Whether you train or detrain, move forward or backward in a fitness journey, the body continually adapts to the load you put on it. However, sometimes you reach a stagnant point where the output becomes lesser than the input meaning you give workouts your all but give less in return. This is when the overtraining syndrome hits, it develops in anybody meaning you don’t need to be a passionate athlete to feel the symptoms.
Although OTS ( overtraining syndrome ) is a prevalent force that sometimes gets diagnosed with skepticism as UFO. First, understand no test can treat it, and nor are there observable and measurable changes that someone has been suffering from OTS which is why many experts have been referring to it as unexplained underperformance syndrome.
You should understand almost every fitness enthusiast feel tired, sore, or stiff after the first session of exercise, this happens, because your body muscles run out of energy and it occurs mostly when you increase workout intensity or volume, the symptoms begins one or two hours after the workout and makes you feel extremely tired as the nervous system also loses its ability to keep muscles moving and causes extreme muscle fatigue.
After a bit of recovery, refueling, the athlete however returns to the former position and feels ready to tackle the next challenge. On the flip side, symptoms of overtraining vary and last longer, the article unearths all details that you should know whether it’s just post-training symptoms or you’ve trained the body beyond its limit.
What is overtraining?
An athlete will overtrain when he ignores all signs of overreaching and continues to train himself – the condition will bring in fatigue, declining performance and burnout. OTS can be associated with any sports or fitness program and can happen at any time regardless of age or fitness condition. Thus, Overtraining can be viewed as a continuum – from the occasional day of overdoing it to reaching a chronic state where recovery can take weeks, months or years.
How to avoid overtraining in the first place?
We know the aim of every athlete has always been to perform exercise for a perfect body that results in improved mobility, create structural balance, build healthy muscle mass, reduce injuries, and make structural balance. There’s a problem, though; most people don’t even know anything about exercising or fail to get a plan specifically for their INDIVIDUAL GOALS and go down a road that triggers injuries or OTS. So, in order to avoid overtraining syndrome, ask a few questions before even beginning any workout.
- Did you sleep well last night?
- Have you consumed enough nutrition and fluid?
- The a.m. resting heart rate was regular?
If the answer to any of the questions or multiple questions is No. We suggest dialling back things right away. Moreover, consider asking the following question to yourself and if the answer is yes, then know the body is also not in top form today.
- Are you experiencing any major life stressors?
- Are you thinking of skipping a workout or dreading the workout?
- Do you feel achy or sore?
- Do you have an ongoing illness or injury?
How To Recover the Body from Overtraining
Here we’ve discussed best tips approved by the veteran experts of Era fit aiming to restore the equilibrium of everyone experiencing the OTS. But be sure when overtraining is recurrent and prolonged, the best course of action will always be assistance from the healthcare professionals.
Most young adults fall short of the recommended sleep. As per the national sleep foundation, a person should have seven to nine hours of sleep and the hours are likely to increase when someone has just completed a series of challenging workouts or simply recovering from overtraining. Do you know what Good sleep hygiene is? Choose a time for sleeping and waking up and sticking to it and without excluding weekdays. You can incorporate habits into a routine that can assist you in falling asleep quicker.
You are unlikely to regain your form when there is not enough nutrition for recovery. Know that the body needs an adequate amount of protein intake to synthesize proteins, so there should never be a reduced caloric intake when you are in a recovery phase. Moreover, also maintain the ideal fluid intake; 11.5 cups per day are for women while 15.5 are recommended for men. More so, when you indulge yourself in an hour-long workout, another 12 to 16 ounces per 15 minutes should be taken.
If you are experiencing illness or injury, treat it from a practitioner health expert before returning to the sport. Based upon the type of injury, the exerciser may have to modify the workout regimen or cross train to other areas until he or she is completely healed. There are different treatment options available, including compression, massage, self-myofascial release. Again, the treatment is only expected from a health care expert.
Top Symptoms of Overtraining?
The symptoms are pretty obvious; you feel tired, stiff or sore after an exercise session. Sometimes, symptoms get worse with time but resolve on their own after a bit of rest, refuelling, but if symptoms are not getting better, then chances are you’ve reached a point that you should not have.
- A decline in enthusiasm for workout or exercise.
- A decline in workout performance or plateau.
- A feeling of heaviness, stiffness, or soreness in muscles.
- A constant feeling of low energy, exhaustion throughout the day.
- Lack of motivation or decline in self-confidence.
- Unusual emotions such as anger, irritability, restlessness or confusion.
- New problem with sleeping insomnia, or poor sleep pattern.
- Recurrent injuries and a lack of feeling refreshed.
- Excessive sweating or overheating.
Systemic health concerns include
- Repeated bouts of diseases such as upper respiratory infection.
- You may experience decrease sex drive or may experience a change in menstrual cycle.
- Digestive issues including diarrhea, loss of appetite.
- Unplanned weight loss or gain
- An increase in resting blood pressure.
- A sickly or pale appearance, including change in color, skin or nails.
What is the difference between overtraining and overreaching?
Many fitness enthusiasts exceed their limit to exercise when engaging in a competitive event or a returning sport but when that workout leads to decrease in performance or fatigue it is termed as overreaching. Since the body is super compensated, restores the original form of body or repair or regenerate it for the next workout. Although there has been not a significant difference between both, overreaching and overtraining, the subtle difference just has to do with the time for restoration of the body to its initial or healthy state.
Sometimes, the damage caused by overtraining is so severe that athletes may never be able to return to that sport again. It would be best if you learn to balance things out; otherwise, you can sometimes indulge yourself in some life-threatening conditions. For example, have you ever heard about rhabdomyolysis? It triggers from a single workout, strenuous enough to rapture muscle fibres and initiates a biochemical chain reaction in the body – brown urine like iced tea or cola is a hallmark of rhabdomyolysis.