I can put my hand up and say that I am guilty of this in the past. I used to train 7 days straight some days, I would train morning and night and sometimes and would be in the gym for around 2 hours at a time. I was SO tired all of the time, I wasn’t sleeping well and even though I wasn’t overweight my body didn’t really change much in this time. It wasn’t until I gave up all long high intensity workouts and focused on structuring my training better that I was able to hold onto my muscle and therefore burn the unwanted body fat.
I also used to use pre workouts everyday just to get me out the door and to the gym. This is NOT ideal and I am so happy to be done with using stimulants as they give you a fake feeling of energy then leave you feeling worse after and burnt out. It is so important to listen to your body when it is talking to you. You need rest to grow muscle and recover, please don’t over look something as simple as rest as it could be the thing that you are missing and therefore you will go round in circles and not get the results you are striving for!
Common Overtraining Symptoms
There are a number of overtraining symptoms that include tiredness, tightness, decrease in performance, increase in injuries, restlessness, elevated blood pressure, decreased strength, decreased endurance, a change in menstrual patterns, plus many more.
Overtraining Symptom #1: Lack of Motivation
Lost all drive and motivation to train, or really perform any physical activity? Your body is telling you that you need to rest and recover because you are doing too much.
We all have days when we don’t feel like training, heck. I have them all the time. But if you go days, or even weeks, without wanting anything to do with the gym, it’s time to listen to your body and take a rest.
#2: You Feel Especially Sore Following a Big Workout
Highly dependent on nutrition, if you’re eating enough while training hard but still feel intense soreness after your workouts, there is a chance overtraining has set in. Different than the usual soreness from training, it will linger for a few extra days and might be a little more painful.
#3: You Stop Seeing Results
Believe it or not, working out too much can actually cause you to lose muscle and gain fat! If it was as simple as energy balance (burning more than you consume) then the more you train the better. The problem is that hormones play a large role in the equation.
Overtraining causes your body to produce inadequate amounts of testosterone (bad for the ladies too) while producing higher levels of cortisol. The problem for both men and women is that your body increases both insulin resistance and fat deposition. We are training to get strong and lean, right?
#4: You Become Restless and Lose Focus
Typically found in strength or power athletes or those who train with high intensity intervals, what happens is your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive, causing restlessness, and inability to focus.
This restlessness makes it even harder to recover as I can’t stress enough how important sleep is for recovery and consistent gains.
#5: You Feel Sluggish All Day
Another effect of overtraining the sympathetic nervous system, this often happens with endurance athletes. Again, the result of decreased testosterone and increased cortisol levels, in some cases causes debilitating fatigue that feels like you’ve come down with a cold.
I typically recommend intense workouts of shorter duration due to the effects of long duration endurance training. Just because you are physically able to run 10 or more kms each week doesn’t mean that you have to.
#6: Chronic Soreness in Your Joints, Bones and Limbs
Post workout soreness in the form of DOMS (delayed onset muscle fatigue) is normal, but if you experience intense and prolonged soreness, you may have done too much. Basically, if it feels like you got run over by a bus, you should cut back on your volume or intensity.
#7: You’re Sick More Often
Very often caused by a combination of things such as lack of sleep, poor diet, not enough activity and mental stress, if you think you are on point with all of these things and still find yourself getting ill, it may be due to overtraining.
Don’t ignore those early sniffles, it is a sign you are run down and need to rest. Your immune system will suffer when you over train!
How To Avoid Overtraining
2. Proper Nutrition without restricting the fuel your body needs to function
3. Try to Avoid extra stress in your life
A good rule of thumb is to train only enough to elicit a training response. Don’t train to the point where it takes 2 weeks to recover from one session.
Rest between heavy lifting sessions as much as possible and avoid training heavy with full body lifts one or two days in a row.
Try and incorporate a de-load week where you are not pushing it too hard to give your body a chance to recover.
5. Get Recovery in
ie stretching, yoga, swimming, walking and resting!!!
Now that you’re equipped to spot the most common signs of overtraining be sure to:
Train hard, Train smart and Train with purpose!
Please, if you feel stuck in a rut or need some help with your training then get in touch! I am now taking applications for my ‘Mind and Body Overhaul’ Program. My 8 week intensive program where you work exclusively with me and I will take you from feeling overwhelmed, lost and unhappy to healthy, vibrant and rocking your best body!
Click here and fill out this form and I will get back to you asap!
Yours in health!
P.S Below are some other Blogs of mine that you might be interested in reading: