We’re making the effort to exercise, go you!
Exercise is fantastic; and that amazing feeling afterwards? Wow!
But there is such a thing as OVERtraining; and this can actually cause some serious side effects to your body.
Overtraining is an imbalance between work and rest, where the gym goer is training beyond their body’s ability to recover.
It is crucial to listen to your body for signs of overtraining.
Repetitively failing to complete your normal workout
We’re talking about regression, not reps to failure. Not being able to complete normal workouts which you used to be able to do with ease; such as lifting your normal weights, running your normal distance/pace. This means you’re actually getting weaker and slower, and your stamina is on the decline.
Your body hurts
DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) is normal after every work out and should go away within a couple of days, but if your joints are constantly aching, this could be a sign you’re overtraining. This is your body’s way of telling you to stop!
You’re often sick
It’s that annoying cough or sniffle that just won’t go away! If you’re eating well, getting enough vitamins and minerals and sleeping well, then it’s probably because of your training. This is because your immune system is suffering from all the added stress from your overtraining, and because your body is spending all its time repairing your muscles, it doesn’t have the ability to give its full attention to whatever bacteria or infection you may have come across.
Working out usually provides you with MORE energy, but if you’re feeling exhausted afterwards, it may be a good idea to cut back on the training. Feeling tired after a workout is normal, but to feel so drained you need to take a nap right after a workout is a sign of overtraining.
Whether your mind is racing and you can’t sleep or you’ve slept x amount of hours but still feel exhausted, these are both signs of overtraining and it’s your body’s way of telling you to rest.
If you are seeing any of these signs, it would be ideal to cut back on a variable of your workout; where it be the number of sets, reps, weight or even increase the rest time in between. You may feel like you’re losing taking a step backwards, but you’re giving your body the chance to repair itself to make it stronger, so you’re actually doing your body a favour, and it will thank you for it.