Do you ever wonder if you could be doing too much exercise? Is there such a thing? Well yes there is and doing too much of it can even have a negative effect on your body. Do you suffer from exercise addiction? Throughout my career I've spent a lot of my time in health clubs and gyms and I see this go on all the time.
Until quite recently I taught a popular spinning class each week for nearly 10 years. Most of the people that come found it extremely challenging. They were totally exhausted by the time we were done (that included me). I say most because some people followed my class with an hour of Body Pump. I know for a fact that if they worked hard enough in my class there is no way they would even consider another 10 minutes of exercise. Never mind another hour. It's not just my class either. This is something I see people do on a regular basis. Many people often do one or two classes in the morning. Then even come back in the evening for more.
Is more exercise better?
Many people believe the more exercise you do the fitter you become and the better you will look. In fact I've even known some trainers that recommend it. Well that's just poppycock. In fact the truth is quite the reverse. Take a look at what Adela McKay from Livestrong says on their website.
"You need calories to maintain muscle mass; without them your muscles will begin to atrophy, or lose size. If you consume 500 calories less than your daily calorie needs, you will lose fat with minimal muscle loss. But less calorific intake pared with too much exercise may not provide enough calories to maintain muscle mass. Calories provide energy during working out and with a shortage of them, your body will use muscle instead of fat for fuel".
Calories in v calories out.
If I have a particularly busy day with lots of exercise I can find myself having to consume over 3,500 calories. This is just to prevent myself from losing weight, which is very hard to do (and often I fail). High intensity workouts like spinning and Body Pump can lead to a calorie burn of over 1,000. That's often as much as some people eat in a day. Ask yourself this, where do all the other calories come from to keep your alive? The answer is muscle.
Less is more.
Personally i'd much rather work harder for a shorter amount of time and get greater results wouldn't you? I train at least 5 times per week. But my workouts are never any more than 45 minutes long. In most cases I will train for around half an hour but I pack a lot into that time. I am exhausted by the time I'm finished.
The Accumulator is designed in much the same way. It's just over 30 minutes long my the end of the month and for good reason. It's hard work.
Exercise should be short and intense. If you spend more than one hour per day exercising you may well be doing more harm than good. If you can go and do anything other than sit down after one of my classes you're clearly not working hard enough.