Everytime you hear things about working out, you usually hear that you should be doing it more. “Make sure to push for that weight!”, or “add that extra workout class in!”
To be completely honest, a good chunk of people should be working out more and aren’t moving as much as they should. However the two common mistakes in clients I seen in this area is:
- Exercising too much without enough recovery
- Underfueling your body (whether that be with not enough food or not enough nutrient-dense food)
Do you fall into one or both of these categories? You may be at risk of overtraining.
The truth of the matter is that each individual person is so unique and different when it comes to nutrition and working out. That’s why going with fads, trends, or what your best friend used that worked for her may not always work for you.
I have seen people who train 6-7 days a week for years and years and they love it. Some people may naturally have the capabilities to do this (I consider them the outliers). You also must consider that they aren’t going 110% day in and day out. They may lift heavy 3-4 days and do a light walk the other days to balance out their energy.
I have also seen people who work out 2-4 days a week and take a 1 week break from working out 4 times a year and have great results.
To be honest, most people can get away with 3-5 days a week average with at least two rest days. Usually less is more. Once your nutrition is on track as well, you will need as much physical effort in the gym. All the crazy workouts and dieting is saved for the athletes, competitors and models. Even they don’t do those rigid routines long-term!
Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining
Could you be overtraining? Here are some signs and symptoms:
- You can never seem to recover properly. Your muscles are always so sore no matter what you do.
- Elevated Resting Heart Rate
- You always seem to be getting sick due to a lowered immune system: training is a stressor on the body!
- Loss of interest in all activities
- Possible Injuries/Aches and Pains
- Loss of Appetite
- Insomnia/Decreased Sleep Quality
- Nutritional Imbalances/Deficiencies
Getting Quality Recovery
If you find yourself running around all the time, you may need some extra things to boost your recovery.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Making sure you are getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night is essential. Sleep is when our body recharges and rebuilds everything that gets broken down during the day. For more information about upping your sleep game, check out this post.
Try An Occassional Massage
Getting regular professional massages releases any knots in the muscles and helps to reset your muscular and skeletal structure. Keeping up with this also will help prevent injuries! You can even keep up with myofasial muscle release by investing in a foam roller!
Are You Warming Up and Cooling Down?
Warming up the muscles for proper activation before lifting is crucial for injury prevention and better results. Cooling down allows our hearts to safely come back to rest and helps stretch out our worked muscles. For more in-depth explanations on warming up and cooling down check out this post and my beginner’s guide to working out.
Try An Epsom Salt Bath Soak
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which helps soothe sore muscles. A simple soak works wonders on the body! You could need a whole self care night to help relax both your mind and body as well!
Getting Quality Nutrition/Fixing Any Deficiencies
Making sure that you are eating a variety of whole, nutrient dense foods goes a long way. Making changes to your diet won’t happen over night. Take your time and make small changes. Even something as simple as switching to diet soda than seltzer water can have huge effects.
I recommend getting a general blood panel to find an possible deficiencies also. Deficiencies in vitamins or minerals as well as hormonal imbalances can prevent you from seeing any progress no matter how hard you work. Those things need fixed first, and you will feel a heck of a lot better, too! I go over more about fixing any nutrient deficiencies in this post.
In summary, sometimes more isn’t always better. If you find yourself experiencing quite a few of the symptoms mentioned above, you may be overtraining. It’s important to take a step back and consider if you are getting proper nutrition as well as proper recovery from your workouts. Be sure to practice these healhty habits to prevent overtraining as well!