What is overtraining and how to avoid it?

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One of the items on the list of cardinal sins in recent sports people is training too hard. This is the shortest way to overtraining, which can have serious consequences.

What is overtraining?

We can talk about overtraining when particular training units are too intensive and the breaks between them are too short. The human body is a very specific machine. For it to work properly it needs rest and time for regeneration. If we are caught up in a whirlwind of intensive training, a constant pursuit for better sports results, exhaustion and consequently overtraining will come very quickly. Combined with an improperly composed diet that does not cover nutrient deficits caused by the training load, it can cause great damage to the body.

Overtraining very often happens to people starting their adventure with sport. Improper assessment of the body’s capabilities, and consequently imposing too strict a training regime, is only one of the causes of muscle overtraining. People who train regularly must also watch out for fatigue and overtraining, especially if they raise the bar for training intensity too quickly.


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How do you know if your workout is too intense?

Until recently a thrill ran through your body at the thought of training, but now you find it hard to go for a morning run even when the weather is beautiful? Feeling bad, not wanting to do any physical effort, sleepiness and quick fatigue are symptoms that can accompany overtraining. If you haven’t seen any progress in your workouts for a while and you get tired faster and faster, take a deep breath and instead of increasing the intensity of your training sessions, just rest. Don’t worry that the effort you’ve put into training over the last few weeks will be undone. On the contrary, your body will thank you for the opportunity to recover and you’ll return to training with even more energy.

Overtraining and blood parameters

There is one more way to check if you are not overtraining. Preventive blood tests should be performed regularly, regardless of the level of physical activity. The basic morphology can tell a lot about the state of your health. A low number of red blood cells and a simultaneous increase in the level of white blood cells is a cause for concern. If you feel chronic weakness, have trouble concentrating, and your strength during workouts is depleted faster than it used to be, come in for a routine blood test. Your family doctor will give you a referral. You can also have such a test done privately – its cost is only about a dozen zlotys.

What to do to avoid overtraining?

The theory of optimal planning of training units (both in terms of their intensity and time distribution) includes a variety of factors which should be taken into account when planning physical activity for the next few weeks. If you are not an experienced athlete, you should rely on professionals to help you plan your workout. You can order a training plan tailored to your individual possibilities from a personal trainer for as little as several dozen zloty. This is a small expense, especially if you take into account the risk of injury and possible expenses for visits to a physiotherapist.

What can you do on your own? Remember to take a day off between training sessions, especially if you are only at the beginning of your adventure with sport. Increase the intensity of your training gradually, and when you feel that you are starting to tire more quickly and lack energy, slow down again for a while. Such a variety of training stimuli will make your body finally catch the rhythm, and the rate of increase of training effects will return to the right track. The most important thing is to listen carefully to your own body – it is the best trainer and will let you know when something wrong starts happening.

Featured Image: Freepik

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