10 signs of OVERTRAINING.
Fitness is about the right training, correct nutrition and great recovery to enhance the quality of life. The exercises we do should never deteriorate our quality of life. If training is reducing the quality of life it is the first sign of overtraining. More people suffer from overtraining than undertraining. It may be due to incorrect form or technique or due to excessive training or exercising. We are overtraining if we train or exercise more than the body’s ability to recover from the same. Let us look at the 10 signs of overtraining or over exercising.
#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 optimum health can be termed as exercise addiction. Exercise addiction can worsen an existing condition and is a strong sign of overtraining. More on exercise addition here: What is Exercise Addiction?
#2 Appetite loss:
As a general thumb rule, effective training stimulates appetite. Overtraining can disrupt the hormonal balance and also result in a decreased appetite. Appetite loss is a strong symptom of overtraining.
#3 Overuse injuries:
When we workout our body goes through a lot of mental and physical stress. Physical stress results in a breakdown of the muscle fibres and 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. Overuse injuries are an indication of overtraining.
#4 Plateau or 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. If there is a plateau or decrease in performance despite all efforts to increase performance it’s most likely due to overtraining.
Overtraining can make us weak and vulnerable. It may reduce immunity and increase susceptibility to illness, infection and disease. Over-exercising can put our body under a lot of stress and can 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 which may result 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. After training, it may take longer for your heart rate to return to normal. Abnormally elevated heart rate along with low motivation levels make the otherwise easy workouts feel more challenging or unusually difficult. If workouts are feeling more challenging than usual it is mostly because of overtraining.
#8 Increase in mental stress:
Training is stressful but, if given enough time for recovery, our body adapts to the stress with ease. However, if it feels like training is putting too much mental stress or if just the thought of training is invoking fear, it is most likely a sign of overtraining.
#9 Delayed recovery:
Our body requires time to recuperate and recover from each workout or training session. If the sessions are too intense, too long or too frequent we may end up giving little or no time for recovery. When we rest, our body repairs the damage (cellular micro-trauma) that occurred during training. Once the body has recovered, it can handle more challenging tasks and that’s exactly how we progress. However, if we don’t give importance to rest, the body does not recover fully and this affects the next training session. Suffering from delayed recovery despite correct nutrition is most likely an indication of overtraining.
#10 Fatigue and tiredness:
Training by its nature causes fatigue and tiredness, which in most cases is handled well by the body. However, persistent fatigue and tiredness despite adequate recovery time and correct nutrition is an indication of overtraining.
Now we know the 10 signs of Overtraining. Do you think you are Overtraining?