What are the signs of overtraining? Because of too much exercise, I made a closer brush with overtraining than was good for me, but you can learn from my mistakes.
The Workout Terminatrix
After working out for so many years I definitely learned about and experienced a lot of different mistakes in training. When we are young, but also many of those who are complete beginners, we tend to think that the more we work out, the better results we’re gonna get. We push ourselves to our limits, and even when we cross those limits, we just don’t listen to our bodies. We always assume that maybe we are just lazy and we need to push our selves a little harder.
I surely was exactly like that. I worked out like a machine and I refused to take breaks. I felt like if I took a break, I might be getting out of touch with myself. But too much exercise can happen. Because, one day, my body decided to take a break for me: I got injured so badly that I was out of working out for over a year. My body had tried sending me signals and warning signs, but I ignored all of them and ended up paying for it with a hernia in my back.
And, oh boy, was I sorry. I remember laying on the floor in so much pain, just thinking about how stupid and ignorant I was. This was when I realized that if I had just paid attention to my overtraining symptoms, I could have avoided the whole thing. But it was too late.
It became my mission to create a training approach that would prevent people from injuring themselves, that would give you results without sacrificing your health. So let us look at what I learned and share some tips on how you can spot if you are overtraining and how to avoid it.
First Symptom – Lack Of Motivation
You know how when you first start training you feel really hyped up and exited to workout? This is a feeling that you should always have if you are training the right way. It should feel exiting and you should feel energized after your workouts. If you all of a sudden having a really hard time or have to force your self to workout, it’s your first sign you are doing too much. Our mind is connected to our body and if your mind tells you ” Oh my I wish I didn’t ‘have to do this” or you are dragging barely through every rep, right there is a very clear sign of overtraining. Don’t even waste your time in trying to fool your mind otherwise, you are not lazy, your body just needs a break. Lack of motivates is always the first sign.
Second Symptom – Low Energy
Working out, no matter how intense it is, should always give you plenty of energy afterwards. Yes, you will be tired when you finish, but as soon as you take your shower you should feel like an energizer bunny, not only physically but mentally as well. If you feel drained and tired all the time, this is another clear sign of overtraining.
Third Symptom – Twitching Muscles
The twitching muscles symptom is a sign that your body has been giving you many other signs and now’s it’s taking it a step further. I usually get the twitching muscles either in my eye, or in my lower back. But everyone is different, it can also be in your legs or arms or anywhere else. If you are getting this symptom it’s time to take a break and reorganize your training.
How To Prevent Overtraining
- Practice proper exercise form – it is the number one tip not only to build muscle fast, but also to prevent you from injury.
- When building your workout program make sure you take plenty of time off for recovery. This is exactly why I don’t recommend to do strength training more than 4 days a week.
- Use a split routine method, do your lower body workout on a separate day from your upper body.
- Take a day off every 2 training days, this will help your body recover better. On your day off make sure you are taking it off completely. You can stay active, just don’t do any exercise.
- Every 6 weeks of your training cycle take 5 full days off
- Listen to your body and the listed above symptoms. If you are experiencing any of them, take a few days off completely.
Don’t Take It Lightly!
Overtraining is definitely not something that should be taken lightl and we need to learn how to prevent our bodies and minds from such stress and possible long-term injury. I learned the hard way, and I am happy that I can share my experience and hopefully prevent this from happening to others. Take care of yourself, train the right way and your body will thank you over and over again with great health!
Picture courtesy of “lululemon“.