Here are 7 signs that might tell you to cut back just a little bit:
1. Exercise leaves you exhausted rather than energized. The right amount of physical activity gets your blood and endorphins going. It gives you that rush you need to get through your day. However if you feel the opposite after finishing a workout, it might be a size that you'e overdone it or you need to revisit your exercise routine and scale back a little.
2. You get sick too easily or it takes a long time to recover from a common cold. When you strength train you are essentially tearing muscle fibers and your body is an incredible bio-machine that repairs it on its own. This is how your muscle grows. The anabolic process of muscle growth requires a lot from your internal system. Over-exercising can lead to a break down in the immunity system.
3. You're irritable or extremely moody. When hangry goes beyond the time frame when you're needing food and the little things seem to set you off regularly. I've been there and man does it suck! I remember being there during the times I competed and had a terrible coach who had me on a very demanding exercise routine that didn't have enough planned out for rest and proper fuel. Sadly, I had plenty of fights with my husband over the smallest things during this time.
4. You can't seem to ever get enough sleep or you're always tired. I know we joke around in this society that we're always tired, mostly because work/life balance in America is such a struggle to find. But if you're getting adequate amounts of sleep, between 7-8 hours a night for an adult, and you're still waking up struggling, you may want to check to see if you're overdoing your burpees and jump squats.
5. You have "hungover legs" for days at a time. Heavy legs is a sign of fatigue. If you feel as if your legs are just dead weight and you can't move with ease, it might be a sign that your muscles haven't had enough time to fully recover.
6. You are sore for more than 2-3 days at a time. Oh the DOMS. Delayed onset muscle soreness isn't a terrible thing. But when you've done all the things you need to do to help the muscles recovery such as foam rolling, manual release therapy, and an epsom salt bath and you're still feeling that way, it can be a sign.
7. Your workouts become a chore or cause you to have the "blues". PTSD with over-exercise can be a thing, I believe it. I've seen the blues in many different forms with from different people with different experiences. Some people experience the blues after planning a wedding or large event, after completing a 12 week workout program or competition prep, or even on a rest day. Over training has been linked to decreased energy and mood. So make sure that you're scheduling a rest day and honor it, something I'm working on this year.
I'm beyond guilty of getting to the breaking point of exercise addiction and after trying to figure out why, I couldn't pinpoint a particular reason except that I have a strong passion for improving myself. But because of that, I've put my body into a bit of a shock and have caused minor injuries along the way. Although these injuries haven't required any surgery or major periods of rest between exercising, it has resulted in hungover legs, feeling unmotivated to move, and not getting enough sleep. Pre-workout can definitely help push me through another day of training, but its just a band-aid solution.