3 Signs of Overtraining

Signs of Overtraining

Overtraining is a serious issue that can lead to injury, catabolism and a variety of other health concerns, but for the average American who works an office job and gets the minimum physical activity requirements, it is highly unrealistic to reach this point. That said, for those who have been training extensively and performing high-intensity and high volume exercises for years, it’s important to self-monitor your training, body and emotions to make sure you are getting adequate recovery from  between sessions. Here are three signs that you may be overtraining.

1. Chronic Fatigue

Do you continuously feel tired when you wake up and go through the motions of your day? Do you feel like your mental clarity has been inhibited and you are to tired to do normal activities like walking your dog or going to you weekly softball game? This could be a potential sign that you need to back off of the volume or intensity of your workouts. Keep in mind that external stressors should be accounted for when monitoring this and should be treated as mutually exclusively. This means that if you lost your job, your girlfriend broke up with you, and you went out drinking on a Thursday night; don’t go thinking your overtrained on Friday morning because you’re a hungover or stressed out and cortisol levels are through the roof.

Additionally, if you are dieting or in a caloric deficit, you will have to incorporate this into your assessment of your fatigue. If you have accounted for all the variables and feel like you are chronically fatigued, then reduce the volume of your sessions by half for a week and monitor how your feel moving forward.

2. Lack of Progression

If you are following and a well-structured periodized program as well as monitoring the weights used for your major lifts, yet you find you have stalled on your strength gains, this could be a sign that you could use some scheduled rest or a de-load phase. Again, you will need to account for all your variables to monitor this accordingly. If you are randomly performing differing rep schemes with differing weights and have no real structure for progressive overload then you may need to go back to square one in terms of your programming vs taking a rest day or backing off of training.

But if you haven’t changed a variable, have been following a systematic program and your lifts start to go down, you may have a problem. If you generally put up 225 on the bench and you suddenly start struggling with 185, or if you usually easily complete five sets of squats and are struggling at two, consider it a red flag. Begin to take this red flag seriously if your strength is low for a series of workouts, not just in a single session.

3. Acute Weight Loss or Weight Gain

An acute or dramatic reduction in weight could be attributed to a higher than normal energy expenditure from exercise. This could mean that you are exhibiting an extreme caloric restriction that is leading the malnourishment and improper macronutrient and micronutrient intakes, which will ultimately wreak havoc on your metabolism.

Likewise, if you notice that you seem to be stalled in your fat loss or have put on a few pounds, you could be demonstrating negative hormonal adaptations such as lowered testosterone, inhibited thyroid hormone and increased cortisol levels. Additionally, you could also be retaining water due to fluctuations in aldosterone which could be a sign of dehydration.


About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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