Overtraining: why rest days are so important

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I spoke with an acquaintance not long ago, seeing how their training was going (as they are trying to lose weight). Naturally I asked how many times they are hitting the gym each week. My jaw nearly hit the floor when they said SEVEN DAYS. No I’m not talking about the movie “The Grudge” although to me personally it isn’t nearly as scary as this acquaintances training regimen.

Seven. Fucking. Days.
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I don’t remember the last time I clocked out that much. A girl needs her naps, amaright?

Now, as I always say, to each their own. But in this case I need to speak my peace before my head explodes.

Guess what this is called? Overtraining.

The effects overtraining can have on your mind and body:

Weight Loss plateau
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Your weight loss will be halted and can stay that way for a great length of time until your body adjusts again to a proper and normal routine. A lot of people have the misconception that pushing your body to the ultimate limits is the only way to lose weight. Let me give it to you straight, this is so completely wrong.

Muscle  growth stunted
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Your muscles require rest. When we train we create tiny tears in our muscles which NEED rest to recover and grow properly. Don’t forget – more muscle = more fat burn. Muscle recovery = more muscle. Simple math bitches.

Inconsistent or completely stopped menstrual cycle
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If your menstrual cycle is inconsistent or has stopped completely this is your body telling you that YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG. I didn’t have my period for over a year, and as much as a bitch as aunt flo can be; she’s there for a reason.

Extreme mood swings
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While training and exercise can be a great outlet as an antidepressant , studies have shown that overtraining can actually lead to anxiety and depression from putting your body through such extreme measures.

Lack of proper sleep
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Needing large amounts of sleep to fuel your training and or being unable to sleep, even when you’re absolutely exhausted, are both indicators that something is wrong.

Gym is your life, and steals about 80-90% of you day
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I can’t stress enough about finding your training and day to day life balance. Overworking and obsessing with something such as training can have vast negative effects that can emotionally, mentally AND psychically damage you both in short and long term effects.

Ultimately leading to BURNOUT
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Running yourself into the ground is just that. You will eventually need to slow down, your body will get to the point of enough is enough. Your immune system will plummet, you will get sick, if you train while sick, you will become a whole next level of unwell.
Take it from me! Training with pneumonia was probably the dumbest thing a person could do.

Believe it or not this is OBSESSION AND ADDICTION.

How to move forward and take a rest:

It sounds simple but can be a big and extremely difficult task at hand.
You will feel anxiety, you will feel depression, you will feel the need to get up and do anything to keep your mind busy from the fact that you are not working out that day.

My suggestion would be to have “active rest days” to steer you in the right direction.
An active rest day can be anything from taking a short walk, to perhaps some sort of relaxing yoga. Something that is still active but not nearly as strenuous or damaging as hard training day in day out.

from active rest days you can slowly but surely start to have your full rest days of recovery without the mental and emotional strain that would be normally caused by cutting off a couple days of training cold turkey.

Do yourself the favor and SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. You’re getting nowhere by staying on the hamster wheel every goddamn second of your life. Whoever told you that this is “dedication” “commitment” and “discipline” can shove it up their ass. Take a nap, eat some pizza, and enjoy the hell out of your free time. Work life balance my friend.

Have a great week fit babes!


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