When it’s too much

Hey guys! Happy almost-Friday! Hope your day is off to a great start <3


Last night, after getting back to Vtown, the pilot had to head to work (laaaaaame, haha) and I went and got some groceries, as our fridge was looking a little sad.




After chilling around the casa and starting the laundry pile, I finally shuffled up to the yoga room to do yesterday’s Insanity workout. Kicked. My. Booty. More on that in a sec.



Perfect Protein Pancakes! They sounded SO good to me last night…and of course they were 😀 Holler to my friend Tina who had these for bfast <3

This morning, Ashley came over to do the recovery workout for Insanity and we decided on two things:

1. We like when Shaun T wears leggings

vlcsnap-2010-01-16-22h05m44s132  (Source)

He looks cute, huh?? 😀

2. We may need to repeat Month 1 of Insanity before continuing with Month 2

This past week has been HARD. Not the kind of challenging where you can push through at the end, but the kind of impossible that leaves you feeling defeated and miserably sore. My legs, booty and shoulders have been in pain this week. Not the good “hey, I got a good workout” pain, but the lingering, dull, hurting pain.

I was worried that I was feeling extra sore because I was still in vacay mode (desserts every night, more cocktails than usual) and I might just be feeling sluggish. After talking to Ashley and discovering that she’s felt the same way this week, we decided that we’re probably going to repeat Month 1 (starting on the second week) and adding in one Month 2 workout each week, so that we feel better prepared for Month 2.

So how do you tell when what you’re doing is TOO much?

Overtraining occurs when you do too much work with too little recovery.

Here are some of the symptoms:

– You feel PAIN instead of soreness. Soreness is that feeling where you know you got an effective workout, pain occurs when it *hurts* to move and do everyday things.

– Your heart rate is elevated

– You feel depressed and dread your next workout

– Your performance drops

– More frequent injuries

– Headaches, decreased immunity, insomnia, moodiness

When these symptoms start to pop up, it’s a good sign to take a step back, rest and let your body heal.

Some ways to prevent overtraining:

Vary the types of workouts that you do

– Include yoga, stretching and rest days

– Keep a training log not only with what you accomplished, but how you felt. Changes in enthusiasm and performance are great ways to determine whether your workout load is right for you

Alternate lower and higher intensity workouts

So as you can see, we’re facing some overtraining symptoms as we’re both unbearably sore and not able to complete these hardcore workouts. By the end of Month 1, we were busting out the workouts like MACHINES. Even so, we don’t feel physically prepared for Month 2, or that we can do the exercises properly. We’re going to tweak our workout schedule so we can get stronger without hurting ourselves and know that by changing things around, we’ll be ready to tackle Month 2 the right way.

Post-Insanity smoooothie:


– 1 C almond milk

– 1/2 C frozen organic berries

-1/2 banana


-1 scoop vanilla Sun Warrior

I’ve got smoked salmon and eggs in the fridge for laterrrrr 🙂

Time to clean the vacation tornado then head to work!

See ya later today with Yoga Pose May and our vacation video.



Today’s workout jam: “Airplanes” by B.o.B (feat. Hayley Williams) – awesome for hills

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  1. MelissaNibbles on May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I’m convinced that Shaun T and Tonya are sleeping together.

    Insanity is brutal. I think it’s good that you aren’t going to push yourself to complete it just as it’s laid out. Knowing your body and it’s limits is SO important. Good luck!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 10:54 am

      really? ashley and i were thinking shaun may bat for the other team… tanya isn’t my favorite on there, hahah.

      • Therese on May 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

        No I read somewhere that Tanya and Shaun are like BFF!!! She was the “best man” in his wedding (to a woman I think…). He may be a dance but he is way to hot to be gay!! RIGHT!?!?!

        • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

          i don’t know…. i know quite a few very seksi gay men 🙂 you never know!
          i could totally see shaun and tanya being BFFs though!

          • MelissaNibbles on May 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

            Most gay men I know are VERY sexy.

            I don’t like Tonya either! haha! There’s one guy in the back too that my boyfriend says looks like a “crackhead” and is always dying by the middle of the warmup. I shouldn’t make fun of him though because so am I! I actually just stopped doing Insanity because it was causing me really bad neck pain. I miss it so much!

