Regular exercise is extremely beneficial for your body and health and is encouraged, however there is a risk of overtraining which can have a negative impact on you both mentally and physically.
Overtraining can be dangerous but is not common and what constitutes overtraining has been the topic of debate amongst specialists and will be dependent on an individual’s limits.
If you spend around six hours a week in the gym you aren’t really at risk of overtraining. Likewise, if you begin to feel fatigued or hit a plateau overtraining shouldn’t be your initial thought.
Another common myth is training a body part more than once in a week results in catabolism, the loss of muscle mass.
In fact, studies showed that body builders who doubled their training frequency from three exercises per muscle group to six saw their muscle gain increase. However, this was alongside a strict diet and the use of supplements.
However, overtraining is still a risk and here are four symptoms that you may be over training.
Increased resting heart rate
Seeing a decrease in your resting heart rate can be associated with a healthy style, as the cardiovascular system gets stronger and more efficient the heart does not have to work as hard.
Whereas, overtraining has the opposite effect. To keep track of this you can regularly check your heart rate just as you get up in the morning.
If you notice that your resting heart rate is increasing it could be a sign of overtraining.
Continuous drop in performance
To build muscle and strength is to overwork the muscle, causing the muscle fibres to break and stimulate new muscle fibres to grow. These fibres do not grow instantly, meaning the muscle will need a period of rest to allow protein synthesis to take place.
The resting time needed will vary for each person but is usually between 16 and 72 hours, it will happen faster for well-trained athletes.
Therefore, if you train the muscle group again during this rest period protein synthesis will stop but instead you will continue to break down muscle fibres. This may lead to a decrease in muscle size and strength.
Becoming ill more often
Overtraining can cause your immune system to suffer leaving you more susceptible to illness and infections. Whereas, regular training can actually help increase your resistance to illness.
Therefore, if you are finding yourself becoming ill more often then it me be a result of overtraining.
Overtraining means the body is being trained while it is in a weak and vulnerable which means your muscles, ligaments and tendons are susceptible to injury and any injuries you suffer may last longer and older injuries could be more likely to reoccur.
Additionally, individuals who are overtraining may train through pains and lead to causing further unnecessary damage to their body.
How to combat overtraining
Overtraining is not extremely common but the risk it presents to your health and well -being are serious so identifying and combating it as soon as possible is crucial.
There are steps you can take to prevent overtraining.
Having a rest
Pushing your body to its limits when training is important, but you must remember to allow time for recovery and rest afterwards.
Check your diet
Your diet is just as key to maximising your training as much as your routine itself and ensuring the body has all the right nutrients is the first step to overcoming many symptoms associated with overtraining.
Create a structure for your training
Having a strict schedule is key to maximising results from your training. Leaving rest days between workouts of similar muscle groups.
Managing your time in the gym is also important, most workouts will last between 45 and 90 minutes and this is a good time guide to follow for your workouts.