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How to Tell If You're Working Out too Hard

Heather Marr is an N.Y.C.-based personal trainer and The Model Trainer Method creator, whose A-list client roster includes some of the world’s most famous supermodels. Ahead, she reveals how to tell if you’re working out too much at the gym.

I am a self-professed gym rat. My favorite part of the day is walking into the gym ready to tackle my workout. For me there is no high or rush quite like the one I get when I physically and mentally push my limits in the gym. For those like me, it’s critical to be aware that too much of a good thing isn’t always beneficial. No matter what your fitness level is, it is paramount to always listen to your body; there is no exception to this rule. Here are just some of the signs that you may be going too hard in the gym and need to ease off.

How to Tell If You’re Working Out Too Much


This seems obvious but if you feel pain while exercising, stop immediately. If you are experiencing pain, do not continue exercising. It is that simple. Pain may be the sign of an injury or impending injury. Stop and get it checked out. If you’re upset about missing half your workout, just imagine how upset you’ll be by making a small problem into a bigger issue/injury and not being able to train the area for weeks, months, etc.

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This is actually quite a common issue with endurance athletes, athletes training outdoors in the heat, or folks training multiple days in a row. It is also why you see weight scales in the gyms. Obviously, if you’re dehydrated, your urine will be dark; you’ll feel thirsty; and you may notice a decrease in performance. Dizziness may also creep up. It’s very important to stay hydrated and prevent any issues before they happen. An easy way to do this is to simply calculate your sweat rate and make sure you’re adequately rehydrating.

Sweat rate = (A+B)/C

A = Pre-exercise body weight – post-exercise body weight (in ounces)

B = Fluid consumed during exercise (in ounces)

C = Time exercising (in hours)

how to tell if you're working out too hard

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This happens when an athlete surpasses her ability to recover from her training program. Many of these signs are noticeable outside of the gym. You may find yourself dreading your workouts, having trouble sleeping, and feeling irritable. To prevent overtraining, ensure you have a properly designed program plan in place that is appropriate for you given your current fitness level and nutrition plan. The “no days off” mentality is not going to do you any favors. Rest is crucial for the body to recover. Otherwise, you will notice stalled progress, decreased performance and strength, as well as increased risk for injury.

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