Weightlifting is addictive and as a result, overtraining is common in this community.  The trouble is, when you push your body past its ability to recover, you end up doing more harm than good. 

Here we are going to look at the most common signs of overtraining and do our best to encourage you to take a break if you see yourself in any of these. 

Why you should avoid overtraining

Overtraining will compromise your performance, lead to burnout and potentially injury. 

Understand that recovery is just as important as the workout itself.  In fact, it is during your rest periods that your muscles are growing.  So be sure to take sufficient rest days. 

Rest is important because once you tap into a certain level of fatigue your body will start to let you down. 

As a result, you will feel weaker and in the end you'll hinder your performance. 

Your mind on the other hand will be comparing your performance to previous workouts and become frustrated that you can't perform as you used to. 

At this point, you should listen to your body and not your mind.  If you continue to push through ignoring the signs, you could find yourself sitting out weeks if not months worth of workouts.  When honestly, you only really needed to sit two or three out. 

So don't be a 'gym bro' and risk hitting a wall.  Instead, train hard and smart while paying attention to the signs that you may benefit from pulling back slightly. 

Key signs you're overtraining

You're always sore

When it comes to lifting, soreness comes with the territory.  Muscle soreness after an intense workout (especially those first few after a period of rest) is to be expected.  

However, if you are finding yourself constantly sore both during and after every workout, it could be an indication of overtraining.  In this instance you should pull back and allow your body to fully recover before you go again. 

You'll come back stronger if you take a week out to recover. 

Something doesn’t feel right - probably because you're overtraining

That twinge in your joints, or that seemingly insignificant niggle you've been ignoring needs your attention. 

You don't necessarily have to stop training completely, but you should consider what is causing it and focus on rehab style exercises in that particular area. 

You’re moody

Believe it or not, exhaustion can have a huge impact on your mood and if you're exhausted all the time, you're probably overtraining.  So if you find yourself snapping at or prodding the people around you, put yourself in a time out. 

Take this opportunity to relax and do some of the other things that make you happy.  There’s little point in doing anything that is compromising your happiness.

You’re constantly thirsty

Constant thirst is another potentially dangerous sign of overtraining.  If no amount of water is quenching your thirst, get yourself some electrolytes and a recharge.

It's important to make sure you're sufficiently hydrated with each and every workout.  Working out while dehydrated leads to both mild and even severe side effects.  So don't ignore the signals.

You’re always sick for no real reason

Girl stop.  You're overtraining.  This is your body telling you to give it a break.  Your body is a finely tuned machine, so when it gives you these signals repeatedly, it's for good reason.

You’re no longer getting results

A stall in results is most commonly linked to an overused workout plan but it could also be linked to overtraining. 

When your muscles are working overtime, they start to do all they can to maintain their efficiency.  During this time they're not growing, they are simply going through the motions with you.  Take a break and come back stronger. 

Your instincts are telling you you're overtraining

Nobody knows your body better than you, so don't let anybody guilt trip you into thinking you shouldn't take a time out.  If something isn't right your body will send you all the signals, don't ignore them! 

Remember; overtraining will do more harm than good, so worry less about saving face and more about your overall health and well being.