Common Signs Of Overtraining From Bodybuilders And Powerlifters

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Common Signs Of Overtraining From Bodybuilders And Powerlifters

Common Signs

The body is a wonderfully efficient, yet delicate instrument. It is incredibly resilient and capable of enduring much physical strain. It is a common mistake for those undertaking a workout program to believe that no amount of strain is too much for the body.

However, the symptoms of overtraining creep in as subtly as lethargy and loss of inspiration, and can progress to severe injuries and a compromised immune system.

Common Signs
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However, the symptoms of overtraining creep in as subtly as lethargy and loss of inspiration, and can progress to severe injuries and a compromised immune system.

So, what is overtraining?

Overtraining is quite common in various fitness activities. It happens when you perform more than your body can recover from, both in and out of the gym. This can take a shorter or less severe variation, often referred to as overreaching or a more severe variation.

However, CT Fletcher, the reigning world champion in professional body building, has a different attitude towards overtraining. He believes overtraining is individualized and, as such, cannot be generalized.

Fletcher holds that what would pass for over-training for one individual would be nothing more than a regular workout to another man. Mr. Fletcher insists that most people never get to a point where they over-train, thus making the term relative.

Common Signs
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So, what are the common signs of overtraining?

  1. Loss of motivation

You know you are getting beyond your limits when you are losing the motivation to get to the gym. This is your body’s way of telling that you need time off to recover because you are doing too much.

Certainly, everyone experiences those days when they do not feel like training. However, if you go days or even weeks without the desire to get to the gym, then you need to listen to your body and get a rest.

  1. Sore feeling, especially after a big workout

If you are getting the right food while working out hard but still feel severe soreness after your training sessions, then chances are you are taking too much at the gym.

This kind of soreness differs from the usual feeling you experience after training as it takes a few extra days to heal and might be a little painful. Overtraining tend to be much common in beginners who do too much too fast.

  1. When you stop seeing results

In case you do not know, too much workout can cause you to shed off the muscle and gain fat! If it were as simple as energy balance, burning more fat than you take in, then the more you work out, the better things would be to you.

However, you need to note that hormones play a huge role in the whole equation. Excessive training can trigger your body to produce low amounts of testosterone while producing high amounts of cortisol. However, the problem is your body increases both fat deposition and insulin resistance.

  1. You lose focus and become restless

This is common in strength or power athletes, or those who work out with intensity intervals.

This happens when your sympathetic nervous system runs into overdrive, triggering restlessness, hyperexcitability and ability to stay focused. This state makes it quite hard for anyone to recover after a workout.

I found a good video from Scooby about overtraining.

Image from BodyBuilders
Image from BodyBuilders

How to avoid overtraining

It takes days, or even weeks, for the body to fully recover from overtraining.

If this is the case, then you may want to take time off your training schedule to recover. However, you can avoid this scenario by training smart while allowing your body adequate time to heal.

Here are a few tips that can help you avoid going beyond your limits at the gym.

  1. Get adequate sleep

Sleep is cheap yet so effective and simple. However, most folks tend to miss the ball when it comes to sleeping.

If you want to realize great results while avoiding the risk of overtraining, then you need to hit the hay an hour or two earlier than you usually do. Sleep is essential because it helps your body recover.

  1. Eat well

Diet plays an important role in your recovery after a workout. Without proper nutrition, you are shooting yourself in the foot well before you can even begin the race.

Just in the same way you would not drive your car without gas, so shouldn’t your workout without proper nutrients in your body.

To avoid overtraining, be sure to have the adequate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

Also, be sure to take adequate water. Always remember, your pre and post exercise meals play a key role in your recovery process.

  1. Proper training

You can avoid problems caused by frequent training by having a smart workout schedule. As a thumb rule, only train enough to elicit the desired response.

Never work out to the point where you need up to two weeks to recover from a single session. It is advisable that you rest between lifting sessions as much as you can and avoid heavy full body training lifts one or two days consecutively.

Also, consider changing your training intensity week to week. Depending on your training goals and experience, consider having a loading week where you significantly lower your training volume every 5 to 12 weeks.

CT Fletcher does not advocate that you do what he does. Thus, it is important that you know your training limits. Being sensitive to the signs of overtraining can help you avoid injuries that can sideline you from the gym for a long time.

Remember, workout results do not happen overnight, so be sure to pace yourself and approach exercises with care and caution.


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