What is Overtraining?

High Intensity Interval Training


Overtraining refers to a prolonged imbalance between training stress and recovery that hinders performance gains and leads to overuse injuries and psychological burnout.


  • Overtraining stems from training too frequently, intensely, or for too long without allowing the body time to regenerate and supercompensate.
  • Symptoms include persistent fatigue, loss of performance, lack of progress, insomnia, irritability, strength loss, and repeated injuries or niggles.
  • Allow proper recovery by scheduling rest days, easy training, and periodically deloading volume and intensity to prevent overtraining.
  • Hard training is productive when managed wisely. Overtraining reflects poor program structure and recovery habits, not simply training hard.


  • Doing 3+ hours of endurance exercise daily without rest days.
  • Continually training through fatigue and injuries rather than taking time off.

Related Terms

  • Overreaching, under-recovery, burnout, deload, periodization

Common Questions

  • What’s the difference between overtraining and overreaching? Overreaching is short term unrecovered fatigue while overtraining becomes a chronic long-term issue.
  • How can I recover from overtraining? Take 1-2 weeks off training, get extra sleep, eat nutritious foods, get massages, and address overuse injuries.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Intense training – Productive when programming allows for adequate recovery.
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