Another thing is though that training five days a week without a chance to rest and recover may also not be a good idea. But if you do, be sure not to exceed that hour or better yet make it 45 minutes.
If you are doing only intensity training and cardio chances are your muscles aren’t big (enough). You are an endurance trainee so your muscles aren’t big and you still have fat deposits especially in your trouble spots. If you love intensity training and cardio incorporating at least one heavy session a week might work to sustain the muscle you have. Although to grow muscle you’ll have to be in a caloric surplus and have a heavy lifting training program.
Going hard and long requires some periods of rest and recover. Athletes and fitness competitors have off season. You can take your training down a notch and besides it’s always a good idea to switch up programs to give your body new things to adapt to.
This does not only apply to circuits or cardio though. Any type of workout that is high intensity can be detrimental to your body if done for too long.