One of the hardest things for me to get across to my new personal training clients is that too much exercise can be toxic to your body. For example, I just had a new client come to my gym last week that was in her 30’s with low body fat and apparently in good shape. I asked her how she keeps herself looking so fit and she said “I like to workout a lot so I can eat whatever I want”.
My 25 years of experience as a personal trainer has showed me that trying to control your weight with long hard daily workouts is an approach that will one day get you into a lot of trouble physiologically. I know it is hard to convince a 35 year old that too much hard exercise is not good for them especially when they have been controlling their weight so well with long hard spinning classes, long runs and body scripting classes on a daily basis. However, at 35 years of age the reality is that you are still relatively young and don’t realize the long-term damage you are doing to your body by over training for years.
I have had dozens of clients come to me in their mid forties and fifties that need knee and hip replacements for not listening to their bodies and pushing too hard for so long. Plus, there is a toxic reaction from exercising too long and hard that puts undue stress on your organs that people are unaware of. For example, people have actually died from renal failure from running a marathon.
Keep in mind that I personally know how people feel who like to exercise. I over trained for over 20 years until about 12 years ago when I went to my doctor for my yearly physical. When the blood work came back my doctor called me and asked if I have been working out really hard. I told him yes and he said that my Creatin Kinase (CK) levels in my blood were through the roof. CK is used as a marker in blood work to determine if someone had a heart attack or extreme muscle breakdown. He told me to take a week off from working out and come back for another blood test. I did and my levels went back to normal. That moment was a real wakeup call for me.
The goal of any well thought-out fitness program should be to create the exercise response you want in the least amount of time, while keeping hard work to a minimum. The whole idea is to be very efficient in how you train. You can be just as fit and have as high of a Vo2max. (Vo2max is a great indicator of how aerobically fit you are) as genetically possible by just doing a few short hard sprints a few times per week. Same goes for putting on muscle. All you really need is one hard work set per exercise to put on all the muscle your genetics will allow.
The whole idea of eating a bunch of empty calories every day and then having to workout long and hard to keep your weight under control is just not worth the risk to your body. It’s much smarter to control your weight with a healthy all natural diet and keep the hard workouts short and to a minimum.
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Best – Mike Cola