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Thread: Stuff i've found on Overtraining

  1. Default Stuff i've found on Overtraining

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    PRAXIS - Overtraining (Part II) : powered by Doodlekit
    Info taken from Science of Sports Training: How to Plan and Control Training for Peak Performance by Thomas Kurz [a fantastic book, BTW].

    Overstrain: An abrupt worsening of heath and “trainability” resulting from the application of physical loads exceeding the current ability of the athlete. It can be acute or chronic and it does not usually involve the whole body. It can be limited to one organ (for example, the heart). A one-time application of an excessive load causes acute overstrain. Repeated applications of excessive loads cause chronic overstrain, resulting in changes in the athlete’s body, leading to diseases or illnesses of its various organs and systems.

    Chronic Overstrain: Gradual changes in the structure of tissues resulting from a disparity between durability of the tissue and a too-frequent application of even moderate stimuli are called microtrauma. Frequently exceeding of the durability of the elements of the motor system or internal organs leads to an accumulation of the microtrauma and so-called gradual onset injuries. For a long time, the gradual changes do not interfere with performance and go unnoticed by the coach and even the athlete. Eventually, however, the wearing down will intensify and will cause such symptoms as greater fatigability, pain after effort, and pain in lower temperatures. The aches and pains change their duration and intensity and may be neglected by the athlete. In the end, the tissue will come apart, which means a strain, sprain, or fracture. Microtrauma leading to chronic overstrain can be mechanical (static or dynamic), thermal (heat or cold), or toxic (protracted acidosis).

    Overtraining: An unplanned and prolonged stagnation or lowering of an athlete’s sport-specific fitness, resulting from overstressing the athlete. It manifests itself in all functions of the athlete’s body—not just selected muscle groups or other organs—and most prominent are symptoms of dysfunction of the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and endocrine system.
    One of the main causes of pathological occurrences and illnesses in athletes is improper organization and irrational methods of training that lead to excessive overloading, exceeding the abilities of a given athlete at a given stage of training.

    Overtraining can be caused by the following:
    1. Irrational training methods, including mismatching, which can cause frequent losses in competitions;
    2. Continuous application of intensive, unvarying workouts combined with insufficient or poorly scheduled rest and restoration;
    3. Participation in a string of competitions where much rides on the outcome; and
    4. Combining strenuous training with intensive studies, with work in shifts, with conflicts in the family or in the workplace, or with other stresses such as stress at work, and financial problems.

    Overtraining can occur without a drastic increase of the training load, but with an increase of stress.

    For the same athlete the same external training load at one time may cause improvement in athletic shape and at another time cause overtraining. One of the reasons is that apart from training, that athlete is subjected to other stresses of life such as violating principles of nutrition, frequent loss of weight (in order to make weight), disturbing health sleep patterns, and substance abuse.
    Optimal training loads are approximately 2/3 of an athlete’s maximal possible training load as long as the athlete is not subjected to additional large stresses. The calculation of 2/3 of maximal training load is to be understood as a combination of the training volume and intensity. If either volume or intensity of training exceeds 2/3 of its maximal value too often, the athlete is likely to become overtrained. It may take less than four weeks of irrational training to overtrain athletes.
    Overtraining may also be caused by the monotony of exercise. Stimulating the same ability too often, besides boring and discouraging the athlete, may not allow adequate rest for rebuilding repeatedly used resources.

    Doing a variety of exercises (speed, strength, and endurance), even during one workout, may help prevent overtraining. Varying efforts increase blood flow through internal organs and muscles, activate liver glycogen and use of free fatty acids, and all that helps anabolic processes during rest. Stress and the training load-to-rest ratio are not the only training-related factors in overtraining. The sequence of different kinds of efforts during a workout or in consecutive workouts is another.

    There are two types of overtraining: basedowic, with symptoms resembling those of Basedow’s disease, and addisonic, with symptoms resembling those of Addison’s disease.

