Do you constantly feel tired and sore following your workout and the morning after? Do you wonder if you’re working yourself too hard with your training sessions? Do you think you might be lifting too heavy of weights or working out for too long at once? Could you be working out for too many days during the week?
These are the kind of questions you may start to ask yourself once you feel sore and tired all the time, if you’re someone who works out often. It’s a valid question too, as overtraining can result in some health problems. You can actually damage your muscles, wear yourself out too much, and feel exhausted all the time because of overtraining. There are health risks involved, and you should know about them.
You should also understand how to know if you are overtraining. Anyone who is muscle training or exercising regularly hoping to get great gains or lose a lot of weight should know their limits and should know how far is too far. They should know how safe it is to push themselves to a certain point.
How to know if you’re overtraining running, weightlifting, or anything else? Let’s look at some of the warning signs, which can apply to just about any kind of training regimen. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be able to protect yourself can get more benefits out of your workouts.
The Risks of Overtraining
Let’s briefly cover a few of the health risks associated with overtraining. These health risks are true no matter which kind of training you do and which kind of exercises you engage in. There may be specific overtraining health risks related to specific kinds of workouts as well. It’s not a bad idea to look up some of those so you are aware of those risks too. Here’s the list:
- muscle wasting
- constant fatigue
- lack of motivation
- increased risk of injury
- lack of focus
- decreased health benefits from working out
- increased resting heart rate
- emotional changes
- stress and anxiety
- difficulty sleeping
These are just some of the minor problems you’ll experience from overtraining. If you continue to overtrain for very long, you can experience more severe health problems in time.
Indications That You’re Overtraining
Let’s discuss now some of the signs you can watch for that will tell you that you’ve been training too much and pushing yourself too hard for too long. The health risks I listed above are things you can watch for as well. Once you see signs that your health is suffering due to something from that list, you may have a pretty good idea that you’re overtraining.
Longer Muscle Recovery Times
This is one of those indicators that most people will notice when they’re overtraining. If you’re cycling, how to know if you’re overtraining? Think about when you used to cycle and the muscle strain and soreness didn’t last as long. Now, it seems to last much longer. That might not be a sign that you’re getting older but rather a sign that you’re cycling for too long. It can help to shorten your cycling sessions or not push yourself so hard when you cycle. Try cutting back a little bit and see if that helps.
Anytime your muscles take a long time to recover, particularly longer than you are used to them taking to recover, that should indicate that you’re pushing yourself too hard. Pull back a little bit and give yourself time to recover and be careful about pushing yourself that hard again.
Do you feel that no matter how much water you’re drinking you still need more to drink? If you notice that this happens when you’re spending more time weightlifting, running, or at the gym, then it’s likely that you’re overtraining. If you’ve been weightlifting, how to know if you’re overtraining? If you feel thirsty all the time even outside the gym, and you recently increased the duration or intensity of your weightlifting sessions, then it’s very possible that you’re overtraining.
What’s happening to you is that you’re staying in a catabolic state for too long. That’s going to cause you to dehydrate. What helps is to drink lots of water and sleep more. Extra time for rest will help your body to recover, and then if you cut back on your gym time a little bit, that can help as well.
If you looked at that list above of the health risks that can come from overtraining, you may have notice depression on that list. If that stood out to you, then you know how serious that emotional state can be. Continued, intense depression can lead to suicidal thoughts. It can affect the way you live and the way you think.
Is it really possible to suffer that much from overtraining? Many people who suffer from depression do so because they’re constantly overtired. If you’re wearing your body out with all of your training, you may not be giving it time to rest. That affects your serotonin levels, your mood, your emotional state, and your ability to control your emotions. The littlest things can upset you and you can become irritable, and all of this can add up to a state of depression that’s hard to shake.
How to know if you’re overtraining bodybuilding or swimming or however else you’re exercising? Look for changes in your mood that correspond with changes in your workout sessions. If you’re working out for longer and working out for harder and you start to feel moody, depressed, sad, or emotional, overtraining could be the problem.
Exercise is something that’s supposed to be good for your mental health, but if you’re doing it too much, it can actually hurt your emotional state and your mental health. Talk to anyone who’s pushed himself too hard for a bodybuilding contest or to reach weight loss goals. Ask them about how they felt emotionally, and you’ll probably see that there are serious health risks involved with overtraining.
You Easily Become Ill
You can attribute this one to a weak immune system, and it may seem strange because exercising is supposed to strengthen your immunity. However, if you’re wearing your body out, your body will be weak against disease. Your immune system needs a strong body in order to be able to work at its best. If you’re constantly overworking your body, straining it to its limits, then you’re probably not getting enough rest. Rest is one of the most important factors in how strong your immune system is.
Once you start overtraining your body, it will be open to disease and infection of all kinds. You may find yourself becoming sick more often and easily getting ill where you normally would not. Your immune system is suffering because of how far you’re pushing yourself physically.
Loss of Focus
You need to be focused in order to work out properly and get great results. If you’re not able to focus, you’re at greater risk of injury. Unfocused weightlifters can slip and drop their weights, injuring themselves. Unfocused runners can trip more easily or might not be aware of the dangers around them.
When you wear yourself out, not getting enough rest because you’re overtraining, your mind is going to lose focus. Your brain will slow down, feeling sluggish, and that means that your reaction speed will be slower as well. You won’t be able to get out of the way of danger as quickly, and you’ll be less aware of what’s going on around you. The overtiredness that comes from overtraining is a serious health risk and a clear sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard.
These are just some of the indicators that you may be overtraining. Look out for them and for other indications that you’re going too hard with your training. It’s okay to slow down and take a rest sometimes. It’s better to pull back and take your time rather than to force yourself ahead when you’re not feeling well. You can do serious damage to your body if you don’t recognize the warning signs and listen to what your body is trying to tell you.