Going on a bulk? Here is the Ultimate Guide to Bulking Part Two: The Training.
When you’re motivated and on a roll with your training, it can be tempting to skip your rest day in the name of making more progress.
However, this might actually be having the opposite effect.
Rest and recovery are vital parts of achieving your goals and so if you’re overtraining you run the risk of slowing down the gains and maybe even reversing them!
But how do you know if you’re overtraining? And, more importantly, what can you do about it?
What are the signs?
Studies have revealed that there are over 130 signs of overtraining. Don’t worry, we’re not going to go into all of them.
However, here are some you might want to watch out for.
You keep having bad sessions
We all have a bad session every so often; however, if you’re continuously finding yourself struggling to lift weights that would usually be easier, or letting your form slip to finish a set, you could be overtraining.
Even if you’re strength training or running daily, you’ll begin to feel weaker and more fatigued.
Ever heard the phrase ‘hitting a wall’? This basically means your muscles are running low on glycogen, which is a symptom of overtraining.
You’re feeling agitated and moody
Overtraining can have a significant impact on your stress hormones (such as cortisol and epinephrine).
Imbalances in cortisol and epinephrine can result in you feeling a lot more irritable than usual.
If you find yourself snapping and finding it hard to concentrate on your work, it might be down to overtraining.
That, or someone is cooking fish in the office microwave again…
You’ve lost your appetite
Just as hormone imbalances can make you moody, they can also impact your appetite.
Overtraining puts extra stress on the body.
This results in an increase in the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which can reduce your appetite.
What to do about it?
If you do think that you might be overtraining, there are some things you can do about it.
Take a break
This one might seem obvious, but it can be tempting to just push through.
The best way to deal with symptoms of overtraining is to take a break from training and give your body time to recover.
Get enough sleep
If you’re not getting enough sleep then you’re not giving your muscles time to repair and recover.
It will also mean you’re knackered the next day, which means that your workout that day will pay the price.
Make sure you’re eating right
When you’re training often, it is vital that you’re giving your body enough fuel to perform, recover and grow.
If you’re not giving your body what it needs, you’re going to find you’re unable to achieve your goals.
Slow and steady wins the race
Progress does not happen overnight.
It is going to take time to achieve your goals, and overtraining is only going to slow it down.
Remember that rest days are just as much an integral part of the process as your training days – don’t skip them.