Am I working out too much? Is there such a thing?

  • Kazeai84

    Posts: 10

    May 22, 2007 3:20 AM GMT
    Hi guys I'm just getting back into working out. I had stopped about a year ago and have luckily maintained the same weight in all this time. Now I want to lose these final 30 pounds and get into a healthy weight range. My issue is I'm worried that if I work out too much I'll just slow my metabolism and I won't get any results. I've geared up my eating and am now eating like 4 times a day, but all smaller calorie meals. I typically eat about 1200 to 1500 calories a day. But I'm planning on working out 5 days a week. The gym I'm a member to offers classes every day and I am going to attend one a day. So that's like an hour of cardio a day, plus I'm hoping to get in 30 minutes of strength training 3 times a week. But I'm worried that this is too much, and if it's unhealthy. Can anyone help, I'm kinda panicked.

    My current stats: 5'6" and 180 lbs.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    May 22, 2007 3:29 AM GMT
    Work with a qualified professional Nutritionist and/or personal trainer to get you at least started on a program, so you don't FREAK out. Piece of mind is worth something.
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    May 22, 2007 3:34 AM GMT
    Less than 1500 calories seems like it would be too few-- are you sure that's all you are eating? Most diets are in the 1500 range.

    As for aerobics 5 times a week for an hour, that should be OK. I did 6 days a week for years. Just make sure it's as low impact as possible, and be on the lookout for any stress injuries.

    Adding strength training 3 more times might be a bit much-- that would be 8 workouts a week. If they are light, you might be OK, but I wouldn't do 3 hard ones plus 5 aerobics.
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    May 22, 2007 4:15 AM GMT
    There certainly is such a thing as overtraining, and it is detrimental to your program.

    Whenever you engage in resistance (weight) training, the effort of lifting weights causes tiny tears in your muscles. After your workout, for about 48 hours or so, your body is working to repair those tears.

    So that you don't get those tears again in the future, your body repairs them with stronger muscle fibres, which in turn causes your muscles to become bigger and stronger. This is how we build muscle.

    If you do not allow your body the time to repair the muscle, you are just constantly causing more and more tearing in them and this will lead to injury.

    As long as you give your body the time it needs to repair, your gains will continue to show.

    Aerobic exercise, (in my opinion), should be treated much the same, although five times a week shouldn't do too much damage as long as you don't go all out hardcore everytime. And you will still need to take the rest days for recovery.

    Recovery from your workout should be approached as equally important as the workout time itself.
  • Kazeai84

    Posts: 10

    May 22, 2007 3:40 PM GMT
    When I say strength training I mean going through the room of weight machines doing about 3 sets each, increasing the weight as I go. As for aerobics I just do the classes offered at the gym, and they range from boot camp, to latin aerobics. Today I did any hour on an elliptical, does that sound okay, and healthy?
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    May 22, 2007 3:55 PM GMT
    its not normally recommended for a man to eat less than 1500 calories a day.
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    May 22, 2007 4:38 PM GMT
    It sounds like you are eating far too few calories. One hour of cardio a day is going to burn at LEAST 500 calories. That means you have to function with only 1000 calories a day. Your body will go into starvation mode and try to hang on to every bit of fat it can.

    Have you tried some of the weight watching websites? is a good one. You can input what you eat each day as well the amount of cardio and weights you are doing and it will tell you how many calories you should be eating to reach your goal.
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    May 25, 2007 4:35 PM GMT
    The only thing that will cause undertraining on your program is undereating (which you are doing at 1500 calories) and not sleeping enough. 3 times a week for weights and frequent cardio really isn't that much working out. If you eat enough and get enough recovery (sleep) you'll be fine.
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    May 25, 2007 4:36 PM GMT
    I meant overtraining...not undertraining.
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    May 25, 2007 7:59 PM GMT
    Overtraining can be resultant of a number of factors: diet, stress, to much physical activity, not enough rest, inadequate calories, disease, and so on.

    It's not uncommon for master athletes to eat upwards of 5000 calories a day.

    Here's the OLD equation for computing your caloric intake (base requirement):

    1. Weigh yourself.

    2. Determine your body fat percentage.

    3. Subtract your fat weight from your total weight, leaving lean muscle mass, and skeleton, organ, weight.

    4. Take the number from step 3 and multiply by 15. That's the OLD way of computing base caloric requirement. It's changed just a bit recently, but, it's almost the same.

    5. For each hour of cardio add about 700 calories, give or take a 100. There are charts online that tell you the exact numbers.

    6. Run a deficit of about 600 to lose weight.

    7. Run an excess of about 600 to gain weight.

    This shit is all science.

    E.g. If I weigh 220 pounds, and I have 15% fat (typical of an advanced athlete off season), you'd have 33 pounds of fat. 220 - 33 = 187. 187 * 15 = 2805. That's your BASE calorie requirement to keep from losing weight. That's why muscular guys can consume so much food. Guys like me can eat, and eat more. It's not uncommon for me to bring 3500 to 4500, or more calories on in a day.
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    May 25, 2007 8:22 PM GMT
    Depending on your intensity, and frequency, working out with weights to much is fairly easy.

    Weight training / resistance training is EXTREMELY intensive, and introduces microtears in your muscles that take time to heal. Hypertrophy (muscle fiber enlargement) happens when you ARE NOT in the gym. Hyperplasia (growth of additional muscle fibers) happens in the presence of growth hormone, and it happens when you're not at the gym, as well.
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    May 25, 2007 8:23 PM GMT
    I sometime eat as many at 9 times a day. Not often, but, sometimes. I almost graze. I normally eat at least 6 to 8 times a day.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 10, 2007 10:45 AM GMT
    There really is no way to work out too much....
    unless you're not eating enough for it
    when you expend energy...the cals have to come from somewhere
    hopefully it will come from the fat reserves that you've accumulated..
    when you surpass that need to have it in the form of good healthy eating
    that's a balanced way to workout
    if you do not do this you will lose muscle and counteract the work you're doing