As a Men’s Fitness reader, you take your workouts seriously. But, have you ever found yourself placing unreasonable demands on your body to the point of overtraining? Rest assured, if your commitment to gym time is in the neighborhood of about five hours per week, chances are you aren’t at risk of overtraining. However, if it’s greater than five hours per week and training is becoming a borderline addiction even at the expense of possibly doing harm, it’s probably time to reassess your goals. If you’re in this position, ideally you’ll have the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced personal trainer who can quickly help you get your training back on track. Regardless, it’s crucial that you listen to your body and know the signs of overtraining. We’ve compiled a list of 12 common symptoms of overtraining.
12/ Altered Resting Heart Rate
Have you noticed those heart rate monitors some guys wear at the gym? Believe it or not, they can help you determine if you’re overtraining. As personal trainer and strength coach, Dan Trink, explains, “altered resting heart rate is the result of an increased metabolic rate to meet the imposed demand of the training.” However, you don’t need to rush out and buy one of those heart rate devices. Instead, Trink advises you “simply monitor your morning heart rate” by measuring before you stand up to get out of bed and begin your day.
11/ Insatiable Thirst
Do you frequently have an unquenchable thirst? Are you starting to believe that no matter what you drink, you’ll still crave more? If this happens to be coinciding with a period of increased gym-time activity, there’s an excellent chance that you’re overtraining, which causes the body to be in a catabolic state. Why? As personal trainer and nutrition expert, Jay Cardiello, points out, “being in a catabolic state naturally causes dehydration,” and “thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration.” To combat this overtraining symptom, Cardiello suggests you need to be “getting adequate water” intake, as well as rest.
10/ Muscle Soreness
It’s normal to have muscle soreness for a day or two following a workout. However, if you’re still sore past the 72-hour mark, be sure to schedule a break and rest. This type of extended soreness is a sign your muscles aren’t recovering and negatively impacts on your muscle-building efforts. Muscle Model champion and transformation trainer, Micah LaCerte, says when weight training, “you should be able to get in a gym – in and out – in 45 to 75 minutes max.” Pay attention to your muscles and don’t overstay your welcome in the gym.