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Adventures in Body Building 101's

For the past 8 weeks I have been taking my workouts in another direction. With the help of a workout buddy I am pushing weights to maximum, trying to get stronger faster with more definition in my muscles. This is a body sculpting approach that is targeting and isolating muscles which is very different than my signature calisthenics compound-all-over-all-the-time workouts.

Going into this program I was acutely aware of my lack of experience in this area. I have been enlististing support to delegate aspects of my training program, like bringing on a dedicated nutritionist to counsel me and deferring my strength routine to someone who has had success body building in the past. I am also on the hunt for a boxing coach. I am spreading out the hats, so to speak- not easy for me the control freak, but a good exercise in recruiting help and not spreading myself too thin. Also with a spotter's help I am able to push my weight load far beyond what I can safely do on my own. We started with 1 workout/week and have been pushing towards 2.

Nutrition and rest were of course my key focuses as I began this program. I have steadily been increasing my caloric intake and trying to sleep more. Although a bit inconsistent I would say I have been doing much better over the past couple of months. I am feeling stronger and I am loving the pump :) I am, however, encountering a major setback. I have had 2 max workouts that have left me absolutely devastated for the next 2 days- exhausted, achy and weak like I have the flu. I have the chills and a mild fever. Sucky.

The first time it happened was a few weeks ago when we did our first max chest workout. I had already been congested, so when I felt flu-like in the following days I attributed it to the compounding of symptoms and a random thing. It happened again this week after workout #2 which was 2 days ago. I am still feeling run down and now it's a pattern. I did some googling and it seems to be a common complaint.

Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual's exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. Overreaching is the steps with making a push, and as long as recovery is built in, progress will be made. So I am overreaching, and feeling symptoms of overtraining, but why? I will need to be more disciplined in my pre and post workout rest and nutrition.
CNS fatigue may also be a factor. The strategy is the same- nutrition and recovery.

The last interesting suggestion I read related to the duration of the workout.  The stress will cause cortisol to peak at 40 minutes- time to quit! Thursday night I was in the gym for 3 full hours AND pushed to max. Tsk tsk- seems like a no brainer in retrospect.

I intend to recover completely, not lifting anything other than body weight for a full week. I will also be stuffing my face and sleeping like a lazy dog. I will post updates.

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