4 Signs You May Be Overtraining

We all know the importance of physical activity in our lives and the benefits that regular exercise can have on our health. But, have you ever stopped and considered the fact that you may be overtraining? It takes about 45-60 minutes per day to see true health and cardiovascular benefits from exercise, with a total of about 5-6 hours per week of exercise. However, after that point, you may stop seeing gains in your health and fitness and will actually start to regress. If you’re worried that you may be experiencing symptoms associated with overtraining or that your exercise routine has become more of an addiction than a regimen, check out our 4 Signs of Overtraining and what you can do to prevent further problems.

  1. Muscle soreness and injury-prone:
    • Of course it is normal for muscles to be sore after a training session, but it is not normal for this soreness to last more than 48-72 hours post-exercise. To see an improvement in muscle growth, or muscular hypertrophy, the muscle must be stressed. However, what most people forget is that most of our muscular gains happen during our rest periods—the day or two after we have exercised and stressed our muscles. If we do not allow our muscle to rest and grow properly, we will be sore for a longer period and be more injury-prone due to less stable, more vulnerable muscles.
    • How can I prevent this? After training a certain muscle group or body part, give yourself adequate rest time before training those muscles again. I recommend at least 36-48 hours of rest between training sessions to see optimal gains.
  2. Feeling sick more often
    • When your body is working too hard, or overtraining, you are living in a constant catabolic state, or constantly breaking down your body instead of building it up. This takes a strong toll on your body and immune system and makes you more vulnerable to sickness and illness. Because your body is so focused on training and burning, it cannot take the necessary measures to ensure you are properly protected from disease.
    • How can I prevent this? Reduce your training periods so that you have time to properly heal. Try incorporating shorter, more intense training sessions instead of long, high burning cardio workouts. Also, consider diet and nutrition modifications. Vitamins A, C, and E are important in strengthening immune function and will also help with tissue repair.
  3. Loss of Motivation
    • When exercise has become such a crucial part of your daily life, the idea of missing a workout becomes unfathomable! That is why a sudden disinterest in wanting to go to the gym is a serious sign of overtraining. It is your body trying to tell you it needs a break.
    • How can I prevent this? Instead of fighting this sign and performing exercises with a lack of concentration and chance of injury, a longer rest period is needed. Take at least one full week off from training and focus on getting at least 8 hours of sleep and refueling your body with proper diet and nutrition. After this week, do not jump back into your full-intensity workout. Rather, start slowly and work your way back in a safe manner. Your body will be well rested and you will notice an immediate change in your motivation to exercise again!
  4. Halted Progress
    • Have you ever been training for a long period of time and no matter what you try, or how hard you work, you simply are not getting the results you desire? This is because you are overtraining your muscles. Instead of seeing growth by burning carbohydrates and fat and building muscle tissue, you are actually entering a “muscle burning” mode due to inadequate rest.
    • How can I prevent this? As stated earlier, force yourself to take rest periods, both during your training and in between sessions. It might seem counterintuitive that resting more will actually provide more gains, but it could not be more true!


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