8 Ways to Recognize Overtraining

Overtraining is a common problem faced by athletes and exercise enthusiasts. It occurs when an individual trains too hard, too frequently, or for too long without sufficient rest and recovery. This can lead to physical and mental fatigue, decreased performance, and an increased risk of injury.

Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for that may indicate you are overtraining:

  1. Decreased performance: If you notice a sudden drop in your performance, such as slower running times or decreased strength, it could be a sign of overtraining.
  2. Increased fatigue: Feeling tired and exhausted all the time, even after a good night’s sleep, could be a sign of overtraining.
  3. Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep could be a result of overtraining.
  4. Decreased motivation: If you find it hard to get motivated to train, or you’re just not enjoying your workouts as much as you used to, it could be a sign of overtraining.
  5. Persistent muscle soreness: Sore muscles after a hard workout are normal, but if the soreness persists for several days or weeks, it could be a sign of overtraining.
  6. Increased risk of injury: If you find yourself getting injured more often, it could be a sign that your body is not recovering properly due to overtraining.
  7. Decreased immune function: Overtraining can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
  8. Mood changes: Overtraining can lead to irritability, depression, and a lack of enjoyment in activities that were previously enjoyable.

To prevent overtraining, it’s important to listen to your body and give it the rest and recovery it needs. This means taking rest days, getting enough sleep, and fueling your body with proper nutrition. It’s also important to vary your training routine and incorporate different types of workouts to prevent boredom and allow for adequate recovery.

It’s also a good idea to track your workouts and pay attention to any changes in your performance or recovery. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of overtraining, it’s important to reduce the intensity or frequency of your workouts and give your body the time it needs to recover.

In conclusion, recognizing the signs of overtraining is crucial for maintaining optimal physical and mental performance, preventing injury, and ensuring overall well-being. By paying attention to your body’s needs and incorporating adequate rest and recovery into your training routine, you can avoid overtraining and continue to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise.


Powerlifting is a strength sport that involves three main lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. It is a popular choice for those looking to increase their overall strength, build muscle mass, and improve their athletic performance. If you are new to powerlifting and want to get started, this beginner’s guide will provide you with the essential information you need to know.

Before diving into the specific lifts, it is important to have a solid foundation of proper form and technique. This will not only help you lift more weight safely, but also ensure that you are targeting the correct muscle groups and getting the most out of each lift.

One of the best ways to learn proper form is to seek out a qualified coach or trainer who can provide guidance and critique your technique. You can also find instructional videos online or attend a powerlifting class at a local gym. It is worth investing the time and effort to learn proper form from the beginning, as it will pay off in the long run and reduce the risk of injury.

Once you have a good understanding of form and technique, you can begin incorporating the three main lifts into your training routine.

The squat is a compound exercise that targets the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. To perform the squat, you will need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on the barbell. Lower your body by bending your knees and hips, keeping your chest up and your back straight. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

The bench press is another compound exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. To perform the bench press, you will need to lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground and your hands gripping the barbell. Lower the bar to your chest, then push it back up to the starting position.

The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets the entire posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. To perform the deadlift, you will need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands gripping the barbell. Lift the bar off the ground by extending your hips and knees, keeping your back straight and your shoulders over the bar. Lower the bar back to the ground by reversing the motion.

It is important to start with a weight that you can handle safely and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger. It is also essential to warm up properly before each session to prevent injury and improve performance. This can include dynamic stretches, foam rolling, and lighter lifts to get the blood flowing and muscles activated.

In addition to the main lifts, it is also beneficial to incorporate accessory exercises into your training routine to target specific muscle groups and address any imbalances. This can include exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, rows, and leg press.

As you progress in your powerlifting journey, it is important to track your progress and set goals for yourself. This can help keep you motivated and provide a sense of accomplishment as you see your strength increase. You may also want to consider competing in powerlifting meets to test your progress and compete against other lifters.

