Overtraining is actually more common than you think. If you are clocking in more than 5 hours of high intensity training in a week, you may be at risk of overtraining. Here are five common symptoms you can look out for if you think you may be over doing it in the gym.
1. Altered Resting Heart Rate
One of the most common side-effects of overtraining is an altered resting heart rate. If you find that your resting heart rate is unusually elevated or lowered, it may be time to take a break from the gym and see your doctor.
2. Prolonged Muscle Soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is normal to experience up to 72 hours post- workout. However, if you are experiencing soreness past this point it could be a sign that you’re not allowing your body enough time to recover. Your muscles need time to repair themselves after a vigorous workout. If you do not provide enough rest and recovery, your muscles will continue to tear and be sore. This could also halt your progress and muscle growth.
3. Frequent Illness
When your body is overtrained it goes into a catabolic state (where your body starts to consume it’s own muscle for protein and energy). Being in this state can lower your immunity and increase your chances of getting sick. Do you find yourself constantly sick? Try adding in a few more rest days and see if that helps your immune system.
You would think that after crushing it at the gym you should be able to get a good nights sleep. This is not the case if you’re overtraining. If you find it hard to sleep after a hard workout, theres a good chance your body’s nervous system and hormones are overloaded. The body does it’s best work repairing muscles while you’re sleeping, and if you can’t sleep you will have a hard time seeing progress and growth.
Exercise is generally great for improving moods, but too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Individuals who overtrain can get so obsessed with the way they look that it becomes unhealthy. This can lead to body image issues and lowered self-esteem, which can lead to depression.
“More is better” is a common misconception when it comes to training. Over-exerting yourself in the gym more than 5 hours a week can increase your risk of these symptoms. It is best to focus on the quality of your training rather than the quantity, schedule rest days, and make sure you are properly feeding your body with healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Written by Tayler McClung