Excess weight lifting may hurt more than help
By Timothy Jensen
While women may obsess about slimming down and keeping off the pounds, too many men may be obsessed with hitting the weights and gaining muscle.
"It is probably even more of a problem for the general public," said Ray Burton, a certified personal trainer and winner of the 2002 Southern Alberta Body Building Championships. "It is like putting a nail in a piece of wood. Once it is in you cannot do anything more. If you keep hammering it, you will just cause more damage ... some guys end up in a hospital if they push their body too far."
To curb the obsession, people need to quit reading the magazines, Burton said. He added that magazines are designed to sell products, and the workouts written in the magazines are geared towards professional body builders. If people abide by them, they will be overtraining, get sick and get worn out.
Burton's Web site, http:// Buildingbodies.ca, stated balance is essential. It is good to burn calories and build muscle but that should not be one's entire life. A maximum of 2 hours should be spent in the gym and 22 hours away doing other things. Relax and enjoy life.
"I think in general, when you have to skip out on opportunities that would make life more enjoyable, I think it has gone too far," Burton said.
The major problem associated with workout obsession is that relationships suffer, Burton said. The individual gets more absorbed in himself or herself than the person they are with.
"I draw the line where you have to decide who is more important," Burton said. "Either you choose a partner that is equally involved in weight training as you are, or you just decide not to do it."
Simply Fit Inc., a company that supplies supplement drinks and advises on weight training, stated overtraining symptoms include elevated resting heart rate, loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss and irritability, as well as changes in the testosterone and hormones involved in a stress response.
Burton said overtraining will cause one's muscle mass to decrease and the body's physique will enter in a downward spiral.
There is a big difference between muscle fatigue and muscle pain. Muscle fatigue is a tiredness throughout all of the muscles in the body. Muscle pain is a sharp shooting or stabbing pain in a certain part of the body.
According to the Web site's author, Dave Stowe, an assistant director of fitness for Le Club gym, when people work out or lift, the body produces endorphins. This is what gives that "runners high." Without it, one may feel antsy, irritable, and out of shape until he or she does it again.
"People just need to train a little smarter, have more fun and get the same results," Burton said.
1) General aches and pains in muscles and joints
2) Not being able to sleep
3) Getting sick frequently
4) Nervous movements and fidgeting
5) Drops in performance in your sport
I don't know about you, guys, but I have already had all these symptoms at least once or twice last year. All I needed was some time off the gym, doing other outdoor activities and I was as good as new and ready to lift heavy again!