Are You Overtraining? | STACK

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.


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...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Greene's Lantern: Riding With 'Soul'

What's Up With Elite NBA Players Losing Weight?

The 4-Day Deloading Plan for Recovery

3 Drills That Improve Agility for Baseball Infielders

5 Infield Short Hop Drills

WATCH: Jon 'Bones' Jones's Brutal Uphill Sprints

5 Soothing Ways to Treat Sore Feet After Practices and Games

The Training Formula Behind Drew Brees's 5 TD Passes

Jump Higher and Faster With Transitional Med Ball Box Jumps

Kelly Clark: Strong Enough to Fly

How to Determine the Best Exercise Order for Your Workout

5 Common Rowing Machine Mistakes Beginners Make

DDP Yoga: 'It Ain't Your Mama's Yoga'

GHD Sit-Up: The Worst CrossFit Exercise?

Avoid the Most Common Muscle Imbalances in Your Sport

Why CrossFit Is Perfect for Me

Make Your Training Weaknesses Your New Strengths

Guy Does Insane Strength Workout on Park Parallel Bars

Hit the Hole Harder With Maurice Jones-Drew

11 Strategies for Getting More Done During Your Workouts

Why You Need to Follow the F.I.T.T. Principle

How Lolo Jones Got Lean After Bobsledding

31 Pro Athletes Workouts That Will Inspire You in 2015

Improve Your Fielding Prowess with Two-Knee Drills

Preparation Nation: Hoover Buccaneers Basketball

Baseball Fielding Drills for Quick Hands and Feet

7 Training Tips from Professional Triathlete Linsey Corbin

Long Beach State's Double Play Tips for Shortstops

Katie Eberling: One Athlete, Many Sports

Carlos Boozer Does 'The Airplane' and AcroYoga

Antonio Brown Built His Ridiculous Footwork With Pilates

WATCH: Clay Matthews Move the Earth in New Muscle Milk Ad

Mark Teixeira Shares 4 Fielding Tips for First Basemen

Breaking Down Eddie Lacy's Untacklable Performance

Training Trash Bin: Dumbbell Side Bends

EXOS Announces Online Certification Program

Fix Bad Posture and Increase Athletic Performance

Above and Beyond: STACK Velocity Sports Performance San Diego

The Easiest Fixes for 4 Common Exercises

How to Personalize a Workout Program for Better Training Results

The Underwater Box Jump? David Wilson Is a Dolphin

Hanley Ramirez's Explosive Sled Row

Find Your Hidden Weaknesses

6 Training Ideas Shaping the Future of Fitness

3 Workout Styles Every Athlete Should Try

Floyd Mayweather Trains for Rematch With Marcos Maidana

A Better Shortstop Workout

How to Stay Safe When Exercising in Cold Weather

Inside the Athlete Factory

Sanya Richards-Ross Looking Sharp in the Gym, Training for Rio