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Galaxy has experienced firsthand the experience of overtraining. Do not forget rest days!

DAOFitLife Weekly Update – July 28


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Overtraining syndrome

Here’s an interesting article about why overtraining is a significant risk, even to top level athletes. It lists some of the risks of taking on too much itraining:

Overtraining syndrome can seriously affect your mental health. It can sap your motivation, make you short-tempered, hostile, cranky, sad, anxious, depressed, and a whole host of other not-so-fun mood changes.”

I know for me, the loss of motivation is a HUGE red flag that I need to just chillax and binge watch Chicago Med. Just sayin’.

AM or PM training?

Another question I have struggled with over the years. The great debate with morning versus evening exercise, and which is better for you. I often vacillate in this equation myself. On the one hand, I am very productive and agile in the morning. But on the other hand, I want to use this productivity and agility to focus on knocking out large projects for work, or other personal tasks. Burning that energy at the gym can eat up time and then I have less time to get ahead of the morning news.  This Shape article does a good job at comparing pros and cons. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter as much WHEN you work out, the important question is if you are consistent. 

If your answer is motivated by thinking that fasted exercise burns more fat, think again. While there may be a marginal increase in fat burned during the workout, that would only be because your body has no carbohydrates to run on. That only means that your body will use carbohydrates instead of fat for energy when you eat later. The truth is that post-exercise fat burn, also known as EPOC, is increased in a fed state. See the research below:

(PDF) Exercising Fasting or Fed to Enhance Fat Loss? Influence of Food Intake on Respiratory Ratio and Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption After a Bout of Endurance Training (

The Myth of Cardio Before Breakfast (Bodybuilding)

The effects of various intensities and durations of exercise with and without glucose in milk ingestion on postexercise oxygen consumption

Kayla Itsines (a well-known Australian trainer) has written a blog article about this topic, as well. It makes a good point that later in the day we are more primed for building muscle because our cortisol levels start to decrease and we are fueled by a few meals. Kayla herself has said in interview that she works out around 2pm, when she has already had breakfast or lunch.

My advice would be, experiment and see what is good for you. Many of us still have the advantage of working remotely or will only transition back to 1-3 days in the office a week, so with days at home, you still have a lot of control over your schedule. Lately I have been getting to the “office” earlier and then saving my workout for later in the day, like in the early afternoon. It aligns with the dip in energy, which oddly enough is a better time for me to do a workout because it gets my energy going again for the early evening work during time I would probably spend not being as productive. I am also often able to synch working out with listening to a webcast or a podcast that I need to listen to for my field, so it doubles that efficiency.

What workouts to do each week

Here is a trainer’s advice on what exactly you should do each day of the week if you want to lose weight.  I have updated my exercise plan accordingly.

I think the combination of at least a solid half hour of cardio, folllowed by a 10-15 minute circuit focusing on one area, is the most doable for someone with my schedule to get the best combination of strength training and cardio. If you want a good roadmap to what exercises to do for leg day, arm day, chest day, etc., you can get the Fitbod app, which automatically downloads and generated targeted workouts, incluidng for body areas, HIIT, and push/pull.

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