Weightlifting & Exercise/Stress/overtraining


I'm 43, lifted weights most of my life, coach, teacher, married with two kids, involved in church, we travel throughout the spring because my daughter is a top national volleyball player. I'm type A. Suffer from periodic anxiety.  After football season nov. 2012, I began jogging five miles a day. My legs became extremely tight, and jan. 4th. I got really sick. Was a virus. Anxiety kicked in. Then feb. 12 my dad passed away..which is still tough.  My legs are coming back to me, but the last three to four weeks my arms feel very fatigued.  Three weeks ago, after my workout, both hand started tingling and fingers drawing up. It was like my arms were on overload.  It has happened every so often over the past 20 years. I have not lifted in about two weeks.  My biceps and triceps still feel tired. I was signing out football players in the gym today and my right tricep was burning.  I have energy, I have not lost any strength.  I want to go lift, but I know that after one set I would be fried.  I'm scheduled for a deep tissue massage on Friday.  I had one three weeks ago on my legs and it worked great and the therapist said I was tied with the worst she had ever seen.  She worked my upper body and said the same thing. However she has not dealt with my arms. She will Friday. So, have I seriously overtrained. Again, my energy level is good.  It is just that my muscles won't let me go.  If overtrained how long should I rest.?  I use to workout five days a week, arms two to three times a week.  I appreciate your attention and expertise.  I really want to know if you have seen this before and I' not crazy. Thanks soo much!


First off I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad, my prayers are with you sir. Could you have perhaps done too much in the gym as a way of dealing with the loss of you father or with anxiety in general? I am not a psychologist but perhaps some reflection could bring any possibility to your attention. Ok lets look at this one at a time. As you know you should always warm-up then stretch before any physical activity. If you are running the frequency and amount you are, you REALLY need to not only stretch prior to, but right after running. Do not neglect this as it will start to lead to over compensation in other muscle groups. It sounds like you have a lot going on (as we all do), so try relaxing. You like my self, are a church goer, so spend time in prayer but do so intently, monitor your breathing as you do it. Breathe in deep through the nose, hold it for about 5 seconds, the exhale gently and slowly for say 6-7 seconds. Visualize the tension exiting your body and be cognizant of everything relaxing totally, from your fingers to your toes. I would recommend long hot showers and a hot tub if you can get to one as well. Toby I know exactly what you mean about the tingling and occasional cramping of the fingers, it happens to me too and I cannot say exactly why but I can give some possibilities. I have to sometimes shake my fingers and hands to get sensation back, sort of like when you lay on them all night long. You could have an impingement somewhere pressing on a nerve , which would cause tingling. It could also be over all tightness and stress making you tired hands cramp from working out too much. Ask you massage therapist if she can do some manipulations and see if you feel a difference. I recommend lifting lighter weight for say 12 reps, curl 10-15 pounds less, and see how you feel. Muscles get used to the same workout so you need to switch up reps, sets and poundage. Just because you have energy does not mean you are not overtraining. Go light a couple weeks and see how you are feeling. Also cut back on the running, maybe do some power walking on some days instead of always running-running wrecks havoc on the human body so do so sparingly. Try riding a bicycle or swimming if you can. Don't be afraid to take a week off to recuperate then start-up slowly and training smartly. Remember more is not always better, some times less is better. Toby relax, you are not crazy just tired. I know of this having happened to many people. I commend you on your drive but caution you at the same time.Go easy and keep me posted and lets see where you are in a week or so and then we can fine tune your workout from there. Best of luck to you and your daughters volleyball league. Thanks for writing.


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Greg Hoppe


I can answer questions on proper exercise technique, starting as well as growing in attaining your fitness goals and questions regrading how the human body works from an exercise physiology standpoint. I can assist with any questions regarding anatomy & physiology, stretching and rehabilitation. I am also extremely well versed and experienced in martial arts, self-defense and massage therapy.


I have a B.S in Physical Education and a Black Belt in an eclectic martial art. I am also a certified Fitness Therapist through ISSA and a massage therapist. I can assist with questions regarding hiring a health and wellness professional as well as growing and succeeding in the field for those already working in it.

ISSA, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals

B.S. in Physical education, Black Belt, ISSA certfified Fitness Therapist.

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