Signs You Are Overtraining
After graduating college, my body was completely burned out and over trained from eight years of playing high school and college basketball. I rarely took days off, played through sickness and injury, and pushed my body hard in every workout (many times going 2-3 times a day). I was young and thought I could handle it and although it seemed like I did, it really caught up to me in the summer after graduating.
For the first time in my life, I did not feel like working out. This was very foreign to me as basketball and lifting were something I loved to do. Aside from being unmotivated, I found myself constantly tired and was having a hard time recovering from workouts. Plus, I was getting sick all the time which made me feel even more tired.
For a while, I kept pushing through. Eventually, however, my body was screaming at me to take a break. So I did. I learned so much during this time, and want to share some so you can avoid burnout and over training.
Below are three of the tell-tale signs you will encounter when your body has had enough and is in need of a break. Take a look:
1. Lack of motivation.
This is the first thing that hit me. As a basketball player, I always forced myself to push through fatigue, as though I was imitating the last few minutes of a game. I wanted to be the most in shape person on the court, so I went hard in every workout. My motivation has always been extremely high, so when it disappeared rather quickly I knew something was wrong.
If you love to workout and be active, and then suddenly cannot find the motivation to do it; you may want to cut back some to avoid burn out. You should want to go workout, not have to force yourself to do it. You will find that by just taking a few days off, your motivation can come back rather quickly!
Now please don’t mistake lack of motivation for laziness. If you haven’t worked out in a while, over training does not apply to you. You may be burned out from your work or life, but certainly not from your lack of workouts!
2. You are always tired.
After experiencing lack of motivation to workout, the next factor I noticed was constantly being tired. It didn’t seem to matter how much sleep I got, my body always felt like it needed more rest.
If I tried to workout, I felt weak and out of it. If you are someone who trains a lot and find yourself always tired, this may be a sign that you are getting burned out. You will also want to take a look at your sleeping habits and eating patterns as these can also have an effect on being overly tired. In my case, it was clear that it was a combination of years of training while taking very few breaks.
3. Being overly sore.
I have always been someone that can recover from workouts very quickly so when I started having trouble recovering from workouts, I knew something was up.
Weeks before I decided to take time off, it was taking me 3-4 days to recover from a workout while in the past I could recover from the same workout in a day or two.
If you are struggling to recover from your workouts, your body is telling you something. It could be your nutrition plan or lack of sleep, but it can certainly be from overtraining (or a combination of all three!).
Experiencing the three signs above, may indicate that you are over training and on the verge of burnout. Other signs include getting sick often, not seeing results from your workouts, and feeling “weak” when working out (not able to lift as much weight, cannot train as hard, etc.).
Your body is able to handle a lot, but you must also be in tune to when it is telling you to rest.
We must remember to take care of our bodies and listen to what they are telling us. I have said this before, but there is a time for work and a time for rest. Both should be paid attention to.
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Photo Credit (CC): The National Guard