It is quite a popular notion in today’s fitness space that we all must train harder in last time and that you are just being a pansy if you are not pushing your body to its absolute limits. Whilst it sometimes true that we are not sometimes pushing hard enough to induce enough of a stimulus to get the results we want, this is not as often the case as most people tend to believe. Here are signs that it may actually be overtraining that is hindering your progress:
1.) You are tired all the time:
Fatigue both physically and mentally is one of the biggest signs of overtraining as it a signal that your body wants you to slow down, take it easy and recover from the injuries that you have sustained. Make no mistake, every time you go to the gym, you are injuring yourself and coming back stronger the next time. With overtraining however, you are not giving your body enough time to recover and are just keeping your muscles in an injured state.
2.) Yet you struggle to sleep:
This is the irony of overtraining, you are dead tired yet could not sleep even if your life depended on it, there is no release from the suffering. This is usually due to the adrenaline that is released from the stimulus received from injured, fatigued, and sore muscles.
3.) Muscle spasm/cramps:
This is also a tell-tale sign that you are working a particular muscle too hard, these cramps can be consistent or sporadic but they both indicate that the muscle is beyond fatigued. This is due to a neurotransmitter known as Acetylcholine is struggling to be released at a muscle receptor site due to repeated use leading to a deficit.
4.) Tummy trouble:
Irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive issues are a classic sign that your sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline releasing) is struggling to hand over the reins to your parasympathetic nervous system (calming). When this happens it usually means there is something stopping the sympathetic nervous system from turning off and in this case, it would be constant muscle pain and nerve fatigue.
Do not fall in the trap of thinking that you are just being mentally weak when you feel weak and need rest. It is often a sign that you NEED the rest and there should be no shame about it.