What is overtraining and why you should be avoiding it at all cost

Does working more hours make you more money? Not necessarily. By doing so, you increase your risk of wasting time on useless things. While seemingly busy, you may be preventing yourself from focusing on priorities and the task at hand, and possibly be decreasing your productivity.

The same is true with training. You may be weight training 4 times a week, jogging 30 km a week, doing spin class 3 times a week and going to Pilates class on your “rest” day but still not seeing results. You are fatigued, your body is constantly aching, you don’t sleep well and your morning resting heart rate is through the roof. Your fatigue may be contributing to the sugar cravings just to push you through the day. When you train too hard for too long without sufficient rest, the body is no longer able to adapt and restore its balance, known as homeostsis.

Most people don’t understand that it is while you are resting that these sought-after adaptations occur. During training you are creating microtrauma, or “breaking” your muscles apart to create an endocrine response to promote tissue remodelling, fat burning and hypertrophy when you are at rest.

Signs that you are overtraining or under-recovering and what you can do:

    1. Your mood is changing. If you’re feeling angry, depressed, with a high resting heart rate in the morning, take a break or decrease the volume (see number 5).
    2. You’re getting weaker. If the weights you are using every subsequent workout are decreasing/ plateaued (i.e., no overload), you are most likely not recovering sufficiently.
    3. Get sufficient rest. Optimal sleep should be uninterrupted and you should wake up refreshed. If this is not the case, you might want to read this article.
    4. Use nutrition. Vitamin C, E, glutamine, BCAA, wholesome foods will help you with recovery. Consult a Biosignature Practitioner about the proper peri-training and the best nutritional practice towards your health goals.
    5. Deload. For every 3 weeks you train at a high volume, spend one week at a low volume by decreasing the number of sets performed. 

Overtraining does not make you more fit

Be honest. Can you explain why you’re doing what you’re doing? Or are you just blindly following what someone else does and while feeling like you’re getting nowhere fast? Just as working more hours doesn’t necessarily make you more money, training more does not necessarily make you any fitter. Our goal is to find the happy medium in which our clients can train the fewest days as possible that will provide them with the maximal result. Consult a KX Exercise Coach and get a proper program, prioritize, and enjoy your days off with friends and family.

 

Train smarter, not harder.

Six ways to prevent and rehabilitate shoulder pain

Are you hunched over all day? Do you have rounded shoulders? Suffering from neck and shoulder pain?

Most of the population spend their days internally rotated, going to the gym to work chest and back, neglecting the small but essential rotator cuff muscles that keep their shoulder girdle in balance. When the external rotators are neglected, shoulder problems can arise and the prime movers will shut down when under high tension, and you may experience a sharp pain in the front of your shoulder.

Your rotator cuff muscles should be able to lift at least 10% of your bench press. The good news is, once your external rotators are able to perform under high loads, you will directly improve your larger pressing and pulling movements.

 

Six ways to prevent and rehabilitate shoulder injuries

  1. Emphasise a full range of motion. Pay attention to the eccentric motion (lowering of the resistance) to a completely stretched position.
  2. Improve internal rotation. By increasing the range of motion of the antagonist muscles between sets, you increase motor unit activation of the prime movers. An effective method is PNF.
  3. Apply gradual overload. Start with low weight to improve motor patterns, but eventually you will want to use a challenging weight.
  4. Maintain proper head and wrist position. Keep the wrist in a neutral position to minimize the stress on the elbows. Proper head position reduces strain on the neck.
  5. Always train the non-dominant arm first. The number of repetitions done by your weaker arm will determine how many reps you do for your dominant arm. Performing extra reps on the weaker side can allow it to catch up.
  6. Use soft tissue techniques, such as ART. A qualified practitioner who will release the muscles around the shoulder girdle and forearm will help improve your movement. The deep and superficial forearm flexors, infraspinatus, latissimus dorsi, long head of the triceps, subscapularis, teres major and teres minor can all contribute to imbalance of your shoulder girdle.

 

A strong, functional shoulder girdle translates to better performance in sports and daily activities. Unsure where to start? Find a trainer and a therapist to help you improve your shoulder girdle balance.

Weight loss – what you are doing wrong

One thing that makes us happy is when clients, particularly women, are able to differentiate between fat loss and weight loss.

You can be 150lb of lean muscle or 150lb of skinny fat.

 

Body fat distribution tells a bigger story

There are different types of fat distribution, and different types are associated with certain nutritional or hormonal imbalances. Do you store fat in the belly? You’re probably a stress bucket. On the sides of your body? You could be insulin insensitive or perhaps you may have family history of diabetes. How about in your lower body? You might have trouble detoxifying.

You train to build muscle, increase your strength, improve metabolism and structural balance. You don’t get leaner by shaving off fat in the gym if you eat or drink whatever you want after you leave.

Stop worrying about weight loss and the number on the scale. If your goal is fat loss, then prioritize your training and nutrition around fat loss.

 

Three foolproof ways to improve body composition

  1. Fix existing chronic issues that contribute to inflammation.

    Fix your heartburn, indigestion, chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, somatic pain, recurring injuries and sleep. You will find that your body will recover faster, experience fewer food cravings, and improve digestion, thus improving your motivation to train and eat better.

  2. Nutrition.

    You can’t out-train a poor diet. You can’t train 4 days a week, eat healthy 4 out of 7 days, binge drink on the weekend and expect to see results. Choose high quality, wholesome foods, such as pasture raised meats and organic vegetables. Avoid processed foods and foods that you are intolerant to. If tomatoes give you heartburn, don’t eat tomatoes. Contact our Naturopath to see how a food intolerance test can help you determine your food intolerances.

  3. Choose metabolic resistance training.

    Choose higher intensity and volume to induce a favourable endocrine response to training. Using challenging weights for high repetitions will induce lactic acid, responsible for releasing growth hormone, helping you burn more fat. Full body workouts in a superset, tri-set, or circuit format with non-competing exercises create the biggest metabolic demand. But it must be done in a rep range and intensity that generates lactic acid and pushes the lactic acid threshold.

 

Stop worrying about weight loss and the numbers on the scale. Improve your body composition by addressing gut health, stress, and chronic aches and pains. By reducing systemic inflammation first, you will speed up your rate of fat loss. Book an appointment with a KX Exercise Coach to see how we can help you manage inflammation, nutrition and create a customized fat loss program for you.

 

Toronto Body Transformation – Case Study 1

Somehow, people are led to believe that chronic neck and lower back pain are a normal part of life and that your genetic predisposition determines your hamstring flexibility. You do not have to live with chronic pain and muscular tightness. We design every training program to correct structural imbalances to avoid potential injury.

 

Improving posture through structural balance

Six weeks ago, KX client Neil was suffering from chronic neck, mid back and lower back pain. Posturally, on the left, you can see that his rib cage was anteriorly (forward) shifted and posteriorly (backward) tilted, compressing his mid-back, causing pain. His mid and lower back muscles were underactive, and left arm was very internally rotated.

 

Postural and movement assessment

Like majority of the population, Neil’s career forces him to be seated all day. Slumping forward  over a computer creates increased muscular tension in the upper trapezius, pecs, hamstrings and hip flexors. Consequently, the opposing muscles such as the lower trapezius, scapular stabilizers, transverse abdominus and obliques become weak. Tight hamstrings tilts the pelvis posteriorly in an attempt to correct the anterior tilt imposed by tight hip flexors. This “tug of war” when not protected with a strong abdominal core,  can induce lower back pain during lifting movements.

 

Correcting imbalances through strength training

By targeting these imbalances using strength training and effective myofascial stretches, Neil can better externally rotate his left arm and stabilize his scapula during pushing and pulling movements. By stabilizing his rib cage relative to his pelvis, he can activate his core and reduce back pain, enabling him to deadlift without pain.

 

You don’t have to live with back pain

If you’re looking to improve your posture, get rid of nagging chronic pain, perhaps put on some lean mass in the process, book a complimentary consultation with the KX Team. KX Therapists are an asset for diagnosing these postural issues and our KX Coach will be help you every step of the way to correct movement patterns, giving KX the edge as a multidisciplinary team to optimize the results of the training.

 

Train smarter, and harder.

Oh, and he also gained 5.5lb of lean muscle mass. Good job, Neil.

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