What is over training?
Overtraining is a very real thing, and sadly, one that is very often overlooked and ignored. Over training can have disastrous consequences and can inhibit your goals along with your health and mindset.
Overtraining is when you are hitting the exercise or gym regime so hard, that instead of reaping the rewards; your body is in fact suffering for it. Overtraining can be recognised through a number of different indicators and if you are aware of them you can pull on the reigns a little and slow yourself down.
Could this be you? Have a read through these 9 symptoms of overtraining to see if you can relate.
1. Persistent muscle soreness
Persistent aches and pains in your muscles is one of the biggest telltale signs that you are over training. If you aren’t giving your muscles adequate time to grow and repair then they simply wont.
Solution: Have adequate rest days to give your body time to heal.
2. Elevated resting heart rate
If you have an elevated heart rate then your body is working overtime to account for everything you’re doing to it. Your heart is going fast to get enough oxygenated blood to the recovering muscles and body parts.
Solution: Take a break, a few days off so you aren’t doing more harm than good!
3. Increased susceptibility to infections
If you are over training, especially while on a calorie deficit you will be burning more than what’s going in. This can tire out your immune system and leave it susceptible to infections as it’s too battered to do its job properly for you.
Solution: Increase your vitamin C intake, enjoy a cheat day and get some much-needed rest.
4. Increased incidence of injuries
If you are over training your body is probably using more calcium from around your joints to keep up with the demand. Also, overworked muscles can easily tear and pull if they are fatigued from over training. Both of these can leave you very susceptible to getting injured.
Solution: Split training days so you train different muscle groups each day. Take a calcium supplement and always have your rest days.
If you are wearing yourself out then your mood will certainly slip. You will feel irritable, moody and unwilling to do a great deal at all. Your energy levels will be low and your body will be running on empty. Low mood and depression are very common signs of over training.
Solution: Listen to your body. Review your diet and consider a vitamin supplement. Deficiency of certain micronutrients such as B and D vitamins, and minerals like iron and magnesium can cause low mood and energy. Always consult your doctor first though.
An over trained body is sometimes unable to slow down. Insomnia can be a persistent nightmare (excuse the pun) if you are over training. This can be due to altered protein, hormone levels and mood states as well as lack of carbohydrates and glucose in the brain.
Solution: Take some time off to relax and sleep!
7. Decreased appetite
As contradictory as it sounds, over training can cause an increase in hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, which can inhibit your appetite. The physical exhaustion and anxiety that often comes with overtraining can also have the same effect.
Solution: Take some time off from the diet and have a cheat day or two to kick-start your metabolism and get things going again.
8. Weight loss
Of course, if you are burning more than what you are putting in weight loss is an inevitable sign of over training. You can also suffer from muscle loss too which can be even more damaging.
Solution: Ensure you are following a tailored food plan, which is calculated to your macros and goals so your body is getting the calories it needs.
9. Menstrual cycle disturbances in women
Excessive exercise coupled with a calorie-restricted diet can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle – this is actually a very common sign amongst women who have been over training. While some ladies experience irregular periods, others will stop menstruating altogether. This symptom shouldn’t be taken lightly; it’s a sign that your body really isn’t happy.
Solution: See your doctor and up your calorie intake.