Faster, further, stronger: the lurking danger of overtraining


IBS Publishing Team

Tired after exercise and workout. Overtraining concept. Exhausted woman lying on floor breathing and resting after heavy cardio training in home gym. Sad fitness athlete. Too much working out.

When doing sports, overcoming the physical and mental strands, putting more and more strain on the body without allowing it sufficient time to regenerate and recover, carries the inevitable risk of overtraining.

What is overtraining? – Causes

Overtraining is the result of a lack of regeneration after an overstraining athletic activity. In a comparison, the total load on the body outweighs the regenerative recovery. This also means that symptoms of over-training can affect anyone – hobby to high-performance athletes – regardless of their performance level. Nevertheless, it is precisely the overzealous beginners and ambitious sports enthusiasts who are directly exposed to the dangers of overtraining through excessive disregard for their physical limits.

Recognizing overtraining – Symptoms

After all, overtraining can be self-diagnosed. The first warning signal the body sends to the brain in case of overtraining is: “I can’t go on” and “I want to stop”. If the body works beyond its limits, changes on a physical and emotional level are the result:


Overtraining results in limited resilience. (Source: Pexels / Victor Freitas)

Persistent apathy, lethargy and fatigue

Overtraining affects the whole well-being. Permanent tiredness – even before the training starts – leads to reduced concentration and this in turn leads to permanent irritability and finally to an overall bad mood and in the worst case even depressive phases.

Reduced performance and limited resilience

This aspect goes hand in hand with the psychological changes mentioned above. If the body becomes tired, the accustomed performance standard cannot be maintained. Exercises are no longer performed effectively, but at best they are survived. Progress in performance is thus excluded.

Joint pain and “heavy legs” already during the training

If muscle soreness is usually unavoidable after intensive strength exercises, pain and discomfort during training already point towards a risk in regard to overtraining.

Healing overtraining – treatment

The treatment for overtraining is as obvious as it is simple: stop training immediately. The body should be given the opportunity to regenerate. Muscle mass must heal before it can grow.

The most important thing to prevent overtraining is to accept its physical limits and to understand the physical and mental integrity of the body before sporting ambition.

These tips from personal trainer Dr. Konrad Koczwara can help you avoid overtraining. (Source: YouTube / LivingHealthyChicago)


Well-balanced training units are essential. If you do not give your body enough opportunity to regenerate, you will not make any progress in training and will be punished by the reduction of the previous level of resilience. Only sufficient recovery favours feasible success in the performance level.

Source cover image: iStock / Tero Vesalainen