How To Tell If You’re Pushing Yourself Too Far
Our body is amazing in more ways than we could possibly list – especially in the way it’s intricately wired to adapt to change.
Through a progressive workout program, we can increase energy, stamina and physical abilities, unlocking our full potential! But as adaptable it can be, it’s essential that we give it time to recover and be ready again.
When I notice a client continually mentioning muscle fatigue and never seeming to fully recover from their rest days, no matter what modalities they use (contrast showers, stretching, walking it out, physio, rest) it’s a clear sign they might be showing the early warning signs of overtraining.
One big sign as well is that they feel tired emotionally. Over-exercising doesn’t just hit your body! It will also give you a feeling of being overwhelmed. Even a day away from your workouts will make a world of difference.
Crying More Than Usual
Feeling overwhelmed can make you cry more than usual, sometimes in training, sometimes alone. If you undergo a big change, this can happen even when you’ve set your mind for it. Often you’ll cry for reasons that you don’t normally cry.
As a body transformation specialist I most definitely see a lot of emotions, however, when my clients start to feel depressed and ‘unexcited’ about the great things in their life, that’s when I put my foot down and insist that we lighten up their training load. The body and mind are linked so a change in emotions may just be the sign your body is not taking the load well.
Other Early Warning Signs Of Overtraining
Clumsiness is a sign of pushing your workouts too hard as well. Clients laugh about how they are bumping into things and such. Yet if these are coming to me at the same time as other physiological symptoms (such as resting heart rate being higher , or if they constantly feel tired), then I take a look at whether we need to reduce their workout load for a couple of weeks.
If you’re losing rhythm on the treadmill or spacing out while lifting weights, stop and try to put the pieces together. It’s potentially dangerous to continue if you’re indeed doing too much.
The Safe Solution
Preventing burnout is key. I recommend going ‘hard-core’ for no more than 8 weeks, then taking a taper month – doing something else that is still physical but not quite as intense.
Here at Whistler Fitness Vacations, for example, after guests have completed 8 weeks of intensive workouts and weight loss, we recommend that they reduce their workouts to 75% of their maximum heart rate for a month (instead of the 85% that they were doing in our care). Albeit a decrease in intensity, they’re still able to continue where they left off while giving their bodies enough time to heal. Early warning signs of overtraining are important to catch before they are escalated into injury.
Staying Strong And Committed To Your Workouts
Fitness is a lifelong journey and it’s not easy to always stay on track. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate the little wins. Remember why you started, reassess your goals and see if perhaps you’ve already met them. It’s disempowering to always be striving for the same lofty goal without having a definitive achievement point. So set your goals realistically, and relax your training for a couple of weeks when you achieve them.
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