Are You Overtraining? 6 Signs you might be…
The beginning of the year sees a big rise in the number of gym goers and also a big rise in the frequency they attend the gym. A common trend is that people who were fairly in-active or sedentary for the months prior to the new year suddenly attack the gym with multiple sessions / classes a week, and in some cases this can either cause injury or over training. Yes, it is true, you can train too much to ill effect. Over the next two weeks I will be discussing over training. Firstly here are some key indicators for if you feel you might actually be doing too much..
- Decreased performanceYou don’t seem to be improving through your PT sessions or classes, you aren’t able to lift heavier weights, or get more reps completed during the time in a class.
- Everything seems way harder than beforeNot only can overtraining decrease performance, it can also make seemingly effortless workouts feel unusually difficult. A clear sign of this is an abnormally elevated heart rate during exercise or throughout the day.
- More tired and fatigued than usual
A few days of fatigue or “heavy legs” is expected at times. But fatigue will accumulate in a body that never has a chance to fully recover from previous workouts. Further, chronic, negative energy expenditure leads to something called “low energy availability,” which means that the body is consistently pulling from its own energy stores (carbs, protein, fat). This can be the result of too much training or too little fuelling.
- Sleep quality deteriorates Sleep is essential for performance and recovery. When we exercise our bodies release stress hormones, if we are getting too much it can stop us from being able to relax and wind down making sleep much less effective. Not only this it can affect your mood making us more agitated and irritable.
- Appetite Loss
Training appropriately should stimulate more appetite, however, with hormone imbalances like mentioned above, the physiological exhaustion can actually cause appetite suppression.
- Do you have any annoying niggles or joint injuries?Overused muscles and joints can cause constant aches or joint pain. Pain that does not subside in around two weeks should be considered a notable injury. Overtraining taxes all of the body’s systems and also makes it more difficult to ward off infections, so if you feel like you are becoming run down and/or ill more frequently it might be time to have a look at your training.
If any of these ring true with you recently or have done before, it might be time to take a step back and look at how to avoid overtraining. Unsure how? Next week I will be giving you tips on how to avoid overtraining and stay fit and healthy for longer…