The signs of overtaining and how to recover.

Most of you are probably aware of the possibility of overtraining, but in the this day an age of extreme high intensity training, it is a good idea to revisit this topic because it is becoming more and more common.

Overtraining usually occurs when there is too much overload and not enough recovery time. Overtraining manifests itself in physiological and psychological symptoms.  

I want to do a quickie review on the signs and give you some advice on what your next step should be if you feel you are overtraining.


1. Higher resting heart rate– When you are overtrained your resting heart rate will be higher than normal because your body has  not had time to recover from a previous workout or you are stressed.

2. Decreased energy

3. Sore muscles and joints for an extended period of time– Muscle soreness is a good thing to a certain extent, but if you are constantly sore for days on end, it is probably because your muscles and joints have not had enough time to recover.

4. You have hit a plateau in your progression– If you do not give your torn muscles time to recover between workouts you will just continue to re- tear them, and as a result, break them down.

Also, Your bodies testosterone levels decrease as a result of overtraining and cortisol levels increase. This will actually lead to muscle loss and fat gain (mainly around your belly).

5. Unable to get a good night sleep– This can be due to altered hormone levels and the excessive strain to the nervous system.

6. Depressed/ moody/ irritable– It becomes frustrating when you are working this hard and not seeing results. Another reason the athlete may be feeling this way is due to the lack of sleep.

7. Increased amount of injuries- If you do not give your body enough time to rest you are constantly training vulnerable and weakened muscles. There is a much greater opportunity for injury in this state.

8. Loss of motivation and enthusiasm

9. You are sick more often– Overtraining can lead to decreased immunity and a bigger chance for you to catch the cold that has been going around.


1. Give your body time to rest– Obvi, right? The rest period is different for everyone so listen to your body. Wait until you are well rested and your muscles are not yelling at you before revving up the intensity again.

rest 2

This is how you recover, no?

2. Cross- training– This will work different muscles, thus giving others time to rest.

3. Sports massage– This will release muscle tension and stress on the joints. Foam rolling is a great alternative if you are unable to go to a professional. 

foam roll

I know all of you love to push the limits, but make sure to listen to your body and do what she says- she does not reward bad behavior..

Have a great hump day!


28 thoughts on “The signs of overtaining and how to recover.

  1. PREACH, SISTER. i’m currently nursing a bum knee and working to rehabilitate it. whether or not it’s from over-training i don’t know but i’m listening to my body and giving it three FULL months to recover (even though this low impact stuff is killing me with boredom) because it’s what is good for me.

    • It is hard for me to implement low- impact training because of my serious case of un-diagnosed ADHD, but I know it’s best for my body! Allowing your body (and mind) to heal will get you back 100% and doing high intensity workouts again, just not as many back to back!

  2. Ugh, if only I had read this a year ago. In the back of my mind I always knew what overtraining would do to you but I guess I thought I was invincible. 🙂 Then came the IT band injury….that’ll teach me! My punishment was months and months of boring upper body workouts and low impact cardio. Now I listen to my body and rest when I need to and so far no injuries! (knock on wood) I also sleep better and am less tired/stressed. Definitely can’t complain about that!

    • I think we definitely want to ignore the signs because we get somewhat addicted to such high intense workouts and how they make us feel, but when you look back you KNOW your body was trying to warn you. At least you are feeling great now and know to listen to your body now!

  3. This is great! I have worried a bit about overtraining since I’ve been doing this crazy walking challenge at work (and thus working out every day), so I cut it back. I know that some people really thrive on doing a hard workout every day, but my body just doesn’t work that way, and it needs rest days.

  4. This is so true! Last time I trained for a marathon, earlier this year, I knew I was over training. I was injured, miserable and downright out of it. This time around, I’ve been listening to my body, enjoying my off days and getting in what I need to, when I need to. I’ve focused on different kinds of working out, too – so I am constantly using all different kinds of muscles in my body.
    And yes, wine with a view like that is 100% the correct way to recover.

    • It sounds like you have it right this time around! I am sure it is easy to overtrain when you are training for a marathon, and it is awesome that you actually realized it and did things differently this go around! Just remember wine, rest and cross- training.. 🙂

  5. This is really great info! I know I’ve overstrained before and paid the price. Now I’m taking it easy for awhile to allow my muscles and body to relax, and when I do start back up with intense training I’m not going to do it back to back like I was.

  6. Love this post, girl! With so much emphasis being put on the benefits of exercise these days, I think a lot of people don’t realize that you can definitely overdo it, and that doing so actually takes away from your health instead of adding to it.

    I’ve dealt with overtraining in the past, and taking time off and coming back with a less extreme approach definitely helped balance things out.

    • You are so right- Inactivity is big cause for obesity and various diseases, but I think people forget about how dangerous overtraining can be as well. I am glad that you learned from your experience and have been able to find a happy balance! I am still working on it.. 🙂

  7. #2-9 sounds just like me! and I’m on a very well deserved extended rest and loving every second of it. Though I am looking forward to my motivation to hit the gym to return. But for now I’m just enjoying the rest (and some easy yoga :))

  8. My first assumption as to my recent injury was that I was overtraining, but I really don’t think i was because I was running my usual amount. But then again, maybe my usual amount just became too much. I know some people who are definitely overtrainers. It’s sometimes hard to tell yourself to stop!

    • Its definitely is hard to slow down when you have been training so hard, and I don’t think you realize how hard you are training until you take a step back. I have to tell myself to chill out on a weekly basis because I know I shouldn’t do such high intensity workouts everyday!

  9. I love this! Decreased energy and lack of motivation are usually my signs that I need to scale it back. I’m almost always motivated to work out, so when I have those “ugh, why?!” feelings, I know it’s probably a good day to take a break.

    • That’s great that you know the signs of overtraining for your body because everyone is different! It was hard for me after having Joseph because I was ALWAYS exhausted so I just felt like it was normal, but now I know the difference in normal mommy exhaustion and overtraining exhaustion.

  10. Ooooh, good tips! I’m pretty sure I overtrained my shoulders by not warming up properly before doing lots of inversions in my yoga practice for months on end…… so now I’m paying for it by having to stop lifting/yoga for about 6 weeks until it heals. Just running for now. Lesson learned after this darn shoulder heals!!

  11. A great reminder and some great tips about how not to overtrain. I know I have been guilty in the past of overtraining and have definitely got sick and slowed progress as a result before too.

    Now I love my rest day and am about to increase it to two days a week.

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