To sum up, getting started in powerlifting requires a solid foundation of proper form and technique, incorporation of the main lifts into your training routine, and the inclusion of accessory exercises to target specific muscle groups. It is also important to track your progress and set goals for yourself as you progress in your journey. With dedication and consistency, powerlifting can be a rewarding and enjoyable way to improve your overall strength and athletic performance.

Paleo Diet Review


The Paleo Diet, also known as the Stone Age Diet or the Caveman Diet, was first popularized in the 1970s.  It is based on the book The Paleo Diet written by Loren Cordain Ph.D. who argues that we need to eat wholesome, contemporary foods from food groups that our ancestors during the Paleolithic era ate.  From roughly 2.6 million years ago to the start of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers that ingested foods such as fresh meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthy oils, and by doing so their health thrived.


Besides freeing you of a multitude of chronic illnesses and diseases, eating a high-protein, high-fruit, and vegetable diet with moderate to high amounts of fat, with increased quantities of healthful omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, can help you lose weight.  However, if employing this diet to lose weight, you’ll also need to ensure that the protein you ingest has two to three times the thermic effect of either fat or carbohydrates.  In English, this means the protein source has to be able to rev up your metabolism so weight loss occurs.  Another benefit of eating more protein is that it will also help to curb your appetite, a common complaint of those trying to lose weight.


Cordain argues decades of research support the position that hunter-gatherers thrived and were typically free from chronic illnesses and diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis), Type 2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.) and osteoporosis.  Returning to such a diet will not only provide a myriad of health benefits but also assist those looking to lose weight.

Program Overview

Against a modern backdrop, the Paleo Diet looks to mimic the types of foods that people prior to the Agricultural Revolution ate.  The emphasis is therefore on eating lean meats, seafood, fresh fruits, and vegetables that are high in beneficial nutrients like soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3, monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates).  Program followers are encouraged to replace existing dairy and grain products in their diet with more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables.  

Plan followers can eat lots of fresh lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.  Eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthier oils such as olive and coconut oil are allowed.  Forbidden foods include any proceeds foods, wheat, dairy products, grains, and legumes.  Also say goodbye to refined sugar, potatoes, salt, and refined vegetable oils like canola.  

Plan Strengths

The recommendation to eat unlimited fruits and vegetables as your source of carbohydrates may provide a low-glycemic index (the rise in blood sugar and insulin levels will be slow or limited).  Excessive jumps in insulin and blood sugar levels have been linked to Metabolic Syndrome – obesity, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, etc.   

The Paleo Diet is high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fat content, which also helps prevent Metabolic Syndrome.  The high soluble-fiber content of the diet tends to also improve most ailments of the gastrointestinal tract.  The high omega-3 fat content helps to improve many of the related inflammatory diseases as well.

Plan Weaknesses

Outside of Dr. Cordain’s research, there have been only a few small controlled trials that have focused on short-term weight loss.  Those results have not proven impressive.  Critics of the plans point out that restricting entire food groups make any diet difficult to follow for any length of time.  And, while the diet does cut out sugary, fatty, and processed foods, nutritionists point out that you can still do so without eliminating whole food groups.

For some dieters, the cost of eating lean meats, fish, and fresh vegetables may be prohibitive.  Another difficulty lies in picking out lean meats.  Diet followers unfamiliar with the right cuts of meat could easily end up with cuts that are high in artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and saturated fat.  Unfortunately as whole grains, oats, beans and other legumes that are a great source of fiber have been cut out of the diet plan, the ability to lower and/or moderate cholesterol becomes more challenging.

Finally, the plan is not viable for vegans and vegetarians as it is impossible to follow the Paleo Diet without incorporating animal food (meat, seafood, and eggs) into your diet.


The premise of cutting down/out refined foods, trans fats, and refined sugar, from any diet is a sound one given the huge body of research that links these transgressors to a multitude of health concerns.  However, there are other ways to accomplish these tasks that do not require eliminating entire food groups (legumes, whole grains, and dairy).  Food groups that research has shown to have beneficial health benefits.  Additionally, outside of Dr. Cordain’s research, there are too few studies indicating any long-term benefits for this particular plan.

