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Understand What Overtraining Is & The Importance Of Preventing It

Overtraining is characterized by a sudden decrease in training performance, accompanied by physical, physiological, cognitive, social, and psychological symptoms.

This syndrome is related not only to excessive training in its volume and intensity but mainly to inappropriate rest between sessions, thus not corroborating the theory of supercompensation. In it, muscle strength and hypertrophy are developed in the rest between training sessions (break periods, sleep, and low-stress level). An inadequate diet associated with the factors above contributes significantly to the individual entering the state of overtraining.

In addition to decreased performance, overtraining brings consequences ranging from humoral to hormonal changes, providing a global modification of the individual and the environment he is inserted into.

As this theme was only discussed and identified in athletes, since this class is the one that suffers the most from the problem due to excessive training, competitions, charges, and mostly lack of structure to provide a good development of the athlete, it is not I heard a lot about overtraining.

However, with the growing practice of body worship and the awareness that the practice of physical exercises is a more than effective remedy for quality of life and supports the treatment of various pathologies. Some people pass the point, developing symptoms or overtraining themselves due to the training routine and lack of rest.

This guide will help you better understand what overtraining is, its causes, symptoms, consequences, and implications, and how to prevent and treat this increasing syndrome among athletes and the general population.


The anamnesis is an indispensable questionnaire your student must answer before practicing physical exercises. With this questionnaire answered honestly by the student, the teacher has the chance to know him better in the various aspects of health involving the physiological, physical, and psychological parts.

This questionnaire is important because the professional will know if the student has any pathology or risk factor that could lead to some complications during training. Knowing these details is crucial for putting together your student’s training plan. That way, there will be no chance of underestimating your physical limits. (There are cases in which the student has some pathology, given some intercurrence, the professional knows the ideal procedure to help the student (as in cases of hypertension and diabetes, for example).

Some ready-made questionnaires are easily found on the internet. However, the professional himself can prepare his questionnaire based on the existing ones, being able to specify the activity that the student will develop under his supervision.


Below we will present some combined symptoms that may indicate that your student is undergoing overtraining.

Shortness Of Breath

After an intense training session, having difficulty breathing is normal. But shortness of breath happens right at the beginning or during a lower intensity training. In that case, it is a sign that your body has not fully recovered from the previous session, characterizing the lack of adequate time for a new training session. If the shortness of breath is very great, it is indicated that the individual ceases the training session, rests, and respects the adequate time to recover the muscle fibers. This interval must be at least 24 hours.

Chest Pain

Acute chest pain has never been synonymous with health. But it also does not mean anyone who feels pain and discomfort in the chest area is condemned to have a heart health problem. However, as much as it is a little pain and discomfort, regardless of which side the pain is, stop training and see a doctor to make sure everything is fine. Remember: prevention is better than cure, ALWAYS!

Late Pain

Delayed muscle soreness means that your body is adapting to the stimuli of the previous session and that there has been a break in homeostasis; that is, muscle injuries have occurred, and now is the time for muscle fibers to reconstitute themselves. However, if this late muscle pain lasts longer than 72 hours, it is a very worrying sign. It could mean that there has been an injury that is not beneficial for our body; if the pain symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted for further investigations.

Mood Swings

Overtraining affects your physical ability and development and your mental health. When overtraining, it is very common to feel irritated at a level beyond normal and still suffer spikes in mood during the day. So, if you’re very irritable and suffer several mood swings during the day, beware! It could be that you have been training too much. This is because training causes the level of cortisol (stress hormone) to increase more about testosterone (the hormone responsible for muscle growth). It is the role of sleep and rests on inverting this proportion. When we train too much, cortisol levels do not return to normal concentration levels, generating more physical and psychological stress and a catabolic action.

Bad Sleep

If you train too much, you suffer from more stress, and your sleep is compromised. Waking up several times during the night is detrimental to rest. It affects not only your productivity in the day’s tasks but also in preventing muscle development, mainly during the deep sleep phases of anabolic hormones, such as a growth hormone released in the body.


Overtraining has been considered a myth for a long time. However, evidence shows that it does happen and that it is real. As much as it is more prevalent in athletes, we live in a society obsessed with the perfect physique, where anything goes to achieve the goal.

The lack of breaks, adequate rest, and healthy eating can trigger overtraining, where the individual will only feel worn out, in a bad mood, and still frustrated for not improving his performance. So remember, sometimes less is more. Achieving your goal goes far beyond spending hours at the gym.


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