Are You Overtraining?

February 25, 2013 | Ramon Williams

Must See Training Videos

Throughout the course of the last few months, have you been feeling increasingly tired, not fully recovered before your next workout, frequently sick or afflicted with persistent injuries? If you answered yes to any of these, you could be suffering from overtraining syndrome. (See also Are You Overtraining or Under-Recovering?)

Overtraining happens when an individual trains with excessive volume (reps and sets), frequency (days), and/or intensity (heavy weights) over a long period. Overtraining can lead to extreme fatigue, illness and injury. Major contributors are poor eating habits, inadequate rest between workouts and insufficient quality sleep. Overtraining shouldn't be confused with muscle soreness, a normal 48- to 72-hour occurrence after an intense workout.

Stages

The National Strength and Conditioning Association divides overtraining into four stages of increasing severity.

  • Stage 1: Slightly altered coordination with little or no effect on performance
  • Stage 2: Altered coordination and hormone activity with little to no effect on performance
  • Stage 3: Decreased coordination and muscle's ability to store nutrients; increased heart rate, blood pressure and mood swings that likely lead to decreased performance
  • Stage 4: Decrease in strength, sickness and infection, mood swings and trouble sleeping that lead to decrease in performance and injury.

What to do if you recognize symptoms

Depending on how severe your symptoms are, it becomes very important to stop training for at least two to four weeks and focus on nutrition and rest. This will allow your body to go back to a healthy state. (See Balance Your Workouts to Avoid Overtraining.)

As an athlete, you take great pride in your daily commitment to practices and weight training to ensure peak performance on game day. Although it may seem natural to put in more time and work at a high intensity, too much of anything is never a good thing. Set realistic goals for your training routine and give your muscles 48 to 72 hours of rest between workouts. This is good insurance to make you the best you can be.

Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...
Ramon Williams
- Ramon Williams graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. He is currently an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 179,065
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 75,992
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 588,674
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

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,252,646
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,192
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,172
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,872
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,117,437

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance—Here's How to Fix It

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance--Here's How to Fix It

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

Lindsey Vonn’s Summer Core Workout

Lindsey Vonn's Summer Core Workout

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

YardBarker