Overtraining. How Much Training is Too Much?

overtrainingHow Much Training is Too Much?

We all know exercise is good for us, but how much should we do?  According to Australia’s Physical Activity Guidelines, we should be active most (preferably all) days of the week.  In total it is recommended that we accumulate 2.5-5 hours of moderate intensity physical exercise each week.  Furthermore it is recommended we do muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days each week.  Moderate intensity is defined as a level that causes a slight increase in breathing and heart rate.  Provided there is adequate rest incorporated in the program, strength and fitness gains will be made.
Overtraining results when there is excessive training with not enough time for rest after heavy workouts. This results in stress on joints and muscles, and we can develop symptoms of overtraining.  You will notice that you stop making progress, and may even begin to lose fitness and strength. Unfortunately our stubbornness sometimes makes us neglect our body’s signs and symptoms and that’s when we fall victim to nasty overuse injuries.  Furthermore when performance starts to suffer, we often try to train harder which leads to further impairment of results, more increases in training and increased chance of injury.

The typical signs of overtraining include:

  • Aches and pains in your muscles/joints
  • Back, knee, ankle, and foot injuries.
  • Fatigue
  • Elevated morning heart rate
  • Inability to complete workouts
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Frequent illness
  • Loss in appetite
  • Decrease in performance

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms our physiotherapist will be able to tell you if it is due to overtraining. If so, you will likely be recommended to moderate your activity and  increase rest until you are back to normal. Recovery is improved when your body is in good alignment and supported with good muscular balance and control which is where physiotherapy has its greatest benefits. However, if you ignore these problems and continue training, recovery will take a much longer time or even lead to other serious injuries.

Katrina Tuanui (Physiotherapist)


If you would like more information or an assessment please call reception on 95180722 to make an appointment.