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While everyone has been wining, dining and enjoying the holidays over the past 4-8 week period, alas I have been working away keeping the site active as I know many of you still visit Go Figure in the holidays.   Thanks for visiting and making my efforts worthwhile! 

Coupled with writing a back catalogue of articles for while I'm away and training clients who were committed over the holiday period, I'd also been going pretty hard out with my own training.  I figured, if I was going to really have a holiday (which I will be starting very shortly) I would deliberately smash myself physically so that I'd be so tired on holiday that the last thing I'd want to do is workout. Therefore forcing myself to really rest and relax. 

8 weeks of heavy weight training + Vibratraining + No break = 1 tired body
While I have achieved great results with my Vibratrain and weight training (built mass and decreased fat) and pleased with how I've been consistant with my clean eating over the festive New Year period, right now I feel quite mentally and physically drained.

Lately I've been feeling a little weak, achy, irritable, tired and have even been having naps in the afternoon. But I have been planning for it and have included overtraining as part of my training plan so I knew what I was in for.

However, some of you may not know that you're overtraining so I thought I'd cover overtraining for those prone to overdoing things and maybe you can plan a holiday around it!
  Some of the warning signs you need to be aware of when overtraining include:

1.Fatigue or exhaustion.  Have you experienced being too tired after an intense workout? I bet you havemaybe once or twice a month. But if you feel tired almost after each workout then youre already overtraining yourself and you need to stop!

left: yep looks like I need a holiday!
2.Insomnia and altered sleep patterns. Sleep doesnt come easily and if it does, you dont really wake up fresh and invigorated after. Youre exhausted and irritable. 

3.Increased levels of cortisol or stress hormone. Studies have linked the relationship between a high ratio of testosterone-cortisol levels to enhanced athletic performance. When overtraining sets in, testosterone levels decrease and cortisol levels increase. This hormonal changes invariably results to a decrease in athletic performance.

4.Weight loss and decreased appetite. Athletes who overtrain also have the tendency to lose their appetites and as a consequence, lose weight as well. Losing weight, especially lean muscle mass is definitely a no-no for any athlete.

5.Decreased sports performance. Another symptom of overtraining is the apparent decrease in athletic performance which is the cumulative result of all the symptoms of overtraining.

Other warning signs of overtraining can also include:
· Mild leg soreness, general aches
· Pain in muscles & joints
· Sudden weight changes
· Decrease in maximal exercise induced heart rate
· Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
· Failure to progress in a training program
· Headaches
· Inability to relax, twitchy, fidgety
· Insatiable thirst, dehydration
· Lowered resistance to common illnesses; colds, sore throat, etc.
· Decrease in the ratio of blood lactate concentration to ratings of perceived exertion at max
· Increased sleeping heart rate

  So how do you overcome overtraining?

The answer is very simple: rest and eat.

The body badly needs the rest and recovery after such an intensive and hard-driven training. Your muscles need some time to repair and get back into shape. The longer the period for overtraining, the longer also is the need for rest. A month of overtraining needs at least 3-5 days of rest for the body to recover.

left: Looking forward to my 2 weeks of resting in front of some delicious exotic food on my asian holiday. That should fix my overtraining!
Enough rest along with a balanced diet and quality sleep are essential for a full recovery.  During your break from the gym you may want to increase your carbohydrates slightly to give your muscles plenty of fuel to recover and grow.  Plus supplements such as extra vitamin C and Glutamine may also assist in the process.  Although you may take a break from your weight training, you can still do active rest such as easy walking but not intense cardio.

By the time your break's over, you'll have plenty of energy and enthuasiam to hit the gym hard and continue with your fitness plan.

I know after a few weeks away from the lure of the computer (and the gym) I'll be ready to plunge into what 2011 has in store.

Hope you all enjoy being back at work and I'll be back soon
Lisa, Go Figure
15 Jan 11

p.s although I'm away, you can still keep up with what (and where) I am via my tweets on right hand column of homepage.  Plus Go Figure will still be active and they'll be plenty of information for you to digest in the coming weeks!

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