Am I Overtraining? How to Avoid the 3 Warning Signs of Overtraining

Help! I'm struggling to make any progress - Am I overtraining?

Learn how to avoid the 3 warning signs of overtraining.

Overtraining Signs

Am I training too much? This question often crops up in my mailbag, so let's attempt to address it with the following 3 warning signs of overtraining.

  1. Do you struggle to make measurable progress every workout? (i.e., more weight on your bar or repetitions),
  2. Is your appetite poor and you lack energy?
  3. Do you sleep fitfully and wake feeling tired?

If you answer 'no' to all three questions, chances are your training is fine. However, if you answer 'yes' to the first question, this could be a sign of overtraining.

Answer 'yes' to ALL three questions, and the overtraining signs are clear.

Moreover, you could have the beginnings of severe overtraining - a situation that can dangerously curtail your gains and any health benefits you might wish to make.

Photo courtesy of aussiegall

How to Avoid Overtraining

So the next time you ask yourself, "Am I overtraining" - what should you do?

As difficult as this will sound for many, you must begin your road to recovery by staying away from the gym.

Here is why...

    Writing in Heavy Duty, Mike Mentzer likens overtraining to digging a hole for yourself all the way to China. Mentzer states that the only way to recover from such laborious efforts is with a long layoff. During this time the trainee is to refrain from lifting weights entirely. Only when the trainee is fully rested should they consider a return to the iron, and then the training will ideally be abbreviated to further avoid overtraining and enhance recovery.

This advice is supported by bodybuilder and martial artist, John Little. Writing in Power Factor Training, Little goes onto explain how an extended layoff helped one of his struggling clients.

    The client displayed all the classic symptoms of overtraining: he lacked energy, he didn't feel like training and had not made any meaningful progress in months. Yet despite the lack of results, the client still continued to doggedly train 3 times-per-week with little in the way of reward.
    It took a three week layoff from training to turn his training around.
    Two months later the client returned to the gym to smash his previous weight lifting records, and skyrocketed his total shrug weight from an impressive 15,300 lbs to a mighty 25,280 lbs - that is a whopping increase of 165% after no training whatsoever!

In Summary

If you are struggling to make any progress in the gym, then chances are, you have fallen victim to the 3 warning signs of overtraining.

But all is not lost. A well-earned layoff and abbreviated workouts will help kick-start your recovery.

To learn more, click the picture below. 

Am I Overtraining to Symptoms of Overtraining

Am I Overtraining to Muscle Building

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