How to determine if you are overtraining

If you’re someone who is hard at work with your workout sessions, one thing that you really must be paying attention to is overtraining syndrome.

Overtraining can really creep up on you if you aren’t careful and take you right out of the game completely. Those who do end up over-trained often have to spend weeks if not months sometimes in complete rest or doing much lower intensity workout sessions.

How long you spend in a state of overtraining will have a big influence over just how much time off will be necessary but it’s safe to stay that any form of overtraining is going to be a hindrance to your overall results.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the symptoms of overtraining so you know what to watch out for. If any of these symptoms do start to make themselves present in your life, that’s a very good sign that you should be backing off immediately.

Ongoing fatigue

The very first thing that you’ll want to take note of that could signal overtraining is starting to set in is if you’re experiencing an ongoing battle of fatigue. This doesn’t just mean feeling tired during the workout either.

If you find that as each day comes and goes you hardly feel like doing more than getting out of bed, that’s your first clue that something is definitely up.

When you’re in a state of being over-trained even everyday activities are going to play you out quite quickly.

Increased illness or infection

Second, the next thing that you’ll want to watch for is if you find that you’re becoming ill quite frequently. When you’re over-trained you’re essentially placing more stress on the body than it can effectively handle. As such your immune system will be down which means that you won’t be able to fight off invading viruses nearly as well.

As a result you become ill and stay that way. If you get hit by every single cold during the winter season and never seem to be at your best, you need to look at whether something larger may be at play.

Lack of enjoyment in other activities

Next up, also consider how you feel about doing things on an everyday basis. Do you still have a desire to go out with friends? Hit up the basketball courts on a Friday night with your usual crew? Go to work each day?

If you lack the enthusiasm for activities that you’d normally enjoy doing, this too can indicate overtraining is at work. When you’re severely over-trained you’re really not going to feel like doing much of anything and that is definitely going to impact your quality of life on all fronts.

Try your best to spot this early on so you can make adjustments to your workout routine as soon as it occurs.

Change in bodyweight and/or appetite

Finally, the last thing to watch for is a change in your appetite or bodyweight. If you are normally ravenous after a workout session but lately haven’t felt like eating much of anything, this could demonstrate that you’re not getting the rest you need.

Any time there is an unexplained change in bodyweight or appetite level you should always take a look and see if something else may be at play causing this. These things typically don’t just happen for no reason, so more often than not it’s going to indicate that something bigger is going on.

So keep these points in mind. If you can catch overtraining early enough it’s relatively easy to get over.

Cabel McElderry is the director of One-to-1 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-341-4041. Also check out for more information.

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