  2. Jessica @ How Sweet on May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

    My husband had every symptom of overtraining after his last marathon, it was scary. It took months for him to get back to normal – overtraining is so not worth it.

  3. Meg on May 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I’m doing insanity now but I’m only in the first week. Thanks for this advice – I’ll definitely keep it in mind as I progress through month 1!!!

  4. Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin on May 20, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Love this post. That move in the snapshot of the Insanity workout looks… insane! I can’t even imagine what the rest of the workout is like!

  5. She-Fit on May 20, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I really want to try out insanity. I have heard so many great things about it.

  6. sarah on May 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Oh wow. He does look good in leggings.

  7. Shelly on May 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I’ve recently started keeping a workout log (my workout buddy got me started on Dailymile) and that’s one thing that I really like- tracking how I feel as well as what I did. I think it’s making a difference in the quality of my workouts. Sometimes I don’t stop to think about how I’m feeling- especially if I’m feeling less than awesome. I just grit my teeth and do it, without thinking of lifestyle factors I can shake up to give me a better workout (i.e. getting more sleep and not eating gummy bear prior to a workout- haha!)
    I wanted to ask you a question, Gina. I’ve recently added more weight lifting (and increased my weights) and swimming to my workout schedule and I’m finding that I’m getting muscle cramps- in my biceps sometimes the day after I lift, and especially in my feet when I swim! I’m prone to cramps and try to deal with it by drinking gatorade (which I hate) but is there a better way? Complicating matters is that I also don’t like coconut water- in fact, I just really like plain water and drink a ton of it (64 oz. at work b/c my office is really dry plus a glass or two at home in the morning and night) and I think maybe I just drink a little too much plain water.
    But any insight you have would be really helpful. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

      you may be dehydrated and electrolytes. have you tried heed? the orange flavor is awesome http://www.amazon.com/Hammer-HEED-Energy-Electrolyte-Drink/dp/B000FFUO9M i’d suggest picking up something like that and adding it to the water you drink while swimming- it could help a lot

      • Shelly on May 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

        Thanks! I’m going to give it a try- it sounds good. Not too sweet is exactly what I want!

  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) on May 20, 2010 at 11:19 am

    i think it’s great that you’re listening to your body…and there’s nothing wrong with going back and repeating month 1! it can only prepare you more, but the important thing is that you know what’s right for YOU 🙂

  9. Kelly on May 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Thank you for writing about this! Sometimes I think that I HAVE to push myself to run 8 miles each day or work through pain and exhaustion, all in the name of being “fit.” It helps to hear from someone whose fitness philosophies I respect very much that sometimes it is okay to listen to your body and know the fine line between challenging yourself and punishing yourself.

  10. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on May 20, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Fanstastic post Gina. I definitely over train myself sometimes, but I also include two rest days during my week. It seems that a lot of people only have one, but my body definitely needs two!

  11. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) on May 20, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Welcome back! Sounds like your vacay was incredible, just the way it should be. Plus you know it was just long enough when the idea of comeing back to the routine doesn’t sound unbearable. Clearly Insanity has not made you insane, so good for you for taking care.

  12. Therese on May 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

    It’s funny because that is exactly what I inadvertantly had to do with Insanity. After finishing Month 1 (pushing through mad ankle pain the last week) I had to take a full week off (while on vacation in the Keys!!!!) from any exercise for tendonitis. I restarted the program and just finished Month 1 (again!) this morning. If I hadn’t done it twice I’m not sure I would be ready for the intensity of Month 2!

    I just love restocking my empty fridge with healthy goodies after an indulgent vacation!

  13. Evelyn @ cheers2healthy on May 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    You’re absolutely right – sometimes you need to stop for a second and do a double-check to see if you are overtraining! Overtraining is certainly detrimental in the long-run. Repeating Month 1 & incorporating Month 2 sounds like a smart decision to transition you gradually into Month 2. Good choice!!

  14. RhodeyGirl on May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Is there such thing as overtraining with YOGA? I am now going to Bikram yoga more and more, but my body is really sore the next day. It is a nice muscle soreness, but it is new to me because Bikram never made me sore before (I think it is because I finally learned how to engage all my muscles throughout the class). Thoughts? I mean, I can lift my arms, but they HURT!

