Anyone actually experienced overtraining?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by gspieler, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. gspieler

    gspieler Red Belt

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    As in, like having medical issues from training too hard/too long/too often/etc? Just curious. Post your own experiences if you want to. Thanks.
     
  2. JimRussel

    JimRussel Purple Belt

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    I’ve experienced less-than-optimal recovery and RSIs, but nothing I’d consider “overtraining”.
     
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  3. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Depends on what you mean by medical issues. If we're talking about something like rhabdo, then it's very rare. If we're talking about too much volume leading to tissue/cell degeneration resulting in either tendinopathies, stress fractures or legit tears then that's more common. The biggest problem with "overtraining" though is the effect on hormones and the autonomic nervous system, but it's not really a medical issues unless it's chronic.

    Back when I was working as a garbage man I trained way too long and did too much stuff. Hard physical labour from 7AM-3PM, training from 3:30PM-6:30PM with ego lifting and HIT stuff mostly. Resultet in, elevated resting HR, shit sleep, shit immune system (sick all the time), never feeling recovered, feeling worn down all the time and no gains. Felt like shit.

    Several factors plays into it like;

    - Genetics
    - Age
    - Roids/no roids (as a natural you don't recover the same)
    - Training history
    - Training style (intensity, volume, mental associations, rest times, environment)
    - Stress levels (the two influence each other)
    - Diet
    - Attitude

    EDIT (for the nerds):
    Briefly going into the physiology. Hormonal wise it seems like mainly the HPA-axis, which is the hypotalamus, pituitary and adrenal gland, function is effected (1, 2, 3). While abnormal resting cortisol levels and norephedrine has been shown, the hormonal response is not well established in the literature. That partly has to do with the heterogenity of groups (meaning that when comparing individuals across all sports and intensities the group is not very much alike) and that the endocrine system is complicated. At this time it seems that the most reliable hormonal markers for prolonged overtraining are decreased ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic hormone), which is a precurser to cortisol, and GH (Growth Hormone) in response to physical activity and/or stress (4).

    When it comes to the autonomic nervous system (ANS) the interplay has been known for some time. There seems to be a connection between overtraining, hormonal response and the ANS (5, 6). Newer reasearch shows a clear correlation between overtraining and reduced Heart Rate Variability (HRV) (6, 7). