Is There Such a Thing as Overtraining?
Some may think that training every day of the week could only be a good thing. Well, not so fast. There’s a reason rest days are built into every reputable workout regimen out there.
Today, we’re here to talk about all the signs of overtraining and why it’s important to avoid doing so. So, let’s get started.
Signs of Overtraining
There are a few tell-tale signs that you might be overtraining. Let’s go over some of them now.
Undereating and Reduced Appetite
The first sign of overtraining is either under eating or having a reduced appetite. If you’re going hard on your fitness routine, you may also be overly restricting your calories – which isn’t good.
Plus, the hormonal imbalances caused by overtraining can mean losing your appetite altogether. While a healthy workout routine should make you feel hungry and ready for a nutritious meal, overtraining does the opposite.
So, if you’re not eating as much, have no appetite or you’re losing weight quickly, you may be overtraining.
Loss of Period
For women, a common symptom of overtraining is the loss of their period, known as amenorrhea. Caused by a disruption of your hormones, period loss due to overtraining is more common than you might think.
While women often play it off as no big deal, period loss or even irregular cycles should be cause for concern. So, if it’s been a few months since your last period and you’re not pregnant, you could be overtraining.
While soreness for a day or two after a difficult workout is perfectly normal, constant soreness, on the other hand, might be a sign that you’re overdoing it.
Without proper rest in between sessions, you’re not giving your body what it needs to recover. In fact, your body needs that time to rebuild itself and in reality, the only way to actually get strong and fit is to rest and exercise. So, constant soreness might mean you’re overtraining as well.
While injuries in and of themselves aren’t a tell-tale sign of overtraining, certain overuse injuries might be cause for concern. Especially if you’re constantly experiencing various overuse injuries, it might mean that you’re, well… overusing your body.
Some of the most common overuse injuries include:
- Shin splints
- Stress fractures
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow
- Jumper’s knee
If you find yourself dealing with these common overuse injuries regularly, it may be time to slow down.
While you might feel like you worked hard after a workout, you shouldn’t necessarily feel fatigued. In fact, most workouts (if done at the appropriate level) should actually make you feel energized afterward.
If you come home from the gym or from a kickboxing session completely wiped out and unable to do anything else the rest of the day, it’s likely that you may be overtraining. Pay attention to whether you feel fatigued after exercise or tired in the normal way. The difference is important.
Decline in Physical Performance
Another sign to look out for to see if you might be overtraining is noticing a decline in physical performance. If you’re exercising effectively, you should see an increase in physical performance, not a decrease.
Additionally, overtraining can reduce your reaction time making things like sports more difficult with worse results. In short, overtraining is completely unhelpful, so do your best to notice the signs and rest when you need to.
Again, since overtraining disrupts your hormones, your sleep may be interrupted as a result. Your hormones are incredibly important for the quality of your sleep and the quality of your sleep is incredibly important for the quality of your overall health.
Without sleep, it’s almost impossible to function and your body itself won’t be able to participate in its natural functions. So, if your sleep is disturbed, you may be overtraining.
Feeling Run Down
Overtraining can also decrease your immunity, leaving you to feel sick and run down more often. You may become more prone to upper respiratory tract infections, viruses, and other bugs that might be going around.
Working out should be in service of increasing your immunity and vitality, not making you more prone to illness. So, if you feel like you’re always sick, you may want to look into whether you’re overtraining.
So, there is such a thing as overtraining after all. And the signs of overtraining tell you that it’s not a great place to get yourself into. By disrupting your hormones and not giving your body time to recover, less is often more when it comes to training. Remember, a little goes a long way.
If you’re worried you might be overtraining, take a rest! After all, consistency is the real key to lasting results, and taking it easy is sometimes the best way to maintain your routine.