A few years ago I learned the importance of recognizing the signs of overtraining after I experienced loss of motivation that kept me away from the gym for a long time.
Overtraining occurs when the amount and intensity of training are higher in relation to the resilience of the subject.
Common Signs of Overtraining
Here are some of the most common signs of overtraining:
- Worsening of athletic performance. If, for example, you realize that you're decreasing the weight of the loads and reps of your exercises, it might be a sign of lack of rest.
- It takes more effort to do an exercise you've always done easily. For example, if you go running and your heart rate is normally 128 bpm and lately it is 150, it is likely to be a sign of overtraining.
- You often feel tired during the day. The body asks for rest, listen!
- Feel muscle pain for prolonged time. Muscle pain is a good sign, as it means having "challenged" your body during the last training session. This pain is totally normal and should last 2-3 days after training. But if the pain continues and you go back to work out, it could be the beginning of overtraining.
- Loss of concentration.
- Weight loss. Unless you are training for weight loss, you still lose weight from lean muscle mass (and not from fat). You are probably exercising too much, not eating enough or not resting sufficiently and properly.
I clearly experienced the feeling tired symptom. I used to wake up in the morning a feel so much demotivated when it was a gym day, and that's not good.
And of course when I went to the gym, I used to drop the weight of the loads, reduce the number of reps..it sucked!
Overtraining: Prevent and Recover
If you are experiencing overtraining, you need to make at least two weeks of rest.
And I mean complete rest.
Take two full weeks off the gym, and rest, sleep 8-9 hours a day if you can.
It is also essential to follow a balanced and varied diet, rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and slow absorption carbohydrates.
Fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains should become the basis of your daily diet.
Avoid saturated and trans fats, as well as alcoholic beverages.
To prevent the signs of overtraining, I actually suggest to take one week of rest every at least two months. Don't ever get to the point where it could be late.
In fact, you may be already overtrained long before you experience the first symptoms of overtraining.
Whether you're a professional or a beginner, it is always important to understand and respect the signs that your body gives you.
Learn how to recognize the signs of overtraining. If you keep working out in those conditions you may become much more subject to injuries, so please avoid that.
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