Regardless of what anyone says, overtraining for weightlifters is a very real phenomenon that can happen to anybody.
In fact, I believe that everyone will naturally experience overtraining at least once in their life if they are training at the right intensity.
How else would you know what your limits are in the weight room or life if you never push yourself to the edge?
What is Overtraining?
Overtraining is a condition in which an athlete, or in our case, a weightlifter, does a large amount of strenuous activity without giving their body enough time to adequately recover.
In other words, its when you decide to do stupid shit like heavy max effort squats every day for a week because you heard that all the cool kids on Youtube are doing it.
Feeling Overtrained as a Novice Lifter
I experienced overtraining first hand when I was making the transition from novice to intermediate lifter.
For those of you that don’t know the difference between a novice and an intermediate lifter, I’ll break it down for you really quick.
If you still have yet to complete a linear progression program that has you add weight to the barbell every workout until you can’t add weight anymore, then you are in fact still a novice lifter.
The fact that you have been “training” for 5 years doesn’t mean shit if you haven’t actually built a solid base of strength.
You are almost guaranteed to overtrain as a novice lifter because the very essence of a beginner program is designed to push your body to new limits every workout multiple times a week.
What does it feel like?
Overtraining is a weird feeling and different people experience the sensation in different ways.
Today I am going to share with you 5 signs to look out for if you have been training intensely for a while and haven’t felt like yourself lately.
5 Signs that you are Overtrained
#1 – Your sex drive takes a huge dive or goes away altogether
Not being able to get a hard dick when you are in your early 20s and have a smoking hot girlfriend that wants to fuck your brains out 24/7 is one of the worst feelings I have ever had in my life.
I wouldn’t wish for that to happen to even my worst enemy!
But alas, that happened to me once upon a time when I was completing my novice lifting faze which had me doing 3 heavy full body workouts a week.
Those workouts took every ounce of energy that I had which left me with no desire to do anything else.
One night, my girlfriend at the time was literally naked and spread eagle on the bed waiting for me and my dick just wasn’t interested.
I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back I realize that my body and nervous system were so drained from my workouts that my hormones were most likely fucked up which in turn killed my sex drive.
If you have been training hard for a while and start to notice a dramatic shift in your sex drive then maybe you need to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re overworking yourself in the weight room.
#2 – Your Appetite Sucks
Another symptom of overtraining that I have experienced is not being able to get hungry for anything.
Pizza, doughnuts, steak, fresh baked cookies with milk.
None of it appeals to you for some reason and you have been forgetting to eat during the day.
What the fuck man.
If your appetite is gone, something ain’t right.
Heavy weight training should be stimulating your appetite, not killing it.
If the sight of food is making you feel sick or nothing at all, then it’s time to look at your training as the possible reason why.
#3 – You feel exhausted but can’t fall asleep at night
We have all been there. We feel exhausted all day and constantly say to ourselves
“God damn I can’t wait to lay down in my bed and pass the fuck out”.
Only when the time finally comes at the end of your day, you just end up staring at the ceiling for hours wondering why you can’t sleep.
Overtraining with weights has been known to mess with your circadian rhythm and it might be the culprit that is keeping you up at night.
#4 – You Literally have no desire to workout or do anything productive
Once your workouts really start to get challenging, it is completely normal to dread going to the gym.
However, if your feelings are stronger than normal and you actually decide to skip a workout or 2 then something is disastrously wrong.
You always want to leave the gym feeling like you worked out and did something challenging but you should never leave a workout feeling weak and defeated.
Consider taking a week off or scaling your training volume back until you feel good and excited about your training sessions again.
#5 – You feel sore and achy all over
Muscle soreness after a workout is obviously a normal sensation.
The problems start when you are constantly sore and your joints start to ache.
If simple daily tasks like getting up off a couch start to feel hard and painful and you are under the age of 65 then you are pushing yourself too hard.
Our bodies make us feel pain as a warning sign to stop what we are doing and let our bodies heal.
As simple as that should be for us to understand, we seem to forget that when we are lifting weights to get big and strong.
Learn to listen to your body so that you stay strong and injury free!
For all the Keyboard Warriors
Now I am sure someone will read this and leave a comment about how so and so said overtraining is a lie that was made up by lazy people.
If you honestly believe that then I automatically know you are just a keyboard warrior that has never put any serious time under a loaded barbell.
You need to stop watching other people lift weights on Youtube and actually go put in some work yourself.
Anyone that hasn’t overtrained at least once in their life has never pushed their body to the limit which means you are potentially leaving some size and strength gains on the table.
If you are okay with that then, by all means, continue being afraid to fail.
For everyone else, welcome to the intermediate lifter club.
From The Man Himself –