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Is Over Training Getting on Your Nerves?

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by Rocco Boulay

Weight training is the best way to increase strength and muscularity, but what happens when you hit that dreaded wall. Do your muscles just stop being able to produce the torque necessary to increase your size and strength? Have your muscles reached their genetic potential? If you are an experienced trainer maybe so, but if you are like most people it is probably just a case of frazzled nerves. That’s right, nerves.
Nerves play an important part of muscle function. After all, it is the nerves that stimulate the muscles to contract. When a person reaches a plateau in their training, it is not only the muscles that have reached "wits end" , but also the neurological system. Continuous heavy training can lead to a neurological "burnout". The nerves are involved in communicating with the muscles by involving motor units. Motor units are the groups of nerves and the muscle fibers they innervate (control). "So", you may be asking yourself, "Why do I need to know the importance of this"?

Just as when our muscles are over trained and cannot repair tissue fast enough to recover for the next workout, the same is true for our nerves. In the nervous system, there are neurotransmitters that communicate between the neuromuscular junction to signal the muscle to contract. When the system is overstressed, these neurotransmitters, (dopamine, acetycholine, epinephrine, nor epinephrine, and serotonin) become less effective. Consequently, we become stale in our training. Even though our muscles appear to look the same, performance levels of the muscles plummet. Over training causes a decrease in the effectiveness of these transmitters resulting in a neurological burnout.

Neurological burnout can be caused by continuous heavy training, bad diet, lack of recuperation time or a combination of all of these. How do you know if you are over trained? Your training will become stagnated and gains will become nonexistent. You could experience anything from restlessness to moodiness to depression to even sexual dysfunction. These side effects are anything but productive to a muscle building program. As mentioned earlier, over training, bad diet, and lack of recuperation time is the culprit to over training. To combat this problem, take an inventory of the foods you have been eating and see if you are getting the right amounts of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Having the right combinations of these nutrients is essential to optimum results in your training and will help keep the nervous system strong. There is also an herb you can purchase in most health food stores that might aid in the recovery of the nervous system. There is strong scientific evidence that suggests that St. John’s Wort may help with an overstressed neurological condition.

Recuperation time and over training are also partly responsible for nerve burnout. If you have reached a dead end in your training, don’t be afraid to take a few days or even weeks off! You are not going to shrivel up like a raisin! In fact, you just might make the gains you expect from hard training! Sometimes the body just needs a vacation to recuperate from the years of vigorous training that has led to this condition in the first place. So don’t let your ego get in the way of making great gains again! If you feel run down — take a break!

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Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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