There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your workouts.
In fact, it’s gonna be pretty tough to do them consistently unless you find them at least somewhat enjoyable.
However, like anything else in life, it is possible for the dial to swing too far in the other direction.
That is, developing an unhealthy addiction to working out – turning an otherwise healthy pursuit into something that more closely resembles a compulsive and anxiety-driven disorder.
How do you know if you’ve been afflicted?
Just go through this list of 6 common symptoms to help determine if you’re exercise obsessed.
Come on, I know that you’re curious, take a look…
Symptom #1: Not being able to take a break from the gym.
Are you one of those guys who practically works out 365 days a year?
Do you stress out if you occasionally have to miss one of your workouts?
Well, my friend, there is a good chance that you’ve been bitten by the gym-obsession bug.
The reality is that life gets in the way for everyone sometimes – and yes, that includes even the most dedicated gym-goers.
And while it is perfectly understandable to not like missing a workout – especially if you have been consistent and making good progress – it shouldn’t fill you with a sense of dread or anxiety either.
Symptom #2: Exercising when you’re sick.
Dragging yourself to the gym when you’re sick is often counter-productive – not to mention selfish to the other guys there.
I’ve already covered what to do when you’re sick in another article, so I won’t get into all of that now.
But I will say this…
If the thought of missing a workout when you’re coughing up a lung in bed is so terrible that dragging your germ-ridden body to the gym seems like a preferable alternative, then it is pretty safe to say that you’re exercise obsessed!
Symptom #3: Not seeing yourself in the mirror.
When you look at your body in the bathroom mirror, what do you see staring back?
Well, if you’ve been working out consistently, I sure hope that you’re seeing a body that you feel proud of!
Sadly, some guys end up losing perspective on how they look once they start putting on muscle and shedding fat.
They won’t see a muscular, developed physique staring back at them; instead, the guy in the mirror will look 20 pounds fatter or have 10 pounds less muscle than they actually have.
Basically, they won’t see themselves as they really are.
If this sounds like you, then it’s very likely that you’re gym-obsessed to a point that isn’t psychologically healthy.
In fact, this particular symptom can indicate full-blown body dysmorphia, which you can read more about here.
Symptom #4: Never being able to let loose and relax.
It’s your best friend’s holiday party. All the people there are awesome.
And everyone is having fun – eating, drinking, and being merry.
That is, everyone except for you!
You are the odd man out, sitting there with a pensive, sour look on your face.
And in your head, you are counting calories…
You’ve eaten far too many of them, and now you’re silently chastising yourself while everyone else has a good time around you.
Yup, pretty safe bet that you’re gym-obsessed.
Symptom #5: Neglecting friends, family, and responsibilities.
In addition to the gym, you probably have a lot of other things going on in your life.
A family that you care about, a career that you’re focused on, friends that you enjoy seeing.
Well, if you find that the gym starts encroaching on the space you have available for these other important things, then it may be out of balance.
When the gym stops being something that you do in addition to other things, and morphs into something that you do instead of other things, then you know that you’ve crossed over the line.
Symptom #6: You consciously overtrain.
Overtraining can rob you of the gym results that you deserve.
Yes, as I’ve discussed at length before, working out too much can be detrimental to your gains.
Of course, some guys just don’t realize this yet, which is a different matter altogether…
But what if you already know that overtraining is counter-productive, but decide to do it anyway?
On some level, you emotionally need to be doing those additional sets, or spending those extra hours in the gym, even though you know that they’re actually detracting from your progress.
Sound like you?
Well, sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you have allowed obsession to supersede your better judgement.
A Final Word
Before I go on, I want to get something straight…
Just because you love working out doesn’t make you exercise obsessed.
You can be very focused on the gym, and look fantastic, without being exercise obsessed – at least not in the pejorative sense.
The symptoms listed above, however, can help point to something else entirely…
A state of mind where exercise is absolute and all-consuming, instead of something that makes the rest of your life that much better.
That being said, I would only consider it to be a problem if it’s actually causing you stress and anxiety.
Otherwise, it’s just how you are, and that’s completely cool.
But if it’s causing you problems, then you should seriously consider reevaluating the amount of control you are allowing the gym to have over your life.
Working out is hands down one of the best habits you can develop for yourself – but like most other things in life, balance is the key.