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By Jake Bradshaw
Not all of us can be Hercules, though there are many men who try. If we let it, working out can be an evil addiction. Staying in shape is to maintain. If you want to build muscle mass, it’s not going to happen over night. It takes hard work, dedication, and baby steps.
If you rush too quickly into a routine, the results can take you to the hospital within minutes. Know your limits and treat your body the way it ought to be treated. Although are bodies run like machines, we are still skin and bone – not metal and iron. We CAN and DO burn out, and it’s crucial to see the signs before things take a drastic turn.
Balance Your Cardio Accordingly
Most people don’t know that when you work out, not only are you burning fat, you’re also burning muscle. This is why it’s important to ingest protein and glutamin after a hard workout – they feed and protect the muscles during recovery. Cardio can be a major culprit in this regard if you let it.
Too much cardio can increase the amount of muscle that is burned, since your body is trying to keep up with the excess adrenaline. In cardio, your body requires more energy than simple weight lifting. Don’t use it all too soon, this is why food is crucial.
If you are an avid runner – say 5 to 10 miles a day – make SURE you ingest enough calories. If you don’t have enough calories while you’re on a rough cardio regiment, muscles have the potential to burn more drastically.
Don’t Push Your Muscles
A dumb coach will tell you to push yourself. If you push your muscles too far past their limits, you can cause serious damage and be out for a while. The point of working out is to put your muscles through stress, this is how they build and eventually burn fat. But too much of it can pull or tear them, just as it would a rubber band.
The best way to go about this is in every work out routine you do is to start small THEN build up. If your max is 50 lbs for bicep curls, start at 35 for the first rep and work your way up. You will be able to do more reps early on, which creates more muscle fatige, and studies have shown that fatigue is the secret to building muscle.
Overdoing it can affect your inner organs as well. Last week, Yahoo reported of a man who pushed his limits with the P90x work out. by day 3, he landed in the hospital with rhabdomyolysis, a condition that happens when your muscle fibers break away and release into the blood stream. This can seriously damage your kidneys.
Common Signs Of Work-Out Overload
- Stress Hormones – The goal in working out is to get endorphins, but remember, working out is STRESS! Which means, if you push too hard, your body does the only thing it knows how to do: release stress hormones. This is very bad, because stress hormones affect your mood. Depression, anxiety and drastic mood swings are common signs. Stress Hormones can also make you gain weight, since it creates other hormones that can prevent muscle gain.
- Weak Immune System – Going too hard at the gym, especially with cardio, can cause inflammation which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. If you find yourself getting sick easier or feel a fever coming that never does, take a well needed break.
- Prolonged Soreness – Everyone is a little sore after working out, but if it lasts for hours, you probably pushed. Give it a rest for a couple days. Soreness can be very beneficial for muscle growth, but the recovery is even MORE important because it’s the stage when “shock” becomes gain.
Some Things To Remember
- Alternate cardio and weight lifting days, this will give your body time to recover from each routine
- Don’t exceed 30 minutes of cardio with each set, unless you have been doing it intensely for at least three years. By this time, the body is used to the stress and has already adjusted it’s boundaries.
- Know your body. If you don’t have a good feeling about something, chances are, it’s probably best to go another direction.