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What Are The Signs Of Overtraining ?

Updated: May 7

Do you keep up with month after month of training, but you seem like you are not hitting your mark or goals like you planned? Busting your butt at the gym but not getting the return you expected? Do you feel like your determination to work out is fading and it is just a struggle to get up in the morning to head out to the gym? Do you feel like your getting sick more often, or are more prone to injury?

If you answered any of the questions about, then my friend you might be over training.

Today we will discuss the signs of overtraining, how to take proper rest and recovery to keep those improvements coming and how to find a better balance with training, home life, and getting the recovery you need.

Essentially overtraining is when you feel fatigue, dimensioning return from your training, or just feeling burnt out. There are a few different ways we experience overtraining. It could be pushing to hard at a workout session, or a lack of recovery going on for weeks to months.

You may experience over training with pattern overload as well if you keep doing the same routine for longer that 12 weeks with out taking adequate rest periods. You body will start creating pattern overload and can hinder your performance and lead to injury over time. That is why it is suggested to change the adaptation of your programming every 4 to 6 weeks or take a recovery week at the end of the 6 weeks, then repeat. Know that over training isn’t just pertaining to training, if you have big stressors happening in your life; good or bad, this can lead to an imbalance.

Other factors that need to be considered is how are you handling the other aspects of your life? The best way to think of being healthy, is making sure that there is balance. We need balance to keep us functioning mentally, physically, and emotionally. Before hitting the week hard with your training; do a “Mind Body Scan”. This neat tool is used when you need to do a “check-in” on yourself to see how you are doing. Scan your body starting from your head working your way to your toes.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you have any headache, nagging aches or pains that you have been dealing with longer that a few days?

2. Are cringing when ever you think about working out, or even decide to skip it due to lack of motivation?

3. Is there a big stressor happening in your life right now that is causing a lot of mental fatigues or strain?

4. Are you working through an illness or injury?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then your body and mind is not at 100%; reevaluate your goals and think about baking off or take an active recovery day. Symptoms of overtraining can vary depending on what part of the body is becoming overuse or fatigued.

· Plateau in training or decline in progress.

· Perceptions of increased exertions during “normal/ easy” training days.

· Excessive sweating or feeling overheated.

· Lack of feeling refreshed after recovery and rest.

· Recurring injuries keeps flaring up like muscle strains, stress fractures, and chronic pain in joints.

· Declines in enthusiasm for working out or just skipping all together.

· Persistent fatigue throughout the day.

· Decline in motivation and self-confidence.

· Lack of enjoyment in hobbies and feeling down and depressed.

· Unusual mood swings, such as anger, confusion, restlessness.

· New problems with sleep; insomnia or poor quality of sleep.

· Problems with concentration and focus.

· You have more of a sickly appearance; hair loss, acne, nails quality, skin quality

· Increase in resting heart rate and blood pressure increase.

· Digestive issues such as, constipation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and feeling dehydrated.

· Lowered sex drive and change in menstruation cycle.

· Frequently becoming sick.

If you notice a lot of these signs are also coupled with some chronic disease, always talk with a health professional before starting a new program or having any of the symptoms above that last more than 4 weeks.

The best way to track yourself to make sure you are not over training is to record your progress and make sure you are keeping workout life and regular life balanced the best you can. You can also use tools to help you keep track of the strain that is placed on the body like a fit bit, whoop watch, or apple watch. There is a wide option of free apps on the market that you can use as well to help keep track of where you are at with your exercise frequency, amount of time, rest, and recovery (MyFitnessPal).

A fitness journal is always a good go to when you are trying to track your progress as well, it helps you become aware of what you are doing, how much, how long, and when you need to back it down a little bit. Receiving a performance assessment (from your coach) every 4 to 6 weeks to make sure you are improving your progress is a great way to gauge where you are at and if there needs to be any type of adjustments to your program / nutrition. Getting blood work done every 6 months also is a great way to make you do not have any nutrition / phytonutrient gaps; plus, it is always a smart idea to get a periodical checkup from your doctor to make sure you are in tip top shape.

How do you get away from over training? Take a week off from working out and have a self-talk; what can you do to help have a balanced training load and life load? Write down a list of small goals that you would like to achieve for your next training cycle; establish those goals and create small actions to work towards reducing fatigues, stress, and a better balanced you.

Get plenty of sleep; this is a big one, sleep is one of the most important pieces to have a well-balanced training regimen. If you are missing adequate sleep your hormones will be imbalanced, you will eat more, not as recovered, mental fatigue, lack of motivation, and raised heart rate will all put more strain on your body. Eating minimally processed foods and getting a carbohydrate and protein after you work out is paramount to develop and repair muscles. Keeps our insulin from dropping down, so no crashes during the day.

Taking proper recovery days will keep you heading in the right directions, do not skip out on your rest. It is important to move every day but, you do not need to be pushing 100% at every work out. Just keep moving and getting proper mental, emotional, and physical recovery as you work towards becoming a more well-rounded individual!


Budget, R., Newsholme, E., Lehmann, M., Sharp, C., Jones, D., Jones, T., Peto, T., Collins, D., Nerurkar, R., & White, P. (2000) . Redefining the overtraining syndrome as the unexplained underperformance syndrome. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34, 67–68.

Brenner, J.S., & The Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. (2007). Overuse injuries, overtraining, and burnout in child and adolescent athletes. Pediatrics, 119(6), 1242–1245. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-0887.

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1 commentaire

Heidi Estes
Heidi Estes
30 mars 2021

This was a very good article! Thank you for sharing!

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