I’ve just been reading a great little article in Men’s Fitness called ’3 signs you’re overtraining’. If you suffer from any of these signs, it may be time to start training smarter.
1. You’re not sleeping well
It’s during sleep that your body has the time to rest and repair itself, but if you’re working out too much it can be hard to sleep soundly even if you feel exhausted. That’s because your levels of the stress hormone cortisol will be sky-high, making it hard for you to relax and unwind. I can remember when we used to play 5-a-side and the only slot we could get on a Tuesday was 9-10pm. I would come home and lie in bed for up to 2 hours trying to get to sleep!
2. You’re always tired
Limit training to an hour a day and no more than four times a week, especially if you are new to exercising. If you work out more often than this your muscles don’t have the time to recover between sessions, so you’ll feel fatigued both in and out of the gym. When you lift weights, less often equals more muscle. I found out this symptom the hard way as I thought by training more it would make me feel less tired, wrong! I’ve also noticed results regarding the last point about lifting less weight can give you more muscle.
3. You’re never hungry
Overtraining can trigger the release of hormones such as adrenaline, the flight-or-fight hormone, which increases your heart rate and inhibits appetite. All your hard work in the gym counts for nothing if you’re not eating good food, particularly good-quality protein, at regular intervals. It’s yet another classic mistake, you think by not eating you’ll end up losing more weight but your body needs fuel to function correctly. It’s like your car having no fuel in.