Are you over-training?

Do you feel like you work out all the time but still don’t see the results that you are looking for? If you’re killing yourself in and out of the gym 7 days a week, you’re doing too much. How is that possible? If I do more workouts I will burn more calories and therefore lose more weight, right? Well, not always. With the growing popularity of high-intensity activities, more and more people are suffering from over-training and increasing frustration from lack of results from their hard work. Today, I’ll go over the signs of over-training and what you can do about it to give your body a chance to recover and thrive.

Here are some common symptoms of over-training1:

-Decreased performance

-Workouts feel more challenging than they used to, heart rate doesn’t come down as quickly

-Excessive fatigue

-Agitation and moodiness

-Insomnia or restless sleep

-Loss of appetite

-Chronic or nagging injuries

-Metabolic imbalances

-Psychological stress and/or depression

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms and consistently train several days in a row, it’s possible that you’re over-training. Never fear! Here are some steps that you can take to let your body heal so that you can start seeing results again:

  1. Get adequate rest between sessions. If you are doing HIIT style training or weight lifting, you need about 48 hours to recover. You can choose light activity (such as walking, yoga, stretching, etc.) for active rest in between training days, but don’t push yourself too hard.
  2. Make sure you’re eating enough calories to sustain all of the physical activity that you’re doing. Under-eating can cause many of the same symptoms as over-training, so track your calories to make sure you’re eating enough and adjust as necessary.
  3. Get your Zzz’s. Your body repairs and heals in your sleep, so shoot for 7-9 hours for maximum results.
  4. Take care of your muscles! Soft tissue work, like stretching and foam rolling, can help ease soreness and keep your muscles limber and healthy.

It’s your turn: Apply what you’ve learned!

First, take a look at the list of symptoms and see if any apply to you. If you are also training 5+ times a week, it’s time to do a workout and recovery overhaul. The first place to start is by taking a look at your workout schedule and adjusting to give yourself enough rest between sessions. If your symptoms improve with that change, great! If not, start working down the list making one adjustment at a time until you’re feeling like a champ again. If you can’t seem to get your symptoms under control, it’s definitely worth seeing a doctor to have them give you further guidance.

What are your favorite recovery techniques? Tell us what you do to recover!