In general, I think most people are dedicated to trainings at different levels; some are more enthusiastic than others. The point is that exercises are completely essential in developing your body.
However, I was a bit greedy when I started working out: I only wanted to get in shape as quick as I can, without fully understanding the capabilities and limits of my body (you’ll be surprised by the number of people with the same mindset).
It was rather foolish because pushing too hard means higher possibility of injury.
It’s a bit sophistical but I think all things in life should be balanced, like between work and social life. But sometimes the line is so blurry it’s so hard to find. This article will focus on contradicting a common conception: more is better, especially on how wrong it is in terms of training.
So here is a question for you: do you feel excited when you work out? If the answer is no then you’re probably overtraining, or over-exercising.
There are some definite signs to help you identify when your body is at its limit. If everything else in life is on a good track and you still experience some of those, it might be the time to take a break.
Overtraining & Some Symptoms
Overtraining describes the situation where a person’s workload exceeds his/her capacity. In general, it’s the unavoidable consequence of training too hard.
However, it raises a question of how to define “too hard”. Of course the capability of each person is different; therefore, only you can know your own limits.
Sign #1: Lacking Motivation And Dropped Performance
First of all, lack of motivation is not the same as laziness. We all have those days when our bodies don’t want to move, let alone training. But if it carries on for few continuous days, it might indicate that you desperately need to rest.
If you looking for ways to boost your motivation, this might help you out.
On the other hand, drop in performance might be another strong indicator, especially in endurance-demanding activities like swimming and running. In contradict to training everyday, constantly stressing yourself for a long time actually degrade your performance significantly.
If you find your workout in regression, or you can’t do things that you normally can, then it might be the time to relax and let your body recover.
Sign #2: Excessive Physical & Mental Fatigue
This one is kind of in the grey area because you can’t always tell where the soreness comes from.
However, if everything is in check and you’re having an unusually hard time trying to get rid of the pains (typically after 3 days), you might want to take a moment to find out whether overtraining is the culprit.
Most of the time, it’s due to the unbalance between training time and recovery time. This type of fatigues signals that your muscles aren’t recovering properly, which in turn deteriorate your muscle-building efforts.
If you just started working out, you shouldn’t trouble yourself with excessive soreness too much. It happens after the first day to almost everyone I know, myself included. As you progress, the difference will be easier to spot.
Sign #3: Interrupted Progression
Overtraining can actually stop your body from developing in spite of your best effort.
LaCerte claims that: "When you’re overtraining, your body is kind of going in the opposite direction of growth, because your muscles are torn and all you’re doing is re-tearing them again".
In other words, overtraining increases cortisol levels and decreases testosterone levels, causing catabolic effects. In order to build strength and mass, you want your body to be in anabolic (opposite to catabolic) mode.
My advice is it’s not worth entering into a muscle-burning phase. Muscles need time to recover after training, and you need to give yourself sufficient rest time before forcing into more exercise.
There are many different signs of overtraining and you can read about them here.
- Remember: balance is the key and always allow your body to rest, especially between hard trainings.
Finally, I hope that you find some useful information in this article.
If you enjoy it, please leave a comment in the discussion below to let me know what you think and share it on so more people will know how to avoid overtraining.