How do you know if you are pushing too hard during your workouts?
Over-training is a real phenomenon. The They are it is possible to train so much to break your body down rather than create it. But most people never come close to the "real" over workout, which is highlighted (in low light?) By natural disasters that are hard to ignore. This is not muscle pain or some bad days at the gym.
Here are 7 common symptoms of overtraining, include:
- Increased resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Insomnia-like symptoms and sleep problems
- Stomach disorders
- Consistent low energy and bad mood
- Changes in personality and mood
- Reduced self-esteem and motivation
- Feeling sadness and apathy
In other words, you have symptoms that closely mimic depression and chronic fatigue, according to a University of Memphis study. In severe cases of overtraining, your immune system is shut down and you can suffer multiple problems, including upper respiratory tract infections and slow healing, says research published in Journal of Sport Education. You can read everything about overwork here.
Overwhelming trying to figure out the right workout balance? Let our coaches help you.
While this article gives a great breakdown of how to set up your training, it does not cover how you define the fine line between tension and insanity. So if you're worried about trying too hard, Mike Robertson has the answer. Mike (one of the top strength coaches in the US) looks at various ways to evaluate the intensity of your workouts.
They can be broken down into several options:
Option 1: A technique of self-analysis known as RPR / RPE, or "rate of expected recovery" and "rate of perception". The RPR scale is how you feel about coming to a workout – how well you slept, how tired you are, and so on.
The RPE rates how heavy / tough things feel when you start working. And as you will see in Mike's post, he evaluates it with the regular questioning of customers about how each movement feels during training. Here's an example:
- RPE 10 – Maximum effort / lift limit. This is either a heckuva mill or those who lose a lift.
- RPE 9 – Heavy lift, but one rap left in the tank.
- RPE of 8 – Heavy lift, but two reps left in the tank.
- RPE 7 – Moderate weight, multiple reps left in the tank
Option 2: But let's say you don't trust yourself to make subjective measurements. You want data. Well, there are some tests you can use that will bring some numbers to your physical readiness.
For example, the vertical jump is a fairly accurate predictor of how tired you are (see Study Here). If your gym has one of these jumping sticks (you know, these things), you can use it as a self-assessment tool. Go before your workout / after your warm-up. If you are at or above the usual set, then you are probably ready to go.
If you are several hundred below, then you are more tired than you think and may want to scale up the session – or even make it an active recovery day.
Option 3: If you don't like the jump, but still want data, there's no problem. A less obvious way to test your readiness is a simple hand dynamometer, which is a tool that measures the power of the hands. Studies show that arm strength is a reliable indicator of endurance on a given day (example here).
And if you push and push, but a lot lower than usual, you're more tired than you know.
How to use all this?
When you get to the gym and start doing the "work sets" (not your warmup), stop and appreciate how you feel. The weight on the bar may be similar to previous workouts, but how do you feel is probably different. And this is your body that is trying to give you useful information to make the most of your session.
Instead of adhering to your exact plan, if the weight feels "heavier" than usual and you are exhausted, you can still get a great workout without grinding away unnecessarily. As they train, this is the sacred mark of feeling in control.
Press harder when your body says you can, and easy on when you know how to recognize that you are a little overworked. It's an approach that is more likely to keep you in the gym, feeling good and making improvements.
Posting Are you training? (Here's how to say it) first appeared at Born Fitness.