If you are someone who eats, lives, and breathes exercise, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced overtraining at one point or another in your life. The word overtraining is a bit misleading as it would be better described as under-resting. Rest is an important part of the fitness equation that is all too often overlooked because our logic tends to tells us the harder, faster, heavier, and more often we go, the better and quicker the results will come. The reality is overlooking the rest and recovery aspect will do exactly the opposite.
Here are 12 signs that you could be overtraining (under-resting):
- Depression- Typically, exercise releases the neurological chemicals to make you feel good, but if you are overtraining, it can cause the opposite effect on your brain.
- Can’t Sleep- Overtraining can cause a hormonal and nervous system overload, resulting in the inability to fall asleep at night.
- Injury- If you’ve noticed you are getting injured more often than usual, it’s a very large possibility you are overtraining. Injuries tend to occur when your body doesn’t have enough time to recuperate. You may also notice your joints, bones, or limbs hurt more than usual.
- Lost your Motivation Mojo- If you are normally a person that lives to workout and then all of the sudden you have no interest; there’s a good chance you’re a victim of overtraining.
- Results Stop- If you’ve noticed that even though you are putting in a crazy amount of effort in the gym, but your results have stopped or even regressed, you’re probably overtraining.
- Drop in Self-Esteem- If you’re like most people, you usually feel like hot stuff after a good workout, but if you are overtraining, you could be having feelings of not being good enough.
- Personality Change- Overtraining tends to mess with your hormonal balance, which will mess with your mood. You might find yourself becoming more irritable, impatient, and aggressive than usual.
- Inconsistent Resting Heart Rate- Start taking your heart rate before you get out of bed in the morning. If your results are pretty inconsistent from day to day, you may be overtraining.
- Excessive Muscle Soreness- Sore muscles are common, but if you are still experiencing muscle soreness more than 3 days later, there’s a problem. It’s usually a good indicator you need to rest more.
- Get Sick More- Overtraining suppresses the immune system, leaving you more prone to all of those icky germs and bacteria out there, especially if you're at the gym constantly sitting on those sweaty benches that are harboring other people's sweaty DNA.
- Chronic Fatigue- Of course, working out is going to leave you tired, but if you notice that you are constantly tired all of the time without changing your sleeping or eating habits, it’s probably a safe bet you are overtraining.
If you find you can relate to some of these overtraining symptoms, it’s probably time to reassess your training regime. Take a look through our Rest & Recovery article to get some useful tips on how to get out of your overtraining rut and start getting back on track.