Early Signs That You Are Overtraining

Oct 07, 2021 | by AIF

What is ‘overtraining?”

Overtraining implies that, with an enhanced training stimulus (excessively near or at maximal), the body and mind are unable to meet demands.

Training is a “stress” applied to the body, and adaptation to these stresses improve our fitness. There are many physiological and psychological adaptations.

But what if the stress is so great that the body fails to adapt? Or what if the stress is compounded with other stresses and adaptation fails? Or if the stress is constantly at too high a level for that person’s physiology?

Inadequate management of these stresses will often lead to an unpleasant phenomenon known as ‘burn out’; a state of physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

Sometimes your client (or you) may have no idea that they are overtraining or even experiencing a state of ‘burn-out’, so it is crucial to look for the warning signs.

Distress signals fall into three categories; all of which are signs of overtraining. Early warning signs may go unnoticed at first, but if they are not recognised they may lead to chronic illness, injury or de-motivation.

1. Physiological signs

Dizziness, headaches, skin disorders, pounding heart, increased resting heart rate (6bpm higher), breathlessness, stomach aches, gastric upsets, fatigue, insomnia, hunger but the loss of appetite.

2. Emotional signs

Anxiety, depression, being temperamental or moody, panic, lack of interest, boredom, loss of self-esteem, and “snappiness”.

3. Behavioural signs

Disturbed sleeping patterns, feeling overtired, frequently distracted, forgetfulness, lack of attention, or lack of attention to detail, abnormal eating habits, loss of appetite, withdrawal from and disinterested in training and competing, but feeling like you “have to” train.

Recognising the warning signs is the first step, then taking enough time to properly rest and recover before getting back into training is crucial.

In the long term, it is important to address the training plan in conjunction with the added stresses in your life and implement practices to help you best deal with these additional out of gym stresses you may be facing.

When creating a new workout schedule, swap one or two of your weekly weights sessions out for something less intense, like yoga or a long walk and ensure you are getting enough sleep, water and healthy food in each day.

If you’re passionate about health and fitness, why not make it your career? the Australian Institute of Fitness Master Trainer Program™ delivers THE most recognised fitness qualification in the industry and is the number one qualification employers are looking for.  Enquire here today!



The Australian Institute of Fitness
Note from the author: Where Certificate III in Fitness or Cert III/cert 3 is mentioned, it refers to SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.


At the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF), we are no stranger to the competitive and evolving nature of the fitness industry. That’s why we remain the #1 fitness educator since 1979. We continuously raise the bar by providing the best education and resources through dynamic and hybrid training methods that mould to your lifestyle. We are strong believers in evidence over fads, so you can be assured your training with AIF will solidify your career for the long-term.

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