When do I know if I’m over-training?
If you have got the exercise ‘bug’, it can become very difficult to determine if you are over training or not. It is crucial to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired both physically or mentally, it may be time for a rest. Some people think that going to the gym every day is the best way to keep in shape. This can be true if you vary your workouts (e.g. Weight resistance workout on the Monday followed by a light swim on the Tuesday), however your body can become increasingly more likely to burn out, or worse obtain an injury, resulting in lack of progress or a plateau in your training.
Below are a few of the signs to help you realise if you are over training or not.
Altered resting HR
Altered resting heart rate is the result of an increased metabolic rate to meet the imposed demand of the training. In other terms, your body is working overtime to pump blood around your body to get oxygenated blood to your muscles. Measure your heart rate first thing in the morning (standing up).
It’s normal to have muscle soreness for a day or two following a workout. However, if you’re still sore past the 72-hour mark, be sure to schedule a break and rest. If you are in this position, it means your muscles aren’t recovering properly and will have an adverse effect on your muscle and strength gain. Aim to get in and out of the gym in 45-70 minutes.
If you are spending longer in the gym, and also having trouble sleeping, this may be due to the fact you are over trained. It is most likely a result of a combination of nervous system and or hormonal system overload.Try to focus on getting your 10 pm to 2 am sleep. This is the part of your sleeping pattern where physical restoration occurs. Your body and muscles will actually grow while you are resting.
If something isn’t right, our bodies are pretty damn good at telling us. If you are often feeling unwell you could well be over training. The process of over training means your body is in a continual catabolic state, which lowers immunity and therefore increases your chances of becoming ill.” If you’re over training, get some rest, and reduce your training. Also make sure you are taking a good quality multi vitamin.
Increase in injury
Picking up little injuries now and again? Or aggravating an old injury? This is a tell tale sign of over training. When you over train, your body doesn’t get enough time to recover, meaning you can be training in a weakened state. By doing this too often you increase your chance of injury massively. Try to bring in forced rest periods into your routine, changing the intensity of your workouts, or even have a low impact workout in the form of light cardio.
Decrease in motivation
It’s not out of the ordinary to want to skip the gym now and again. But, if you are a gym ‘junkie’ (aka would sleep in the gym if you could), and you become disinterested, you could well be overexerting yourself. Taking a full week off, then decreasing your training volume on your return, will help you recover both physically and mentally. Also try to get some good quality sleep (7-9 hours per night), and eat healthy wholesome foods.
If you are over training, take a week off, lower your workout load, eat clean healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get some good quality sleep, and you should be ready to smash your workouts once again. Stay strong people!!!