8 Signs You’re Overtraining

8 Signs You're Overtraining

8 Signs You're Overtraining

We’re Americans. We work hard. It’s bred into us from an early age that the harder you work, the more you can achieve. But training is a different animal. A fitness program it is like work in that it requires intense effort. However, continued gains only come when you practice restraint. You don’t get any points for overtime on your workout. In fact, working overtime can put you behind.

And because we are always on the go, it’s easy to overlook some problems brought about by overtraining. You might feel exhausted, but blame it on lack of sleep. You might have trouble concentrating and blame it on Monday.

General Symptoms of Over Training Syndrome

You might feel fatigued, moody, depressed, irritated or suffer from sleep problems. If you experience incredible weight loss, decreased appetite and intense or lasting muscle soreness, you may be overtraining. You might also notice an elevated heart rate. Overtraining wears your body out so much that it can’t recover.

According to the Journal of Athletic Training, you might even develop allergic reactions and other infections from overtraining. Achieving higher levels of fitness requires a delicate balance. If you exercise too much, you wear yourself out, reducing your ability to build muscle and endurance. When your body becomes so strong that your workout is too easy, you stop making gains.

How to Recognize Signs of Overtraining

Overtraining symptoms are difficult to recognize. If you find yourself crying at the drop of a hat, or get in a fight with a friend you normally get along with well, there’s a good chance you are simply overtired and need a break from your workouts. Other potential signs of overtraining include:

  • Decreased Endurance

You can’t finish a workout that used to be easy. When you overwork your body, you run out of energy more quickly, making a simple workout much harder for you.

  • Muscle Loss and/or Fat Gain

You increase your exercise regimen but start to lose muscle. Overtraining may actually contribute to muscle wasting and fat deposition due to an increase in cortisol.

  • Intense Workouts Every Day

If you are lifting weights and sprinting daily, you are probably overtraining. Your body needs time to heal between workouts.

  • Insomnia

If you can’t sleep on a resting day, you probably worked yourself too hard during your workouts. Over training syndrome can make it hard to sleep.

  • Lack of Focus

Some athletes notice restlessness and difficulty focusing during rest periods. Overtraining makes the nervous system hyper-vigilant, keeping your mind awake and your heart pumping faster.

  • Musculoskeletal Pain

If your joints, limbs or bones hurt, you are probably overtraining. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) may indicate overtraining or improper form. If the pain has not diminished in a day or two, it may be a serious case of over training syndrome.

  • Catching Colds Frequently

If you exercise daily but fall ill often, you may be overtraining. If you are eating right, getting plenty of sun and eight hours of sleep at night, but you still get sick more often, then you may be overtraining. Your immune system may deteriorate from overtraining.

  • Fatigue

If you feel exhausted instead of energized from your workouts, you’re probably overtraining. Near the end or just after a workout, you should feel a burst of energy.

I recall biking a 50-mile fund raiser and pushing it way too hard. Afterwards, I was irritated, chilled to the bone and exhausted. I could barely walk the next day. It took 10 days for my body to recover. Experience overtraining just once, and you won’t push yourself that hard again. Would you recognize overtraining if it happened to you?

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