How Can You Tell If You Have Overtraining Symptoms?

Overtraining is a word that is often thrown around by bodybuilders and physical fitness experts, and you may have a hard time determining exactly what this means. Overtraining occurs when your workout schedule and training exceeds the ability of your body and muscle tissues to recover during the same time period. This may be due to a 5 day workout schedule, performing more reps than you should at the current time, or even focusing too much on specific muscle groups or body areas.

Finding the line between maximum effectiveness and overtraining is not always easy, and this line may not be the same for each person. A training schedule that is right for another bodybuilder may not be ideal for you. Your ability to recover and the time this takes will be different in each case. Younger individuals tend to recover faster, while older weightlifters may need more time to get the same results. Your age and the physical condition that you are in will both help determine whether you are getting peak results and a highly effective workout or whether your efforts are somewhat wasted instead. Your diet and your training frequency also play a role.

Frequency is Not Always an Indication of Overtraining

The frequency of your workouts is not a reliable indication of overtraining. Some bodybuilders train 5 or more days a week and they do not suffer from this problems. Others may find that a 3-4 day weekly schedule is too much. If you are not allowing your muscle tissues to fully repair in between sessions then you are overtraining, regardless of how often you workout or what your usual diet is. Your muscles will only grow and repair during the resting phase. If you are trying to get pumped and you want incredible gains then you need to workout frequently but you do not want to overdo it. Overtraining can make your muscles weaker instead of building strength and size. Your workout sessions will be less effective and you will see fewer results. This also puts you at a higher risk for injuries because your muscle tissues are not in prime shape and are weakened from being overworked and under rested. The frequency of your workout sessions is not the most important factor; whether your muscles have time to fully heal and recover in between these sessions is.

Common Symptoms of Overtraining

There are a number of symptoms that you may experience if you are actually overtraining. Since the line between optimal fitness efforts and excessive training can be blurry, it is important to watch for any of these symptoms. If you notice these signs then you need to evaluate your situation and make the necessary changes to your diet and training schedule. Symptoms of overtraining include:

    • You fail to see the expected muscle gains or increased weight no matter how often you workout or how intense your sessions are.
    • The targeted muscle groups that you are focusing on are still sore from the last session.
    • You experience a lack of energy throughout the day.
    • Your workout sessions are difficult to complete because you lack the needed energy.
    • Getting to sleep at night and staying asleep until morning seems difficult or impossible to achieve.
    • Anxiety or depression starts to become a problem in spite of getting plenty of exercise during your workouts.
    • You frequently need to stop working out before you are finished with a routine.
    • You regularly experience pain in your joints or limbs.
    • You start to get sick more often or you seem to catch every bug and virus that goes around.

A Balance Between Training and Rest Must be Struck

In order to get the muscle gains that you are looking for, you need to strike a delicate balance between training and rest. If you determine that you are actually overtraining then take some time off to allow a complete and full recovery. Break your training schedule and rest for a full week, and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. You will be motivated to get back in the gym, and your muscles will be prepared to maximize your gains at this point. Now that you are fresh and ready to start anew, you need to create a training schedule that fits with your specific situation and circumstances. Look at the available time that you have each week to workout, and the time that you need to rest in between training sessions. Your energy level and age are also relevant because this will impact your ability to workout and the time needed for complete recovery in between sessions.

Dietary Considerations Can Prevent Some Overtraining Issues

The effectiveness of your workout schedule and training routine will depend in part on your diet. You need to have sufficient nutrients in order to allow efficient recovery in between workouts. If your diet is lacking in protein or other essential nutrients then no amount of effort will help you pump up and see the gains that you want. If you are training too hard and your diet is not carefully calculated with this in mind then your recovery may be slower than it could be.

Overtraining Prevention Tips

Preventing overtraining is something that only you can do. There are some tips that can help you with this goal though, and they include:

    • Increase the rest time between working out a targeted muscle group if you are still sore when it comes around again. This soreness indicates that complete healing has not occurred yet and the tissues are not fully repaired.
    • Place a higher priority on the quality of the routines and exercises used, and less importance on how often you workout each muscle group during the week.
    • Make sure that your daily diet includes plenty of protein and large amounts of carbs in order to optimize the muscle fiber repair process and speed up the healing. This will help you get bigger gains in both size and strength without overtraining.




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