The information provided here is for educational or informational purposes only.  Dave DePew does not endorse any of the programs/services reviewed here.  

Additional Resources

Paleo Diet official website, 

U.S. News, Paleo Diet – What You Need to Know,

WebMD, the Paleo Diet,

10 Tips to Beating The Cold and Running Faster & Further by Spring

The leaves are falling.  Daylight’s in short supply, and the chill in the air has most runners thinking of hibernating. While you might need to trade in your running shorts and tank tops for wool wicks, tights, and jackets, the colder weather shouldn’t keep you from doing what you love.

Feeling as if you are standing still or moving backward in your training can make the winter season a very frustrating time for runners, but it doesn’t have to be.  Here are a few tips to help you maintain your running stride. 

1. Running Accountability

Complacency rears its ugly head all too often. Even the most dedicated runner has likely struggled with this on occasion, but learning to hold ourselves accountable takes perseverance and practice.  It requires establishing a system of measurement and assessment, writing down your goal, and listing out the tasks that you must perform daily.  

It also means establishing a set of rewards and consequences based on your ability to meet those tasks. Then, find a coach who can check in with you regularly and ensure that you are meeting your goals, performing your tasks, and facing the required consequences, if necessary.

2. Outside Our Comfort Zone

Have you felt stuck in your running routine?  Maybe you are bored or frustrated that you don’t seem to be progressing.  What you need are new running possibilities and that is exactly what running in colder temperatures will provide you.   Your immediate reaction may be to continue doing things the way you usually do and to stay in your comfort zone.  It’s comfortable there, right?  However, the possibilities that making this minor change in your running routine could potentially set the stage for major fulfillment.  After all, it is sometimes the smallest shift in our thinking or routine that can bring about the biggest opportunity.  

3. Dressed for Success

Runners often hesitate to enter winter racing events for fear of injuries. However, this means missing out on one of the major benefits of cold weather race events — faster times.  We run a lot faster in the cold than we do during the hot-summer month. 

Cold weather running requires the proper attire. How you dress for the elements can make or break your cold weather runs. The right cold weather gear can make all the difference in the world.

4. Visibility 

With the drop in temperature comes to a decrease in daylight hours and nighttime visibility becomes essential. Reflective materials that are sewn into clothing, shoes with attachable lights, a headlamp, and even a flashlight will not only ensure greater visibility but safety as well.

5. Warm-up Inside 

Have you ever taken a frozen steak from the freezer and tapped it on the counter? It’s stiff and not pliable. Your muscles in the cold are just like that steak so don’t expect that when the weather is cold outside you can do a proper warm-up outside. Spending 10-15 minutes doing some dynamic stretching and calisthenics indoors will decrease your risk of injury and make the run much more enjoyable.

6. Weather Ready 

The only thing more unpleasant than being unprepared for foul weather is burning up from too many clothes. Design your run with the intention of shedding layers as you go.  Avoid clothing that is cumbersome or that cannot be easily removed. Must haves include t-shirt, long sleeve T-shirt (polypropylene or capilene), wool wicks, running tights, and a light jacket. 

What you will and won’t likely need:


  • Underwear
  • T-shirt
  • Long sleeve T-shirt (polypropylene or capilene)
  • Wool wicks
  • Running tights 
  • A light jacket


  • Face mask
  • Beanie Scarf


  • Full-length thermal underwear
  • Wind pants
  • Sweater

7. Work Capacity Over Speed or Mileage

Runners want to run faster. The best way to improve our run time is to run more, but running more is not viable for those who find winter running challenging. You have other options. When you start to find it difficult to take to the road the answer isn’t simply to jump on a treadmill. While that is an option, it doesn’t offer nearly the overall advantages that cross-training will provide you. The best option for you would be to participate in an indoor boot camp or go to a gym that specializes in metabolic conditioning. 

Metabolic conditioning allows you to perform shorter more intense aerobic training combined with various forms of resistance training. These sessions range from 30 to 60 minutes and can be structured with free weights, body weight, and kettlebells. 

