What is overtraining? Overtraining is defined as an:
“accumulation of training related stress, resulting in persistent decrement in performance capacity lasting weeks or months.”
Overtraining results in decreases in performance as well as difficulty recovering from workouts. It’s marked by a chronic fatigue both during exercise as well as subsequent recovery periods.
1. Unexplained & Persistent Poor Performance
You’re training hard, but see no improvements in lifts, possibly even slight decreases. You fail to perform up to standard in events or games.
2. General Fatigue
You wake up feeling tired or drained despite having just slept 6-8 hours. You experience crashes & overall fatigue in afternoons.
Despite being tired, you find yourself unable to sleep at night. Instead you spend the entire night tossing & turning. You end up only getting a few hours of quality sleep each night.
You’re find yourself losing your cool over small issues. You find it hard to maintain control of your reactions. The smallest things set you off, causing you to pounce.
5. Elevated Resting Heart Rate
Your resting heart rate is raised by 5 or more BPM.
You suffer general depression symptoms, sadness, anxiety, feel overwhelmed and/or even physical pain.
7. Painful Muscles
You find yourself in constant physical pain without having experienced an intrinsic injury. Muscles & joints are constantly achy.
8. Increase in Overuse Injuries
You’re increasingly afflicted with constant nagging injuries such a muscle cramps, shin splints and even stress fractures. The excessive training load is causing the body to break down. Lack of time between intense workouts is prohibiting body from repairing itself.
9. Weight Loss
Some people inexplicably start losing weight. This weight loss is usually from muscle being cannibalized by ketosis from poor diet and excessive training load.
10. Increased Susceptibility to Illness, Infections & Gastrointestinal Disturbances
You’re catching various colds and/or experiencing digestive issues on a regular basis. The excessive training load has compromised the immune system. Your body is fighting to stay alive and thus can’t actively fight off infections. Similarly, small cuts seem to take abnormally long to heal.
Overtraining is serious and can have long-term negative effects on your body. If you experience 2 or more of the above symptoms, you are likely overtraining, thus, causing your body harm rather than improving it. The cure for overtraining for the most part is fairly simple. REST!!!
If you’re only slightly overtraining, simply reduce workload in any of the following areas:
• Training Volume (amount of exercises)
• Training Duration (length of workouts)
• Training Intensity (amount of weight lifted or effort put out)
• Training Frequency (number of workouts per week and rest days)
For more severe overtraining cases, a break from workouts and/or complete bedrest may be needed.
Knowledge Is Power! If you are aware of the signs and make the correct adjustments to training, overtraining can be overcome and prevented in the future. Remember, the aim of training is to promote health & well being, not to destroy us. The old adage of “No Pain, No Gain” does not apply when it costs you your long term health!