Overtraining & Signs of Working Out Too Much

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Getting regular physical activity is important. But there can definitely be TOO MUCH of a good thing where too much exercise can actually be WORSE than getting none at all.

And obvious disclaimer: Everyone is different and it’s reaalllly hard to define & pinpoint how much exercise is appropriate, as it’s a VERY individualized thing. 

But understand that constant physical output can strain our adrenals, create hormone imbalances, cause muscle breakdown, increase fat stores, and a medley of other undesirable outcomes.

Also understand there’s multiple working pieces: It’s a balancing act of how much we’re exercising/eating/sleeping, how many steps a day we get, how active our job is, what stress levels are, etc. And it’s a constantly changing balance.

Maybe we’re only working out an hour a day… but we’re doing that 7 days/week. Or maybe training volume seems reasonable, but we’re only eating 1,000 calories and sleeping 5 hours a night. There’s a thousand ways to paint examples here – but the overarching theme is too much stress on the body.

Signs of Overtraining:

  • Lack of appetite, insatiable hunger, food cravings
  • Lack of menstrual cycle, low hormone levels
  • Lack of sex drive / morning wood
  • Lack of creativity / mental clarity
  • Decreased immunity/frequently being sick
  • Excessive soreness
  • Agitation & moodiness
  • Chronic/nagging injuries, CNS fatigue
  • Increase in body fat, inability to lose weight or gain muscle
  • Stalled progress in the gym/not hitting PR’s
  • Shitty sleep (trouble falling asleep, waking up multiple times a night)
  • Inability to create output during training/increased perception of difficulty

Suggestions to Keep in Mind:

  • 2-3 rest days a week is probably ideal
  • 8-9 hours a night in bed, non-negotiable. 7 hrs or less = ya don’t get to train
  • Switch up training modalities. No need to go “ham” every day – Generic advice: Pick up heavy things 2-3 times/wk, get out of breath 1-2 times/wk, & get 8-10k steps daily.
  • Make sure we’re eating appropriately for our activity. Specifically enough carbs and calories
  • Just want to look good? Slide over to @paragonperformancetraining for programming that will help you feel good and look great

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