Are you overtraining? Are you working so hard towards a goal that you may be actually hindering your results? You might be overtraining.
Here are 10 signs, in no particular order, that you may be pushing your body’s limits just a little too far.
#1 Aches and pains in joints leading to injuries. Little aches and pains are a natural part of training. However those aches and pains are the body’s way of telling you to ease up a bit. Pain exists to slow us down to allow for healing. If we continue to push, these little aches and pains will lead to an injury putting us out of training for a longer period of time than if we were to just schedule in some rest into our programming. You can schedule rest or your body will force you to rest.
#2 Loss of motivation. You started out so fired up about training that you could hardly wait for the next training session. Now you wake up in the morning and hitting the weights doesn’t sound as appealing as it used to. If taking a nap starts to become more and more appealing than training as the days go on, you might be overtraining.
#3 You’re in the gym so long people think you work there. More is not always better and training sessions over an hour are usually counterproductive. Get in the gym, hit it hard and get out of there.
#4 Decreased Performance. Not quite hitting the numbers you are supposed to be? Is 80% starting to feel more like 90%? You might be overtraining.
#5 Trouble Sleeping. Is it tough to get to sleep? Do you wake up several times a night and stay awake for an extended period of time? Rest is just as, if not more important for your performance. If your sleep is suffering, you might be overtraining.
#6 Suppressed Immune System. Do you seem to be catching a lot of colds? Nose constantly running or a persistent cough still lingering from 2 weeks ago? You might be overtraining.
#7 Missing Life To Train. The surf is up and your buddy just asked you to head out but you have 5 sets of squats to get in and you tell him you are not going to make it. Seriously, what is the point to this life if you don’t plan on living it. Those squats can wait. I am all for staying focused and not letting distractions get in the way of your goals. If you are a professional athlete not wanting to risk injury because your career is counting on it, I get it. But if you are just training for fitness or local competitions, live a little. Your body will most likely appreciate the active recovery day anyways because you are probably overtraining.
#8 Altered Resting Heart Rate. As soon as you wake up in the morning, take your resting heart rate. Do this for several weeks and you will notice a trend. It will be roughly the same plus or minus a few beats unless you are overtraining. If suddenly one morning, your resting heart rate is 10 beats up from the norm, you might be overtraining. If it is up again the next day, it is probably time for a recovery day.
#9 Extended muscle soreness. The key to any training program is progressive overload and recovery. Progressive overload means gradual increases in volumes or intensities that don’t occur to quickly so your body has time to adapt to the new stimulus, recover and be ready for more. If I have never done more than 50 pullups in a single training session and suddenly decide to do a met-con with 100 pullups in it, I am overtraining. I will most likely be very sore for several days and the soreness will probably get even worse before it gets better. This soreness, lasting several days, can interrupt the next several training sessions. One really hard workout is not worth ruining the rest of the week.
#10 Depression. Not quite yourself? Walking around all day kind of bummed out or slightly frustrated and irritable? You might be overtraining.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, take a nap, don’t worry about calling a doctor, and just get out of the gym for a couple of days. Go do something you love doing and I promise you will feel better.
Original article by Jason Salyer for Train Heroic.