1. Not Giving Yourself Time to Recover
Prevailing wisdom suggests that training makes us stronger, faster, and more resilient. Unfortunately, while the notion has some truth, that’s not entirely accurate.
Training is a stressor that disrupts homeostasis––the equilibrium your body strives to maintain (1). For example, lifting weights, running, or doing another form of physical activity stresses your body and causes you to become weaker temporarily. Your body then responds to the stress and adapts to handle it better in the future (2).
For instance, lifting heavy weights leads to strength adaptations. As a result, the load gets more manageable over time, and you can lift even heavier weights. But your body needs time to recover from all this (3). Each stressor takes a toll on your body, and not recovering leads to the opposite effects: regression, muscle loss, and injuries.
The golden rule is to give each muscle group at least 48 hours of recovery before training it again. So, for instance, if you do squats on Monday, avoid training your quadriceps before Wednesday. The same goes for every other major muscle in the body because recovery leads to positive adaptations and fitness progress.
Good nutrition and sleep also play a crucial role in the equation. Get enough protein, consume enough calories, and sleep at least seven hours each night (4, 5).