5 Signs You Might Be Overtraining

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overtraining, over exercising, exercise recovery

If a little exercise is good for you, more is better, right? Wrong – you can actually exercise to the point where you start to get weaker – also known as overtraining. Overtraining happens when you give your body more exercise stress than it can handle. The body starts to break down its own muscle for fuel and the chance of injury increases. Although there is no formula to determine you have over trained, there are signs than can be recognized. Below are five common symptoms of overtraining to become familiar with.

  1. Decreased Performance:
    One major indicator of overtraining is lack of performance or progress, despite an increase in training. You may notice a decrease in quickness, strength, endurance and speed. Each time you put stress on your muscles you are essentially tearing them. Muscles need time to repair those tears before being forced into more exercise.
  2. Illness:
    Getting sick can be caused by an array of things – poor diet, not enough sleep and stress. However, if you are eating a balanced diet, obtaining adequate sleep and managing your stress, your lingering sickness may be due to overtraining. Your immune system has become weak due to your increased training demands, and needs a break.
  3. Increased Heart rate:
    Increased morning heart rate by at least five beats per minute is a warning sign of overtraining. Your heart is attempting to catch up on the imposed workout demands. To find your normal resting heart rate, measure at least twice a week upon awakening while lying in bed.
  4. Changes in Mood:
    The hormones that usually keep you feeling happy and energized after a workout, become less apparent with overtraining. Your body’s heightened stress levels overpower the happy hormones – leaving you feeling moody and irritable.
  5. Muscle Soreness:
    Some post-workout soreness is normal, but if you experience prolonged soreness for more than a few days, schedule a break. This type of soreness is a sign that your muscles aren’t recovering properly. By pushing through more workouts and not taking a break, you will actually be negatively impacting your strength efforts.

To get the most out of your gym time and to avoid overtraining, listen to your body. Rest is the most important key to repairing your body and allowing optimal muscle growth.

If you are someone who doesn't like to take a day off from exercising, learn more about Active Recovery workouts.