We all know that exercise is good for us. It helps us to maintain a healthy body composition, healthy cardiovascular system, can make us feel more energized and all around amazing. However, there is something that is not too often talked about and that is overtraining. Sometimes we get overzealous with our goals and push ourselves just a little bit too far. Does this sound like you? I know this sounds like me, sometimes I just don’t know when to give it a rest. I’m only human.
So if you’ve ever thought to yourself, maybe I train too much, have a look at the list to see if you’ve become a victim of overtraining.
- Constant Fatigue – Do you feel more tired than normal? Or do you just feel exhausted constantly? Yea maybe overtraining.
- Frequent Illness – If you are someone who isn’t normally sick but you find yourself catching every single thing that has been floating around the office or if you are having trouble shaking that pesky cold, overtraining might be the culprit.
- Decrease in Strength – This is a really common one. If you find that your performance is consistently down and you feel like you are getting weaker with every workout, it might be time to take some rest.
- Constant Muscle Soreness – Do you feel like you are living with DOMS everyday no matter what? Give your muscles a bit of a break.
- Depression – What I mean by this is a loss of motivation and passion for your workouts, especially if you are the type of person that loves going to the gym and training.
If you read through this list and thought, that sounds like me, you might be wondering what you can do about it. My first piece of advice is to take some time off from the gym to give your body and mind a break – maybe about a week. During this time try and get some more sleep, maybe schedule a massage or attend some gentle yoga classes. It will help to get your body back on track.
If you absolutely refuse to take time off, my next suggestion is to decrease the intensity of your training sessions. Decrease the weight or the number of sets and reps you normally do. Your body is telling you it needs a break so listen to it!
Some other things that can help prevent and overcome overtraining
- Get regular sleep.
- Switch up your training program and try something new, especially if you’ve been following the same program for awhile.
- Make sure your nutrition is on point, it can help a lot with recovery if you are eating well.
- Have some days during the week where you don’t train, it won’t hinder progress, trust me. Training 6-7 days a week will only lead to overtraining and feeling burnt out.