Recovery is about as fun as it sounds, I know! Deloading and foam rolling are not exactly on the top of anyone’s fun fitness list.

But, my friends, good recovery is actually a part of the results you see after investing time in the gym. Without good recovery, you can see weight gain, have constant muscle aches and soreness, feel fatigued…the list just goes on and on.

If any of this sounds like you, consider the following poor recovery flags you may already be experiencing.

Your performance has declined or plateaued

If you’re doing the right training for you and watching your nutrition but your performance isn’t improving, it’s time to take a second look at your recovery routine. This is because when you work out in a state of under-recovery, your body simply isn’t primed for the best performance.

You’re gaining weight despite all your efforts

When you are not recovering properly between your workouts, your body may go into “flight or fight” mode. In this mode, your nervous system is over-activated, which leads to the triggering of stress hormone production. This is a good thing when you are in real danger, but it’s not good for your waistline when your stress hormones are constantly elevated from stress, which can stem from over-exercising but not recovering enough. Consistently high levels of stress hormones can lead to an increased appetite and a suppressed metabolism, and they can also interfere with hormones that are meant to help you burn fat and gain muscle.

Having excess levels of stress hormones daily can also dim your body’s response to those hormones, resulting in fatigue.

You’re stiff or sore all the time

While “no pain, no gain” may be okay for 15-year-old student athletes sometimes, in reality, most of us don’t want to deal with injuries that keep returning, stiffness and soreness. None of this is required to build muscle mass, and feeling stiff and sore will put a dent into your daily life and your workout performance. Of course, a little soreness or soreness after working out especially hard is not unusual, but if it’s constant or interfering with your life, your recovery simply isn’t good enough.

If your recovery isn’t up to par, it’s time to carry out some research and come up with a routine that works better for you. If you go to a gym, it may worth it to run through your typical recovery routine with a trainer, as they can help you adjust it as needed.