“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” -Jerry West
Are You Overtrained?
In today’s society, it seems as though we are training more than ever and pushing our bodies to the limit nearly every single day. I remember back in college, I used to weight train six days a week and on top of that would practice basketball for a few hours each day.
When I graduated, all that training really caught up to me. I remember telling my fiancé (now wife) on a daily basis, “I feel like I just got hit by a train.” After a while I knew the only thing I could do was take a break.
There is no tell tale sign to know what the word “over training” means, as we all react differently to the amount of stress that our bodies can take. So how do you know if you are overtrained? Below I will show you different steps on how to identify if you are overtrained and solutions you can use to prevent over training. Take a look:
Overtraining Symptom Number ONE: Lack of Motivation
All throughout college, I was highly motivated to workout. There was rarely a day that I didn’t feel like lifting or doing something active. However, after four years of pushing my body to the limits I found myself unmotivated to get anywhere near a workout.
I would try to force myself to workout only to find myself cutting the workout short (which never happened). If you find yourself feeling unmotivated to get a workout in, and this lasts for weeks, it is time to listen to your body and take a break.
Now please don’t mistake lack of motivation for laziness. If you haven’t worked out in three months (or three years), and feel “unmotivated” to workout that is considered laziness. Get off your butt and get to work!
Overtraining Symptom Number TWO: Being Overly Sore
We all know proper nutrition can prevent lots of negatives from happening to our bodies. However, if you find yourself eating properly and still getting overly sore after workouts this means overtraining is starting to kick in.
When we over train, our bodies don’t get the chance to recover and burn fat and build lean muscle. Although this usually happens to those who have been training for a while, it can happen in beginners too.
If you start out too fast and doing too much, overtraining can kick in and stop you from working out. I remember the first time I lifted coming back from an injury and could barely move the next day from being so sore. This is a form of overtraining. Start slow and be smart about your workouts.
Overtraining Symptom Number THREE: Slowed Results
In order for our bodies to grow and continue burning fat, they need time to recover. As I have mentioned before, your bodies grow and burn fat outside of the weight room. So overtraining can actually hurt your results.
Remember our terrible little friend cortisol? Yea, the hormone that promotes fat storage. When we over train our bodies produce more cortisol causing us to store more fat and it slows lean muscle growth. Definitely something we want to avoid!
Overtraining Symptom Number FOUR: You Feel Tired Constantly
Once again, this is caused by elevated cortisol levels and a decrease in testosterone (which is very important for women as well). If you a struggling to find energy throughout your day, something is wrong.
You should not have to reach for a cup of coffee every few hours to keep you awake. Many times this happens to chronic cardio lovers who run miles and miles everyday. Our bodies were not meant to train this way. We were meant to train in spurts of high intensity followed by slow movements (walking and recovery).
If you find yourself feeling sluggish, try cutting down your workouts to 10-20 minutes but keep them very intense. Stop the long slow chronic cardio!
Overtraining Symptom Number FIVE: You get sick often
Many times, getting sick is due to lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and stress but if you are doing everything correctly and still getting sick, overtraining may be the problem.
When you overtrain, it takes a toll on your immune system causing you to get sick. When we get sick, it is a way for our bodies to tell us we need rest and need to recover.
How To Avoid Overtraining
When overtraining kicks in, it is not fun. It can takes weeks or months to fully recover so it’s best to catch it before it’s too late. When my overtraining took its toll on my body, I was out of commission for three months. My workouts were cut short and it took a while for me to really get back in the groove of things.
Never again will I let this happen, so take this advice to prevent overtraining from ever happening to you:
As we have discussed over at BodyFit Formula, sleep is so overlooked in today’s society. Sleep plays a huge roll in preventing overtraining, and not to mention will expedite the results you see.
Sleeping allows your body to recover, grow, and burn fat so start taking it seriously if you want to get results!
It seems as though everything comes back to the foods you put in your body. Are you starting to sense the importance of nutrition in all aspects of your life? Proper nutrition will greatly speed up your recovery time and the results that you get.
Just like your car needs proper fuel, so does your body if you want it to keep running properly. You need a combination of protein, healthy fats, and the correct carbohydrates to allow your body to recover and keep you healthy.
All meals are important, but for the sake of recovery purposes, your pre and post workout nutrition will play the biggest role in keeping you less sore and giving you better recovery.
We know by now that outside stress plays a key roll in hindering our results and causing us to put on unwanted fat. Not only that, but combine our outside stress with the stress we place on our bodies when working out, and we have one deadly combination.
If you find yourself under tons of stress at work, in a relationship, or elsewhere try cutting down your workouts and focus on eliminating the stresses in your life before really jumping back into a full blown workout schedule.
Just as your workouts can cause overtraining, they can just as easily keep you very healthy and feeling energized constantly when done correctly. Be sure you are giving your body enough rest between workouts to avoid burnout.
This especially comes into play when training with heavy weights. Give yourself at least a day or two of recovery time in between heavy weight lifting sessions.
Don’t think you have to train six days a week to get results. You can see incredible results in as little as 2-3 days per week when done correctly.
(Note: In the BodyFit 7X7 workout plan, you train 5 days per week! However, the reason is simply to get you in shape as fast as possible. Once you are where you want to be, you can easily stay in great shape going 2-3 days per week.)
Many factors can come into play when it comes to overtraining. You must make sure that you are taking care of your body to avoid being over trained and overly tired.
The last thing you want to happen is to be forced to take time off because of being too tired, unmotivated, or overly sore. Taking days off is not a bad thing. If anything it will get you more motvated for your next workout. So make sure you properly plan days off to maximize results.
So the question still stands: Are you over trained? I encourage you to be honest when answering this question. If so, start taking care of yourself so you can attain optimal health!
My Workouts Schedule For The Week:
I am away this week so my workout schedule is going to be very random. I will have tons of workouts for you in next weeks newsletter so be sure to keep an eye out for that!