What Are the Dangers of Overtraining and How to Avoid It


If you do not give yourself time to recover after training, you can end up in the hospital and forget about the gym for a few months. Let’s find out how to exercise safely and what to do if your body is already injured.

What Overtraining Is and How It DevelopsĀ 

During every workout, our body goes through three stages: adaptation, fatigue and recovery. Overtraining is an imbalance between the stages, the organs cannot cope with the load and fail. Overtraining is also called disadaptation.

Adaptation is the first stage. It’s the body’s adaptation to the loads. For example, during a run, the heart starts beating faster and returns to normal afterwards. Such adaptation is called urgent adaptation.

When an athlete exercises regularly, the body gets used to stress and becomes stronger. For example, shortness of breath when climbing stairs disappears or a person can cope with a greater load in further training. This is a long-term adaptation. It makes us stronger and more resilient.

The fatigue stage tells you that it’s time to stop training and move on to the third stage – letting the body recover. If you continue training by all means, fatigue will turn into overfatigue. The body will no longer be able to handle even the usual load, and this can be the beginning of the development of overtraining.

In normal adaptation to stress, body functions develop, but in excessive fatigue, they are impaired.

Like adaptation, fatigue is normal for the body, it helps stop in time and prevent overtraining. It’s important not to go from fatigue to overfatigue. To prevent this from happening, you need to give your body time to fully recover and rest. You can choose how to spend this time. You can just sit and play at the Ivibet casino Canada or go for a walk.

How to Recognize Overtraining

When workouts are too intense and frequent, it can lead to undertraining. You’ll be able to train in this state for a while. But when it drags on, the body gets overworked – it’s not natural for it.

If you stop and rest from training in time, you’ll be able to return to your normal level of exertion. It’s like catching an initial cold and lying in bed for the first few days – in three to five days it will be easier and you can go back to work.

If you miss the symptoms of overexertion or deliberately ignore them and continue training, the body will stop coping with even minimal loads – there will be a serious setback.

Symptoms of overfatigue:

  • Fatigue comes on faster and lasts longer.
  • You feel worse than usual.
  • Sleep and appetite are disturbed.
  • Manifest emotional instability, mood swings.

When overfatigue drags on, overtraining sets in. This is more than just fatigue, and there is no way to rest.

Symptoms of overtraining:

  • Attention span drops, irritability or depression appears.
  • Coordination of movements is impaired.
  • There is a negative reaction to even a small load – for example, too much fatigue.
  • A constant loss of energy is felt.
  • Pulse and resting blood pressure do not correspond to personal norms.
  • Loss of appetite and muscle mass.
  • Sleep biorhythms are disturbed.
  • Susceptibility to acute respiratory infections increases.
  • Athletic performance is severely reduced.
  • Hormonal shifts occur, menstrual cycle is disrupted in women, libido decreases in both sexes.

The basis of overtraining is an overstrain of the central nervous system.

Not only training, but also other stresses in combination lead to CNS overload – work, problems in family relationships, chronic lack of sleep, smoking and alcohol, irregular or unbalanced diet. All of these can exacerbate the condition of overtraining.

How to Determine the Recovery Period Based on Your Condition

The lower the load was, the faster the body will return to its training norm. Approximate recovery time:

  • Three to five days for fatigue.
  • One to eight weeks in case of overtraining.
  • Up to six months in case of overtraining.

What Are the Dangers of Overtraining?

Over-training damages all systems in the body, its cells, organs and metabolism. Results from years of training may be lost. The setback can be so serious that it may not be possible to return to the previous regime, and even less so to improve performance. But that may not be the worst thing.

The consequences of overtraining:

  • Disruption of hormone production.
  • Constant exposure to cortisol, which decreases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. This can provoke vascular disease, obesity, diabetes.
  • Risk of developing cancer.
  • A sharp decrease in immunity.
  • Decreased resistance to exercise and household stress. The body becomes weak.
  • The body’s energy expenditures for the lightest load increase, and recovery becomes increasingly longer.

How to Avoid Overtraining

Overtraining can occur in people who violate the regime and methods of training. Usually they are newcomers to the gym or those who decide to exercise without a trainer.

Often overtraining also occurs in experienced gym clients when loads are excessively increased to force training progress.

The key rule of overtraining prevention is proper and even adaptation. You should not overexert yourself for long periods of time or train for the sake of results at all costs.

  • Exercise with a coach. He will make an individual training plan, help comply with it and at the same time monitor the indicators.
  • Train regularly. Let the training be not exhausting, but constant. For example, three times a week. If you go to the gym from time to time, the body won’t adapt to the load. In order not to abandon classes, it’s better to buy a subscription for a month, six months or a year.
  • Warm up. Before training you need a light ten-minute warm-up, and after that – a warm-up. Walking or jogging on a treadmill is good.
  • Increase the load gradually. This is especially true for beginners in the gym. It’s unnecessary to try to imitate experienced ones and try to lift weights that are not your own.
  • Monitor your condition. If during the workout you feel bad, dizzy or heart pounding, it’s better to stop. It’s unnecessary to continue exercising in such a condition. For the same reason, always keep short rest intervals between approaches.
  • Don’t workout if you are sick. With injuries or the first signs of an acute respiratory infection it’s necessary to cancel the training. In such a state, the body will spend its energy fighting the disease, and training will be useless and even dangerous.
  • Observe the regime of nutrition and sleep. Sleeplessness and poor nutrition will aggravate overtraining. Trainer will tell you how to observe the regime of the day.
  • Recuperate. To calm the nervous system, to help muscles relax, you can supplement training by visiting a sauna or massage at least once a week. In many gyms, such services are included in the subscription.

A regimen is a combination of regular workouts and timely recovery.

If you follow this rule, then a high workout won’t cost too much. There is no need to increase the load at all costs. There are cases when professional athletes could not return to great sport because of a serious health disruption.

What to Do if You Are Already Overtrained

  • Consult a doctor. The coach can notice the symptoms of overtraining in the client, but only a doctor can figure out their causes. It’s necessary to address him, as soon as the condition begins to deteriorate strongly. Local therapists will help and refer to other specialists, if necessary.
  • Stop training. If overtraining is light, then for one or two weeks. If the condition is severe, for six to twelve weeks or more. Your doctor will determine the exact period needed for recovery.
  • Observe all the recommendations of doctors. Sleep at least eight hours a day, eat a balanced diet. The doctor will also suggest the necessary amount of proteins and carbs in the diet.

How to Get Back to Working Out

  • Eliminate high-intensity workouts. At the initial stage, it’s better to perform low-intensity cyclic exercises such as swimming, walking, skiing, hiking, and cardio exercises.
  • Resume training gradually. It’s necessary to start from your pre-training level, as if a person came to the gym for the first time. Return to habitual loads may take 1-2 months in case of light overtraining and up to six months in case of heavy overtraining.
  • Recover completely. Observe the stages of recovery before a new training. These periods may be longer than before.
  • Don’t drive yourself to excessive fatigue. It’s necessary to recover from an illness according to an individual program. It’s important to take into account the number of workouts, their regularity and duration, and in the process avoid overexertion.

In fitness the body’s reserves are multiplied, while in sports they are exploited.

That’s why severe stages of overtraining rarely occur in the fitness room or at dances. But if one is driven to perform at all costs, this condition can happen even to zumba dancers.