How to Avoid Overtraining

Avoiding Overtraining can make your workout safer and more effectiveHow to Avoid Overtraining

Is it True, Less is More?  JOI will explain how to avoid overtraining.

It can be tempting to go all-out with training. Sometimes once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

But there’s a point at which you start doing more harm than good. Muscle fatigue sets in, and the body starts to get overloaded in a situation known as “overtraining”.

How to Avoid Overtraining?

The quick answer is overtraining can occur in any type of fitness activity. It happens when you perform more training than your body can handle or recover from.

Your body functions on nerve impulses sent from the brain through the spine to tell the muscles what to do.

When you overtrain, it actually overloads the system and causes the impulse to weaken and become less effective.

Here are the signs of overtraining:

  • You lack motivation: Instead of invigorated, your training leaves you flat. 
  • You have increased soreness after a workout: This is a soreness that borders on pain and actually will last for a few days. 
  • You stop seeing results: Working out too much can actually cause you to lose muscle and add fat. This happens as the body produces a lower testosterone (also bad for females) and an increased level of cortisol. The body will increase both insulin resistance and fat storage. 
  • You become restless or lose focus: High training levels cause your sympathetic nervous system to go into hyper-drive. This causes restlessness and inability to focus. It also results in loss of sleep. 
  • You feel sluggish all day: Again a result of decreased testosterone and increased cortisol levels, which can actually produce cold-like symptoms.
  • You being to have chronic soreness in the joints, bones and limbs: DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is normal after a workout, but if you feel like a Mack truck hit you, then that is overtraining. 
  • You are getting sick more often: You work out to be healthy, but if overtraining can actually weaken your immune system.

How to avoid overtraining:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat right. 
  • Vary your training routine. 
  • Take 1-2 days between training sessions to recover.

If you want to learn more about other medical conditions and topics, go to  Please call 904-JOI-2000 or schedule online to make an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Physician. 

By: Drew Heideman, PT, ATC

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