Signs You’re Overtraining

I’ve mentioned comfort and rest a few times lately.  I’ve still been pushing myself pretty hard some days, but I’m trying to focus on quality rest on others.  I don’t think I quite reached overtraining, but I could tell I was getting close.

Overtraining’s no joke, so I have a quick post to spell out the basics.  According to

Overtraining happens when an athlete performs more training than his or her body can recover from, to the point where performance declines.

I just a had a PR last week, so my performance clearly isn’t declining too much. I’ve noticed a couple other symptoms though. If you think you might be pushing it a bit too much, here are some of the classics signs.

  1. Decreased Performance (as mentioned above)
  2. Irritability, Inability to Concentrate, or Even Depression
  3. Excessive Fatigue (I’ve been suffering from legs so heavy they feel like lead.)
  4. Decrease or Total Loss of Motivation (More often than not, this is me.)
  5. Regular Workouts Harder to Complete
  6. Persistent Soreness (Yup… been having this too.)
  7. Poor Sleep (This is the 4th and final on my list.)
  8. More Illness – more susceptible to infections
  9. Loss of Appettite (Nope, definitely not feeling this one!  haha)
  10. Menstrual Cycle Changes in Women

kb swing

I’m sure you can probably figure out how to fix your overtraining, but here are a few tips just to make sure you’re on the right track.

  1. Rest, not just on the couch, but try and get adequate sleep.
  2. Heal yourself first.  If you’re coming of illness or injury, give yourself plenty of time.
  3. Focus on nutrition.  Have you been getting enough protein?  Enough carbs?  Too much junk?
  4. Don’t go hard every time.  Not every workout has to be all-out all the time.
  5. Get a massage. If you can’t afford a professional massage, just add in a bit of foam rolling and rubbing.

And now I leave you with a pic from last night’s stuffed peppers.  She doesn’t realize how much she doesn’t want a taste!


  • Have you ever felt the effects of overtraining?

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30 Responses to Signs You’re Overtraining

  1. Nope, never had this problem. Yeah…I don’t push myself too hard, especially after my bout with bulimia when I used exercise as my purge….hmm, maybe THAT was overtraining! I never want to go back there, so I keep it simple, yet I do push myself harder everyday, just not longer, and I ALWAYS take a day off!

  2. I took some much needed rest this past weekend! I was due. I listened to my body 🙂

  3. Great post!! Definitely something people need to hear.

  4. Thanks for the helpful tips. I don’t think I have ever overtrained but I do know how beneficial a rest day can be. I love the picture of your cat and dinner, and i’m sure with the tabasco she really wouldnt want any.

  5. Girl, I hit overtraining syndrome about 3 1/2 years ago and vowed never to let that happen again. And it was so incredibly mental too, not just all the physical signs. I was miserably depressed, but couldn’t stop training. I would even cry during workouts. Crazy right? I had to take a HUGE step back. It took my husband getting me a HR monitor just to show how hard I was working. I think so many people pshaw this idea. But if you’ve been there, you know.

  6. Great post girl!! I think at some point we have all flirted with over training. It feels so nice to allow our bodies to rest and relax though!

  7. HAHAHA I love cat photo bomb photos. Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing if I’m mentally ‘not in the gam’e/lazy or if I truly need to rest. I don’t go balls to the wall everyday, but I am pretty active in my day-day activities that more often than not, I just feel mentally drained.
    I have noticed a shift in what I prefer to do ‘exercise-wise’ most days -walking, walking, walking. I find it so relaxing & energizing.

  8. I definitely think more people need to be aware of the signs of overtraining because I think most of them take these kind of things as signs that they’re pushing hard and making progress. I’ve suffered from a few bouts of overtraining in the past, and had to step away from hardcore exercise for a while in order to fully heal up.

  9. Great Post. So many people forget this side of things!

  10. Over training is no joke! I teach about 10 classes a week (lots are heavy lifting body pump) and if I’m not careful, I can feel my body going into the over trained zone. Once I start to feel it (usually #5 workouts harder to complete – I just feel weaker even with less weight), I take an extra day off, have my classes covered and that seemed to help. I think early prevention and listening to your body is key with not getting over trained!

  11. I def believe in rest days. It is so good for the body and it actually helps our performace! Letting our muscles rebuild is so important. Sometimes I get fatigued and I have to stop and think, I need a rest day!

  12. I definitely think that I am guilty of overtraining, at times. This is likely the result of feeling guilty for taking a “rest day” even though I know that my body needs it! This is something that I am working on overcoming.

  13. Kacy says:

    I’ve been feeling a bit of pain in my left knee, so I’ve had to ease up on spinning and lifting heavy legs. I’m hoping that does it. Thanks for this list!

  14. Great post, Tiff! I don’t think I’ve ever overtrained to the extent that I’ve had those symptoms, but in a marathon training cycle I feel close to it in those peak weeks.

  15. Yep, I’m experiencing some of these. I think your post may have had perfect timing for me. I’m feeling sore all. the. time. And my legs feel heavy. Irritable and hard to concentrate? Yes. I know I need to take some time to recover . . . I just love getting my daily sweat on.

  16. I definitely over trained a few years ago. My muscles were always sore and I couldn’t get any tone or definition because I wasn’t allowing them proper rest days! This is a great list that I think athletes need to remind themselves of frequently 🙂

  17. I haven’t been sleeping well, so after I pushed myself pretty far on Saturday, I HAD to take a rest day on Sunday. It was hard because the weather was perfect for a run, but I knew my body needed rest!

  18. This is my first time at your blog, and I’m so glad I found it! This is a great post and exactly what I needed to see today. Its so easy to forget that “off-days” can be just as important as on-days!

  19. First of all, photobombing pets are hilarious! 🙂 I’ve been feeling kind of run down, too. I took it easy with my workout this morning – I’m trying to hit that sweet spot of immune-boosting exercise and immune-zapping exercise!

  20. Great post! It’s something all athletes need to keep in mind.

  21. 2, 3, 4, 5 & 10 – Yep, I am suffering from them ALL – but for some reason, I CANNOT ever take a break!! :-/

  22. Nichole says:

    We often talk about working out daily and our exercise routine and it’s important to point out how easy it is to overdue it. Give your body a break and listen to it.

    You know your gym pictures are always totes adorbs. Great form, girl!

  23. Great post! This became a potential concern several years back, however I compensated with plenty of food to fuel myself, as well as resting like a champ. I think I’ve always had a healthy balance, as long as I guzzle those protein shakes as well as real food nutrients — not just supplements:)

  24. The entire month of February and some of March I was sick off and on which I think was attributed to over training. I’ve begun doing more HIIT workouts and incorporated some more yoga which I think has helped! Rest is important but sometimes its so hard to force myself to do so!

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  26. lindsay says:

    i’ll take a massage and extra sleep, yes, needed! good tips friend

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