Risks of Training Too Much

One of the many risks we face when exercising is falling into the trap of training too much. This is something that's truly damaging to our objectives, our health, and our physical and mental wellbeing.
Risks of Training Too Much

Last update: 20 January, 2021

Being motivated is a fundamental attitude that every athlete with hopes to improve should have. However. it can also backfire. If we don’t approach training calmly and we dedicate the time that should be spent resting to it, we may suffer some of the risks of training too much.

Why is it necessary to moderate our training periods? Due to the fact that when we train, certain phenomena happen within the body, and to ensure these are positive, we must allow for a period of rest. The more demanding and rewarding the exercise has been, the more important the rest.

For example, when training in a gym, we break the muscle fibers and tissues. Later, as a reaction to this process, we experience a cycle of recuperation that promotes growth.

If we didn’t have a rehabilitation period, we’d be making an extremely common mistake. It’s at that point we become at risk of overtraining.

Symptoms that can suggest you’re training too much

  • Exhaustion or fatigue: a direct consequence of a lack of rest between training sessions
  • Unmotivated and lack of concentration: doing something repeatedly, especially if it requires effort, can weigh on us mentally. As such, it’s normal for us to find ourselves unable to concentrate or struggling to focus.
  • Performance drop: as a consequence of the two previous points, our level of performance won’t be the same if we train too much.
  • Problems sleeping: have you ever been so tired that you can’t sleep? Although it seems contradictory, overtraining may cause us to struggle to sleep.
  • Bone diseases: training too much lowers the levels of estrogen in our bodies, which can affect our bones and joints due to osteoporosis. This can also cause hormonal changes, which in extreme cases may lead to a stop of the menstruation cycle.

In addition to the above symptoms. there are some that develop more frequently; training too much can lead us to lose too much weight, suffer a lack of appetite, anxiety, and even depression. Likewise, it can affect the immune system and this then makes it easier to develop illnesses and injuries.

Advice on how to avoid the risks of training too much

Train progressively

It’s fundamental to increase the weight you work with gradually and don’t try to surpass the limits of your own body. Also, it’s advisable that your training routine is based on a combined style of training; have some days of intense training mixed with days where you use more moderate exercises.

Follow a healthy diet that reflects your type of training 

Risks of Training Too Much
Your diet should ensure that you ingest all the necessary nutrients.

Here, diet, as it always does, plays an essential part in our lives. It’s important we provide the body with the necessary ‘fuel’ it needs to replace lost energy, as well as offering it the tools to reconstruct muscles and tissues.

Training too much can cause your body to produce an elevated level of cortisol, a hormone generated by the suprarenal glands in situations of stress or pressure.

Cortisol’s function is to ensure the mind and muscles respond in intense moments; it burns greater levels of energy and body fat. The bad part is that if you continuously produce this, cortisol can lead to a state of muscular disintegration that puts you at risk of exhaustion or suffering an injury.

Knowing when to stop

If you have felt any of the symptoms mentioned above or you feel you can’t keep up with your training routine, you should stop to avoid injuries. You can reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of your training to avoid overtraining.

Start gradually

Training too much and the subsequent consequences are common in those that are new to training. Normally, the thirst for improving can lead you to forget your own limits, which is where problems arise.

You can’t force yourself to reach your goals within a week. As such, one of the first lessons that you must remember as a newbie to the training world is that rest is an indispensable part of your training.

Overall, you must remember that the risks of training too much aren’t exclusive to one specific sport nor to just professional athletes. It can happen to anyone, of course. considering the potential and physical condition of each individual.

As such, it’s important to train moderately and continue progressively regarding the amount you train with and your objectives. In addition to looking after our bodies, we have to help our minds keep motivated and satisfied with our realistic and short-term achievements.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.