It’s good you are active, you workout and are committed to your goals. But are you overdoing it? Are you over-training?
Training five days a week is OK and you are, usually, avoiding over-training. When it goes beyond that you have to monitor your progress and make sure you don’t slip into over-train territory.
Essentially, with over-training the more you do the worse it gets, the less progress you make and the more tired you feel.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Overtraining happens when you push your body too much beyond its limits.
We need to push boundaries, but when we push too far it’s not going to lead to anything good. Here are some symptoms of overtraining and a few solutions to help with recovery and to get back on track.
1. Muscle pain
This is not the kind of muscle soreness you get after your workout. It’s more of a muscular fatigue.
If the muscular soreness or fatigue last longer than you’d expect, it’s a sign your muscles aren’t recovering.
It’s one thing to feel a bit tired from work and training, or under the weather, but if it happens often and it is lasting it can be a sign of overtraining.
It can also mean your immune system is low which is again a sign of overtraining.
You might also feel very sluggish in the morning and rundown. Pay attention to how your body behaves and how your mood changes.
3. Longer recovery times
You already know how long it takes to recover from your training, or you have an idea at least for every type of training you do.
In general even if you train hard you feel good the next day and ready to do it all over again. Another sign of overtraining is when recovery takes longer than usual.
4. Decreased performance
You train a lot but it feels like you struggle to do the reps and sets a few weeks ago you were comfortable with, you find it difficult to run your usual running distance and weight lifting at your usual level.
Because of this you can’t make much further progress and struggle to add that extra rep or set.
If you have been consistently training, and you feel your performance seems to have decreased, you are over training.
5. Difficulty sleeping
Although you workout more, you find it difficult to fall asleep. In this situation try to avoid any power naps if you usually take them and go to bed when you are tired in the evening. Don’t try and stay awake until late.
Between 10/11 pm and 2 am is when the body recovers the most. Remember that fitness adaptations do not occur when you train but when you rest.
6. Decreased immunity
Everyone gets sick once in a while. Can be stress for some, lack of sleep for others, or poor nutrition. But when you start getting sick too often that should raise some question marks.
When you get sick more often than usual, and if you also experience any of the other signs of overtraining, then it could be that you pushed it too hard for too long and you need to rest and recover before you will see any progress.
7. Get injuries more often
Injuries are part of the game, but when you get injured more often or you aggravate older injuries, you may be overtraining.
When you over train, your body doesn’t recover in time for your next workout and you start from a weak point.
You may also feel impatient, find it difficult to focus and you may not feel as motivated as usual. All these signs, or just some of them are telling you something is wrong.
Give the body more time to recover. You don’t have to stop training but you can take it down, or try a type of activity (active recovery, low intensity) you don’t push yourself to achieve performance.
Athletes take a week off every once in a while, according to their training program. In this case you may take a week off training altogether. Don’t feel like you will regress, that is not the case. You may find that you are stronger and in a better shape after a week off.
Bring in some forced rest period in your training routine.
Adjust your diet to help you body recover. Drink water and eat a combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Connect with Expert Alexandra Merisoiu.