One problem that new members sometimes have, or worry about, is overtraining. That’s a condition where you essentially exercise beyond your body’s limits, and suffer physically and mentally as a result.
Generally speaking, overtraining is something that occurs months or years into your fitness routine, and isn’t usually a worry for beginners or intermediate-level athletes. However, it’s a good idea for anyone who works out regularly to know the signs of overtraining:
Stiffness. A little bit of muscle soreness is normal, especially if you’re beginning a new workout routine or pushing harder than you have in the past. Too much, though, can be a sign of injury or overtraining.
Nagging injuries. In the same way, nagging injuries that never completely heal could be a sign that you’re putting more strain on your body than you should. Any time you feel pain while working out, take that as a sign to dial things back a bit.
Fatigue, especially when exercising. Naturally, some fatigue is going to come with exercising. But, if you’re starting to feel tired at the beginning of your workouts, rather than the end, you could be overtraining.
Trouble making strength or endurance gains. The classic sign of overtraining is a plateau in gains. In other words, no matter how hard you work, you just don’t seem to get stronger or faster. In these cases, doing less at the gym can be more beneficial than pushing harder.
Irritability, and feeling “off.” Occasionally, it’s hard to put a finger on what’s bothering you, but if you aren’t enjoying your fitness as much as you should be, overtraining could be the cause.
If you are exhibiting any of the signs of overtraining, it’s a good idea to take a look at your recent fitness log (which everyone should be in the habit of keeping for their own reference) and seeing whether you might be pushing too hard. Additionally, talk to one of the Vitality Fitness trainers for recommendations. And if all else fails, simply scale back your training for a bit and get some rest – it probably took you a while to get into shape, and a few weeks of slowing down isn’t going to hurt your body or your training.