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Overtraining: The symptoms and how to beat them

Written by Fiona

March 14 2018

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you missed out on regular workouts for week and then attempted a comeback with the goals you set before life took over? For many people, this process of trying to compensate for the time missed, is that they do too much too fast and end up overtraining.

Overtraining occurs when one exercises too frequently, leaving little or no time for the body to rest and “heal”. For every new workout, weight or core training move introduced, the body needs time to adjust and regain itself from the effects that follow.

Exercise routines can be considered to be “targeted stress” especially when we take into account the fact that these routines are created to target certain parts of the body, with the aim of either reducing the fat content or strengthening the muscles there. It is therefore very essential that we do not overwork or over-train ourselves in a bid to achieve quick results.

Have you have overtrained?

Here are some symptoms of overtraining – with recommendations on how to train efficiently.

Excessive urge to drink more water

If you notice yourself frequently running to get a glass of water, it might imply that your body is in a state of overdrive; it could be breaking down more tissue to generate protein than building up. This is not a good development because it means you are losing muscle tissue, which normally should not occur after a workout. The best recommendation to curb this symptom is to get more sleep and stay hydrated as much as needed.

Trouble sleeping

Known as insomnia, it could be that when you overtrain you have trouble sleeping.  . Usually, getting immersed in weight training programmes is a legitimate excuse to sleep to your satisfaction at night without stirring, however if you have been immersed in your training programs yet you experience difficulties in falling asleep, it might mean you are overdoing it. Experts recommend that you adhere to a healthy diet and lay off every work-out for a week or two.


Exercise tends to give a boost but over-training can lead to moodiness, It’s like relying on EduBirdie to write your exams simply because they help with essay papers. Overtraining can have distressing effects on your mood and rather than boosting your mood, there will be signs of depression or unhappiness.

To deal with this, you needs to re-examine the motive behind choosing to train or work out. Approaching fitness with the right mindset is crucial in bringing out the results you desire. And a right mindset helps to make room for the right mood.

Weight gain

If you suddenly notice that despite your time spent at the gym, you seem to be getting bigger or there are no changes whatsoever, this can also point to you overtraining. Your muscles need time to repair themselves after being stretched to new limits.

Also, keep in mind that an exercise is already a form of stress. When the level of stress is heightened, the body interprets it as a distress call and signals your liver to store up glucose by converting it into glycogen, which accumulates mainly as fat in our prone areas, depending on the gender. This symptom can also be curbed by resting more often and observing a clean diet.

The way to avoid overtraining is to follow a carefully built up training programme and to be consistent. Goals are achieved faster when we take the workout journey slow and steady.

  • Bryan Davis has written the blog. He is one of the senior editors at EduBirdie and has been working with the company for over five years. He is a graduate of Social Sciences and enjoys writing about fitness-related topics.


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