Many runners who incorporate cross-training and metabolic conditioning have seen increases in their run times even while decreasing their mileage. Cross-training also maintains consistency and provides a much higher level of intensity than running. It also strengthens your core and builds more explosiveness in your lower body through activities like plyometrics, resistance training, and sprints. Some facilities even offer incline speed training and sled drags.

8. After the Run

Once you finish your run, it is important to remove all wet, sweaty clothing. If your running gear mostly consists of clothing made from materials such as polypropylene and capilene, you will be more comfortable as these tend to pull the moisture away from your body while still allowing you to remain warm and dry as possible. 

9. Running Buddies 

Chances are you can’t always count on a running partner unless your running partner is a man’s best friend. However, if you establish your own monthly running event, you can meet up with other runners.  A great bonus is that it also adds another level of accountability. Tip:  to challenge yourself, invite runners who are faster pace-setters than you. Pushing yourself against those who are stronger runners has a way of making you better.

10. Travel Runs

When the weather is at its worse and outdoor runs are limited, it might just be time to head to warmer climates. Vacationing in warmer climates provides a great opportunity to meet new people and explore new running treks.  


Winter months don’t need to be a setback, but you have to be prepared for what the months ahead will bring.

Manage your expectations, begin slowly and over time you can easily build up.

The Essentials of Hiring a Personal Trainer

Hiring a personal trainer is often a step in the right direction if you want to lose weight or get healthy.  A good trainer can put you on the path to success, keep your feet to the fire so to speak, and definitely help make meeting your fitness goals a little easier. However, finding and choosing a personal trainer isn’t always that easy.

When looking for a personal trainer, you’re likely to have several questions, and that’s great.  You should be asking as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with that individual.  Be sure to ask that trainer about their:

  • Education – Are they certified through a reputable personal training organization?
  • Experience – What type of experience, particularly that relates to your specific goals do they have?  Have they ever personally struggled with weight concerns?  
  • Communication – Are they easy to talk to?  Can they explain things to you in a way you understand?  How long do they generally take to return a phone call or email?
  • Style – What type of style do they use when training?  Are they vocal preferring to push their clients like a drill sergeant or are they more laid back and warm and fuzzy?  
  • Results – How successful is their track record with past clients?  

Once you’ve worked through a Q&A session, you should have a good idea as to that individual’s personality.  So, the final question you need to ask yourself is, “Do we make a good match?”  

 While the relationship you form with your trainer isn’t a friendship, you will be spending a lot of time with them, and you want to be sure you can get along well enough.

Three Concerns When Hiring a Trainer

Not all personal trainers are created equal.  That’s why it is so important that you do your due diligence before signing up with a personal trainer.  Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable.  If the trainer refuses to answer, or you don’t like what you’re hearing, move on to the next candidate!

When hiring a personal trainer, you should ask:

What are your qualifications and certifications?  Primarily, you need to determine just how competent they are.  The unfortunate fact is that anyone can set themselves up as a personal trainer.  There is no mandated comprehensive testing or licensing required for personal training.  Furthermore, training for personal trainers can range from professionals who have a degree from an accredited university to others who have taken a basic fitness course spanning a couple of weeks.  


What type of training methods do you use?

A red flag should go up if the trainer you are interviewing suggests they use the same “tried and true” method with every client.  Methods should vary depending on a variety of factors such as your health needs and fitness level, as well as the trainer’s experience and preferences.  

What are your policies and procedures?

Admittedly, this isn’t the part most people want to discuss but it’s important.  Any personal trainer should provide you with their written policy outlining their services, costs, contract length, and cancellation procedure, regardless if you ask for one or not.  Always be suspicious of any business that won’t provide this information.

Focus Matters

Some personal trainers promote programs that focus on losing weight.  It sounds good when you’re struggling with a weight problem and looking for a solution, but this may well be a recipe for failure instead of success.  

Weight loss programs are geared toward individuals wanting to lose weight.  You already know to lose weight you are going to have to eat fewer calories than what you burn, and that the only way you are going to burn more calories is to increase your physical activity level.  This makes many people defensive because they think they are going to have to deprive themselves while suffering through hours of grueling exercise, as long-forgotten muscles protest the increase in physical activity.  Definitely doesn’t sound very appealing or motivating does it?

