On a program to build muscle mass fast? If so, you will be working hard, likely hitting the gym four to six days a week. As you do this however, it’s vital that you watch for one thing – overtraining syndrome.
Overtraining is something that typically sneaks up on people, they don’t expect they would ever suffer and they keep pushing and pushing. They may start to see some of the warning signs, but still believe that it could never happen to them.
Then one day they go too far. Next thing you know, they’re down and not hitting the gym workouts as they should be.
If you ignore the warning signs of overtraining and keep pushing harder and harder, make no mistake about it, you will be paying the price. If you’ve overtrained badly enough, it can take weeks, if not months to fully recover and start working out normally again.
Since this clearly would put a massive dent in your progress, you want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to avoid this.
By recognizing the symptoms of overtraining, you can do just that. You can also check out my other article on how to reduce soreness and recover faster.
Are You Overtraining The 10 Signs
You’re Losing Motivation
Don’t feel like going to the gym?
The first sign overtraining may be brewing is if you’re losing your normally motivated state. Now, realize that everyone has off days. There are always going to be those days where you just don’t really feel like hitting the gym as normal.
This is natural.
But, if those days are leading into weeks and there is no sign of let-up, this is the first indication you maybe should stop pushing and just take a week off.
Your Morning Heart Rate Is Elevated
Next, one very clear indicator that your body is working harder than it normally does is if your morning heart rate is elevated. Taking your morning heart rate periodically will help you spot changes in it and catch overtraining in its early phases.
If one morning you notice a jump – and that jump maintains itself for a number of days, you may want to take 2-3 days off at this point. Catch it now and you can avoid it getting any worse.
Your Libido is G-O-N-E
You used to love getting active in the bedroom. Now, just the thought of it puts you off. If your libido level seems to have vanished when it’s noticeably high and there are no other psychological factors at work, this could be overtraining presenting itself as well.
Your sex drive is very directly related to your training and diet intake, so always look to those areas if you are experiencing problems.
Your Weight Is Changing
If you’re aiming to lose weight or build muscle and your weight changes – great. But, if you aren’t doing anything different – or aren’t trying to actually lose or gain weight, but yet, that scale is bouncing around all over the place, that is another sign to watch for.
Some people tend to eat more when they are overtraining while others eat less. It’s a personal preference, but noting these changes is important to catching it in early phases.
Your Performance Is Down
If you are still aiming to workout and your performance is getting lower and lower, this is a sign something is up. Once again, everyone has off days. If you didn’t bench as much as normal one day, don’t get too worked up over it. This could be attributed to sleep, nutrition, or a number of other things.
But if your lifts are down in every exercise and it’s been this way for three consecutive workouts, it’s time to get concerned. This could indicate you aren’t recovering as you should and if you carry on, you will be risking muscle mass loss and overtraining.
You’ve Got Nagging Aches And Pains
Nagging aches and pains that don’t go away?
That’s another sign of overtraining to be on the lookout for. If you aren’t recovering, your soft tissues – ligaments, tendons, and cartilage won’t be repairing themselves as you should and this can lead to chronic soreness that doesn’t let up.
If you’ve ruled out an actual injury and the pain has just come on randomly and progressed from there, it’s very likely an overuse/overtraining problem. Check out this article for the best supplements for recovery and muscle growth.
You’re Falling Ill More Often
If you seem to be sick every other weekend with some bug, this could be due to your workout. If you are on the verge of overtraining, your immune system is not going to be where it needs to be, thus you may find yourself unable to fight off these invading bacteria and viruses.
Being down with a cold or flu can very often mean more than a case of bad luck. Too much stress can also cause this as well, and that stress can also be linked to overtraining, so that’s another factor to be considering.
Your Sleep Is Off
If you normally have no problem getting your 8 hours of shut-eye but now it seems you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep – despite the fact you are exhausted – that’s another sign something is up.
Overtraining can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, so make sure that you assess this possibility as well.
This is a particularly bad problem because the less you sleep, the worse that overtraining will get, so you need to take steps to remedy it.
You’re Losing Friends – Almost!
Okay, so maybe your best friend hasn’t exactly left your side yet, but if you are so irritable that people don’t even want to be around you, look at what’s behind this.
If it’s not just a bad day or something wrong in another area of your life, it could be overtraining at work. Overtraining can most definitely influence your mood, so it’s something you must be taking into account.
You’re Easily Fatigued
Finally, if you find that you’re easily fatigued doing everyday tasks – like walking up the stairs or groceries, this indicates a problem as well. You shouldn’t be so run-down that those daily life tasks feel like a challenge. If they do, you clearly are doing more than your body is capable of and need to cut back before the situation gets any worse.
Note that this can also be closely connected to the diet you are using, so if you’ve been low-carb or low-calorie dieting for quite some time, you may want to assess whether you give yourself a diet break so you start feeling better again.
So there you have the main warning signs to look out for that could indicate you are moving closer to that overtrained state you want to avoid. Make sure that you are always staying on top of this and should you notice a problem occurring, take action immediately. It’s the best way to prevent having to take an extended period of time off entirely as you repair the damage that you’ve done.
It can happen to you if you aren’t careful, so don’t think you are immune just because you’re not a professional athlete.
Latest posts by Terry (see all)
- How Important Are Net Carbs For Building Huge Muscle? - Apr 28, 2017
- The Matt Damon Workout Explained - Apr 27, 2017
- Watercress – Benefits And The Best Way To Consume It - Apr 26, 2017