Regular workouts are one of the best habits you can arm yourself with today to ensure a healthy tomorrow. Nevertheless, training too hard can be even worse than not training at all; it can lead to post-workout muscle soreness, lengthy recovery, injuries, and even muscle mass loss. The overtraining syndrome occurs in both professional athletes and recreational fitness fanatics; which is why every gym goer should monitor their performance closely and slow down before their shatter their health altogether. But how can you tell that your training is doing your body more harm than good? How can you prevent overtraining before you wind up bed-locked for days on end? Here’s when training becomes dangerous.
The Tipping Point of Gym Success – or Failure
Though physical exercise is the best guarantee of lasting health, bone density, and peak shape; engaging in intense physical activities frequently isn’t any healthier than a sedentary life, a 2012 study found. According to the study, running too fast, too often for years on end poses a severe cardiac risk that can shave your lifespan as efficiently as not exercising at all. That’s why workout intensity shouldn’t be taken lightly – or pushed too far too quickly, for that matter. The upper-performance limit varies from person to person and takes time to increase; which is why you should keep an eye out on the telltale overtraining signs and adjust the intensity before you burn out.
Burnout Straight Ahead and Approaching Fast
Tough training can chip off chunks of your muscle mass and result in fatigue, but burnout is highly preventable granted you manage to recognize the symptoms of an impending crash before it hits home.
1. High Resting Heart Rate
Moderate training is go-to for a healthy heart rate, but pushing your ticker’s limits too hard can result in high resting heart rate and life-threatening cardiac complications. The standard resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute; so if your ticker’s beating faster than that, it may be a sign you need to cut yourself some slack in the gym.
2. Emotional Changes
Mood swings, self-esteem dips, lack of training motivation, and depression can all be symptoms that your gym agenda is tougher than your body is capable of handling. Keep tabs on your mood and workout drive: if you find yourself averse to the idea of another sweaty training session, it’s a symptom that your exercises could use a dial-down.
3. Intense Muscle Soreness
Light muscle soreness is a normal reaction to training, but excruciating or persistent muscle pains are usually the body’s scream for help. If your muscles are still sore three or four days after the training, it means that your organism is struggling to recover from taxing gym routines. If this occurs, you should take a break and adjust training intensity just to stay on the safe and sore-free side of the barbell.
4. Performance Nosedives
Performance dips are usually the first sign of overtraining, and as such, they should be taken seriously. If you’re feeling drained halfway through the drills or notice that your muscle mass is stagnating (or even worse, dropping); it’s time to take a second look at the workout agenda and see where and how it can be modified to reduce intensity.
5. Sleeping Problems
You’d think that draining your body’s batteries would lead to rock-solid sleep, but you’d be wrong. Sleep problems are one more sign that your gym routines are taking a heavy toll on your body, and if you don’t take heed of circadian rhythm changes, an odd sleepless night can evolve into full-scale insomnia and jeopardize both your training consistency and overall health.
Fix Your Training Intensity before It’s Too Late
If you notice one or more of these symptoms; it’s time to pause before you put on your favorite gym clothes and head out for another round of exercises. Go over the training agenda and see how it can be adjusted to avoid burnout through overtraining. For instance, if you’re a runner, you can trim your total weekly workout time to 150 minutes and switch from fast to moderate pace. Or, if you’re into strength training; you can swap an odd barbell session a week for cardio or active recovery workouts. By mixing up your training or cutting them a bit shorter, you’ll hack long-term training consistency and top gym results without the risk of health complications that can derail your workout success entirely. Also, it is crucial to have adequate bodybuilding shoes to support your ankles.
Balance and gradual intensity increase is the key to training success. Keep tabs on your training, watch out for the telltale signs of exhaustion, and go slow with workout intensity increase. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your six-pack.