    Also, do you think Bikram yoga can be a good replacement for running/lifting all together? it makes me IT band feel so much better, and running is now painful. I am shooting for 3-4 days of Bikram + 1 long power walk + 1 swim and teaching 2 boot camp classes. Seems like a lot but it actually isn’t for someone as active as I usually am.

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      yes, i totally think you can overtrain with yoga, especially with power and bikram. your schedule sounds great but i’d just make sure to do bikram on non-consecutive days, and still think you need to lift weights for bone health and lean muscle.
      i’d do something like: bikram, walk + weights, bikram, swim, bikram, weights, off

      • RhodeyGirl on May 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

        That sounds great!! I am somewhat doing that but not as structured. I have gotten lazy with the weights. Will get back to it… TODAY!

        Thanks Gina!

  15. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on May 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Good job on listening to your body! It’s so easy to get over-zealous with our exercise and ignore our bodies when they’re begging for us to slooooow down.

  16. Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life on May 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I had a client who over trained a lot! It worked against her in terms of weight loss… once she stopped pushing herself in such an extreme way, she was finally able to decrease her body fat. Great post! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

      that’s very true! when you overdo it, your body will often hold onto excess fat

  17. Veronica on May 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Gina! I made your protein pancakes a few nights ago and LOVED them! I used brown rice protein powder instead but kept everything else the same. They were so yummy! My husband even liked them and he is not usually one for pancakes.

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

      so awesome! i glad you guys liked them!

  18. nicole on May 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Wow, thank you for posting this! Last week I did a 20 mile run in preparation for my marathon on June 6 and not only was I sore but I had a headache and fever- definitely signs of over doing it? I was wondering what you would recommend as a sports gel/snack for the marathon since I know you’re into more natural foods (not GU) and how much you think is necessary? It would be so helpful to get your expert opinion!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      these are my favorite: http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Stinger-Organic-Smoothie-1-8-Ounce/dp/B001CWYK4M
      definitely practice running with anything new beforehand, and i’d have half a pack every hour.
      hope this helps! make sure to get some good rest, stretching and icing, too

      • nicole on May 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm

        I will definitely check them out. Thanks for the recommendation, you’re awesome!

  19. Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife on May 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I have DEF faced these symptoms in the past. One thing that got me down before I really “got it” was dreading workouts and/or feeling like a failure if I didn’t workout every single day. Wow, am I glad I found variety and the realization that if I cut down on workout days I can really kill it at the gym the days I do go 🙂

  20. Laury @ thefitnessriot on May 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I used to be the poster child for over training…I was never one to dread my next workout, I was super addicted (3-4hrs/day)–however, I did suffer from migraines; more susceptible to sickness–& injuries came later …Good job taking a step back! That work out is called “insanity” for a reason! 🙂

  21. Jenny on May 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    That song is the BEST for hills- I suggested it to a spin instructor at my gym and I hope she listens. It’s fun for weightlifting, too!

  22. Catherine on May 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I hate the feelings of overtraining! I definitely pushed myself too hard and too fast before my first marathon and after I was a mess! I took a way more balance approach to the marathon I ran this year and I was back swimming laps 2 days after with no pain, just lingering soreness. It really pays to listen to you body!

  23. Jenn on May 20, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Ahh I know the PAIN feeling! P90X is KILLER. I mean, try just getting through week one without having to take a day off. It’s tough stuff!

    I like your approach, though. Better to take it slow than push too far and make no progress, due to injury. Good luck!

  24. Kellie on May 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I was wondering how many rest days you recommend each week?

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm


  25. Naomi (onefitfoodie) on May 20, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    SO good to know this about month 2…I am supposed to be starting it in 2 weeks!! i have to say I am a bit nervous because I know it is a total butt kicker!! I am going to start off and see how I feel…i am a personal trainer too, so I always stress the importance of overtraining to my clients, and have been there myself, so I will be sure to alwys listen to my body!! THANKS FOR THE INFO!

    making your pancakes for breakfast tomorrow morning 🙂

  26. Courtney R on May 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Quick question. Do you think it is fine to run and do insanity as well, i.e insanity would be a cross train day or do you think it is one of those things you should devote yourself to everyday? I am always looking for more challenging crosstraining activities.


    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      yeah i think that would be ok- you’d probably have to take it easy on the runs though because it will make your legs pretty sure

  27. Retta @ RunRettaRun on May 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I’m definitely feeling that tune! I’ve had to repeat level 1 w/ 30 Day Shred and since it’s been so long, I’d probably have to start all ovah.

