10 Signs of Overtraining in Athletes

10 Signs of Overtraining in Athletes

Achieving fast and sustainable results is desirable, but it's essential to understand that the body can experience wear and tear when pushed to its limits for extended periods. Proper recovery is crucial to prevent injury and enhance performance. Neglecting recovery can lead to exhaustion and a sharp decline in training productivity.

To take timely action and prevent physical and mental exhaustion, it's important to recognize the signs of overtraining. Here are the key indicators to watch out for:

  1. Sudden weight loss: A weight loss of 2% or more in a single day indicates excessive water loss due to inadequate fluid intake after workouts. Dehydration negatively affects physical and nervous activity, causing fatigue, irritability, and decreased vitality.
  1. Elevated resting heart rate: Monitoring your resting heart rate in the morning reveals a characteristic symptom of overtraining. A high resting heart rate signifies resource depletion, with the body's systems working in emergency mode to protect against stress. Adequate rest and recovery are crucial for athletes, even during intense competition preparation.
  1. Sleep disturbances: Inadequate sleep and rest deprive the body of somatotropin, the growth hormone released during sleep. This hormone is vital for muscle, bone, and ligament growth and repair.
  1. Dehydration: Alongside monitoring weight, observing the dehydration can help to determine whether you have the overtraining
  2. Persistent fatigue: Feeling consistently sluggish is a strong indication that proper recovery from workouts is lacking. Overexertion is not an effective approach, and training should be appropriate for one's physical condition.
  1. Increased irritability: Mental disturbances, such as aggressiveness, restlessness, mood swings, and irritability, can result from elevated blood cortisol levels and decreased dopamine levels caused by prolonged stress from overexertion.
  1. Weakened immune system: Prolonged stress weakens the body's resistance to illness. While moderate physical exertion bolsters immunity, excessive strain undermines health. Frequent colds or digestive problems may indicate overtraining.
  1. Persistent muscle discomfort: Sustained muscle pain that persists from one workout to the next is a sign of overtraining. This is distinct from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) experienced after a prolonged break from training. Persistent soreness indicates accumulated minor injuries and insufficient time for healing.
  1. Decreased training productivity: If you notice a decline in the effectiveness of your training sessions, it may be time to increase the recovery period between workouts.
  1. Decreased blood oxygen levels: Monitoring blood oxygenation levels through a non-invasive method like a pulse oximeter can provide insights into your fitness. Normal arterial blood oxygen saturation is between 95% and 100%. Levels below 90% indicate hypoxia.

It's important to assess how many signs of overtraining you recognize. A weekly self-evaluation can be helpful:

- 1 or none: You can continue training at the same intensity.

- 2-4: Consider reducing the intensity of at least one workout per week.

- 5-6: These signs indicate a need to reduce the training load.

- 7-10: Overtraining is likely, and adding a rest day is essential. Consulting a doctor may also be beneficial. Additional indirect signs of overtraining include increased thirst, decreased motivation and concentration, and higher injury frequency.

Preventing exhaustion from increased physical exertion:

  1. Follow the 90% rule: Avoid working to complete exhaustion. Train at 90% effort, ensuring a feeling of pleasant fatigue while saving 100% for competitions.
  1. Incorporate light workouts and rest days: Prioritize light workouts before and after rest days, focusing on relaxed-paced jogging, shadow boxing, and technique practice without weights.
  1. Vary the type and intensity of training: Alternate muscle groups and avoid repetitive training to allow proper recovery. Thai boxing provides flexibility with different types of training sessions like strength training, pad work, bag work, sparring, and clinch practice.
  1. Explore cross-training: Engaging in different types of physical activities, such as outdoor training, jogging, swimming, or cycling, can enhance endurance and overall performance in one's primary sport.

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