Are You Having These Symptoms of Overtraining?
Man it sure feels good to be in the exercise zone and busting new personal records – finally! You actually look forward to that workout. You actually look forward to sweating. You actually look forward to the soreness the next day – you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So you decide to train almost every day – I mean why not? You’re feeling invincible!
Symptoms of Overtraining
This goes on for a while but you start to notice that you aren’t feeling quite right. You should be stronger than ever but you seem to be lacking in your performance – not to mention the fact that you seem to be losing steam…
Could you possibly be overtraining? Is that even a thing?
What is Overtraining?
Our bodies need rest – there is no doubt about that. Without the proper rest days our body can’t fully recover from the taxing toll we put on it. Rest days help our muscles heal, dispose lactic acid, and grow while letting us mentally prepare for the next workout.
Even if you aren’t training everyday you can still over train your body (each person is different and is dependent on genetics, age, workouts…etc.) which can lead to physiological damage.
Let’s check out some of the more common symptoms of overtraining (in no particular order) and how we can get back on track!
7 Symptoms of Overtraining
1. Drop In Performance
You were crushing your workouts and hitting new personal records almost every session, but the last week has been tough. You are getting nowhere near what you were doing only a week earlier and you just simply feel weak!
Not to mention you can barely even get through the workouts that you were once dominating.
2. You Get Sick Easily
Not only are you over taxing your muscles, you can be disrupting your immune system. Our immune system can get disrupted by a number of factors including physical stress.
It might not be that you are getting the flu every other day but it could be that you have a sore throat each morning or your cough won’t go away – this could indicate a taxed immune system brought on by overtraining!
3. Loss of Enthusiasm
It seems like yesterday that you were so excited to workout – I mean absolutely pumped – but now it’s more like “blah”. You don’t get excited to hit personal records anymore and in fact going to the gym or working out at home just doesn’t get you going anymore – it’s more like work now and you deal with enough of that already.
One symptom of overtraining that seems counter-intuitive is that it can actually cause insomnia. In fact, overtraining can cause you to have an elevated resting heart rate and loss of focus which can result in lack of sleep.
Likewise, overtraining can stress our sympathetic nervous system which can cause insomnia due to chronic excitability as well!
5. You’ve Plateaued
So you’re working harder and harder, longer and longer but you can’t seem to lose weight or gain any muscle. This is your body telling you that you need to rest and recoup. Your body is simply worn-down from overtraining.
This can lead to your metabolism slowing down and a decrease in lean muscle mass. It can also decrease your muscle-building capabilities.
“I must lose 2-3 pounds!” I must hit the gym up after our date on Saturday night!”
Look, exercise is great and being healthy should be one of our top goals, but when it starts to become an obsession and affects your friends, family, and you mental state (for the negative) then it’s time to rethink things. This is a commonly overlooked symptom of overtraining.
Probably the most obvious symptom of overtraining is that your body simply starts to break down. You start to become more prone to sprains and pulled muscles.
Likewise, previous injuries that you thought you were over start to come back. Not only that, your bones, muscles, and joints constantly hurt and ache. Sounds fun!
Although there are a number of other symptoms of overtraining – including fatigue, depression, anger…etc. – these are the more common ones. So how do we break this cycle and get back to the old, excited, healthy you?
Wrap-Up: Getting Back On Track
While we never want to give up exercise completely, sometimes you must take an unexpected hiatus to truly help your body recover – this could be days or even weeks.
In order to prevent overtraining in the future make sure to take at least 1-2 rest days between super high intensity workouts (your metabolism will be on overdrive anyways). Likewise, we recommend having at least 3 rest days a week from intense exercise.
Lastly, always remember to eat plenty of lean protein, stay hydrated, and get at least 7 hours of sleep a night!
If you experiencing a number of the symptoms of overtraining listed above, then maybe it’s time to listen to your body and start the recovery process.
Just make sure to implement those all important rest days into your current or future programs!
Take care of your body – don’t overtax it – and it will take care of you!
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