Faster Resting Heart Rate – Overtraining can cause your resting heart rate to increase. This gives you an easy way to test if you’re overtraining. If you’ve been tracking your progress or if you use a fitness tracker, you may already know what your resting heart rate started at.
As you get into better shape, your resting heart rate should decrease. Check your heart rate when you first wake up in the morning. If it is faster than it used to be, you are likely overtraining.
Extended Soreness – Your muscles will feel sore after a workout, but if they’re still sore three days later, you need to take a break. Your muscles need time to recover and rebuild, so without rest, you can’t build muscles.
Recurring Injuries – Do you keep getting the same injuries over and over again? Or do your injuries just not heal? Your exercise regime may be the reason. As mentioned earlier, your body recovers during rest periods. Without rest periods, it can’t recover. Injuries like tendonitis are common with overuse and can be a sign of overtraining.
Insomnia – Too much exercise messes with your hormones and nervous system, which messes with your sleep. It’s counterintuitive since your body needs to sleep and rest to recover from overtraining, so you need to scale back so that your sleep schedule can get back to normal.
Missed Periods – Overtraining can mess with hormone levels, lowering estrogen levels in females. This can lead to missed menstrual periods, or even decreased bone density.
Rhabdomyolysis – This is a life-threatening kidney condition, caused by your muscle fibers breaking down and myoglobin, one of the byproducts of the muscle breakdown, gets into the bloodstream and clogs the kidneys.
Since those who exercise excessively are often dehydrated, it can be even harder for the body to clear out these toxins, which lets them build up in the kidneys. One of the symptoms is dark urine – like the color of black tea. It can be caused by a genetic condition, but most commonly comes from excessive exercise.
It even has a nickname (Uncle Rhabdo) in the CrossFit community, which is known for overtraining. It can lead to kidney and heart problems. If you suspect you may have rhabdomyolysis, seek medical treatment immediately.
If you have any of these symptoms, or even if you suspect you are overtraining without these symptoms, change your routine. Do fewer reps, lower the intensity, or give yourself more rest time between workouts. Take a day off each week to rest and recover. It will be worth it because you won’t see results if you’re overtraining.