With the rise and popularity of MMA, many fighters are not only training more but they’re training harder. This has led to many concerns about training too hard and the negative effect it can have on a fighter’s body.
The problem though, is there’s no exact way to measure what is “too hard,” and it’s different for every trainer. With no magic formula to determine when someone has reached the point of overtraining, how is someone to know when they’ve hit that point?
It’s tricky to tell, but your body will throw out many warning signs that you should watch for.
Muscle Tightness or Soreness
This sign is one of the hardest to recognize, as many athletes feel some tightness or soreness after working out. It’s the extension of these indicators that should act as a warning sign. If the tightness or soreness persists longer than 72-hours after a workout, you likely overworked your muscles.
An Increase in Number of Injuries
Alternately, an increase in the number of injuries is an easy way to tell you’ve been overdoing it. With every new injury, you should scale way back, or in some cases halt the training completely until you’ve healed. If you continue to become injured, it’s possible you’re training incorrectly or overworking yourself.
Tiredness or Insomnia (or both)
The way you feel and the amount of sleep you get is triggered by the nervous system. A significant increase in fatigue on its own, paired with the inability to sleep, could mean you’ve been working out too much or too hard. Take a break from training to see if this corrects the issue before using over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
Blood Pressure or Heart Rate
Changes in blood pressure and heart rate are a good indication that you’ve overworked yourself, and these signs shouldn’t be taken lightly. Whether your blood pressure or heart rate has increased or decreased, make sure you monitor it closely, and if it doesn’t stabilize follow-up with your doctor.
Progress and Motivation
One of the biggest ways athletes can tell that they’ve been overworked is through a change in progress resulting in motivation changes. More specifically, you’ll experience a halt in your progress, which makes finding the motivation to train increasingly difficult