Smart Fitness Training

Overtraining 101: What You Need to Know

As you go about your strength training workout protocol, one thing that you absolutely must be safeguarding against is overtraining. Many people think that overtraining will only happen to those who are training professionally for sports or doing extreme workout sessions. This, however, is not the case.

If you aren't careful, overtraining could very well happen to you, and when it does, not only will you feel miserable but your workout performance will plummet as well.

Let's look at what you need to know about overtraining and how you can prevent it.

What Is Overtraining

First let's go over what overtraining is. Overtraining is essentially a situation where you are applying more stress than your body is able to tolerate. Now, one mistake some people make is thinking that this is only physical stress.

And while physical stress is the most likely cause, it can also be emotional stress as well. So you might be going about your workouts fine but then hit a very emotionally stressful patch in a relationship or are under a high amount of financial stress and now the stress load is just too much for you to deal with.

When this happens, overtraining sets in as your body is no longer able to keep up.

More often than not though, overtraining occurs because you are doing too much exercise overall. This could be in the form of too many workouts, too many exercises per workout, too much intense cardio training, or just lack of sufficient high quality rest in between.

The main signs and symptoms that you have to watch out for that indicate overtraining is starting to occur include:

  • Declining performance.
  • Decreased libido.
  • Poor mood/experiencing depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Change in appetite.
  • Increased resting heart rate upon waking.
  • Constant aches and soreness.
  • Loss of muscle mass.

If any of these signs start to show, you should be taking action right away to rest up so that full blown overtraining doesn't set in.

Preventing Overtraining

So now that you know what overtraining is, what can you do to prevent it? To prevent overtraining, you'll want to make sure that you are eating a proper diet plan that provides sufficient calories. Remember, your body needs fuel to recover from exercise, and if you aren't providing it, this will be problem number one.

Second, you also need to make sure that you are structuring your workout properly. This means keeping volume at reasonable levels and taking at least one, if not two, days off each week from all forms of intense training. This will be imperative to keep the risk of overtraining down.

Next, also make sure that you are sleeping enough at night as well. You should aim for at least seven, if not eight, hours of rest each night to keep your body recovering between sessions.

Finally, you also want to make sure that you are practicing good stress controlling techniques in all areas of your life as well so that you can remain as stress-free as possible.

If you do all of these, then you should be able to rest assured that you are doing your part to prevent overtraining.

So start taking overtraining more seriously. It is something that impacts far too many people and when it does, your life will feel miserable. By keeping tabs on it before it starts to get out of hand, you can rest up, should it start to occur, and get past it in a week or less with some high quality rest.