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Excessive Workouts and Over-Training Can Lead To Severe Health Problems

... Stop Before It’s Too Late

Workout-aholic filmi hunk John Abraham, who is skipping gym workouts and exhaustive training due to muscle fatigue, knows what it is to suffer a sports injury. Hottie Katrina Kaif does too, she is reportedly in bed after injuring her neck while working out. So far, stories of stars working towards acquiring washboard flat abs and a six-pack have always sent aspiring wannabes to the gyms to get those envious cuts and curves. But the ill-effects of excessive gymming will hopefully alert gymmers to the downside of excessive gymming.

John Abraham pumping 140 lbs dumbells in the gym

Gym-related injuries, say health experts and trainers, have after all become fairly common. Sports medicine specialist Dr Ameet Pispati says that he’s been witnessing an increase in the number of patients suffering gym-related injuries. “These days, everyone wants a well-chiselled body. It’s almost an obsession for them. For this, they are not only exercising, but overexercising and pushing their bodies to extreme levels without spending enough time to let their muscles recuperate or rest. As a result, they suffer from early burn-outs in the form of muscle fatigue. If it’s as serious as a muscle tear, only surgery can help.” Rehabilitation specialist, Dr Aashish Contractor adds that it’s important that people listen to their bodies. “Chronic injuries or over-use syndromes are a common fallout of rigorous over-training that result from repetitive use, stress and trauma to the soft tissues of the body. People push themselves beyond their body’s capabilities, and that results in muscular-skeletal injuries in the long-run. Intensity violation, where gymmers work out for more time than prescribed is also a common cause.” Fitness expert Nawaz Modi Singhania agrees. “People are succumbing to the pressures of looking good. They set unrealistic goals for themselves and then set out on gruelling exercise regimes. The usual problem is that if a trainer asks them to work out for 20 minutes, they try and double it to achieve faster results. They do not realise that the energy required for this high-intensity workout is not pulled from their body fat beyond a certain point, but from the muscles. Hence, instead of feeling refreshed, they will feel tired and drained of energy — indicators that something about the workout is not right,” she says.

Back pain, frozen shoulder, joint ache and feeling sore are some of the signs that one should pay heed to. But according to trainers, people often ignore their own body’s needs, and continue to push it even when their body sends out signals telling them to stop. This is a point echoed by clinical fitness specialist Namita Jain. “Too much, too soon is what they want and they pay a heavy price for it. Apart from pushing their bodies to the extremes, they do not compensate it with proper rest and most importantly, adequate diet. They go on high-protein diets, ignoring carbohydrates completely. Carbohydrate intake has to be maintained, otherwise it will accelerate the burn-out process of the body.” Namita also emphasises on the importance of working out under a well-trained fitness instructor. “Anyone who promises quick results should be totally avoided,” she adds.

The ill-effects of excessive gymming are more prominent in women, who may even suffer from hormonal imbalances. “Women often compromise when it comes to their diet and that in the long run can cause irreversible damage,” adds Nawaz.

Acquiring a well-toned fit body depends on several factors like an individual’s body type, lifestyle, food habits, work pressures, the intensity of workouts, the type of workouts and their duration. And in a bid to get sculpted bods, people often overlook these very vital elements.


- A muscle soreness that lasts for more than 24 hours

- Any acute or sudden pain in the muscle

- Difficulty in lifting weights, which you could have easily done earlier

- Any pain in the joints while running on the treadmill or on the stepper

- Extreme fatigue and feeling of exhaustion

- Irritability

- Change in sleeping and eating patterns

- Unsteady pulse

- (In women) Irregular menstruation cycle

- Frozen shoulder or stiffness in limbs

- Backache, especially lower back

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