I will share with you the symptoms I went through on various occasions. For several years in a row, I felt like I didn’t need a break. I had 25-28 workouts a month, which is a lot of training. In my defense I will say that these were short workouts under 30 minutes and workouts with my own weight and 5 kg dumbbells. For that time I felt perfect with so many but short workouts.
You are afraid of the upcoming training
Most people who work out enjoy the process and when they take time to do it. They look forward to training time and they are disappointed if it fails for some reason. After training, they feel satisfied, happy and as that they have achieved something that day. If you do not feel that way, if you don’t feel joy before and after training, you probably force things more and this affects your mood and desire.
I am only afraid of a work out only when I shoot a video, because I have to talk and that makes it much more difficult. I overcame this by starting to talk and count and when I do my own daily work out.
If you do the same workout often and start to be afraid of it, it is definitely a symptom of overtraining.
Your achievements are going down despite the great effort and time you put in
You work out almost every day, you follow your meal plan but you lose strength and endurance and even gain weight. You probably wonder what’s going on and why you’re not making progress after working so hard. When you overtrain the hormones go wrong. The Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels rise and the result is that your muscles become weaker, the body’s insulin sensitivity is also reduced. This way you are gaining fat instead of muscles.
This happened to me while I was shooting the 90-days challenge. In the end I was 1 kg more and I was doing 2 workouts per day (because I was shooting 2 levels per day). My appetite increased a lot, probably because I needed more vitamins and minerals, which means more food. I was not taking any supplements at the time. Now I take vitamins and minerals.
You don’t sleep well
Everyone can have trouble sleeping occasionally. But if you start waking up in the middle of the night one night and rolling around in bed and not being able to sleep and feeling like you can’t calm down, you’re probably overtraining. This is because the sympathetic nervous system becomes over-reactive if you are regularly exposed to physical stress (training) and do not rest enough. When we are under stress different reactions are happening in the body such as increased heart rate, dilated pupils, narrowed blood vessels and increased blood pressure, in short the body goes in the ” run or fight” mode. This is an extremely important body reaction connected to our survival in the past.
During the 90-days challenge, I lost my sleep. And I have always had a healthy sleep – falling asleep easily and immediately. At that time I was going to bed very late (after 3 am), because I edited the recorded workouts for the day and put them online immediately so that the people who do it before work in the morning could train. After that despite the fatigue, I could not calm down and fall asleep often until 5-6 am. So I had to finish the 90-days challenge, to reduce the training significantly and to get back to my normal sleeping regime. I did many other things at the time but for a first time I understood what insomnia causes to the body. It’s a terrible thing! Along with motherhood, I lost my sleep for the second time and then I had no strength to train. I did little workouts only to keep the rhythm.
Sleeping is extremely important! Appreciate if you have healthy sleep, because you do not know when you can lose it. If you feel that your sleep is getting worse, take immediate action.
You feel constant fatigue during the day
After your morning workout you have the feeling that you are not capable of doing anything else that day. You have no strength, your creativity decreases. Or if you workout is scheduled for the evening all you think during day is how you will find the strength to do it. Then you workout somehow but in the end you feel that you are at your limits both mentally and physically.
This happened to me when I started with my home workouts. I was so inspired that I don’t have to waste time going to the gym, so that I used that additional time to train hard at home. It has happened that after a workout I have raised my body temperature to about 37 degrees and have wanted to lie down as if I was sick. 3 days of rest and I’m ok, only a strong muscle fever (which is also a symptom that you need rest). When you overtrain once, it’s easy to fix by taking a break for a few days. Just be careful not to do so again.
You can’t and don’t want to finish the workout
Somehow you find your inner strength to do your workout, but shortly after you realize that whatever you do you cannot complete it. You either have to stop it or modify it to something much lighter. If this happens in consecutive workouts, it is a clear signal to rest. Especially if you know that such a workout would’ve never made you feel like that before.
This has happened to me accidentally when I was having a strong muscle fever, but I had decided to train very hard anyway. The result was that became weak and at some point I had to stop. Then I came to my senses and decided that it is better to stretch longer and take a long hot shower.
You often get sick
It may not be something serious, but if you often start to feel unwell and train hard, this is a symptom that you need to rest and to reduce your workouts.
If you have pain in the joints, the muscles or the hamstrings this can be a symptom of incorrect technique. But if it’s not the case, it is probably a load that your body can not cope with. Take a break!
When I started my home workouts, there was a period when I was constantly feeling something like muscle pains around my ankles. I reduced the jumps for a few months and then gradually increased them again. But I took the time to get stronger and then increased the load. When the body is not ready, it reacts with symptoms of overtraining.
You will not achieve more if you train for 1 hour every day. Getting in shape is a process, not a magical transformation for a day.
How to deal with overtraining
• Rest from training – this is number one
• More sleep, if you can. If you can’t afford to sleep more, you will regain sleep, just as you refrain from training.
• Foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
• Warm mineral water bath
If it’s not serious overtraining a week long rest will do wonders. However, if you overtrain for years, ignoring the symptoms, then you need a longer break – a month and then lighter training. Walking is a great way to get back into movement without exhausting your body. The stretching, the massage, the walking or yoga are great recovery techniques.
Make sure that you will have a period of a complete rest – no training, enough sleep, good food, reading, watching movies, massage…
My advice is to train as little as possible so that you have the results you want 🙂