That’s why the focus of a program matters so much.  Finding a program that concentrates on modifying behavior in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle that will last well beyond any weight loss is essential.  You need and should demand, a solution that is going to produce long-term results.

The goal of the program you ultimately pick should promote what you are going to “gain” not what you are going to “lose.”  With the Grinder Gym program, you’ll gain strength, energy, knowledge, support, confidence and so much more.  That’s why the only people you’ll find at the Grinder Gym are Winners, not Losers!

Pump It Up Ladies

Many women cringe whenever a trainer suggests adding weight lifting to their fitness regimen.  Fears of bulking up like Arnold Schwarzenegger spring to mind and the idea is shot down without consideration.  This is unfortunate because the benefits of lifting weights far outweigh any baseless fears you may have.

The reality is that muscle burns fat.  In fact, for every 3 pounds of muscle you can build, you’ll be able to burn up to an extra 120 calories a day because muscle takes more energy to maintain.  Imagine.  You could burn up to the equivalent of ten pounds of fat in a year!

A workout with weights gives you a longer metabolic boost – up to an hour as your body tries to help hard-worked muscles recover.  What does that mean for you?  It means you’ll reap the reward of burning 25 percent more calories.

You’re thinking, “That’s great Dave, but I don’t want to look like some 300 lb. bodybuilder!”  

You can’t and won’t because you simply don’t have what it takes.  

What do I mean by that?

Women don’t have as much testosterone as men, in fact, they’ve got 15 to 20 times less than men, and without testosterone, women lack the ability to gain muscle mass.  Repeated research has shown that working with heavy weights will promote strength NOT size.

So, if you really want to look AND feel great, pick up those weights and start lifting!

Thin Doesn’t Mean You’re Healthy

True or False.  An overweight active person can be healthier than a skinny inactive individual.  If you answered, “false,” you’d be wrong!  

As hard as this may be to believe, weight is not always a great indicator of health, and being thin certainly doesn’t mean you’re healthy.  

Researchers have found that thin people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise tend to have major deposits of internal fat around vital organs like the heart, liver, and pancreas.  While the exact dangers of internal fat aren’t known, some doctors believe it can contribute to the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  

The theory is that internal fat interferes with the body’s communication system, sending out chemical signals for your body to store fat inside of these organs thus leading to insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

The take-away here is that you can’t depend on outward appearances when it comes to gauging health.  You can’t readily tell if you’re suffering from internal fat, but you can easily eliminate it by improving your diet and exercising regularly.  

You know there’s no shortcut to being fit.  Sure, if you want to just LOOK thin, then maybe you’re satisfied with only dieting.  However, if you truly want to be healthy and fit, then you will need to make physical activity an important part of your lifestyle.

The Problem with Trainers Today

Working with a personal trainer can be invaluable in terms of helping you to meet your fitness goals.  The right personal trainer can help you design the best fitness program to keep you motivated.  Finding the perfect personal trainer is key.  Unfortunately, even after you think you’ve found the right one, you may encounter problems that can be harmful to your fitness agenda.  Problems like: 

An Inattentive Trainer.  When you are working out with a trainer, you deserve their undivided attention.  The occasional disruption is bound to happen, but if your trainer is continually interrupting your sessions by talking with friends or co-workers, taking calls from other clients, or cramming in a workout of their own, it may be time to speak up.

An Uncommunicative Trainer.  Your personal trainer should be available to answer your questions or handle your concerns, even if they arise outside of a scheduled appointment.  Communication is crucial to your success.  Generally, your trainer should be responding to you within 24 to 48 hours.  

Unnecessary supplements.  Some trainers sell supplements and that’s not a bad thing.  However, if they continually push you to buy and say it’s mandatory, that’s a flag.

Clash of Personalities.  Having a good relationship with your personal trainer often boils down to personality compatibility.  If you respond well to a vocal trainer that’s going to push you, then don’t sign up with someone whose style is more quiet and laid back.