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...
Must See
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 85,034
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,416,726

Featured Videos

Get in Shape for Baseball With Austin Adams' Metabolic Conditioning Circuit Views: 2,372
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 7,149
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 330,200
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

Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 848,711
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 883,469
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,541,559
Dwyane Wade Jumps Onto a 42" Box
Views: 10,741,081

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

WATCH: Giuseppe Rossi's 360-Degree Pilates Side Plank

WATCH: D.J. Williams' Endurance-Crushing Towel Plank Walk

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

The 3 Best Posture Exercises That Build Strength

How to Train for a Triathlon Without Going Broke

Workouts of the Top Players in the 2015 NBA Playoffs

Introducing the 2015 'All-Gaines NFL Combine Team'

SURVIVING SEALFIT: How Not to Hurt Yourself (Like I Did)

Ndamukong Suh's High School Highlights Not What You'd Expect

WATCH: Vontae Davis's Half-Box Squat with Plate

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

WATCH: Darnell Dockett Manhandles 655-Pound Tire

WATCH: Takeo Spikes Still Working On Getting a Bigger Neck

Why All Athletes Should Do Soft Tissue Work

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

WATCH: A. J. Green and Justin Houston Pushing a Truck

How to Find the Perfect Strength Coach or Personal Trainer

Why These 7 NFL Receivers Do Pilates

Fixing Common Weaknesses in Lacrosse Players

Kevin Love

WATCH: David Wilson's Acrobat Ab Workout

The Dangers of Heat Stress for Athletes

Lacrosse Players: Get Stronger on the Field with 4 Exercises

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

Odell Beckham Jr. Shows Out on the Speed Ladder

Victor Cruz's Pool Workout with a ViPR

WATCH: Usain Bolt's 2-in-1 Decline Sit-Up with Bench Press

WATCH: Torrey Smith and the Human Hammer Pull-Down

4 Unnecessary Things That Only Overcomplicate Your Workouts

5 Boss Workouts From Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter

SURVIVING SEALFIT: 3 Ways SEAL-Style Workouts Change Your Life

5 Big Benefits of Yoga for Basketball Players

WATCH: Shawne Merriman's 'Bus Driver' Shoulder Workout

Improve Your Lacrosse Power With These Exercises

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

WATCH: Travis Kelce's Split-Squat Jump with Battling Ropes