If you were to spend a little time amongst fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, strength athletes, athletes in general, or anybody else with a basic understanding of the health and fitness world, one word you would probably hear quite a fair amount would be “overtraining”. Overtraining is basically just as it sounds, and is caused by the sheer fact that you are exercising so much that your body becomes fatigued, worn down, and doesn’t have enough time to repair and recover following intensive workouts. Overtraining can not only mean that you don’t make the progress you should be making in and out of the gym, but it can also actually lead to weight gain, and muscle wastage. Overtraining can affect us all, no matter how big, fit, healthy or strong we may be. Here’s a look at some of the symptoms associated with overtraining.
Renowned personal trainers and fitness experts all over the world point out that one of the symptoms of overtraining is an insatiable thirst that simply will not be quenched. The reason for this is that as overtraining can cause us to enter a catabolic state, one of the symptoms of being in a catabolic state is dehydration. Entering a catabolic state is extremely detrimental as it results in muscle wastage and breakdown. To help combat this, get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fresh water.
Prolonged muscle soreness
It’s perfectly normal to have sore muscles for a day or two following an intense workout, and truthfully this is a good sign as it shows your workout has been effective. This soreness is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and it should last one or two days. If you notice your muscles sore, aching, and even painful for a prolonged period of time above two days, this could be a clear indication of overtraining. Your muscles will be sore because they will be broken down from exercising in the gym, but they will remain damaged and broken down because the body will be unable to repair and rebuild them adequately.
Lack of interest in exercise
Some days we are tired and we can’t really be bothered to go to the gym and workout, but if you find yourself constantly dreading the thought of working out and if you simply cannot be bothered to exercise, this could be a sign that you’re overtired and that your body, and your mind, both need a little time to rest and recover.
You hit plateaus
Whether increasing strength, muscle mass, or burning fat, we all hit plateaus from time to time and this is perfectly natural. If you find yourself constantly hitting plateaus and not seeing any results, or if you’re even regressing and looking worse, or getting weaker, it may be time to take a rest as you could be overtraining. Overtraining can lead to a reduction in testosterone and growth hormone which both contribute towards muscle growth and strength increases, so naturally the less your body is producing, the less results and improvements you will be seeing.