All About Over-Training: Why your workout made you sick


This is me.

Today. Sick and weary with flu-like symptoms, and I know exactly why.

There are many types of gym-goer: The type that is more interested in the selfie than the workout, the get-it-done-head-downers, and the over-exerting compensators who set themselves up for illness. We could all stand to adopt a few benefits from each philosophy or style, but most of us lean toward one or the other on a day-to-day basis.

I am typically the get-it-done type, rarely but sometimes the shameless selfie type, and every now and then I over-exert against my better judgement. I am disappointed with my lack of “gains”, my slow running time, the horrible feeling of a weak, stiff back or hips from inactivity due to not prioritizing or scheduling properly or setting new and unrealistic goals. #goaldigger

Having studied fitness and nutrition, worked as a personal trainer for 3 years, and completed 3 full marathons and countless other races, I understand what is happening to my body more than the average gym goer.

Metabolic Training and Toxins

Large amounts of toxins can be released into your bloodstream after an intense workout due to bacteria being burned off. Metabolic training is a form of conditioning where you give your body little to no rest between reps and sets in an effort to burn maximum calories and boost your metabolic rate. However, this style of training can release toxic stress chemicals stored in your fatty tissues which makes you more toxic and puts stress on your immune system temporarily. With this type of workout, some pre-workout nutrition and drinking TONS of water after the workout is essential.

So, the more intense your workouts or metcon day is, the more stress it puts on your system to work overtime in eliminating the toxins. To use me as an example, I did a crazy shoulder metcon workout on an empty stomach and virtually no water, followed by a fast 3 mile sprint. Then I drank a large coffee and forgot about my water bottle altogether.

The symptoms one could experience if they are in this state are:

Fever, chills, diharreah, moodiness, nausea, cramping, rashes, hives, fatigue, rage, anxiety, headache and arthritis.


Another factor could be the secretion of HGH, Human Growth Hormone. HGH is what makes the muscles and body grow and helps the collagen turn over. It is secreted when exercising and can make you nauseous, especially when combined with other exercise factors and dehydration.

Preventative Measures

Drink 7-10 glasses of water before and during a workout out.

Eat a carbohydrate-rich snack after your workout.

Lower the intensity.

Talk test: Make sure you can talk while performing cardiovascular exercise.

Wear a heart rate monitor and stay in your target heart rate zone.

Treat your symptoms like a flu bug and rest up.

*Remember, always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program. There could be some factors that are unique to you and you alone. Also, invest in a personal trainer to show you the ropes and customize a program for you. This is expensive, yes, but money you will never regret spending. Make sure you choose a trainer who you like and listens to your needs.

I hope this post helps!

Love, T


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