    Basedowic Overtraining:Also called sympathetic overtraining, activity of the sympathetic part of the autonomous nervous system is increased at rest. In the central nervous system, processes of excitement are dominant. This occurs most often among athletes in speed-strength sports and can be caused by too high an intensity of stimuli in training and great mental concentration—briefly by too much anaerobic work.

    Addisonic Overtraining:Also called parasympathetic overtraining, activity of the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is increased at rest and during exercise. In the central nervous system, processes of inhibition are dominant. This occurs most often by an excessively high volume of aerobic training work. This type of overtraining occurs mostly among older, more advanced athletes, usually of endurance sports.

    Both types of overtraining are associated with lowered immunity.
    The sympathetic system, which mobilizes catabolic reactions for energy production, should dominate during efforts and the parasympathetic system, which mobilizes anabolic reactions for rebuilding the energy stores and body structures, should dominate during rest. A sympathetic system that is overactive at rest keeps an athlete from restoring his or her work capacity. A parasympathetic system dominating at work makes it impossible for the athlete to mobilize her-or himself for intensive efforts. An optimal state of athletic form exists when the sympathetic system clearly dominates at work, the parasympathetic at rest. The greater the spread between them, and the more rapid the change of the dominating system from work to rest, the better.
    Exercises exceeding an athlete’s anaerobic threshold raise levels of catecholamines (hormones of the adrenal medulla) disproportionately to the increased effort. What’s more, during competitions, because of psychological stress, the ratio of catecholamines to lactate is higher than during workouts. Too great a frequency of competitions, or of exercises that exceed the anaerobic threshold, leads to overtraining.
    At the level of the central nervous system, overtraining is a result of an imbalance between stimulating and inhibiting the central nervous system. At the level of the autonomous nervous system, overtraining is a result of an imbalance between activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. At the level of the endocrine system, overtraining is a result of an imbalance between releases of anabolic and catabolic hormones. At the level of muscle fibers, overtraining is a result of an imbalance between stimulation of slow-twitch (aerobic) fibers and fast-twitch (anaerobic) fibers. An excess of anaerobic efforts overdevelops anaerobic fast-twitch fibers at the expense of aerobic slow-twitch fibers and causes excessive production or poor removal of lactic acid. A high volume of aerobic endurance training may cause overdevelopment of the mitochondria in the muscle cell at the expense of myofibrils, its contractile element.
    The effects of overtraining, and especially endurance overtraining, can last up to six months but in resistance training long-term overtraining has not been shown; after a period of recovery athletes restore their capacity for work.

    [The book cites specific nutritional and rest modalities for A- Overtraining and B-Overtraining, emphasizing foods and environments that balance the ANS by either stimulating the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems respectively, but sadly the author citing the text here chose to omit them]
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    Measuring resting heart rate, observing behavior, and registering muscle pains are means to evaluate recovery. The indicators of full recovery are normal resting heart rate, good disposition, and no muscle pains.

    Rest: The type (content) and amount, must be adequate for the training task. The wrong type or the wrong duration (too short, too long) of rest adversely affects training effect. It may lead to detraining, overtraining, or at least to undersirable changes in the character of the exercise.

    Active Rest: Light, fun activity, usually just above the aerobic threshold and well below the anaerobic threshold or onset of blood lactate accumulation. Recovery after intense efforts that generate excess lactate can be sped up with active rest consisting of aerobic efforts between 30-50% of the athlete's VO2max. Aerobic exercise of the muscles that were not stressed during the previous work helps remove excess lactate. Active rest is effective even if the same muscle groups are exercised but using different movements.

    Active rest is not effective after extreme efforts.

    In the case of fatigue caused by local muscle work, exercising another muscle group does not speed up processes of recovery in the previously exercised muscels but in the motor centers of the brain.

    Passive Rest: No activity. Needed by extremely exhausted athletes. Recovery proceeds faster, as measured by such physological signs as heart and breath rate, during passive rest but this type of rest--if used between exercises--causes quicker loss of movement proficiency. After an all-out effort, an athlete may want to rest passively for a short time but should, as soon as he or she is capable, start moving and move about for the remaining minutes of a rest break.