    Thanks for the great advice!

  28. Karyn on May 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    i totally know i’m overtraining when my attitude changes. all the other symptoms can usually be explained by other things but my attitude towards things will really only change when i’m overdoing it. definitely no fun at all!

  29. Ashley on May 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Great post! How much cardio a day do you believe is overtraining to where your body will hold onto fat? With marathon training and trying to fit in weight training, I often find myself doing 60-90 minutes of cardio a day with weights 4 times a week and one rest day. I have a desk job outside of that but I’m always wondering if this is too much or ok as long as I fuel myself properly.

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

      it really depends on the intensity, ya know? like full-out HIIT sprint training for an hour is too much, but jogging for an hour isn’t. it also depends on fitness levels, so it’s hard to make a general statement on what would be too much

      • Ashley on May 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

        I think I would die if I tried to do full out HIIT every day lol. I guess I was just wondering if you build up your fitness level if it’s ok, I want to train for my endurance events (And I like cardio) but I don’t want to sabotage my own efforts to tone either. I would say the majority of it is moderate intensity.

        • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

          haha i would die too, but some people are crazy like that.
          from what it sounds like, you’re doing the right things 🙂

          • Ashley on May 20, 2010 at 3:59 pm

            Thanks for the feedback : )

  30. Leah on May 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Those are great tips.
    Im all about taking rest days now. I was running every day, and my body finally said STOP IT!! I found that yoga really made a huge difference for me too.

  31. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on May 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Great tips! So true!! I try to take one or two rest days a week but sometimes I feel like I need even more. Gotta listen to you body!

  32. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on May 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Great tips! I’m definitely guilty of occasional overtraining syndrome so I am very thankful for the reminders!
    …and I may just have to get the Insanity Workout because of those leggings. 😉

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      LOL! yes!

  33. Dawn (HealthySDLiving) on May 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    You know, sometimes I don’t realiza how in need I am of a little rest! TOTALLY guilty of overtraining and need to tell myself it’s OK and necessary to relax sometimes! lol

  34. Melanie on May 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I can remember overtraining once and it felt like I was instantly hit with a cold. Once I backed off and rested it got better as quick as I started feeling like I had a cold.

  35. Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow on May 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    If there is anything I’ve learned from Insanity it is to take enough time to rest! The body can’t keep up sometimes right!!! 🙂

  36. Liza (Eat, Live, Liza) on May 21, 2010 at 6:10 am

    OMG Gina!! I did Insanity yesterday and felt great afterwards, then I woke up today with lower back pain and somewhat sore legs. I could put up with my legs, but the back was too much! I tried everything today, sleeping on the yoga mat on the floor, doing the Cat-Cow yoga poses, and using a heat pack for 20 minutes. 🙁

    Guess I won’t be working out for a week or so until this pain goes away! Thanks for the post!

  37. Nicole on October 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    What a helpful post! With the societal pressures we face on a daily daily basis, it is hard to accept when enough is enough. I sometimes feel guilty if I do not run the whole distance I plan to or think I should. As a girl in college, I have seen first hand the effects of body image issues and the extent to which some will go to achieve “perfection.” With stress and inconsistent eating patterns, it is easy to get into an unhealthy pattern of exercising too much to make up for the areas you may be lacking. I use to try to run every day as the summer season approached in hopes of getting that “fit” body for bathing suit season. However, after reading some advice like yours on the benefits of taking time to rest your muscles, I saw much better results when taking it back a bit. Thank you for the reminder to make time for rest and repair!

  38. Monica Toress on December 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    WOW, I just realized I have been overtraining. That explains why I feel horrible lately. I just wanted to get in shape faster but I am starting to understand the benefits of taking a break every once in a while.

  39. Korey Kulpins on May 8, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I just started reading your blog and I absolutely love the effort you put forth creating a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. I am currently majoring in Strength and Conditioning and I completely agree in the methods you put up to becoming a stronger healthier individual. I’ve also done insanity and it definitely kicks my butt every time! You go girl! I also am a college softball player and come to the point of pain when working out but can’t seem to get away from it because there is no quitting when you play a college sport, I will definitely appreciate some much needed rest when I am done. Like I said before, great information and I will keep following! Your recipes are awesome too 🙂

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