Balance Your Workouts to Avoid Overtraining | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Balance Your Workouts to Avoid Overtraining

December 12, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Strength Training Videos

There's a common misconception among athletes that working out non-stop will lead to better results. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Too much of a good thing can have negative consequences. In this case, the issue is overtraining .(Learn more about the dangers of overtraining.)

Overtraining occurs when excessive training or sports competition leads to stress and exhaustion, which cause the body to break down. Symptoms of overtraining include fatigue, irritability, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite, depression, decreased immune system function and increased chance of injury.

To avoid overtraining, you need to take a balanced approach and allow your body to recover. However, training too little will do you no good. Below are profiles of three types of athletes with evaluations of their training regimens.

Athlete A

Workout Overview

  • Frequency: 5-6 days per week
  • Duration: 60+ minutes
  • Intensity: 80-90% max
  • Evaluation: highly susceptible to overtraining. Working at such a high intensity repeatedly over the week gives this athlete too little time to recovery, even if he focuses on different muscle groups each day.

Athlete B

Workout Overview

  • Frequency: 3-4 days per week
  • Duration: 45-60 minutes
  • Intensity: 80% max
  • Evaluation: low risk of overtraining. This athlete is striking the balance between training and recovery. He will challenge his body and make strength gains without overly taxing his system. While it's obviously appropriate to train at higher intensities to achieve max strength and power, these phases should only last three to four weeks.

Athlete C

Workout Overview

  • Frequency: 1-2 days per week
  • Duration: 30-45 minutes
  • Intensity: Low
  • Evaluation: minimal risk of overtraining; however, there isn't much training going on here. This athlete needs to find a structured program designed to improve performance. One or two days is better than zero, but it won't help him much in the long run.

Other Factors to Prevent Overtraining

  • Rest 24 to 48 hours between workouts, especially before reworking a muscle group
  • Stick to a sound nutrition plan that provides fuel for your workout and the nutrients you need to recover (learn more about pre- and post-workout nutrition)
  • Sleep seven to nine hours each night
  • Track workout progress to identify performance declines
  • Look for overtraining signs, such as chronic muscle or joint soreness, low energy or repeated illness
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 18,414,170
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 5,019,009
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 3,421,468

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach Power and Stability Workout Views: 300,475
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 55,686
Andre Ethier's Arm-Strengthening Superset Views: 647,833
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Gets More 'Twerk' on the Track
Views: 950,900
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,223,481
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,298,334
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,252,897
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,898

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Beginners to resistance training can perform almost any form of resistance exercise and still make significant gains. However for the immediate and...

Todd Durkin

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout