Exercise: How Much is Too Much? 3 Ways to Know if You're Over-training

If you read our last article (which you can by clicking HERE), you know the reasons that you should be exercising. Now that you’re convinced and you want to start, there is one all-important rule that you should know:

Even fitness veterans make this mistake. Just because you’re exercising 7 days a week doesn’t mean you’re doing your body good. Over-training is a serious condition that can have quite the impact on your body.

More does not mean better.

Are you training too much?

Let’s take a look at the top 3 ways to know if you’re giving your body far more than it can handle.


There are three tell-tale signs that your body can’t handle the stress you’re putting it under. Here’s what to watch out for and how to fix the issue if you are experiencing it.

  1. You’re Always Tired

Being groggy in the morning is one thing but if you can’t make it through your day without nodding off, there’s a problem.

When you exercise, you are stressing (in a good way) both your muscles AND your central nervous system. Guess which one takes longer to recover?

If your CNS isn’t able to bounce back after a series of workouts, then you’ll start noticing a disruption in your sleeping patterns. You may be sleeping all the time but STILL feel awful.

What Can I Do?

  • This is the first sign of over-training.
  • If you find yourself under extreme fatigue, take a week off.
  • Consider taking a daily walk instead of hitting the weights.
  • Once you start feeling better, re-structure your program to allow for more rest days.
  1. Your Body Is Constantly Sore

No pain, no gain, right?

Most times, this is spot on.

If you’re over-training, on the other hand, this is bad news. 

Being sore for 24 to 48 hours following a workout is normal but if your body just won’t seem to recover, that’s a red flag. Just like we talked about above, your muscles need time to repair, recover, and grow.

If you’re constantly pounding out workout after workout without adequate nutrition, then that’s a recipe for trouble.

What Can I Do?

  • First, take some time off. Consider an easy walking program for a week.
  • Increase your nutritional intake. Your muscles need nutrients to repair themselves.
  • If you start feeling better, re-evaluate your program and allow for more breathing room.
  1. You’re Losing Muscle, Gaining Fat

Over-training produces a catabolic environment in the body. If an anabolic environment encourages muscle growth, what do you think a catabolic environment does?

Your body will start breaking down its own muscle tissue. (Yikes!)

What’s more, your body will be more prone to store fat as opposed to use it for energy.

The result is less muscle and more fat.

What Can I Do?

  • If you’re working your butt off and you start noticing that you’re losing your gains, hit the brakes.
  • Take a week off then reconsider your program.
  • You should be using a de-loading phase every 3 or 4 weeks to offset the punishment on your body.


Have you dealt with overtraining in the past?

How did you know?
What did you do to get back on the horse?

Let us know in the comments below!


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