Yup, there’s such a thing as overtraining – and you might not even realise you’re doing it.
So you’re finally committed to your fitness journey and you’re going in…hard. Maybe harder than you ever have before. Perhaps your now trying to counteract a few months/years/lifetimes of over indulgence with your new-found love for the gym. But did you know that those endless slogs of Push, Pull & Pump’s followed by Spin’s, followed by HIIT’s, followed by hour-long walks to nowhere on the treadmill every day can actually be detrimental for you and your fitness goals?
Well, it’s true. Overtraining is a thing. And it’s a thing most people don’t really understand (and may not even think about) when they’re trying to shred – or gain – those all-important kilos.
Let me explain, overtraining isn’t going at it so hard at the gym that your muscles are screaming at you during (and possibly for days after) a workout. Overtraining simply means a point when the volume and intensity of your workouts exceed your body’s capacity to recover. You stop making progress and you can actually become weaker and and your fitness levels can completely dwindle.
So how do you know if you’re overtraining? Well, there are a few telltale signs to look out for:
Persistent muscle aches and niggling injuries
Getting sick more often (due to decreased immunity)
Loss of motivation
An increase in resting heart rate
Recognise any of these? Then you might be in the crux of overtraining. But fear not, fitness fiend, there are ways in which you can ensure you get back on track and start
It’s called rest. Yup, sometimes that word can sound terrifying – especially if you’re one of those seven-days-a-week-in-the-gym people.
Just know that taking rest days doesn’t mean that you’re lazy in any way. Rest days are GOOD. Rest days are great. Get reacquainted with Netflix – or failing that, your friends and family. Give your body time to recover and you’ll find that your motivation returns, your strength returns and, most importantly, you begin edging closer to obtaining those all important fitness goals.