The Dangers of Overtraining: Why More isn’t Always Better

Hey Angels and Alphas,

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about weightlifting and exercising, especially in regards to how many days you should be lifting weights every week, what kinds of workouts you should be doing, and how much rest you need to be taking between each workout.

One such piece of overtraining advice that people like to fall back on is the idea that lifting weights more often will make you more muscular or give you better results faster; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Overtraining causes your body to break down, which leads to plateaus in your progress and potentially injuries or illnesses.

The Risks of Overtraining

overtraining can lead to injury, mental burnout, and decreased performance. It can also cause imbalances in your hormones, electrolytes, and energy levels, which can lead to further health problems. If you’re not careful, overtraining can become a dangerous cycle that’s hard to break out of. So how do you know if you’re overtraining? Here are some signs to look out for:

Signs That You Might be Overdoing it

1. You’re exhausted all the time, even when you’re getting enough sleep.

2. You have been going to the gym or running every day without any rest days.

3. You are getting more sore than usual with little or no recovery time.

4. Your mood changes from day-to-day, with days when you feel great followed by days when you feel exhausted and irritable all the time.

5. Your workouts start feeling harder as time goes on even though you are eating well and getting enough sleep.

6. Your performance is suffering.

7. You’re not enjoying your workouts anymore.

8. You’ve lost your motivation.

9. You’re irritable and/or short-tempered.

10. Your body feels stiff and/or sore constantly.

Taking Preventative Measures

1. Get adequate rest and recovery. This means taking days off from training, and getting enough sleep at night.

2. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling tired or sore, take a day or two off.

3. Cross-train. Don’t just focus on one activity; mix things up to avoid overuse injuries.

4. Strength train. Strong muscles can help protect your joints from overuse injuries.

5. Use proper form and technique. This will help you avoid injuries and get the most out of your workouts.

6. Gradually increase your mileage or intensity level.

Tips for Avoiding Overtraining Injuries

1. Incorporate a variety of training methods. Don’t just do the same thing day in and day out. Mix things up to keep your body guessing and your mind engaged.

2. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Ease into things gradually to give your body time to adapt.

3. Be aware of your limits and know when to back off. Pushing yourself is good, but there’s a fine line between challenging yourself and overdoing it. If you’re feeling excessively fatigued, sore, or injured, it’s time to take a step back.

Realize When to Pull Back

It’s easy to get caught up in the mentality that more is always better. But when it comes to working out, sometimes less is actually more. If you’re noticing any of the signs mentioned above, it might be time to pull back on your training. Make sure to talk to your trainer or doctor before making any major changes.

Sometimes resting is the best way to help your body heal and recover from overtraining. Give yourself permission to take a day off if you need one. A little rest goes a long way towards helping your body bounce back and stay healthy!