So you have taken the decision to build a little muscle, you have joined the gym and now work out whenever you get the chance.
Although you have started to see results, your training has become a bit of an obsession, which can lead to you working out excessively (over 5 hours a week).
If this sounds like you then you are putting yourself at risk of overtraining that can risk your health.
Here are 10 symptoms of overtraining that you need to be aware of.
#1: You are always thirsty
If you find that you are always thirsty then you may find that you are overtraining.
When you overtrain your body will go into a catabolic state, which is when your body starts to break down muscle tissue for energy, this also causes dehydration.
To combat this thirst it is recommended you take a break from training, plus get adequate amount of water.
#2: Muscle soreness
It is normal to experience muscle soreness or DOMS for a day or 2 after your workout but if this soreness continues for days after then it may be time for you to take a break from training.
You need to pay attention to what your body is telling you, if you are sore then your body is still trying to recover.
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? If so then your training regime may be impacting upon your nervous system and your hormones.
Your body does a lot of it's healing while you sleep so you should try to fix this issue. It is recommended that you aim for around 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
Some people who train regularly will develop body image issues and will start to believe that the more they train the better they will look.
Unfortunately to achieve this goal you still need time to recover from your workouts, otherwise you are simply not going to see those gains.
#5: A change in personality
Have you noticed that people are a little more distant from you recently? Well, this could be due to you overtraining.
It has been noted that if you overtrain your hormones may become messed up leading to aggression, irritability and as stated already depression.
If you feel run down or are constantly sick then you are likely to be overtraining.
When you feel ill it is just your bodies immune system telling you to take some time off. You are likely in a catabolic state, which causes low immunity that in turn causes illness.
The chances of suffering an injury or re-aggravating an old injury increases when you are overtraining, this is basically because you are not allowing yourself adequate time to recover.
#8: A lack of motivation
Have you noticed that lately you have been finding excuses not to go to the gym, even though in the past you lived and breathed it?
If so then you need a break, take a week of completely from training, and restart fresh, your body will thank you and you will start to see those gains again.
#9: Low self esteem
Overtraining can lead to a lack of progress that can lead to low esteem, especially amongst those who are obsessed with training.
Your nervous system and hormones will also be affected which can also have an impact on your mood and self esteem.
#10: A plateau
When you enter a catabolic state your body will start to burn muscle, which is not what you want to occur if you are looking to build muscle and strength.
Unfortunately this is what occurs when you overtrain, so a plateau or a reduction in your gains may occur.
How to recover from overtraining?
If you are overtraining then you need to take a break. Remember your body needs to rest occasionally as this is when your muscles will repair and grow.
You could also try the following:
- Eat a lot of clean food
- Drink plenty of water
- Set yourself realistic goals, create a plan and stick to it
- Supplement with vitamins A & E, as well as Glutamine
- Try low intensity exercise rather than the weights (swimming for instance)
- Get plenty of sleep
You do not need to workout daily. Always have a rest day once a week at least.