T Nation

Chemistry Behind Overtraining

Just wondering if anyone has any text/scientific proof of overtraining. im just curious about the subject. Im in particular looking for the reason why the person is overtrained- such as, the K and Na for a nerve impulse arent pumping correctly etc.

Its not that simple.

I’d say it more hormonal than anything. Your body wants to maintain homeostasis especially with all your hormones, and if you continue with more stress than it can adapt to, it eventually shuts down.

Also, look into the fitness/fatigue theory, or dual factor theory. I think thats what its called. This explains the theory behind progression, and overreaching vs. overtraining.

Cortisol, an important hormone, which when relative to exercise, is a stress hormone, telling your body to shut down to rest (refill its carb stores etc). It so happens that if this hormone is over produced it impedes on muscle hypertrophy.

Second is nutrients, you could be burning more muscle than you are feeding yourself, or giving yourself enough time to absorb and use the nutrients for hypertrophy.

Thirdly, nerve protection. If you do too much eccentric movements you will overtrain and burn your CNS out, and eating too much salts too quickly to recover from this not only doesnt work but also presents problems for your cardiovascular system like loosing vein flexibility, which leads to high blood pressure etc.
As protection your body may in fact put more restrictions on your CNS making you effectively weaker (like an over-protective mother, so that you don’t hurt your muscle).

Neurotransmitters are a limited resource. Use them too much, and you’ll run out.

Only four posts and loads of misinformation already.

Check pubmed for peer-reviewed medical and scientific journal articles pertaining to over-training. It is not as simple as a chem equation. There are a host of factors including but not limited to: homeostatic response to physical stress, connective tissue and inflammation, hormonal factors, food and nutrition, sleep patterns, volume and intensity of workouts, meds, supps, and roids, individual work capacity, and genetics.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Neurotransmitters are a limited resource. Use them too much, and you’ll run out.[/quote]

I hope this is a joke.

[quote]MC sp3 wrote:
undeadlift wrote:
Neurotransmitters are a limited resource. Use them too much, and you’ll run out.

I hope this is a joke.

The body has a finite capacity to produce neurotransmitters so the statement is true.

But you are right, the process of becoming over trained is a complex interconnection of so many variables that a simple equation isn’t going to cover it.

I was just throwing a few of the more basic ideas, so that he doesnt feel unfulfilled by our ‘its complex’ answer.

This is a perfect topic to bring up something i was curious about.

The other day i was reading one of the prison training threads and a good number of posts basically said they had tons of time to train.

With relatively poor nuitrition, how would severe overtraining not occur?

even taking into account the fact we only see the prime examples of prison training, i wonder how even those individuals can get where they are with such poor conditions. Genetics sure help but still.

Do you know for sure that the conditins are that poor. I imagine they get three solid meals a day, and basically sit around the rest of the time.

They can train with any frequency they want pretty much.

Also they might naturally avoid overtraining, becase if they push themselves too hard they might be too weak to defend themselves from the next gang fight (j/k kinda)

I think though its similar to how farm hands, and people who work hard for a living get big. If you have to do it day in and day out your gonna push yourself in the beginning and adapt, but your eventually gonna take it easy. Its probably actually easier for these people to avoid overtraining then the rest of us.

Take a listen to Lonnie’s nutrition radio installment, quite alot of useful information