What Is "overtraining Syndrome" And Why Is This Condition Dangerous?

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What Is "overtraining Syndrome" And Why Is This Condition Dangerous?
What Is "overtraining Syndrome" And Why Is This Condition Dangerous?

Video: What Is "overtraining Syndrome" And Why Is This Condition Dangerous?

Video: What Is "overtraining Syndrome" And Why Is This Condition Dangerous?
Video: 11 signs of OVERTRAINING (and what to do about it!) 2023, March

Most people associate the word "sport" with excellent health, excellent physical shape, strength and endurance. Over the past decade, the number of adherents of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity has grown exponentially, and this is a good trend.

But, unfortunately, the pursuit of results, beauty and health sometimes becomes an obsession. People spend in gyms and gyms for several hours every day, literally torturing their bodies with excessive physical exertion. As a result, wearing out exercises leads to the emergence of "overtraining syndrome". Understanding the essence of this phenomenon will help you competently manage the training process and achieve good results. All the intricacies of the issue were sorted out together with the head of the development and research department of MF Kitchen, Maxim Storozhenko.

When can physical activity harm you?

Overtraining is not only a problem for highly skilled athletes. An imbalance between stress and recovery can occur at any level of fitness. The less experience you have in sports, the lower your threshold is, which means you will need less work to meet your physical needs, dysfunction will come earlier, and you will quickly reach “overtraining syndrome”. This state of the body is characterized by fatigue, overwork and poor results.


It is known that athletes train to develop increased body performance. It is achieved by increasing training loads, which are transferred only after certain periods of rest and recovery, that is, according to the principle of training periodization.

An illiterate plan of action and excessive physical activity lead to a decrease in productivity, which will take days or weeks to recover. In turn, excess, followed by adequate rest, may ultimately improve this figure.

What should alert you?

Overtraining is the cumulative effect of many factors. A week of intense training won't get you into this state - it will take a long period of imbalance.

There are a number of symptoms that may indicate a state of overtraining. Let's talk about them in more detail:

Reduced health / performance

Improperly organized workouts (chaotically arranged, without periodization) and nutrition cease to give results over time. Within a certain period of time, you do not achieve your goals and quickly give up. This is not just a background feeling of fatigue and inability to recover, but a feeling of lethargy and heaviness throughout the day, which will take much more effort and time to eliminate (see also: "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment").

Lack of progress

The relationship between exercise and recovery is disrupted. Your performance drops noticeably even though you are able to train hard and continue to do so. Muscles are no longer positively adapting to training: the longer you keep fighting, the deeper you put yourself into a state of overtraining.


Unstable pulse after waking up

One of the most common ways to control overtraining is by tracking body weight, mood, and heart rate upon waking. Deviations from the norm that disappear within one or two days are quite normal, but if you observe a change in the picture within five days, it is worth doing a deeper analysis of your condition to take further action. If the heart rate differs from the usual state by at least 10-12 beats per minute, this is already a cause for concern.

Low heart rate variability

Measuring heart rate variability is another technique used to see how an athlete is coping with their training load. Higher variability is a sign that your autonomic nervous system is responding quickly to changes in stimuli, which is what you want. Low volatility indicates that your nervous system is fatigued and not responding to stimuli as well as it could.

Emotional instability

Some people get upset more than usual or cry more often, while others snap at their spouses and co-workers, all of which are signs of emotional instability that leads to overtraining. If you've been irritable for a long time, it's time to start thinking about adjusting your training regimen.

Low motivation

You will already be in a state of overtraining if you get to the point where you will be too lazy to go out: you will find more and more excuses to reschedule or skip a workout, the process itself will seem so boring that you do not want to continue. Staying in this state for a long time also indicates a state of overtraining.


Sleep problems

Overtraining can lead to insomnia, sleep disturbances, or simply less restful sleep. Modern apps can be helpful to capture your sleep behavior.

Illness or injury

People who are overtrained can get sick more often, and the recovery process takes longer and harder for them than usual. Overtraining syndrome increases the risk of injury.

How to return your body to a "working" state?

There are several ways you can get your motivation back to workout and get yourself into working order in general:


Obviously, you have fallen into a state of overtraining due to the inability or unwillingness to realize that rest is also part of the training process. The first thing to do in this state is to stop home workouts and gym classes. Set aside your ambitions and goals for a while, because training no longer helps you feel better and does not bring results.

Balancing mindfulness training and rest

Your lifestyle and training plan has brought you into a state of overtraining. Before taking up sports again, analyze your program yourself or talk to a coach who can help you adjust the load. Be more realistic about the amount of rest you can afford and align sport with other priorities in your life. If you have a bad dream, fix it. If there are problems in your career or family that you can fix, go for it. Problem solving is necessary, otherwise all of these aspects of your lifestyle increase your chances of falling back into the psychological and physical "hole".


Proper nutrition

Failure to consistently consume enough energy to meet your needs is a recipe for overtraining. It is important to realize that nutrition is also part of the training process. The body needs a certain amount of food to recover and adapt to stress. The quality of your diet plays a key role in how you look and feel. You should rethink your diet and focus on eating fresh, whole foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, and a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates (also read: Tibetan Medicine: Good Nutrition and Good Food Combinations).

"Golden" training rules that will be useful to everyone:

  • Loads should be periodic (heavy, medium, light - they need to be alternated).
  • Setting multiple goals at once is a bad idea and increases your risk of developing an overtraining state.
  • After hard training, with the usual rhythm of life, in which there is a place for family, work and stress, it is better to rest for at least 48 hours and carefully monitor your diet.
  • If you don't have time to figure out how to plan your actions, you should find a guide with experience, but here you also need to be careful: a trainer with arm volume, like your leg, does not always know exactly how to solve individual problems.

About the expert:

Maxim Storozhenko
Maxim Storozhenko

Maxim Storozhenko

Photo: Getty Images

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