Why you’re not improving: Signs and Solutions to Overtraining


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10 Question Exam (sent via email)


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Why are you not making fast gains in your fitness, weight loss or gain goals?

Can it be Overtraining or Undertraining?

Too much or too little water, rest, sleep or stress?

Do you know enough about Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Nutrition Timing or Supplementation to optimize your performance recovery and adaptation? Are you using the “right tools” to get the job done?

Are you using the ideal Program Design or Exercise Prescription to optimize your training?

All of the above are great questions to ask. You should review all the Exercise Science Principles in the IFPA Personal Fitness Training Manual including SAID, GPO, FITT, and Individuality Principles.

You should also review Dr. Selye’s General Adaptation Principle and Dr. Bompa’s Periodization Principle, so you can avoid the “Staleness” in your training programs that Dr. Selye and Dr. Bompa warned you about.

Remember your symptoms of Overtraining: decreases in performance, loss of motivation to train (and other things), increased moodiness and irritation, fatigue, sleeplessness or biochemical markers like increased creatine kinase, decreased testosterone and possible HGH or IGF-1, significant increases or decreases in cortisol levels.

While giving 100% effort is the goal for every workout, you have to work SMART! You will make better gains Under-training than Overtraining. Overtraining will decrease performance and the gains you are striving to achieve.

Overtraining also leads to inadequate recovery, excessive pain and immune system breakdown leading to disease and injury..sometimes serious injuries that can take you out of the game for extended periods.

Over the past few years, we have seen a great deal of research proving that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) improves aerobic capacity, endurance (aerobic and anaerobic), Maximum Oxygen Consumption, aerobic enzyme levels, greater turnover of free Testosterone by hormone sensitive tissues, and glycogen storage much faster than the classic: Continuous Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Training, but Overtraining can occur at more than 2 HIIT Training sessions per week.

Likewise, Eccentric Training can result in great gains, but sustained Eccentric Training for over 2-3 weeks can result in Overtraining.

Beginners often make Overtraining mistakes due to their unbridled enthusiasm when they first begin their programs. They start out making great gains and increase their Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise without regard for their current fitness level. IFPA Certified Personal Trainers should always remind them that they can only increase one of these four factors at one time and intensity should not increase beyond 5% of increments per workout.

Beginners should only perform one set of each of the 10 Foundation exercises to target all the bodies major muscle groups. If they have no significant pains after the first week, they can perform 2 sets each the second week. Train Smart not Hard!

-Prostate Cancer risk increased 35% in those who eat fried foods including chicken, fish and donuts. Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat. -Creatine (20 grams) plus Bicarbonate (37 grams) increased power output by 7%.

***Caution: some individuals can experience explosive diarrhea above 20 grams of Bicarbonate. -Watching 20 hours of T.V. per week reduced sperm concentration by 44% -Testosterone levels were 50% greater and HGH increased in athletes who ate a carbohydrate and whey protein meal post intense exercise. Vitamin D deficiency decreases strength

-Research showed that “late eaters” lost less weight than “early eaters” and showed less insulin sensitivity, which could cause Type II Diabetes.

-Carbohydrates are the most important fuels for exercise above 65% of Max effort.

-Optimal Carbohydrate intake during sustained, high intensity aerobic exercises was 78 grams/hour.

-Consuming protein during the day and carbohydrates at night did not influence sugar levels or insulin resistance.

Best regards,

Dr. Jim Bell,


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