Why Overtraining Could Be Slowing Your Progress

If you workout and were thinking about doing two sessions back to back or throughout the day, I applaud you for kicking butt and wanting to work hard, and wanting better results. However, I also want to give you some information that is good to know because I want you to get the BEST results.

We have a 45 minute workout model for a reason and that is because we believe after training for nearly 20 years in one form or another and training hundreds of people, that training for this length of time and at the right intensity is the best for our bodies for many reasons.  Not only do I believe that, but there is a lot of research to back this up as well.

Interval training like boot camp is not supposed to be done for longer than 45 minutes, it’s actually not good for the body or your heart. If someone is going to work out for longer than this, it should be more of a sustained heart rate exercise like jogging (where your heart rate is elevated at a certain amount the whole time) or sport specific training where the sessions are broken up into different elements.

Interval training for longer than 45 minutes can have some negative effects that can slow your body’s ability to burn fat, and we definitely don’t want that.

Here are just a few reasons why we only do 45 minute workouts and why we didn’t design it to be 60-120 minutes.

When you work out for longer than 45 minutes at this level of training:

  • It can increase cortisol levels which is a hormone that makes your body store body fat
  • It can stress out your adrenal glands which in the end can make you more tired and fatigued
  • It can negatively affect female hormones
  • It makes you more hungry, which means you eat more calories and people end up eating more calories than the calories they thought they burned off in the extra workout
  • There is more free radical production, which free radicals are linked to rapid aging and cancer – we want to keep free radical production down as much as possible
  • There is more wear and tear on the joints and ligaments, which can lead to injury down the road or just aches and pains
  • You can get burnt out faster, that is one great thing about 45 minutes, it’s short and over quickly
  • It can have a negative impact on the muscles since there is an overload of the same movement, meaning if we do 3 sets of an exercise but you stay for another session, now you are doing 6 sets of that same exercise on the same muscle group.  When it comes to training the muscles, no trainer or expert in exercise physiology will ever recommend doing more than 3 to 4 sets on the same exact exercise.  That is considered overtraining and not good for the muscles.  If it’s an exercise like a jumping jack or burpee that uses so many more muscles at once that is different but there are weight training exercises in boot camp that are not meant to be repeated 6 to 9 sets by staying extra sessions.

If you feel you must work out for longer than the 45 minutes these are some things I suggest:

  • Read this post again
  • Do some research on your own so you aren’t just hearing it from me
  • If you don’t feel you got a great workout then try this:
    1. Make sure you push yourself harder in each set you do, correct technique and range of motion.
    2. Pick up heavier weights, if you are finding it easy and have the correct form then it is time to look at your resistance. Pick up a heavier weight etc.
    3. On intervals, go all the way until the beeper goes off to take a break, don’t start stopping 3 seconds earlier
    4. Ask the trainer for an advanced level move of certain exercises you find easy.
  • After boot camp, grab a jump rope and do that for 3 to 5 minutes; that will finish you off! Don’t feel like you are showing off either, people will be inspired by you!
  • If you still feel like you need more than 45 minutes, you are better off going for a brisk walk or a jog after boot camp or do some other form of cardio, than you are repeating the same workout you just did. Keep in mind those boot camps are designed to lift your cardiovascular system, so you don’t need to do cardio the days you do boot camp.

Certainly let me know if you have any questions.

Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback or input on this.  Thanks!