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How long to recover from overtraining

Posted by: PFB

Q. I have a couple of questions. The first question is - I have taken a loooong break in an attempt to recover from my overtrained body; you know, the usual symptoms, lethargy, fatigue and insomnia to name but a few. I've been out of the gym for almost 7 weeks now, and have not done any kinda training (maintained my low-carb diet in an attempt to stay lean), and lost something like 7 kgs because my body does not seem to hold onto muscle well in the absence of training. I am much leaner now, but I feel really "small."

I don't feel as tired or as fatigued as before, but I'm not sure if I am truly recovered yet because I still find myself waking up at least twice every night. I go to sleep at 11pm (no problems going to sleep), but then I always wake up one hour later, then again at 2am again. I go right back to sleep, then wakeup to my alarm at 7:30 am. Is it okay for me to go back to the gym yet, inspite of my insomnia? I don't know if I am truly recovered yet.

Sorry, got one more thing to add - the reason why I am not convinced that I am fully recovered yet even after 7 weeks of rest, is because my waking pulse is 53 BPM. But I don't why it always increases to about 75 BPM during the day and even at night? My waking pulse has been constant for the past few weeks even during my recovery period, but it always increases to about 70 to 75 BPM and stays around that level during the daytime once I go to work and maintains at around that level until night. Is that normal or is my body really that screwed up? I figured that's the reason why I have insomnia, because my heart rate is out of sync. Shouldn't my pulse drop at night?

A. Yes, it appears that you are definitely overtraining. It will take your body approximately 8 to 12 weeks to recuperate, and may take up to 6 to 8 MONTHS if your diet is lacking in proper macronutrients. Recovery is also dependant on the types of dietary supplements being implemented into your diet and training regime. Insomnia causes the effects of overtraining to be much worse, so it is my recommendation that the insomnia first be rectified and dealt with - rest. Then start with a high intensity workout such as one set per body part and clean up your eating habits.

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