Overtraining occurs when you engage in strength training exercises or workouts without giving your body enough time for recovery between sessions. Some people take strength training too far because they want to bulk up faster. But after a point, too much exercise can be counterproductive.
Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is harmful to your health in so many ways. It will negatively affect your performance, lower your fitness levels, and heighten your risks of injuries. HIIT, cardio, and weightlifting workouts can expose you to burnout.
The best way to avoid overtraining is by keeping your workout within your limits and giving your muscles enough time for recovery. Never compromise your recovery time for more workout time. Also, ensure that you have enough fuel to sustain your training sessions. And eat high-quality post-workout meals or a high quality protein shake like LA Whey Gold to help your muscles recover at a faster rate.
If you are not sure if you are overtraining, here are eight signs to look out for.
1. Not enough meals
It is common for weightlifters who engage in intense training routines and schedules to reduce their calorie intake. Their health and performance are negatively affected since their body consistently needs to draw from its energy reserves. They may experience nutritional deficiencies and conditions that may affect their cardiovascular, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems.
Experts strongly advise against skipping meals during strength training. Your body needs a consistent supply of fuel to sustain intense training sessions.
2. Overuse injuries
Stress fractures, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis are injuries associated with running too often. Other overuse injuries include broken bones, soft tissue injuries, and joint strains. Running is considered a high impact exercise that puts your body under a lot of stress. If you sustain an injury, take some time off training to allow it to heal.
3. Excessive soreness and pains
Your muscles will experience some damage while straining, but there must be a limit to this damage. Training beyond your limits during a HIIT can cause muscle strain and severe pains. It can also cause soreness and injuries due to overstressed muscles. While soreness may not be strange after weightlifting and other types of resistance training, you should never allow it to become excessive.
It is normal to feel tired or spent after a workout. But fatigue can set in if you consistently do not allow your body to rest after a workout. You may feel excessively exhausted with little energy left in you during or after a workout. Not getting enough food before training can also set you up for fatigue since your body has to draw from its energy reserves.
Overtraining can send your stress hormones into overdrive and cause depression, severe mood swings, and mental fog. You may also become restless and experience reduced enthusiasm or concentration.
6. Loss of appetite
If you workout responsibly, you will develop a healthy appetite. But overtraining can lead to exhaustion and loss of appetite. And once you are unable to eat adequately, you may begin to experience weight loss where you lose both fat and muscle tissue.
7. Performance decline
Overtraining leads to a situation where rather than increase your performance level, you begin to experience a reduction. You may start to feel a drop in your agility, strength, and endurance, making it difficult for you to get results.
8. Lack of sleep
Overtraining can mess with your stress hormones and cause an imbalance, which may make it difficult for you to rest and release tension at bedtime. A lack of sleep reduces the time your body needs to repair and restore its energy during sleep. Not getting enough sleep is a common cause of fatigue and mood swings.