Over the past few decades, India has seen remarkable athletes stepping onto the stage of fitness and bodybuilding. A number of athletes have proved themselves amidst all the adversities and have emerged as iconic figures for our generation. Hence, the number of youngsters entering this profession is increasing by leaps and bounds each year. While they are loaded with determination and enthusiasm, they are often not able to make it big due to lack of guidance. Half knowledge can be bad news especially in this field where you body is your game. Most of us are unable to understand even the basic difference between training and overtraining. In order to guide these future competitors, Yatinder Singh has stepped forward. In our previous interview he shared with us his life journey that made us all salute his will and might. His life journey became an inspiration for aspiring bodybuilders. Yet again, with his wisdom and expertise, he is here to help us all to train our bodies without overtraining.
1) How does a person get over trained?
I train young lads and I observe them closely when I workout. A sad thing is that a lot of youngsters unknowingly over train their bodies. They go by the concept that the more you workout, the better would be the results. However this is far from being true. Your body has a limit and you must respect that. It is not advisable to keep crossing the line between training and overtraining.
Every muscle group that you work on has a definite time limit and that is one hour. This much time is more than enough to train your muscles – be it a small muscle group or big. When you subject your muscles to durations more than this in one stretch then you start overtraining them.
Youngsters today, they never stop at one hour. Their usual timing is 1 hour 30 minutes at least. This extra 30 minutes is over training. When you work out more than your muscle’s recovering capability, then you over train.
2) How many reps and sets should one do?
After time, another thing that you should keep in mind while working out is the number of sets. For small muscle groups – biceps, triceps, deltoids and calves, 12 sets are more than enough to properly train them. When it comes to big muscle groups – quadriceps, pectoral and Latisimmus dorsi, 16 to 18 sets are more than enough. When you cross this, you start overtraining your muscle. If you properly conduct your sessions, doing 12 sets or 16-18 sets won’t take you more than an hour. Thus, keeping a tab on the number of reps also helps you to keep the duration of the session under control.
3) How many days’ interval should one keep between working out on the same part again?When you work out, the muscle fibers break down in great numbers due to stress and load. These fibers then recover with time and eventually your muscles grow and expand. This is basically how training helps in gaining muscles. Your body has its own mechanism in place to recover broken down muscles and that requires approximately 48 hours. Hence, you must have a gap of at least 48 hours before you work out on the same muscle group again.
Now there are athletes who are able to recover their muscles within 36 hours. However, this is possible because they follow an excellent diet and correct supplementation that allow their bodies to cope up faster. It is therefore, very important to support your work out sessions with the correct diet. It is all about fuelling up your body. If you load it with the correct fuel, it will perform better and faster. Hence, with a correct diet you can definitely enhance your recovery rate.
If you see youngsters now, their focus is on exercising and training. They think just by working out more, they will develop the muscles but what about the diet? How will your body recover if you are not giving it proper nutrition?
Since, most of the youngsters do not yet understand the proper diet patterns and supplement cycle, it is better to space out your training sessions for the same muscle groups by 48 hours.
4) What are the effects of over training?
The first and the foremost effect of over training is seen on the joints mainly knee, ankle and wrist joints. They get inflamed.
When a person starts noticing that his joints are getting inflamed, first thing he needs to do is check if there is postural problem. An incorrect posture while squatting, bench pressing etc can affect your joints. If the posture is right or even after correcting the posture, the joints are still inflamed then it is due to over training.
Overtraining also affects your overall development. If a person is not getting the desired results even after working out then there could be two possibilities. First, he is not following the right diet and second he is not working out as is required. It could be under workout and over workout. Over exerting the muscles inhibits its growth.
5) What should one do if over training leads to an injury?
If the person gets injured during training, then first he should immediately stop with his activities and come to rest. Second he should place ice packs on the inflamed region. Then he needs to find out what exactly has been injured – muscle, ligament or bone. In most cases, muscles get injured as they are the most superficial and are fastest to recover. The ligaments take the longest to recover and the only way to get them work again is by resting. Ligament injury can keep you away from the gym for months. Hence, ensure that you are very careful while working out. It is good to push your body harder but do not over do it.
6) How does diet help in muscle recovery?
The development of your muscle depends on how well it recovers after a workout and that is largely dependent on your body nourishment. Protein is the building block of body and it is of most importance for recovering muscles. Second, you need carbohydrates as they supply your body with most of the energy that you need for your activities. Third most important nutrient is healthy fats which are required by your internal organs and body joints.
People suggest olive oil etc for healthy fats however I recommend coconut oil, flex seed oil and omega 3. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which boosts your immunity improving your overall health. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties and they work wonders on the joints. A person should have decent amounts of coconut oil and omega 3 in the diet.
An ideal diet should include 45 percent of carbohydrates, 40 percent of protein and 15 percent of healthy fats.
7) Apart from diet, which is the next important thing to help the body in recovering?The next most important thing is sleep. A person needs to sleep for 6 to 8 hours at a stretch to allow the body to recover and function optimally. The reason behind this is a hormone called Growth Hormone. In humans, this hormone has an anabolic function i.e. it helps to build up and regenerate cells. This hormone is secreted only when you are in your deep sleep. Without sufficient amounts of GH the body stays in a catabolic state i.e. in a state of break down. The muscle will not develop if the body is in a catabolic state. Hence an adequate sleep is of outmost importance for the muscles to recover and develop.
Now this is subjected to personal experience. I do not sleep for more than 4 hours but this is sufficient for my muscle recovery. Over the years, I have observed that for my muscles to recover and function optimally, I need 4 hours of sleep in a stretch. You need to understand your body and see how much sleep it requires and take rest accordingly.
8) How should one train correctly?
In order to train yourself correctly, you must first understand your body. Anatomically, there are three body types – Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
- Ectomorph Body Type basically means that the person is lean or thin naturally.
- Mesomorph Body Type means that the person is mid build, neither fat nor lean
- Endomorph Body Type means that that person is on the bulkier or heavier side naturally.
The three body types have different work out as well as nutritional requirements. However, the current practice is such that every person is subjected to the same workout regimens and diet plans. How will you get the right results when you are not doing the right thing?
Hence the first step towards bodybuilding or fitness is to understand your needs and then chalking out a plan to fulfill those needs. If this is done appropriately then everything else will fall in place.
9) What is your message for the youngsters?
I said this the last time as well. They need to have patience. It takes time for your body to transform. There are no shortcuts to success. Young lads idolize bodybuilders who have been in this field for 10 to 15 years now. They have been doing this for more than a decade. Still people run after quick results.
Be patient with your body. Take time and understand how your body functions. What is the body type? What does it respond to in a better way – once a week or twice a week sessions? How much sleep does it need? What are your weaker muscles? What is your strong point? You need to continuously experiment with your body and set the correct combination for it and this takes time. It is only when you invest time that you get long term results.
We cannot thank enough Yatinder Singh for giving us his time and sharing his vast knowledge with us. We salute his spirit and his gesture. His words “Anything for guiding the youngsters” have raised his stature even more for us. This is what a true idol and a true athlete is like. He is not just an inspiration for the youngsters but also for other athletes who also need to come forward and spread awareness about fitness, health and bodybuilding in our nation.
Connect with this athlete and gem of a human on Facebook Page @Yatindersinghlive.