Are you feeling sluggish? Are you struggling while exercising? Is your confidence a bit low? Do you feel irritable? Moody? Not quite yourself?
There is a good chance that you might be overtraining! Overtraining can happen to anyone and it can throw you off balance, but there are ways to fight back!
When you feel good all you want to do is keep up the pace of training at a high level, then you start feeling weak and tired and you question why. Even though you may feel stronger and fitter, you all of a sudden feel weak and “stuck” or that your training seems to be turning against you.
Luckily there are ways to spot overtraining and avoid making negative progress.
What is overtraining?
Overtraining happens when you don’t give yourself enough recovery time between training sessions. So even though exercise its beneficial to your health and everyday life, it can actually be harmful if you continuously exercise at high testy and put heat load of stress and strain on your body. Too much of anything is harmful to the body.
There are two main factors that contribute to overtraining:
- Too much exercise without enough rest and recovery time
- Not getting enough calories, nutrients and vitamins in to fuel the workouts and to help with the recovery process
If you ignore the signs, you will continuously repeat the cycle of overtraining.
SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE OVERTRAINING
High heart rate
A high resting heart rate can be a sign of overtraining and is overall not good or your health. This means your heart is working too hard and not pumping enough blood through your body – especially to you vital organs.
Do you feel completely drained during or after your workout? That can happen when your are not fully recovered from your last workout. While it’s normal to feel tired after a workout, not been able to shake extreme tiredness and constantly feel sluggish means you are fatigued.
Decreased appetite and weight loss
Overtraining can lead to hormonal imbalances which has an effect on how hungry or full you feel. While increased training should actually most likely increase your appetite, the fatigue that you experience can lead to a reduced appetite and weight loss.
Increased efforts in workouts
Some exercises you used to do ease and without effort may seem harder and more challenging to do. You will most likely have an increase heart rate too which also plays a roll.
Sleep is essential not only for your workouts but also for function in your daily life. Overtraining increases your stress hormones which, in turn won’t allow you to relax, making sleep very difficult. When you sleep, the body rests and repairs itself, so the you don’t get enough and proper sleep your body can’t fully recover and rest to your full potential.
TIPS TO AVOID IT
Don’t let the amount of training exceed your rest time. It is important to give your body adequate rest time between training sessions. Listen to your body! If you need to take a break from training, then do so.
Personally, I have found that a mid-week break and no training on the weekend enables me to train more effectively and allows me to put more effort into my four training days. On my rest days I opt for yoga which has a lot of benefits on it’s own and complements my training. I also take a week of training every 8 – 10 weeks.
If you don’t like taking time off, then you need to reduce the volume and intensity of your training. Drop the sets, increase your reps and go lighter when it comes to weight training. Focus on the mind-muscle connection which will help you when you are ready to go back to your hard training again. Same goes for those who prefer their intense cardio sessions – When recovering, less is more. Go for a shorter brisk walk instead of an intense run. Stretch more, do yoga.
Stretching should be a part of your workout routine, even if it is two or three times a week. I have found that adding yoga stretching to my routine it has actually made a huge difference in my training as well as in how my body looks. My posture is better and I have become more mindful when I do my weight training.
Make sure you get enough calories, nutrients and vitamins in to fuel your workouts and help your body with recovery. Protein, carbohydrates and fats are important. Find a balance that works for you and that doesn’t deprive you of those essentials.
It is important to notice the signs. Fatigue, increased effort and poor sleep are just a few things to watch out for when you’re close to over-trained. Pay attention to your body and give it what it needs!
And NO! Daily junk food and chocolate is definitely NOT what it needs. Rest, recovery and healthy choices is what it needs.
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