    Recovery of work capactiy is not uniform. In the first third of the rest period required for full recovery, about 65% of the whole recovery of work capacity takes place; in the second third, 30%; and in the third part only 5%.

    The greater the muscular tension during exercises, the longer the rest interval required. Unfamiliar exercises require more rest than familiar ones with the same external load. Brief rest of rigidly set duration, not allowing full recovery, intensifies the effect of the next exercise. Rest sufficient for full restoration of work capability to the previous level permits repetition of the exercise or workout without decreasing or increasing the amount of work performed.

    Recovery Phase 1: A few minutes up to six hours, depending on the magnitude of effort, is makred by the heart returning to normal function, the return of blood pH to a normal value, normalization of the central nervous system functions, thermoregulation, rebuilding stores of creatine phosphate in muscles and of glycogen in the liver, and the beginning of rebuilding stores of glycogen in muscles.

    Recovery Phase 2: Six hours to several days. The whole body is completely deacidified, kidneys return to normal function, water and electrolytes are restored to normal amounts, muscle glycogen, triglycerides, and enzymes are restored, and muscle fibers, mitochondria, and other structures are rebuilt.
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    What is to blame for Overtraining? [Archive] - Forums

    Are Cytokines to Blame for Overtraining?

    Overtraining occurs when an athlete is training intensely,
    but, instead of improving, performance deteriorates, even
    after an extended rest period. The first noticeable
    difference is in an athlete’s performance, and may extend
    over a period of weeks or months.

    Overtraining syndrome (OTS) and exhaustion are a
    consequence of an imbalance between stress and recovery.
    Ideally, when an athlete trains, his/her performance should
    be constantly improving. However, when the adaptations of
    training develop longer than the initiation of exercise, the
    body is receiving a repeated stress that it needs to recover,
    but it does not recover adequately. During OTS, an
    individual may experience frequent infections and
    depression that occur following hard training and
    competition.

    The following table lists a number of the signs and
    symptoms of OTS. Keep in mind that not all appear at the
    same intensity, all the time, in all individuals. One to
    several of these signs and symptoms may appear.

    Table 1. Signs and symptoms of OTS
    Performance Parameters
    Decreased performance
    Unable to achieve previous standards
    Prolonged recovery
    Reduced toleration of loading
    Decreased muscular strength
    Decreased work capacity
    Physiological
    Change in blood pressure
    Change in heart at rest, during exercise, and during
    recovery
    Increased breathing frequency
    Fat loss
    Muscle loss
    Elevated metabolism
    Psychological
    Constant fatigue
    Reduced appetite
    Need more or less sleep than normally
    Depression
    General apathy
    Decreased self-esteem
    Emotional instability
    Fear of competition
    Easily distracted
    Gives up easily
    Information processing
    Loss of coordination
    Reappearance of previously corrected mistakes
    Difficulty concentrating
    Unable to deal with large amounts of information
    Biochemical parameters
    Rhabdomyolysis
    Elevated C-reactive protein and creatine kinase
    Greater loss of nitrogen (urea and uric acid production)
    Decreased free testosterone
    Increased serum cortisol
    Decreased iron and ferritin
    Immunological parameters
    Constant fatigue
    Sore and tender muscles and joints
    Headaches
    Nausea
    Gastrointestinal disturbances
    Increased susceptibility to and severity of illnesses, colds,
    and allergies
    Swelling of lymph glands


    Generally, the first indication of impending OTS is a change
    in mood although it is the decline in performance that
    usually captures the attention of the athlete, personal
    trainer and/or coach.

    Unfortunately, scientists do not have a universal agreement
    of the diagnostic criteria for OTS. There are a number of
    hypotheses in the literature, but each explains only one or
    a couple aspects of OTS.

    In 2000, Dr. Lucille Lakier Smith published an article
    describing the potential mechanism of OTS. She proposed
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    that excessive training/competing causes repetitive tissue
    trauma, either to muscle and/or connective tissue and/or to
    bony structures, and that this results in chronic
    inflammation. The traumatized tissue synthesizes a group
    of inflammatory molecules called cytokines.

    This article will present a brief review of the other proposed
    mechanisms of OTS and how cytokines may be the “lost
    mechanism.”

    Glycogen Depletion
    Some of the complaints of OTS are “heavy legs” and
    general fatigue. The glycogen depleting hypothesis
    suggests that these symptoms occur as a result of a lack of
    energy. Therefore, symptoms of OTS should be avoided if
    enough carbohydrates are eaten to fill muscle energy
    stores (i.e. muscle glycogen). However, when scientists
    tried this in cyclists, the cyclists still elicited signs of
    overreaching (short-term overtraining) and might have met
    the criteria for overtraining had the subjects been followed
    for a longer period of time.

    Central Fatigue
    This hypothesis suggests the general complaints of fatigue
    (low blood glycogen) may be due to an excess of an amino
    acid called tryptophan in the brain and spinal cord. This is
    the same amino acid that is found in turkey and blamed for
    that “Thanksgiving Coma” we get after eating that big
    meal. Strenuous exercise may create an increase in a
    neurotransmitter called serotonin via the extra tryptophan
    in the blood. This causes lethargy, depresses neural
    excitability, alters hormonal functions, decreases muscular
    contractions, and may impair judgment.

    However, this was demonstrated in rats and has not yet
    been demonstrated in humans. Also, it does not explain the
    tendency for infections that typically occurs in OTS.

    Glutamine Hypothesis
    Glutamine is an important amino acid involved in optimal
    functioning of the immune system. Lower blood glutamine
    levels have been measured in overtrained athletes. This
    may be the cause for the increase in infections associated
    with OTS, however, it does not explain the change in mood
    or decrease in energy levels when an infection does not
    occur.

    Nervous System and the Endocrine System
    The adaptations and performance of exercise is dependent
    on the intricate links between the central nervous system
    (the brain and spinal cord) and the endocrine system (the
    hormonal system). Any changes in either of these will
    affect performance in the muscle system. The endocrine
    system in particular controls an intricate group of glands
    whose hormones are vital to all aspects of life.

    When overtraining occurs, then there must be a
    disturbance of some sort with the endocrine system and
    the factors that control it – namely, the autonomic nervous
    system (which is composed of the sympathetic and
    parasympathetic nervous systems).

    The following lists the signs and symptoms of two types of
    overtraining called A-overtraining and B-overtraining with
    regard to the same conditions.
    a) A-overtraining (Addisonic overtraining), named after
    Addison’s disease, involves the parasympathetic nervous
    system and it is associated with diminished activity of the
    adrenal glands, which prepare muscle for physical activity
    in the face of stress. This is difficult to detect early because
    of the absence of any dramatic symptoms. This is usually
    not diagnosed until a decrease in performance happens.
    b) B-overtraining (Basedowic overtraining), named after
    Basedow’s disease, involves the sympathetic nervous
    system and it is associated with thyroid hyperactivity,
    affecting internal stress management and metabolism. This
    is the classical type of overtraining with its abundance of
    symptoms.

    A-Overtraining
    1. Blood pressure: diastolic increase to over 100mm Hg,
    during & after physical stress
    2. Coordination: impaired
    3. Bodymass: normal
    4. Endurance: slight increase in tiredness
    5. Sleep requirements: no increase
    6. Resting pulse: low
    7. Body temperature: normal
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    8. Appetite: normal
    9. Metabolism: normal
    10. General muscle soreness: little or none
    11. General resistance: normal
    12. Recovery time: normal or slightly increased
    13. Psychological changes: none, other than slight loss in
    motivation

