Overtraining manifests itself in several evil ways, but none is quite as evil as muscular atrophy. You work hard and eat right so that you can gain muscle. Because you didn’t pay careful attention to your training program you suddenly find yourself sleepy and irritable and it dawns on you that you are in a state of overtraining. You then begin to notice that while your bodyfat percentage is not decreasing, your scale weight continues to go down. You are experiencing muscular atrophy. You are losing lean body mass.
Overtraining will do the opposite of training when it comes to muscle mass. Instead of seeing larger muscles, your muscles will actually lose size and strength. You will be going in reverse as far as your progress. It is a scary thing for most trainees.
This is one symptom of overtraining that is difficult to detect. Unless you are like me and you measure yourself weekly, this one is likely to fly under the radar for many weeks before being discovered and that just means a longer recovery time in the end.
You can recover from this symptom of overtraining by getting more rest and taking time off from the gym. Give your body adequate time to fully recover from the pounding it has been taking. When you get back in the gym you will soon see your hard work paying off once again with increases in muscle size and strength. Once you discover this symptom, do not delay. Get the rest your body requires so that you will see the gains you deserve.