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Discussion Starter #1
So about 3 weeks ago I decided to start a rigorous exercise routine. I went from basically not working out at all to working out 4-6 times a week. In my workouts I normally do about 20-30 minutes of cardio, strength training on abs and arms. Well, I was fine for about the first 2 weeks and now I am just exhausted!! After I workout I can barely hold myself up. Why is this happening? Is this my body's way of losing weight? Is there anything I can do to get my energy back and still lose weight? My roommate told me I need to eat more but that would defeat the purpose of exercising to lose weight/tone up.
 

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You are experiencing "over-training." You started off way too fast and too frequently. The main problem is your body's capacity to recover, in particular the central nervous system.

The soreness that you feel is simply called DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, which is caused by the microtears that occurs to muscle when exposed to stress (in this case strenght training). If you feel lethargic, it's the former (over training).

There are several methods to overcome this.

The first is to make a split, such as the one that I do.

Monday - Arms
Tuesday - Back
Thursday - Legs and Abs
Friday - Chest

It's important that you make a split like this for two reasons. 1 is that you cover all the muscles in your body by doing a split like this (for example calves is with legs, forearms with arms, shoulders with back etc), and secondly is that you give your body ample recovery time.

One thing is should be clear though, that on that particular day, you're training that muscle until you can't move. For example, on Monday I did an arm workout with one of my clients and our arms felt like they were going to explode. Now they're sore, but I get to recover them for a week.

On the other side of the coin is nutrition and sleep.

Sleep is simple, you should sleep 8 hours a night.

Nutrition is a bit more complicated and very important.

Depending on what your goals are (probably lose weight and tone up) your caloric intake should only be 200-300 calories below your maintenance intake. If you cut food too much you get that loss of energy you're experience. If you follow this closely and have a proper training program you won't get noticably weaker when losing weight.

Also there's a difference between eating less, and eating good food.

You could stuff your face with healthy food and still lose weight or eat Mc Donald's twice a day and get fat. So dieting, at least to me and my clients, never means starving.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much, Freddy! I was hoping you would reply! As far as diet goes, I am doing much better than I used to. I am eating a lot of fruits and veggies, whole grains and nuts. I recently started drinking Kombucha to try and replace my daily coffee intake. I feel much better already except for the fatigue.

So can I still do cardio every day and split up the strength training per your above advice? I'm already within a healthy weight but looking to lose about 10 lbs and tone up quite a bit. I have reasonable expectations, hoping to at least go down 1 pant size by end of next month.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not sure about the protein. My daily meals usually consist of pbj sandwich and grapes for breakfast, a spinach salad with edamame, eggs, etc. for lunch; yogurt for a midday snack and dinner isn't usually very healthy and varies from pizza to steamed veggies depending on the day.

Btw I did that interval training the other night and it kicked my butt!!!! I'll keep doing it but will probably alternate between that and regular jogging on different nights.
 
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