10 signs of OVERTRAINING.
Updated: Jan 10
Fitness is about proper training, correct nutrition, and excellent recovery to enhance the quality of life. The exercises we do should never deteriorate our quality of life. If training reduces the quality of life, it is the first sign of overtraining. More people suffer from overtraining than from undertraining. It may be due to incorrect form or technique or excessive training. Overtraining occurs when we ignore our body’s signs of overreaching and continue with the training. Quite simply, we are overtraining if we train or exercise more than the body’s ability to recover from the same. But how do we know we are overtraining? This article helps understand the 10 signs of overtraining.
#1 EXERCISE ADDICTION:
Although exercise addiction is not a recognised condition, if we feel addicted to exercising, there are high chances that we are overtraining. Exercising when tired, ill, sick, injured, stressed or not in best health can be called exercise addiction. Exercise addiction can worsen an existing condition and is a vital sign of overtraining.
Read more on exercise addition here: What is Exercise Addiction?
#2 APPETITE LOSS:
As a general thumb rule, good training stimulates appetite. Overtraining can disrupt the hormonal balance and result in a decreased appetite. Appetite loss is a strong symptom of overtraining.
#3 OVERUSE INJURIES:
When we workout, our body goes through mental and physical stress. Physical stress results in a breakdown of the muscle fibres. On the other hand, recovery results in super-compensation of the muscle fibres. Supercompensation is an adaptation to the exercise. If we exercise before a full recovery, it may result in overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are often a result of too much exercise or too little recovery time and are a sign of overtraining.
#4 PLATEAU/ REDUCTION in PERFORMANCE:
Inadequate recovery time can result in a plateau or reduction in performance. A reduction in performance could be in the form of a reduced number of repetitions, reduced running speed/ time, reduced strength etc. Despite all efforts to increase performance, the plateau or decrease is most likely due to overtraining.
Overtraining can make us weak and vulnerable. It reduces immunity and increases susceptibility to illness, infection and disease. Over-exercising can put our body under much stress and lead to a free radical attack worsening immunity. Frequent illness or prolonged recovery from illness is a symptom of overtraining.
#6 DECREASE in MOTIVATION:
If the otherwise exciting workouts appear as a drudgery laden task, most likely it is due to overtraining. Overtraining causes the body to release stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine in excessive quantities. It results in mood swings, irritability, anger and inability to focus. All this has a high potential to reduce motivation levels and affect training.
#7 WORKOUT feels MORE CHALLENGING:
Overtraining causes abnormally elevated heart rate during and after training. For example, after training, it may take longer for your heart rate to return to normal. Abnormally elevated heart rates and low motivation levels make the workouts more strenuous. Therefore, if workouts feel more challenging than usual, they are most certainly because of overtraining.
#8 INCREASE in MENTAL STRESS:
Training is stressful, but our body adapts to the stress with ease if given enough time for recovery. However, if training is putting too much mental stress or just the thought of training invokes fear, it is a sign of overtraining.
#9 DELAYED RECOVERY:
Our body requires to recuperate and recover from each workout or training session. If the sessions are too intense, too long, or too frequent, we may have little or no time for recovery. When we rest, our body repairs the damage (cellular micro-trauma) during training. Once the body has recovered, it can manage more challenging tasks leading to progress. However, if we don’t prioritise rest, the body does not recover fully, affecting the next training session. Suffering from delayed recovery despite correct nutrition is most likely a sign of overtraining.
#10 FATIGUE & TIREDNESS:
Training, by its nature, causes fatigue and tiredness, which is managed well by the body. However, persistent fatigue and tiredness despite adequate recovery time and correct nutrition are signs of overtraining.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the 10 signs of overtraining. Do you think you are overtraining?