Overtraining is a condition of burnout from training too much. This can lead to impaired performance and increased fatigue, both during training and in your everyday life.

Overtraining syndrome (OTS) usually occurs as result of a training schedule that is either dramatically or suddenly increased, lasts for sustained periods of time, or performed at high volume or high intensity without a sufficient recovery period.

Changing the type of exercise or activity allows some muscles to recover. An example being a runner who is experiencing overtraining would be encouraged to do swimming or Pilates.

How to recognise overtraining

  • Altered resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Decreased efficiency of movement and physical performance
  • Decreased lactate response
  • Decreased maximum work capacity
  • Frequent nausea/gastrointestinal upsets
  • Headaches
  • Impaired muscular strength
  • Inability to meet previously attained performance standards or criteria
  • Increased frequency of respiration
  • Insatiable thirst
  • Insomnia
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lower per cent of body fat
  • Menstrual disruptions
  • Muscle soreness and tenderness
  • Prolonged recovery from exercise
  • Reappearance of previously corrected mistakes

To reduce your own OTS risk, eat a healthy diet, drink enough fluid to stay hydrated, and get enough sleep for optimum performance every day. Each day’s habits contribute toward overall health and well–being.

Physical training is affected by emotional health. Job stressors, interpersonal relationships and other environmental stressors may have a detrimental affect on your physical performance. Focussing on health and wellness in all areas of life will help to prevent OTS.

If you have any concerns about overtraining, please seek advice from your PT or an Allied Health Professional.