What is Overtraining and How To Avoid It


Overtraining is a term that a lot of people may not be familiar with. Basically, overtraining occurs when you don’t listen to your body or when your body has ultimately hit a plateau. I know about overtraining first-hand because I’ve been sick for 2 long weeks. I initially had a cold but because I have Asthma it turned into a chest cold, commonly known as Bronchitis. I also ended up with a sinus infection. These had to be the worst 2 weeks of my entire year. I literally just wanted to lay in bed and do nothing. I knew eventually my body would make me stop and sit down, and that’s what it did.

Here are the signs and symptoms of overtraining:

  • Not enough sleep
  • Not being able to relax, no free time
  • Always in a rush
  • Upset stomach
  • Not satisfied with things in your life
  • Decreased performance while working out (bored with workouts)
  • Headaches
  • Drained, lack of energy
  • Pain in joints
This list can go on and on.

I admit, I did overtrain for my last competition. It wasn’t intentional but it happened. The signs that I experienced were:

  • Not enough sleep
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Stressed out (too much on my plate)
  • Weight didn’t stay down like it should have
  • Retained water
  • Bored with workouts
  • Emotional breakdowns

My body was just done and after my last show in October, I said I would take a break but I couldn’t even refrain from working out for two weeks. Being a part of the health and fitness industry, I realize I too have to take heed to my own advice and listen when my body says it needs a break.

You should do the same.

If you feel that your workouts are suffering then, 9 times out of 10, your workouts are suffering. Take a break! When you can’t perform at 100% and your form is lacking, but you continue to train and sacrifice because you feel the need to get the results you want RIGHT NOW; your body is suffering and may give out on you.

Here are some tips to avoid overtraining:
  • Allow a day or two of rest between workouts
  • Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night
  • Switch up your routine after 2-3 weeks
  • Take some time out for yourself and do something that you enjoy
  • Try a group exercise class once a week (I know I do)

About MoniqueB

Hi I'm Monique. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.S. in Kinesiology. I'm a personal trainer and NPC Figure competitor who loves transforming bodies. I am also currently enrolled in a Master's program.