Overtraining Syndrome

Posted this at the start of 2015 on my Instagram:

“Been feeling pain in neck, shoulder and upper back area for the whole of 2014. Kept training however thinking the pain and symptoms would vanish – Of course they did not. Instead I’ve been getting more and more disabled. Resulting in no chest or shoulder training since before summer -14. Still kept irritating the area through other various exercises, which in the end lead to more severe pain in additional body parts. Now I most certainly have OTS, being “overtrained” and haven’t been to the gym in nearly a month, nor been able to – Which feels terrible, but necessary if I’m to get better. Through only rest and still, of course, healthy eating I’m hoping to SLOWLY start more serious training again… In 2016…”

IMG_4844

 

Weighing in at approximately 102 kg on photo the photos.

IMG_4429

 

As of now I haven’t visited the gym or done any amount of training for 5 months… The reason is my overtraining syndrome. Basically overtraining is the result of either too little rest or too much training or both, i.e. an imbalance in training and resting. But there can be so many other factors than just training at the gym that is influencing the diagnosis.

In my case I believe it was just too much intense volume training, I pretty much gave it all at the gym, five-six days a week for about two hours, although the rest was “adequate” (which it wasn’t with this much training, but adequate in the sense if the training intensity and volume would have been at least normal) so was the dietary intake with all its macro- and micro nutrients.

Overtraining is not that common to start with and there are different degrees of overtraining and how it affects you. First there’s something called “overreaching” which most people go through thinking they might be overtrained, but it will generally fade away with adequate rest after a few days or even up to or more than a couple of months, its of course individual – Dependant on your rest/training scheme. Then there’s overtraining syndrome as well as a more severe “burned out” phase which is more common in seasoned/veteran athletes with a high work-load over numerous years.

Sports with greater work-loads and high intensity  generally have higher overtraining prevalence, this means strength training can be up there too, especially with high volume training since it has a high work-load in common with running, cycling, swimming, rowing etc.

In summary… Overtraining is something you’d best stay away from unless you’re a masochist or a self-tormentor enjoying constant pain, I’m not. The difficult part however is knowing you’re getting overtrained or already are. Some people push through initial pain or injuries with sheer fighting spirit and high motivation not taking the time to feel and question their current state. Another negative is that the definitions and measurements aren’t really well established yet, making it hard for anyone knowing for sure whether they are or are not overtrained – It’s, usually, not as simple as going to the doctor and taking a blood test. At least there are a few tests or  questionnaire to look through that might indicate overtraining (or overreaching).

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inactivity

Blog is currently inactive due to lack of interest and being busy. Training and everything else is going as usual, still injured though.

More information will come sometime in the indeterminate future…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cutting Down

Yesterday I weighed in at 111.8 kg (246.5 lbs). Losing around 0.5-0.75 kg (1.1-1.7 lbs) per week, just like I want to. I currently eat about 3000 kcal each day:

  • Energy: 3005 kcal
  • Protein: 345 g
  • Fat: 45 g
  • Carbohydrates: 305 g

IMG_3077 Stats: 114.7 kg (252.9 lbs), 192 cm (6.3 feet), 19 years. IMG_3131 Taken yesterday – Stats: 111.8 kg (246.5 lbs), 192 cm (6.3 feet), 19 years. Still have around 5-10 kg of fat to lose, the amount of loss depends on how I feel when I get closer to the “goal weight”, I do not want to feel totally drained on energy nor too weak. I know I have gained some muscle mass since last summer, hopefully it will show in comparison to last summer’s photo: IMG_0826 IMG_0828 Summer 2013 – Stats: Approximately 101 kg (222.7 lbs), 192 cm (6.3 feet), still 19 years (just had my birthday).

