Overtraining and Stress
Muscle mass gains don’t happen in the gym. It’s after your workout when you are resting that your body actually repairs and rebuilds the muscles you broke down during your workout.
Doing another workout before your body has had a chance to fully repair the broken down muscles from your first workout would obviously be counterproductive. Workouts in the size and strength program are intense to stimulate the muscle to grow, but short so you don’t over train.
There are three main stress hormones in the body; cortisol, catecholamines and Neuropeptide Y (NPY). NPY is only released during times of perceived chronic stress.
NPY is particularly evil in that unlike the catecholamines and cortisol, which are mainly catabolic hormones (i.e. they burn fat), NPY makes you gain fat. When NPY is released in large amounts, it causes fat cells to go from immature baby fat cells to full-grown, mature fat cells. To make matters even worse, cortisol enhances the efficiency of NYP to develop more fat cells.
Other negative effects of overtraining include:
- Reduced muscle protein synthesis and increased muscle protein breakdown
- Reduce growth hormone release
- Metabolism slowdown
- Water retention
- Disrupted sleep patterns
The first 2 workouts in this program focus on big compound movements such as the deadlift, squat, and bench press. The goal rep range is 4-6. Rest periods will be 2-3 minutes between sets. The strength phase is all about moving as much weight as possible.
I recommend rotating your strength phase movements every 4-5 weeks so you make consistent progress. For example, you could substitute squats with front squats.