Happy Fitness Friday y’all! I’m back with more tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey. This week I wanted to talk a little bit about overtraining and how to know when your body needs a break. For those of you in CrossFit world, this may seem like weird timing since the CrossFit Open has officially kicked off but the truth is, sometimes you don’t know when your body will need a break or how your body will react some weeks. I’m sure there’s many of you out there who have started the week out with your same workout routine only to end up feeling more tired, stressed out and exhausted instead of rejuvenated and energized, which is how a workout should leave you. Despite this lethargic feeling, you tell yourself to push through each day even though you never end up feeling better. You don’t want to take a break because you don’t want to “fall behind” on any progress you’ve made. However what most people don’t realize is pushing through this state can often times do more bad than good.
So what should you do when you have this feeling? Quit working out? Push through the pain? Get a case of the “fuck its” and eat ALL the ice cream and gluten free pizza? While there isn’t one general answer for everyone, none of those should be the answer. Below I’ll go over 5 tips you can use for when you feel overworked and over-trained
1 Know Your Body
This may sound silly but I’ve come into contact with a lot of people who don’t know how to separate muscle pain vs muscle soreness or general tiredness vs exhaustion. Many people tend to over exaggerate or under exaggerate how they felt. Plenty of people think they know their own body but until you start actually tracking this information, you’ll never truly know how you feel. Therefore my first tip is to start keeping a journal to track your workouts and how you feel and to write it down right after your workout. I know many CrossFit gyms have tracking systems such as wodify or beyond the whiteboard which allow you to write notes along with your workout. Be conscience of what you’ve eaten that day too. If you scarfed down some Chipotle at lunch, maybe your afternoon workout didn’t feel too good. Or you had some wine the night before and your 6AM workout didn’t feel as good as it usually does. Whatever the case may be, write it down and keep track.
2 Switch it up
Sometimes your body truly is exhausted and needs a break. Sometimes you’re just mentally exhausted from doing the same thing every day. While I generally love doing CrossFit and Olympic lifting every week, sometimes I just become so burnt out that I need a break. I’ll do yoga for a week or run/hike or sometimes *GASP* not do anything at all. While this may sound hard and scary, your body will thank you for this! You’ll come back feeling refreshed, stronger and ready to continue kicking ass during your workouts.
3 Give yourself permission
Too often we are so hard ourselves that we forget that working out is supposed to be a stress reliever and something you enjoy. I know I’ve caught myself more than once being stressed out from feeling like I “had” to workout. Yes, working out is important but if you’re so stressed out about it that it’s causing symptoms elsewhere; you need to give yourself permission to take a break. Working out is way more fun when you can actually look forward to it and leave feeling energized and excited.
4 Don’t start eating crappy food
Just because you decide to take some time off from working out doesn’t mean you should time off of eating right. In fact, it’s probably more important to eat mindfully now than before. I know it can be easy to get a case of the “fuck its” and reward yourself for the hard work you have been putting in but part of the point of letting your body recover is to make sure it’s staying healthy for when you do get back to working out. Eating crappy foods won’t help you reach that point any more than continuing to work out will. Reward your body with healthy foods that will help fuel it for workouts to come. For healthy snack ideas, be sure to check out Thrive Market! They have plenty of options that will make you feel like you’re getting a reward but without all the crap that comes along with junk food! Just like you keep track of your workouts and how you felt, keep track of your food for a few weeks and document how you feel. It doesn’t have to be forever but it will give you a better understanding of how foods truly make you feel.
5 Treat yo’ self!
Taking a break from working out is the perfect time to that massage you’ve been wanting! Or trying that yoga class you’ve heard so much about. It’s also a great time to work in more mobility. I personally love ROMWOD. It’s improved my mobility so much. I try to do it every day but when I know I can’t squeeze it in, I make sure I do on my rest days or the weeks I just can’t make it to the gym. It’s a great way to relax and makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my body. Whatever it is that helps you relax, now is the time to fully embrace it!
Hopefully these tips have given you more insight into being able to tell if you feel overtrained and how to help fix it! As always we love hearing from you guys. Feel free to comment below or find us on Instagram and leave us a note!