There are two general parts to training; Work + Rest. Most people focus more on the work side and neglect to pay any attention to rest. Training is where you stimulate your gains; however, resting is where your body has a chance to build itself back up.
Every single training session adds stress to our bodies. Our bodies already carry stress due to our everyday lives, due to job demand and family obligations etc. Training is a great outlet or stress reliever for most, myself included. However, the point that needs to be looked at is whether exercise adding more stress to our already stressed out systems or is it removing it? The best way to ensure that you’re not adding extra stress to your body is to incorporate appropriate rest into your daily routine.
As coaches, we need to keep a close eye on clients who present the early symptom of overtraining. These symptoms, which may appear mild at first, will include; slight pain in the shoulder, knee, ankle or back. Also, trouble sleeping, irritability and a decrease in performance are other common side effects to overtraining. Training should make you feel great! Not run down! If you’re feeling drained following your workouts, you may need to look at reducing you intensity or volume in your training program or schedule more rest days.
When I feel that I may be doing too much and experience symptoms of overtraining I decrease the intensity of my workouts and make sure to take extra time to rest. I not only find that my stress levels decline, but I experience tremendous strength increases as well. Each person’s body differs in a sense that one may need 8 hours of sleep per night, where as another may only require 6. The same goes for judging how many training sessions you can handle per week. Like I previously mentioned, you need to take into account; the amount of stress your body is exposed to outside of the gym and how that can affect your performance and lead to you overtraining.
If you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms associated with overtraining be sure to notify one of our coaches and take some extra time to rest. Listen to your body, it knows what it needs.