ARE YOU OVERTRAINING? (HERE’S HOW TO TELL)
Here are 7 common symptoms
of overtraining, they include:
- Increase in resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Insomnia-like symptoms and trouble sleeping
- Stomach disturbances
- Consistent low energy and bad mood
- Changes in personality and mood
- Decreased self-esteem and motivation
- Feelings of sadness and apathy
They can be broken down into a few options:
Option 1: A self-analysis technique known as RPR/RPE, or “rate of perceived recovery” and “rate of perceived exertion.” The RPR scale is how you feel coming into a training session — how well you slept, how tired/sore you feel, etc.
The RPE rates how heavy/how hard things feel once you start working out. And as you’ll see in Mike’s post, he evaluates it by regularly asking clients questions about how each move feels throughout the workout. Here’s an example:
- RPE of 10 – Max effort/limit lift. This is either one heckuva grinder, or they flat out miss a lift.
- RPE of 9 – Heavy lift, but one rep left in the tank.
- RPE of 8 – Heavy(ish) lift, but two reps left in the tank.
- RPE of 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 put some numbers to your physical preparedness.
For example, the vertical jump is a fairly accurate predictor of how fatigued you are (see study here). If your gym has one of those jump height sticks (y’know, these things), you can use that as a self-assessment tool. Jump before your workout/after your warm-up. If you are at, or above, your usual total, then you’re likely ready to go.
If you’re several inches below, then you’re more tired than you think and may want to scale the session back — or even make it an active recovery day.
Option 3: If you don’t like jumping, but still want data, no problem. A less obvious way to test your readiness is a simple hand dynamometer, which is a tool that measures hand strength. Studies show that hand strength is a reliable indicator of strength on a given day (example here).