• 5 Signs You're Overtraining

    overtraining11_600x450Yes, we admit it. There is such thing as too much exercise. Even if you are in line to win this year's Mr. Olympia title (Phil Heath). You can ruin those chances by visiting the gym too much. If you’ve been giving it your all at the gym lately without any significant results, you may be overtraining. Also known as OTS, overtraining syndrome occurs when the body is overworked and deprived of sufficient rest between training sessions. According to Mark Jenkins of Rice University, “Overtraining can best be defined as the state where the athlete has been repeatedly stressed by training to the point where rest is no longer adequate to allow for recovery.” OTS can be seriously detrimental to overall health, with symptoms ranging from increased thirst to injury. To help you avoid these negative effects of OTS, we’ve drawn up a list of 5 common indications of overtraining, along with some recovery tips for those currently battling OTS.
    SORENESS sorenessSoreness is a normal, albeit unpleasant, side effect of working out. However, if you’re still sore more than three days after a workout, you are likely overtraining. It’s important to remain cognizant of the time spent at the gym and know your limits when it comes to pumping iron. An hour of training is usually sufficient, much longer and you run the risk of burnout. When soreness strikes, take a couple of days off to allow muscles to recover and, in the meantime, read our guide to beating muscle soreness here.  
    NO PROGRESS progressSerious commitment to a workout routine is essential for achieving and maintaining the body you want. But when the goal is to build muscle, we often push too far in pursuit of faster results and end up backtracking. If you’ve been working harder than ever without gaining, overtraining could be keeping you stagnant. And continuing to work ravaged muscles will only cause further wear, thereby hindering progress. Getting plenty of rest and practicing patience will bring you closer to your goal.  
    SICK sickOvertraining can also cause wear on the immune system, lowering your resistance to illness. Make sure to get the nutrients your body needs and take supplements to boost your immunity, like zinc and a multi-vitamin. A weakened immune system is bound to create some serious setbacks, and while sick, your body is begging for a rest from all the overexertion. Be sure to take enough time off to recover fully before returning to your routine.      
    THIRST thirstyIf you’re experiencing insatiable thirst, you may be dehydrated due to overtraining. Proper hydration is essential to maintaining overall health, but all the more important when building muscle. Not only is H2O necessary for the body to function, but essential to recovery as well.  
    INJURY injuryAgain, rest is the best prescription for preventing injury brought on by overtraining. Allowing muscles time to recover is key to avoiding injury as well as creating a new platform for building mass. Changing up your routine and introducing low impact exercises can also help when you simply can’t resist the temptation to exercise.  
    When pushed too far, no one is invincible to the dangers posed by overtraining. But by keeping these 5 signs in mind, pacing your workouts, and getting plenty of rest, you can avoid OTS before it hits.
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