For those into fitness, exercise can become a double edged sword.  Working out consistently keeps us fit and healthy.  Working out too much can lead to injury, a lack of progression and become overwhelming.  For those trying to improve fitness it is very easy to fall into the trap of ‘more is better’.  Worse still, feeling that progress isn’t fast enough can be very damaging as it affects decision making.  Here, we talk about how easy it is to fall into this fitness trap and how to avoid it.


People who do fitness are more ‘in tune’ with their bodies

Let’s face it.  Sometimes us fitness types can be over bearing.  Ask how our training is going and we give a blow by blow account of training routines, niggles, personal bests and frustrations.  People that compete, make time for fitness on a regular basis or rely on their body for their job tend be very tuned into how their body is functioning.  Movement and strength imbalances that most people are blissfully unaware of can occupy a lot of headspace for the athlete or strength and conditioning coach.  Injuries cause a lot of stress.  After all, not only can they be painful, but they also inhibit training and performance.  At these times, our dreams of making it to the cover of fitness magazines and the top of the podium can seem impossible.

One thing that we notice is that these issues can become more prevalent when we have more time for fitness.  Maintaining fitness and being healthy is an important part of every day life.  However, there are times when it can become too time consuming in terms of the amount of headspace that it takes up.


Too much time for fitness – a personal example

A common assumption is that personal trainers / strength and conditioning coaches have loads of time for fitness training.  Quite often this isn’t the case, especially for a mobile personal trainer in Fulham and south west London.  Yes, we do get to choose our diary to a point and we have to represent our training by taking care of ourselves.  But successful personal trainers have less time for working out than you think.  An early start with back to back PT sessions in Parsons Green, followed by a client in Walton on Thames and then a finish in Richmond Park can leave little time for training.  And even if there is time, the energy levels can be lacking by the time we get to workout.

However, the traditional holiday periods of summer and Christmas can be a quieter time and therefore we do have more time for fitness and our own training. Having time to workout properly is a luxury and we like to make the most of it.  With time on our hands it can be easy to split training sessions up and do ‘a little extra’.  For me personally, this wasn’t necessarily a good thing.  Splitting my training into two separate sessions of the day meant that I spent more time training.  My usual one hour slot became two 1 hour slots several days of the week.

I attacked each session with the prescribed intensity.  However, the increase in volume was significant and as a result the fatigue levels were higher.  Falling asleep early evening on the couch every night doesn’t make you very popular!  Aside from the fatigue, extra time for training combined with more time off between sessions equals more time for reflection.  You can find yourself obsessing and over analysing training.  It isn’t healthy for fitness to dominate your thoughts all day.


Make time for fitness – but not too much time

For fitness fanatics a busy schedule can therefore be a blessing!  Fitness and exercise should be an important part of daily life, but not at the expense of life balance.  If your gains are starting to dominate your daily thoughts then you might be doing too much.  If time for fitness is reducing your time for family and other important aspects of life then you’re probably doing too much!   Keep fitness in perspective.