How to know if you’re overtraining?
Overtraining, in simple terms, is when you train without giving your body ample time to recover. When your body is exhausted, it becomes vulnerable to injuries. And even though you might feel like you can pull another crushing workout, your body might need rest. However, before exploring how to know if you’re overtraining, it is essential to understand the consequences of overtraining.
As unpleasant as it may sound, overtraining is counter-productive. Instead of elevating your fitness levels, it will deplete your muscles’ strength. At this point, the harder you work in the gym, the further you will get from your intended outcome. Many people confuse overtraining with grinding it out hard in the gym when, in reality, comparing both is like comparing apples with oranges. When you’re in flow, your body is not healing itself. If you carefully follow the principles of progressive overload and push hard in the gym, that will not be overtraining.
Overtraining is when you can feel your muscles are tired, and instead of taking a rest, you force yourself to the gym and interrupt the body’s healing process. Even though there are many signs and symptoms of overtraining, here are some of the most common ones.
How to know if you’re overtraining: signs and symptoms
How to know if you’re overtraining: muscle fatigue
Muscle fatigue or persistent muscle soreness is the body’s way of communicating that it needs rest. Working fatigued muscles is not only dangerous, but it will also make your muscles weaker. Applying ice packs on affected areas can reduce inflammation. Also, a warm shower will help you improve blood flow. Lastly, if your muscles are not too sore, you can stretch them gently to reduce fatigue and heal quicker.
How to know if you’re overtraining by a decline in performance
A decline in performance is one of the major indicators of overtraining. Sure, taking a few weeks off can result in a drop in performance. However, if you’re training consistently and can’t get into flow even after warming up efficiently, the chances are that you are overtraining.
If you regularly feel sick after a grueling workout where you push yourself to your absolute limits, you need to cut down on your training routine. While falling sick might not necessarily indicate overtraining as it could also be due to a weak immune system, consuming yogurt and other essential vitamins can prove fruitful.
How to know if you’re overtraining mentally?
Strength training is as much taxing on your mind as on your body and muscles. When you’re motivating yourself set after set, you’re exercising your brain to fuel your motivation. Even though lifting weights induce feel-good hormones and enhance the body’s overall health, overdoing it can drain your mental energy. If you feel mentally exhausted after your workouts and can’t find motivation for your next training, try taking a day off.
Poor sleeping habits
Another major sign of overtraining is a poor sleeping schedule. While you’re working out, it’s crucial to prioritize your sleep. When you’re sleeping, the body is in relaxation mode, and that’s when most of the recovery takes place. Therefore, it is imperative to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, with the bulk falling between 10 pm-4 am.
How to know if you’re overtraining through performance plateau
Performance plateau is one of the earliest signs of overtraining. If you can’t go an extra set or lift some extra weight despite putting in the hard yards consistently for an extended period, give yourself a break. Even though being consistent and disciplined is the best way to break plateaus, it only works if your body is recovering well. Take some time off, let your muscles heal, and you will be surprised by the results of your patience.
How to avoid overtraining and recover quickly?
In all fairness, anyone can get carried away with the obsession of reaching their goals. However, overtraining can result in severe injuries. If you want to train more frequently, it’s essential to recover well. There are a few steps that you can take to accelerate your recovery. The first and most crucial step is to rehydrate yourself by drinking as much water as you can. Secondly, consume foods that accelerate recovery, such as starchy vegetables, nuts, and fatty fish. Plus, you can also get a massage to refresh yourself and feel better.
In addition, you can also use supplements that are known for improving recovery, such as Oostarine. Many experts consider Ostarine as the best supplement to assist in recovery. Apart from speeding up recovery, Ostarine also protects tendons from injuries and strengthens bones. You can learn more about ostarine on its dedicated page here.
Conclusion: how to know if you’re overtraining
This brings us to the conclusion on how to know if you’re overtraining. First of all, it should be clear that overtraining does more harm than good. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms discussed above, take a break. One of the biggest causes of overtraining is setting unrealistic goals. Gaining muscle mass and getting shredded is dependent on many factors, and training is just one of them. If you’re training hard and are not getting your desired results, evaluate other aspects of your routine, such as your diet, angles, or even your supplements.