Training too hard can lead to serious injury if you’re not careful, so it’s very important that you are on the lookout for signs of overtraining. Here are a few of the more visible signs that you’re just working too hard:
Higher Resting Heart Rate
Did you know that having an abnormally high resting heart rate can be the result of training too hard? When you train too much, your metabolism has to over-work in order to keep up with the demands placed on your body. If you find that your heart rate is regularly elevated–especially first thing in the morning–it may be a sign that you’re working too hard!
There is always soreness to be expected after doing a heavy workout, but the truth is that your muscles should heal within a day or two. If your muscles are still achy after 72 hours have passed, it’s definitely a sign that you’re working too hard.
When you train too hard, it can put your body into a catabolic state–meaning muscle is being broken down. This catabolic state can cause dehydration, which is manifested by thirst. If you feel very thirsty all the time, it’s a sign that you’re training too hard!
We all go through slumps at the gym, but how bad is this slump? Do you struggle just to get through your workout because you have no desire to do so? This may be the result of training and pushing your body too hard. Give yourself a rest and come back to the gym rested and re-motivated.
When your gym time increases, the strain on your nervous and endocrine systems can lead to sleep difficulties. Many people who spend too much time at the gym have a hard time sleeping, so it’s important to scale back your workouts in order to give your body the time it needs to rest and recover.
If you’re sick more often than normal, it’s likely caused by excessive exercise. Training too hard can lead to a reduced immune function, as your immune system is suppressed when your body is in a catabolic state.
If you are not noticing as much progress as you once did, perhaps you’ve been training too hard. The truth is that your body needs A LOT of rest after a serious workout, but overtraining your muscles can slow your progress–or even halt it altogether. If you are not noticing progress, give your body a rest and do something different for a week or two.
Few people connect exercise with depression, but overtraining can actually lead to depression. This is often because people who train excessively tend to have body image issues, and they spend all their time training in order to “correct” a problem.
Are you injuring yourself more often than before? Not only is it easier to injure yourself when you spend more time training, but when you increase the intensity of your workouts. You may not only be aggravating old injuries, but there’s a chance that you are causing new injuries. Be careful when you are at the gym, and only train until your muscles have reached fatigue–don’t push them beyond what they can handle!
Struggling to focus on your workout? When you are training too hard, you may end up losing the desire to blast through your workout, meaning you spend more time talking and socializing than actually working. When you are motivated, you can get through your workout quickly.