Are you Over-Training?

As fitness athletes, we are obsessed with training and pushing our bodies to the max. This can be very rewarding for your body and your mind. But sometimes obsession can lead to over-training, which can be detrimental to the body, leading to injuries, illness and even body dysmorphic disorder.

Overtraining is something most of us do not think about. Overtraining can be a very negative thing for your body and overall fitness goals. Here is a list of signs that you may be overtraining:

  • Prolonged muscle soreness
  • Insomnia
  • Elevated resting heart rate
  • Increased colds and flues
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increased injuries
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Decrease in training intensity
  • A compulsive need to exercise
  • Decreased appetite

Do any of these signs stand out to you? Chances are you may be over-training. Think about your usual habits in the gym. If you are only training 4-5 times per week for 1 hour, you are most likely not over-training. If you are never taking a break and training 2-3 hours per day, then over-training is probably what you are experiencing.

Use a training log and write down how you feel after every training session to keep yourself in check. Go back and read what you have written down, and look for signs in your own words of decreased enthusiasm and downward trends in your training. It is important to listen to your body signals and rest when you are tired.

Take a break from training to allow time for recovery. If you feel that you may be doing more harm than good, take a few days of rest. Sometimes when injuries happen, or focus and motivation are low, allow yourself one week away from fitness to revive the body and mind. When you return to your usual training, you may have more focus, feel stronger and enjoy your workouts again.

The body repairs and strengthens itself during rest between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes. Taking a day or two off is not going to make you gain weight or set you back. You will allow your body to recover during your days off, which will allow your muscles to get stronger and grow.

Exercise should be enjoyed, and if you are in the gym parking lot dreading to go in, take a break. Your body and your mind will thank you!

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