During my cutting phase I eat like I do when I ‘bulk’, but just a little less. Often 6-7 meals a day, sometimes 5 or 8, depending on how long I sleep, but I eat at least every third hour. A normal day might look like following, with a few changes from day to day:

  • Once a night: Whey protein
  • Real meal 1 – Breakfast: Oats, eggs, omega-3, vitamins, minerals, BCAA, whey protein
  • Pre workout: Whey protein, caffeine, Vitargo (carbs)
  • During workout: Whey protein, BCAA
  • Post workout: Whey protein, Vitargo (carbs)
  • Real meal 2 – Post workout meal: Biggest meal of the day – whole grain pasta/potatoes, chicken/tuna/salmon/, cottage cheese, vegetable (often onion, garlic, sweet pepper, cucumber)
  • Snack: Whey protein/cottage cheese
  • Real meal 3 –  Smaller meal – whole grain pasta/potatoes, chicken/tuna/salmon/, cottage cheese, vegetable (often onion, garlic, sweet pepper, cucumber) OR whey protein/cottage cheese during cutting phase
  • Real meal 4 – Smaller meal – whole grain pasta/potatoes, chicken/tuna/salmon/, cottage cheese, vegetable (often onion, garlic, sweet pepper, cucumber)
  • Pre sleep: Casein protein, omega-3, ZMA.

Yesterday’s post workout meal looked like this: IMG_3121 Potatoes, tuna, cottage cheese (with different spices), BCAA and a documentary: “Swamp Tigers“.

IMG_3110

Lastly I only have to wait 4.5 more weeks until I get my puppy home! Black and white Border Collie. I will be calling him “Skarp”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Change

A lot has been going on lately…

First of all I had to postpone the cutting/dieting phase, but just by two weeks. Today is the 15:th day and so far everything is going very well. Weighing in at around 113.4 kg (250 lbs) although the numbers are a bit unbalanced at the moment due to being more active (treadmill, mostly) and due to water balance/carbohydrate intake and so on.

I am still rehabilitating my m. levator scapulae and everything that comes with it, including my right shoulder which I have been overloading lately, nothing too major. With correct rehabilitation and no sudden twist/movements it will be healed within a reasonable amount of time, even though I feel a bit dispirited.

The studies are going well with two examinations written last week, all exams went very well. This week we started two new courses: “Exercise Training I” and “Exercise Physiology“.

Come summer, in 7-8 weeks something major will happen though.

I will get my puppy, dog! A Border Collie. I have always been fascinated by nature and animals since I was a little, along with training. For a long time I have been reading about a particular wolf looking breed known as the Tamaskan Dog. I have also always wanted several dogs and different breeds, since I can currently not afford a Tamaskan Dog (they are much more expensive, with import etc), I had to decide what dog to start with, this is not an easy task with all the wonderful breeds out there. I have been around animals and have been brought up with dogs in my family home, so I do have years of experience. But this would be my first dog on my own. I was thinking about several dog breeds before making my mind, such as pretty much every dog breed, but some stood out a little bit more than others even though there are so many more to mention than these below.

Tamaskan Dog

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

Border Collie

Border Collie

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier

Riesenschnauzer

Riesenschnauzer

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle

It has begun. The time to lose some fat. Hopefully I have gained around 3 kilograms (6.6 lbs) of muscle mass this year and it will show at the end of this definition phase. On February 28th I weighed in at 114.8 kg (253.1 lbs). The day after I began “cutting”, though this early the nutritional difference is miniscule. So far I eat around 100 kilocalories less and walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes after each workout.

IMG_2094

I currently eat 3600 kcal. Minimum 350 grams of protein, maximum 70 grams of fat, and minimum 350 grams of carbohydrates and maximum 400 grams of carbohydrates. I will decrease the amount of calories by 100 each week, until I reach 2900 calories, that is to avoid going lower than 315 grams (1260 kcal) of protein, 50 grams (450 kcal) of fat and 300 grams (1200 kcal) of carbohydrates. At that time, once I consume 2900 kilocalories/day, I will increase the treadmill walking to 45-60 minutes a day.  The food will be exactly the same, but in slightly smaller portions. My training sessions will be just as intense as usual, but with the treadmill walking added. All in all not a major change in theory, and has not been the last two times I have tried losing some fat either.

My levator scapulae injury got inflamed, but got better quickly. After two days of not training I trained more often to catch up, and so far it feels pretty decent, not good, but pretty decent. I will notice for sure how it will go on chest/shoulder training next time. I still have to keep the strain in mind though and rehabilitate and keep up with the range of motion- training and strengthening. I Also need to improve my posture, specially when sitting by the computer. The forward head posture is a big no-no, which I try to diminish through specific exercises, such as the chin tuck/double chin.

  • Day 0: 114.8 kg (253.1 lbs)
  • Day 1: 113.7 kg (250.7 lbs)

IMG_2597

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments