Basic question. Why is overworking harmful?
How do you know when you are overworking a muscle?
Why is overworking harmful. for example, it seems obvious that you shouldnt do curls 5 days a week, but how exactly is that harmful.
Think of your central nervous system (CNS) as a rechargeable battery. It has only a finite amount of charge to it. Every time you do a challenging workout, you are draining charge from your battery. If you overtax the battery, it won't provide the energy you need.
Aside from that, your muscles also experience a certain amount of damage when you train them with resistance. It is only microscopic damage to your muscle cells, but it takes time for that muscle to rebuild itself. If you never give yourself a chance to recover you will overtrain.
All that being said, if you carefully monitored your volume, you could technically train the same muscle every day. Olympic lifters certainly do, but it takes them years to build up to that volume. Don't base your workout on what some professional athlete does though. You have to pay close attention to your limitations and create a system that pushes your limits but allows you adequate time to recover.
Your muscles are composed of muscle fibers which are torn down durring exercise. As they heal they regrow stronger. This is important- It is the recovery not the exercise that causes progress. Thus- no recovery- no progress
Not to mention that if you are working damaged muscle fibers than you will probably hurt yourself as your muscles are no longer strong enough to maintain that kind of workload.
This is why athletes develop speciffic "splits" to work each muscle and give each muscle the proper amount of rest before working it again. Different muscles recover at different rates than others and everyone is different so it all becomes an individual thing. For instance Chris Cormier who competes in the Mr. Olympia trains four days a week- not reccommended for most people. He is the first to admit that it is rare.
In general though small muscle groups such as arms and abs need a day of rest (24-36 hrs), larger groups like chest, shoulders, back and legs need three to five days of rest. Then some people heal faster or slower or have fast healing groups. Perhaps your chest heals faster than your back or your biceps may be sore three days after they are worked- whatever your limits you must learn to work within them to give them a strong workout and a healthy recovery.
Also treat your blood and lungs like a muscle. Too much cardio (unless you train for it speciffically) or too much of most anything can leave you feeling weak or sick. Not giving your body an "off day" usually leads to injury or illness not to mention a long slew of other tell tale signs.
Does this help?
Last edited by Mr.Ninjaface; Mar. 26/06 at 10:17 PM.
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