How do you know if you're doing too much?
Overtraining is a real phenomenon. It is possible to train so much that you break your body down instead of build it up. But most people never come close to “real” overtraining, which is pinpointed by physical breakdowns that are hard to ignore. This isn’t muscle soreness or having some bad days in the gym.
Here are 7 common symptoms
of overtraining, they include:
- Increase in resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Insomnia-like symptoms and trouble sleeping
- Stomach disturbances
- Consistent low energy and bad mood
- Changes in personality and mood
- Decreased self-esteem and motivation
- Feelings of sadness and apathy
In other words, you experience symptoms that closely mimic depression and chronic fatigue, according to research from the University of Memphis. In severe cases of overtraining, your immune system shuts down and you can suffer multiple issues, including upper respiratory infections and slow healing, says research published in the Journal of Athletic Training.
How to make use of all of this?
When you get to the gym and start doing your "active combos" (not your warmup), stop and assess how you feel. The exhaustion might be similar to prior workouts, but how you feel is likely different. And that is your body trying to give you helpful information to make the most of your session.
Instead of sticking to your exact plan, if the workout feels “heavier” than usual and you’re exhausted, you can still get in a great workout without grinding away unnecessarily. As you workout, this is the holy grail of feeling in control.
Push harder when your body says you can, and easy up when you know how to recognize that you’re a little overworked. It’s an approach that’s more likely to keep you consistently in the gym, feeling good, and making improvements.