Overtraining Vs. Overreaching

ARE YOU OVER TRAINING? // “how do I know if I’m doing too much, not enough or just being lazy?”⁣

& while there is 100% a mental component here. I think this comes form two lines of thought 1) I just be burnt out & dying from every workout or it doesn’t count but then make no progress, feel awful & quit bc I’m lazy or 2) Fitness should not be too hard & if it is it’s too much!⁣

When in reality … it’s more in the middle! Weird 🤪⁣

Common Signs of Overtraining:

  • Persistent heavy, stiff, and sore muscles
  • Persistent fatigue, washed-out feeling
  • Decreased performance/ability to maintain training 
  • Increased susceptibility to infections, colds, headaches
  • Nagging and somewhat chronic injuries
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Decreased mental concentration and restlessness
  • Increased irritability
  • Depression
  • Tachycardia and, in some cases, bradycardia
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Bowel movement changes
  • Absence of menstruation

*There is no concrete diagnosis. Having 1 of these may or may not be due to this!

Overreaching is a normal & necessary part of training adaptation. We have to do more to make progress. But this more doesn’t mean pile on volume out of nowhere. Simply gradually increasing more than we did before, rest + recover, adapt, become fitter.⁣

It’s when we abuse this cycle to always overreaching WITHOUT the rest + recovery — we just dig further into a hole of fatigue + poor performance.⁣

Here’s the thing. Good training IS HARD. You will be fatigued with it. But you shouldn’t 1) leave your workouts so trashed you couldn’t do a little more even if you had to 2) not be able to recover between sessions or across time with food + rest.⁣

It’s the fine balance between “doing more” and “recovery” where we make progress. Sometimes we tip that scale too far. It happens! I do it too. When that happens we may be doing “too much”, go back to rest + recovery (maybe a deload week or phase). Then can continue the cycle.⁣

HOWEVER!!!! For most gen pop non elite people (AKA MOST ALL OF US) these issues are likely more so coming from lifestyle. The things I annoyingly harp on Non stop. We want to overhaul our training but it’s our sleep, stress, life demands & nutrition that are the culprit of our issues. These are why we can’t recover from training vs training alone (but yes may mean doing a little less).⁣

Most of you are likely not overtraining or to the point it’s symptomatic or chronic. But it is real and you might be if you’re a “I refuse rest days train for marathons, & cross train 7x/week my activate recovery is 6 miles & a CrossFit class”.⁣

Here I have some of the common symptoms listed but these are not necessary a diagnosis!⁣

We can train HARD. We just have to be smart 🤘🏻😜 Where are you on my flow chart?

Hey, I'm Lyss!

I’m Exercise Physiologist, sports nutritionist, weight lifter, and ultra runner. I am here to bring science to your training in a no-nonsense way. I have helped thousands of women crush big lifting goals, cross race finish lines, and even do both. I’m here to help you do the same!

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Exercise Scientist, ultra runner, lifter, human.