Overtraining – Know the signs

It’s fair to say that Personal Training involves a fair bit of motivating clients to increase their exercise regime. However there are occasions when we have to advise our clients to reduce training schedules and rest/recover more. 
Overtraining is best described as constant overloading of the body without giving it enough time to recover and repair itself. Today’s short blog will give some tips on signs and also methods to avoid falling into that viscous cycle. 

Signs that you’re potentially overtraining are as follows:
– A decrease in your training performance. If you’re constantly pushing your body and feeling fatigued during your training sessions this can be a strong sign that your body requires rest and recovery.

– Muscle soreness after every session. It’s acceptable to feel sore after a massive training session from time to time however if you find this is happening after every session then it’s a sure sign your body is struggling to repair itself
– Feeling like your immune system has dropped. Overtraining can lead to a decrease in your body’s ability to fight off illnesses, especially if you’re normally fairly healthy and rarely ill
– Picking up strains/small injuries more easily. From personal experience, if I ever feel run down or times when I have been overtraining small injures have occurred mainly the day after training. I generally have lower back strain, or a glute or leg ache of some sort for what feels like no apparent reason
– Lack of motivation. Ever go through a phase of feeling like you can’t go bothered to train/compete? Over training can be a cause or contributing factor to this due to the fact that our bodies may have plateaued through lack of muscle recovery. This can also lead to lowered self esteem, poor sleep patterns or added stress in your life
– Muscle breakdown similar to that or extended muscle soreness, whereby the body has to eat itself to fuel its muscular recovery therefore breaking down the muscle you already have instead of increasing its current mass.

-Lack of results and feeling like your body is starting to plateau.
Now that we have an idea of what to look out for, how can do our best to avoid this?
– Schedule in days off. Plan a day off and stick to it. Don’t think “oh just one more won’t hurt” The long term benefits will outweigh the short term
– Listen to your body. I know this is obvious but we’re all guilty of this, me included. If you’re genuinely feeling tired or exhausted from constant and intense training why not try and reschedule your session. It’s good to have structure with your training but it’s important to have the flexibility to adapt if required
– Ensure you have sensible training goals. A while back I wrote about setting achievable goals using the SMART technique. Why not sit down and ensure your training schedule is appropriate for your actual goal to avoid overtraining
-Eat enough! Yes that’s right are you eating enough? A balanced individual nutritional approach is essential for keeping your body in healthy shape especially if you have a busy training schedule. Just eating salads and drinking protein shakes won’t gurantee you’re getting the essential nutrients into your body to support recovery and growth of your body. If ever in doubt do take time to research or speak to a health professional so you get the most out of your training
-Sleep and Stress. Again in a previous blog I covered off the benefits of a healthy sleep pattern and the effects on stress. Sleep is all part of the recovery process for our body so ensuring we getting the right amount can limit our chances of overtraining our muscles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *