Overtraining is the part of the bodybuilding and even if you do everything right you will have to deal with it sooner or later. It’s when you exhausted and crushed both physically and mentally. Most of the times when you are overtrained you don’t want to do anything, just lie on a couch or do nothing. To keep long story short – overtraining can seriously hurt your training, your job and even your relationships because you just feel terrible and apathetic.
Of course the very first step is to take few days off. If you really feel crushed, you can take a week off, if that is really necessary. In most cases it’s not. Just make sure that overtraining didn’t translate into general laziness.
Since you will not get any additional stress on your body, it will begin to rejuvenate, but the process is slow and just excluding few training sessions from your regime will not help that much. You will have to fight overtraining with something better than that.
1) Contrast shower.
It’s simple, yet effective. You just take a shower and alternate between hot water and cold water. It shouldn’t be extreme (i.e. – maximally hot/and icy cold), but rather uncomfortable, to get desired effect. You can alternate it every 1-2 minutes, or so (what works best for you). Just make sure you finished your shower with cold water and get out. Otherwise you will be overheated + exhausted, which will feel terrible until you get your temperature back to normal.
Water is one probably the oldest method of healing and it always worked well. Contrast shower will increase blood circulation and blood is essence of life. You will feel refreshed and rejuvenated after such shower.
2) Get a massage.
Massages are fantastic for accelerated recovery – nothing will get you up and running again as fast as a proper massage or two. They also help to relieve muscle pain and soreness. On top of that they will leave you in uplifted, superb mood, which is crucial for faster recovery. All in all, massage is a perfect solution for battling your overtraining.
Benefits of meditation are not as obvious, but they are there. 10-15 minutes of meditation daily will help you to calm your mind and improve your mood. And if your mind gets in a better shape – body will follow. It also slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure and increases immunity. But those are long-term benefits, you will not notice them after few sessions. It also helps dealing with inflammation, which is exactly what overtraining is about.
Other than that, you should be eating great balanced meals throughout the day and having adequate amount of night sleep. This should be obvious, but some people don’t understand it. Taking 25-30 minute nap in the middle of the day is a great way to promote recovery too.
And to avoid overtraining you should always take a day off after each training day. Two training days in a row is still reasonable, but already tiresome (if you don’t have any other options because of your busy schedule it is okay to train 2 days in a row). And 3 training days in a row almost guarantee some sort of overtraining.