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5 signs that show you are overtraining

Updated: May 17, 2023

Training hard and seriously is a great way to improve your muscle mass and your cardiac capacities. This is a good routine to have for a healthy and dynamic lifestyle.

However knowing when to rest and to recover is primordial.

If you are a beginner of even advanced sport person you might want to do too much sometimes, but as you probably know, consistency is the key.

And if you want to last long, you have to be able to train properly and so you have to know when it is time for a break.

Here are 5 signs that show you are probably overtraining.

Performances plateau or decline

You are having a smart programation of your sessions, you are used to track your performances and have implemented progressive overload. You are on the right tracks to improve (check out what are the only 5 ways to improve your fitness).

However, at the moment you are feeling you don't have the same energy, your performances are declining and you have no power.

You might be overtraining.

If you always train the same way, and always want to improve either your reps, loads or set you would probably benefit from a deload week.

After 5 or 6 weeks using the same training method, decreasing your loads, reps or even sets is a good way to take it easier.

You are still getting a good sweat and make your body exercising but with lighter work which will help you actively recover.

man training outdoor blue t shirt black shorts and red shoes with sun
Man training

General fatigue

As a regular physical activity practitioner, knowing how to analyse your body and listening to the feedback it gives you is very important.

With time and experience you will be able to anticipate a potential overtraining period.

But right now, if you are feeling a general fatigue and that even a good night sleep with a sufficient amount of water does not help, you might be overtraining.

Keep resting and eating well until you feel better.

tired woman at the office blue shirt
Tired woman

Missing periods

For women, an irregular menstrual cycle, or a missing periods time might be due to overtraining.

If you are noticing some unusual things happening regarding your periods you probably better slow down on training and refer it to your GP.

Your GP will then be more able to help you with that and give you appropriate advice.

Poor quality sleep

It happens to all of us to wake up and not feeling rested enough. There might be different reasons to that and trying to improve your conditions of sleep is definitely a good idea (what are the best conditions to sleep).

This might just be a coincidence, it happens, or might be related to other reasons (worries, not sleeping at home, stress etc), but combined to the previous signs mentioned above, it might be due to overtraining.

Take a step back on your trainings intensity and see if that helps.

man sleeping on a green bed grey t shirt
Man sleeping

Increasement in tension or confusion

One of the benefits of sport is to help you feel better physically and mentally. From time to time, working out might not feel as enjoyable as it used to be, that is fine, but the general goal is still to make you feel better.

If you notice that you are easily feeling irritated, anxious, nervous or confused whereas you are having your regular amount of energy expenditure you might be overtraining.

Getting enough rest and recovery is as important as training (your 5 essential to recover).

Relax, slowing down for a week and training a bit less won't change anything to your general improvement. It will be beneficial to you to make your body and your brain cool down a little bit.

There are more signs than the ones just mentioned above that show you are overtraining, but from a general point of vue it is important to learn how to connect to your body and listen to it.

Don't be too hard on yourself, everyone has ups and downs, accepting it and adapting the way you train will be benefical on the long term and won't interefer with your final goal if you keep on being consistant.

Being active is a long time life style, not a short term trend.

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