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Does overtraining exist?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Or is it simply a matter of not sleeping enough and not eating enough? I feel like I have been in an overtrained state for 2 years now. I am no longer competitive, I lack strength, my joints are constantly sore, my heartbeat is very low. Soccer isn't fun anymore, and all the lifting is making me smaller. I have tried taking 2 weeks off, and I try coming back slowly, but even bodyweight squats and lunges leave my hamstrings sore for days. I get about 7 hours of sleep but I never feel completely refreshed, EVER. I consume about 3000-3500 calories daily, but I feel my best when I manage 4000-5000, but it gets difficult for me to eat so much. I have thought of taking a year off of any activity, but I don't think I can. Some fitness experts, like Eric Cressey, believe overtraining is a myth and it rarely happens in amateur athletes. Is he right?? If I fix my sleep and eat even more will I get my athletic abilities back?

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Cortisol issues can (and frequently do) result from chronic stressors on the body, such as excessive exercise without sufficient recovery time and other support such as adequate nutrition, sleep, etc... Add in any psychological stress and you can really screw with your adrenals.

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Wow, you're sensitive. I'd say whether on not it exists is an open question. My opinion is still that cortisol issues are a more likely source of the OP's issues.

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Yes it exists, i was diagnosed with it. No need to be so offensive.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:21 PM

RaiseFitness...I currently lift heavy 2 times a week, do a sprint endurance routine for 2 hours a week, and play 3 soccer games a week, 2 very low intensity, and one high intensity game. I also have a very active job at a nursery where I am constantly moving for 8 hours.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:19 PM

That is my biggest fear actually. I am afraid to lose all my muscle and current athletic abilities. I have no idea how my T is doing, but I do get morning wood. I have a feeling my adrenals are somewhat messed up.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I eat lots of sweet potatoes, chicken, fish and currently adding oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil, although they make me feel like shit. I eat large servings of vegetables and fruit in moderation. I don't consume nuts because I get some inflammation from them, but eating nuts makes getting a lot of calories easy.

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 11:54 AM

So, you believe that "overtraining" does exists, then? I don't, even though I used the word. I do think that recovery is important, which shouldn't take more than 2 weeks, unless you are an invalid.

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on July 14, 2012
at 08:53 AM

I disagree with you, if ROB is really overtrained two weeks off does NOT take care of it. With overtraining you have to keep your heartrate below your anaerobic threshold for 6 weeks and then slowly add duration first and then intensity

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 14, 2012
at 02:21 AM

What are you doing for training....on a daily or weekly basis? Sounds like overtraining and under recovery. They are essentially the same thing, no matter what people call it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I see this happen to so many people, they go "but I'm not hungry after practice/workouts/etc. They feel fine for a few hours, then they eat when they get hungry. Then they wake up the next day feeling under recovered, perform worse the following workout or just stall, and don't ever connect the dots. If you want to push it at a high level you gotta recover. Every high end athlete consumes something like gatorade, fruit, etc during and after events, and always before.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:56 AM

I always considered people who say they are over training as simply just recovering insufficiently. Peri-workout nutrition is of great importance for a high level athlete. Obviously don't neglect rest, stretching, foam rolling, massage, active recovery, sun, relaxation, etc either. But to me I always considered over training just simply under recovering.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:54 AM

I always considered it to be under-recovering. Focus on your recover (peri-workout nutrition). What you consume around your workouts if you train at a high volume and/or high volume is the are the most important meals. Sleep, stretch, massage, foam roll, etc. In my view, over training is simply a case of under recovering.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Yeah a year does seem like a lot. I really need to increase my sleep, but it is hard when I automatically wake up at about the 6-7 hour mark.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:05 AM

Yeah I took 2 weeks off last month, but right when I began training again I started feeling like crap. Either my recovery sucks, causing me to overtrain,or I have been in an overtrained state for so long that any exercise screws me up.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on July 14, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I have a similar issue. Despite training for a couple years, I'm realizing I plateaued long ago. Not sure how much rest I'll need, but even just a couple days away from hard exercises has made a difference in joint pain and strength.

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4 Answers

best answer

1
Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

on July 14, 2012
at 02:11 AM

You might want to look into your cortisol levels.

If you took two weeks off, I would think that any overtraining would have been taken care of, yet you went right back to feeling like crap. Unreasonable tiredness after exercise and long recovery times are classic signs of an adrenal problem.

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Cortisol issues can (and frequently do) result from chronic stressors on the body, such as excessive exercise without sufficient recovery time and other support such as adequate nutrition, sleep, etc... Add in any psychological stress and you can really screw with your adrenals.

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Wow, you're sensitive. I'd say whether on not it exists is an open question. My opinion is still that cortisol issues are a more likely source of the OP's issues.

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:48 PM

Yes it exists, i was diagnosed with it. No need to be so offensive.

Cd717290eb43a6e17061f9920deed977

(1267)

on July 14, 2012
at 11:54 AM

So, you believe that "overtraining" does exists, then? I don't, even though I used the word. I do think that recovery is important, which shouldn't take more than 2 weeks, unless you are an invalid.

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on July 14, 2012
at 08:53 AM

I disagree with you, if ROB is really overtrained two weeks off does NOT take care of it. With overtraining you have to keep your heartrate below your anaerobic threshold for 6 weeks and then slowly add duration first and then intensity

1
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on July 14, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I thought I was overtraining so I took a year off and feel it was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I am so weak now and finding it hard to re-engage. My symptoms got worse not better and it turns out that I had a bad h. pylori infection (overgrowth.) Over-training may exist but I'd look for some lab work to support the diagnosis. Is your cortisol rhythm off. Do you have low T? The threat is real but the fear (especially in this community) is overhyped.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:19 PM

That is my biggest fear actually. I am afraid to lose all my muscle and current athletic abilities. I have no idea how my T is doing, but I do get morning wood. I have a feeling my adrenals are somewhat messed up.

1
60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:47 AM

You give us your calories, but can we see a sample diet?

Also, 7 hours isn't very much, especially if it's broken up. When I am pre-comp, I aim for 10 if I can swing it.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I eat lots of sweet potatoes, chicken, fish and currently adding oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil, although they make me feel like shit. I eat large servings of vegetables and fruit in moderation. I don't consume nuts because I get some inflammation from them, but eating nuts makes getting a lot of calories easy.

1
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on July 14, 2012
at 12:40 AM

From my understanding most of the people that say Over-training doesn't exist say its under recovering not by doing to much.

So sleep more, I would say that is the easiest place to start. Do want you need to do and track your sleep, see how you feel. You already know how you feel at 7 hours. Lets up it to 8 and then 9. Keep increasing until you no longer feel any benefit.

If that doesn't work, you may need to take a month or so off, but a year is a little overkill IMO.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on July 14, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Yeah a year does seem like a lot. I really need to increase my sleep, but it is hard when I automatically wake up at about the 6-7 hour mark.

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