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14th Aug 2021

When to know if you’re overdoing your workouts

Ellen Fitzpatrick

There could be a reason you’re so sore.

Working out makes you feel great, releasing endorphins and giving you an overall feeling of accomplishment.

But there might be a chance you’re overdoing it and there are a lot of signs that can tell you if you are.

Too much exercise can be a lot worse than it sounds, it can leave you drained and could even be the reason for an injury.

While the idea of getting more workouts in or doing an extra half an hour in the gym might sound positive, the reality can potentially be dangerous.

We’ve gathered a list to help you know when too much is too much when it comes to your workout.

Your muscles feel sore.

Being sore after a workout is completely normal, it can even be a good sign, it means you’ve put your muscles to good use.

But if you notice them being overly painful, that’s a sign you’ve been pushing it a little bit too far. There’s a massive difference between fatigue and not being able to move at all.

Regular pain will usually clear up in a few days, but if it lasts a week or longer, that’s when you know. Try upping the intensity gradually to avoid this happening.

Constantly thinking about working out.

Exercising should always be a priority when it comes to your health and wellbeing, but it should never be something that consumes your mind.

If you begin to choose your workouts over other life events like spending time with friends or family, this is when you know it’s an issue, when it begins to consume your thoughts.

It will only become a problem when you start to notice it becoming an obsession with scheduling and creating an unhealthy obsession with being healthy.

One-sided soreness.

If you find that a joint or muscle on one particular side of your body, it’s a sign you’ve overdone it. But this is a specific one, it has to only be on one side.

This is a sign that you have overworked one side of your body, and you might need a little bit more time for recovery, otherwise, it could result in injury.

“The rule of thumb I give my patients is this: If you have pain on both sides you are just healing and recovering from your hard work. You are not injured but must allow adequate time for the body to heal,” Craig Dossman, a chiropractor and sports medicine practitioner who works with Olympic runners and professional athletes told NBC News.

You push yourself too hard infrequently.

For some of us, exercise is the last thing on our minds, but when we do, we tend to try to really push ourselves to get the most out of the workout, even if it is once in a blue moon.

This can be just as bad as overdoing it consistently. Cramming more than one workout into one session or doing more reps than necessary, can do more harm than good and strain your muscles leaving you unable to move for days.

Focusing on one area only.

Choosing one particular area to train can lead to overdoing your workout. Constantly doing legs, arms or abs can all lead to these being worked too much and the others proving redundant.

If we make every gym day leg day, we’ll end up with toned legs and big bums but have zero upper body strength and vice versa. Over time if we continued to do this, we’ll find the specific area will become tight and end up giving pains and strains.

The solution to this is to balance your workout, alternate between the areas you work, focusing on different areas of your body during different gym sessions.