over exercising?

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Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 41

Posted: 11 Jul 2011, 02:06
So is it true?

Can I "harm" myself by working out too much? I honestly think it's all lies, what does everyone else think?

I've been working out 3 hours a day for the last week.

My workouts consist of

20 minutes treadmill
20 minutes crosstraining
20 minutes cycle

I do this 3 times a day

am I really hurting myself? The personal trainers at my gym don't seem to mind my frequent daily visits lol
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Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 1

Posted: 11 Jul 2011, 04:00
You do need to factor in some rest for your body to recover at some point and also make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs. Ultimately it's a case of horses for courses and if you feel good with that level of exercise then keep going. You know your body and it's limitations far better than somebody who has only read your post and make use of those gym attendants, get their advice, they too will have a better idea of you capability's.

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 11 Jul 2011, 06:06
If you're enjoying the exercise and you're feeling OK, keep doing it.

But yes, it is possible to overtrain. Usually this comes up in the context of resistance/lifting exercises, when you're talking about not allowing the muscles enough time to repair and rebuild. It's not as much of an issue for cardio - the problem is more often that a lot of cardio + a strict calorie restriction can stress the body so much that the cortisol levels start interfering with weight loss. Or so the theory goes - I don't think this has been proven definitively.
But as long as you're not stalled out and feel OK, there's probably no reason to pull the plug. 3 hours a day is a lot, though - and if you're just looking to lose weight, it's not necessary strictly speaking. Depends what your goals are though.

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 339

Posted: 11 Jul 2011, 07:01
Great post and great answer. Thanks

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 456

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 14:00
I got a lot of guff about working out 2 to 3 hours a day from friends the last few months, but honestly it makes me feel great aside from occasional aches and pains. I do see a nutritionist, primary care physician and trainer while I'm at it though (which makes my friends less worried and keeps me in tip top shape). I'm fine as long as I keep my body fat percentage above a certain line otherwise my menstrual cycle halts. That's something you may want to watch out for - if your menstrual cycle gets weird - and that can happen at all sorts of weights and fitness levels when big systemic changes happen - it's time to see your doctor and ease up a bit (and/or eat more fat). Just went through this myself.

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 416

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 14:32
You weight a lot, eat next to nothing, and over-train by about 2 hours a day.

Here are my predictions:
1. You will stall before you hit 200 lbs.
2. Your metabolism will be wrecked.
3. All of that excessive working out will leave you with no muscle so that even if you do manage to get to your goal weight by some miracle, you will be skinny fat and disappointed with the results.

Eat more, work out less, enjoy life more. You'll actually lose weight faster and more of it will be fat rather than muscle.

What's the point of doing all that work when you're not getting any benefit out of it? Eating so little makes you lose weight slower than if you ate sensibly. Working out like you do will NOT make you lose weight any faster. So, what's the point? All you're doing is hindering your progress.

Your weight loss should come mainly from nutrition, not exercise. The exercise is there to "shape" us correctly so that once we do drop the weight, we don't still look like s##t. I was close to your weight once and I kept losing at a 2 lbs/ week rate at over 2500 kcal a day. Granted, I'm a 25 year old male, so that number won't be quite as high for you. Still though, I would be willing to bet money that if you increased your food intake to somewhere closer in the 1800 range and switched to a sensible exercise routine of 45-60 min/day for 5 days of the week, you would experience better results.
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Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 14:42
No real answer, but some things to consider:
- Are you factoring in rest days? Your body needs recovery time!
- Depending on how long you've be doing this, I'd think burnout would be a huge issue. It's great to be super motivated, but the best exercise plan is one that you can stick to long-term.
- Make sure you aren't using tons of exercise as a cover for bad eating habits. It's very easy to eat yourself into a much deeper hole than your exercise will get you out of.
- What's your intensity? You might want to consider less time and pushing yourself harder instead. Check out HIIT for one alternative, or maybe try a group exercise class- spinning and kickboxing are pretty intense. As Jillian Michaels is fond of saying- don't phone it in! It's easy to fall into the trap of going through the motions and not really getting much bang for your buck. My gut instinct is that if you can maintain 3 sessions a day, you're not doing anything that makes you sore and are therefore not pushing yourself enough. I'm in good shape and am sore a lot!
- Where's the strength training? If you can put that much time into the gym each day, then you can definitely shift some of it away from cardio and build some muscle!
- I've found that at some point, you tend to get diminishing returns from larger deficits- going over 1000 a day doesn't really lead to more weight loss for me. Pay close attention to your diet calendar to see how this plays out for you.
- Natalie

Joined: May 11
Posts: 150

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 15:24
It is possible to over exercise but I dont think 3 hours of the activity you are doing is too much. I played college soccer and we practiced 2 1/2 hours a day monday thru friday and then usually have one or 2 games a week and being in college I probably walked atleast another hour on top of soccer practice. I think what you are going is fine as long as you get enough calories/water/sleep and maybe a day of rest once every ten days.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 188

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 15:43
If you're not getting enough good calories and nutrients, yes it can hurt you. Athletes are pretty much paid to train all day almost everyday consume insane amount of calories but they even take one rest day. I recently read that michael phelps consumes 12,000 calories/day. I don't know how true that is, but activity level has to be factored in. Check out livestrong.com for calorie needs. 70% of losing weight is diet. That site has you factor in age, height, weight loss goals and activity level.

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Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 496

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 16:21
Micheal Phelps eats insane amounts of calories. That man must have a wooden legs or something.

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 496

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 16:22
How do you find the time to work out 3 hours a day?

Joined: May 11
Posts: 6

Posted: 15 Jul 2011, 17:09
Pureheiress, Yes definitely. Maybe not right away, but if you continue to exercise 3 hrs/day AND drastically limit your calories, you can easily end up losing your period which is unhealthy! It happened to me some years ago (and I wasn't working out 3 hrs/day).

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