Six workouts a week. Six tough workouts a week. Six workouts a week where most of them included some HIIT whether it be sprint intervals, intervals of crazy cardio moves, or a metabolic circuit. I thought, “I am a group fitness instructor this is what I have to do.” I have to teach all these classes and do my own workouts too. Does your training schedule resemble something like this? Do you think you might be overtraining? I was!
My Training Schedule
This is what a workout schedule looked like before I got pregnant with baby #3:
Monday: Interval Run (Speedwork) + 1 Hour Strength Class
Tuesday: BOSU HIIT class + Upper Body Heavy Lift
Wednesday: Interval Run + Leg Workout
Thursday: 1 Hour Full body Class (Cardio Intervals combined with strength)
Friday: 20 minute HIIT (usually on the rower) + Heavy Lift
Saturday: long run
Once I got pregnant the above schedule stayed almost the same; I cut out my upper body heavy lift on Tuesdays, taught on Wednesdays and used that as my workout, and only occasionally did my long run on Saturdays.
Training Schedule After Baby #3
Then I had this third munchkin of mine. I wanted to lose the baby weight because I am a personal trainer and that is what I am supposed to do, right? It just was not happening despite my efforts I cut back on all of my classes and was only teaching two classes per week and thought to myself, “I can’t be overtraining anymore.” Then I began to think about my workouts and realized I wasn’t programming my own workouts the way I programmed my clients. Almost every single workout had some interval component. I was lifting heavy weights, and doing intense cardio all in one workout… almost every single time. I couldn’t do just a leg day without running 4 sets of sprints after every leg superset.
I was not getting the results I wanted. I was absolutely exhausted. I was eating every thing in sight. Then something dawned on me. I am over training. There is absolutely no reason to be doing more than 2-3 HIIT sessions a week. I can get a good workout from lifting. I do not have to be drenched in sweat and gassed after ever workout. I was overtraining.
I then joined an online bootcamp. Yes, I run online bootcamps too. As a personal trainer, I am always learning and I thought what better way to learn more about not just the programming side, but also the business side of online bootcamps by joining one with my mentor and business coach. She sent me the first week of workouts and I looked at them and thought, “this is going to be too easy.”
After the first week I lost 2 pounds and prior to that I was getting frustrated that it had taken me over 2 months to lose 2 pounds. I had more energy and I wasn’t spending my whole day starving. I didn’t leave the gym feeling like I was going to have to take a nap in the afternoon. There were even some workouts that I was not drenched in sweat.
Guess what people? Sweat is not an indicator of a good workout. There are so many ways I can sweat and that does not necessarily mean I am getting in a good, quality workout. I sweat when I am at the apple orchard with my kids and wearing my baby in the ergo! When I do an upper body workout where I am solely working my upper body I am sweating, but I am not drenched and you better believe that I am fatiguing my muscles and getting stronger. You can even ask my lifting partner Tracy. Some days she will leave the gym drenched and some days not. On those days she doesn’t leave drenched I often get a text the next day saying, “ouch,” or “Can’t lift my arms.”
Not every single workout needs to leave you feeling gassed. Not every single workout should make you sore the next day. And not every single workout should leave you running for the fastest shower because you are drenched in sweat. Not every workout has to burn a ton of calories. Guess what? Some of my workouts burned less than 350 calories. If this is how every workout is for you, you too, might be over training.
Are you Overtraining?
Are you working hard and not seeing results?
Are you hungry all day after a workout?
Are you constantly sore?
Are you trying to burn x number of calories each workout?
If you think this might be you, take a minute to write down you workout schedule. Are you doing too much cardio, too much HIIT or too much metabolic conditioning? Are you including enough strength training that is strictly strength? If you think this might be you and you don’t know what to do, reach out, find a trainer and come up with a workout routine that will truly work for you.
Assess YOUR training!
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As a trainer, I know how to program effective workouts for my clients where they see results, rest appropriately and fuel their bodies, but sometimes I have a hard time taking my own advice. Even trainers need trainers themselves to help them see their own training through a different lens. I am stronger than ever and my training feels great– you can be there too!