    B-Overtraining
    1. Blood pressure: slight increase
    2. Coordination: impaired, with increased reaction time
    3. Bodymass: decrease
    4. Endurance: tendency to tire easily
    5. Sleep requirements: increase
    6. Resting pulse: elevated
    7. Body temperature: slightly increased
    8. Appetite: reduced
    9. Metabolism: altered, with increased tendency to sweat;
    abnormally increased breathing rate under stress
    10. General muscle soreness: mild to pronounced, with
    tendency to muscle stiffness and pain
    11. General resistance: tendency to headaches, colds,
    fever blisters; prolonged recuperation
    12. Recovery time: increased
    13. Psychological changes: nervousness, poor motivation,
    inner unease, eventual depression

    The Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis Hypothesis
    The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are located very
    closely together in the brain. When the hypothalamus
    receives a message from the body, it uses the pituitary
    gland to carry out its “orders” by the using various
    hormones. As such, it is commonly referred to as the
    “neuroendocrine system.”

    A natural response to increased workload is increased
    levels of stress hormones. During overtraining, an
    individual will create oddly high or low concentrations of
    several of these hormones.

    Much of the scientific literature on overtraining is based on
    aerobic activities, despite the fact that resistance exercise
    is a large component of many exercise programs. Because
    of various resistance training programs, chronic resistance
    exercise can result in differential responses to overtraining
    depending on whether either training volume or training
    intensity is excessive. The neuroendocrine system is a
    complex physiological entity that can influence many other
    systems. Neuroendocrine responses to high volume
    resistance exercise overtraining appear to be somewhat
    similar to overtraining for aerobic activities. On the other
    hand, excessive resistance training intensity produces a
    distinctly different neuroendocrine profile. As a result, some
    of the neuroendocrine characteristics often suggested as
    markers of overtraining may not be applicable to some
    overtraining scenarios. This hypothesis lacks consistency in
    individuals. Therefore, further research is needed to better
    understand the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in
    OTS.

    Cytokines: The Answer?
    Recently, other authors have recognized the “cytokine
    hypothesis” as the most attractive hypothesis that accounts
    for the observed neuro-endocrine-immune disregulation of
    OTS. As you can see from what has already been
    mentioned in this article, there is a wide array of variability
    of symptoms that fall under OTS, yet it is impressive to find
    one source for all of these.

    There are several families of cytokines and many different
    cytokines within a family. This article will refer primarily to
    the pro-inflammatory cytokines: interleukin-1 (IL-1),
    tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
    These three have a natural and specific role in promoting
    inflammation in order to complete the healing process.

    This hypothesis proposes that because OTS is a response to
    excessive training/competing with insufficient time for rest
    and recovery, this results in some form of tissue trauma
    and associated chronic inflammation, with the resulting
    release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines
    increase in the blood and are capable of accessing the
    central nervous system and stimulating specific brain
    areas, resulting in changing behaviors such as depression,
    loss of appetite, and sleep disturbances, etc. These
    behaviors are associated with OTS.

    In terms of what is found in the blood during OTS,
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    cytokines are capable of increasing certain blood markers
    associated with OTS such as C-reactive protein and ferritin.

    In terms of athletes becoming more susceptible to
    infections and allergies, in an overtrained athlete, the
    immune system becomes more susceptible to viral or
    bacterial infections. This renders the individual susceptible
    to developing an infection, and genetically predisposed
    individuals may develop allergies.

    All three of the above conditions can affect an individual
    physically by decreasing performance.

    The Solution
    In a word: rest and try some recovery techniques. All of
    these symptoms create an adaptive type of response in the
    body such that they promote withdrawal from training and
    encourage rest in order for recovery to happen.

    How much rest? That is largely dependent on the
    individual. As mentioned earlier, it could be something as
    little as one week to one year or even longer. Make resting
    days a part of your overall program. They are something
    your body truly needs.

    Some recovery techniques are massages, meditation,
    contrast baths, contrast showers, sauna and/or
    hydrotherapy.

    Scott Kolasinski, FIT Metabolic Science Director
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    this would be a good sticky considering so many people on this site ask if they are overtraining and i thinkit would help sort out alot of peoples problems - great post
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    yep i second SH good sticky!
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    What was it the Barbarian Brothers used to say?

    There's no overtraining, just under eating and not getting enough sleep

    Good post HTTK! I'll have a read of this later.

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