Body Moves + Body Rest = Happy Muscles

Posted on October 23, 2012 by


As a Former Cardio Queen and over zealous group exercise class participant,  I feel it necessary to retire my crown and share my research of what DOES and what does NOT work without muscle recovery and too much stress on the body.   My 200 pound body took one for the team did the work AND rest to learn about exercise.

My body was constantly overtrained and I never would have guessed my exercsie schedule was a major component to my fat storage and lack of muscle.

The concept of, too much exercise having a negative effect, was really quite foreign to me. This concept seemed like an oxymoron.

I understood my food intake needed to change drastically so I followed my coaches eating instructions.  I saw results on the scale right away by changing my foods for quite awhile but then a halt!  So WHY did my weight not drop as I continued with my clean food and daily doses of exercise?  Why would I stall out I wondered….I was confused, until I came clean with my coach about the cardio and excessive exercise.  She introduced me to a new term called – overtraining.

EXERCISE is a vital component in good health and fat loss – it is NECESSARY for individuals who seek optimal health.  EXCESSIVE exercise will lead to muscle loss and fat storage.  That’s right, by overtraining our bodies and not allowing ample time for repair we send the body a message to break down any tissue that demands too much energy for upkeep.   Muscle tissue requires A LOT of energy to maintain.  We utilize fat storage and food to maintain that muscle while in a state of rest.  If we skip the rest, we skip the fat burn and muscle building stage.

Our bodies are smart and can figure out patterns rather quickly, they know another trip to the gym is just around the corner so they become efficient and try to outsmart us.  Our bodies get rid of the muscle so they do not have to expend energy maintaining it.

The great news is that overtraining has a very easy fix..Rest!   I suggest an active rest day to keep the blood moving – a walk or easy bike ride with family, yoga or meditation.  Rest is just as vital as the weights you lift.  Not only is resting your muscle for repair important but also the amount of sleep you obtain.  Our cells are being repaired at night – your body is utilizing stored energy (fat) to repair damaged cells and to rebuild your muscles, therefore; sleep is crucial in recovery time and fat loss.

While we exercise we release a hormone called cortisol to start break down of the muscle tissue, if we do not rest to rebuild that muscle tissue, cortisol will remain present and keep breaking down the muscle.  When cortisol levels are too high for too long, the body breaks down bone and muscle tissue, converts them to energy and will often ramp up fat storage.

If cortisol is consistently elevated for long enough, symptoms of weight gain, depression, extreme cravings for sweets and a foggy mental state may occur!

Exercise is just as much of an individual science as the macronutrients our coach gives us each week.   In GT, exercise is used as another helpful tool towards our goals, it is a HELPER to the other 4 pillars of GT: Clean Food, Water, Rest and Elegant Thinking.   Sometimes we go back to old thought patterns when we veer off track and feel like we need to hit the gym to “workoff” processed food or alcohol.  This strategy will offer the same effects to the body as overtraining.

Your GT coach can guide you with monitoring your heartrate, a healthy amount of exercise, and rest  for YOUR body.

Below are signs of overtraining:

Physical Signs:

  • Unable to complete a normal workout, either failing to run your normal distance or lift your normal amount of weight
  • As an endurance athlete you feel tired, sluggish and useless
  • Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats and other illnesses and frequent infections
  • Chronic Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
  • Headaches
  • Elevated resting HR
  • Loss in appetite
  • Decrease in performance
  • Injury
  • Weight gain or weight loss but feel “squishy”
  • Insatiable thirst or dehydration

Psychological Signs & Symptoms:

  • Fatigued, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Apathy or no motivation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to relax
  • Twitchy, fidgety or jittery

If you experience any of these symptoms, take a look at your exercise schedule, consult a Genesis Transformation coach, and REST.   And remember – if you always do, what you always have, you will always be where you are today!  Might be time to re-think two trips to the gym each day!

Katie Surjan

Genesis Transformation Coach


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