Overtraining: Your Guide to Understanding and Recovering



The world of bodybuilding is a pretty cutthroat place. For many, bodybuilding isn’t a sport; it’s a lifestyle, a constant that involves a whirlwind of gyms, gear, supplements, commitment, and more. It goes without saying that the more effort you put in to attaining your goals, the closer you are to reaching the pinnacle of your work. Sometimes, we either see too much progress or not enough, and the results – whether positive or negative – can convince us to hit the gym harder next time with perhaps more reps or extra work. When you constantly put too much of your body too often into such high intensity training regimens, you’re liable to overtrain and reap all of its not so great repercussions.

How do we avoid overtraining? The answer isn’t terribly complex, but we first need to discuss some of the warning signs of overtraining. If you don’t know what these are, you could mistakenly identify them in yourself or another as a small bout of fatigue or, even, a lack of effort. We’ll list them out here for you:

As you can see, overtraining can be a really bad thing. Your goal is to avoid it altogether, and we have some tips on how to do so. By following these steps, you will significantly reduce the risk of overtraining.

Should you succumb to overtraining (double check our symptoms and match them to your own), the cure isn’t too difficult a task. In order to successfully treat your overtraining symptoms, you should follow a few rules. Take at least a week off from your workout regimen. Keep away from alcohol, sugars, and losing sleep. Partaking in all three of these vices can rocket your levels of cortisol to pretty unhealthy heights. In doing so, you may actually worsen your overtraining symptoms. Additionally, you should lay off any supplements that don’t assist your body in recovering, as they too can prevent your full recovery. It’s also recommended to ease off caffeine and other stimulants, as well. Repeat this process until your body feels like it has totally recovered.

When you’re working out – at least, when you’re starting a new routine – you always run the risk of overtraining. If you start seeing the warning signs and begin checking off the symptom boxes we listed above, rest yourself immediately. While overtraining has an easy solution (and a straightforward means of reducing the risk of overtraining), the negative effects of its symptoms on your body can cause harm and, at the least, a significant amount of inconvenience.