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3 Keys To Know If You're Overtraining

You're burned out. Emotionally, physically, and even mechanically. Your knee hurts [that old injury from high school wrestling] and you have super low motivation.

You might have overtrained. Ask yourself the following three questions before making a change to your training sessions:

  1. Am I losing effectiveness in other areas of my life?
  2. Do I no longer approach my training with the same precision as I did when I started this exercise modality?
  3. Have I been in serious pain for more than 3 days?

If the answer is "yes" to 2 or more, then you may have a problem... let's fix it!
  1. If you feel general malaise, exhaustion, lethargy, or just plain mental fuzziness, it's a good bet that something is off between your training, nutrition, and sleep. Analyze all three together, instead of trying to troubleshoot just one of them: you might subconsciously be ignoring a major problem area in order to accommodate other lifestyle choices. Be fully honest, and you'll eventually find a balance.
  2. Stick with the program! If you're doing CrossFit, don't switch to 100% kettlebells for 3 days just because you think it's fun. If you're prepping for a bodybuilding competition, don't start powerlifting because you read something cool about it in a magazine. Stick with the program, and tighten up your adherence to it until you reach the next milestone, even if you have to lower the amount of weight or the number of reps you do [for a time]. THEN you will feel the sense of accomplishment that in essence gives you permission to change course. A course that you should also stick to until reaching a reasonable milestone, I might add.
  3. Pain and damage are different, but persistent pain often points to potential damage. Seek out the help of a qualified professional, and ask about all of your options. Be sure that the professional you work with actually understands the value of an active lifestyle, or you can be sure that they'll relegate you to a life of speedwalking [my personal idea of never doing anything fun or challenging ever again].

So take a few minutes to conduct this little 'training inventory', and I'll see you on the other side of overtraining.

Stay Strong, Friends.

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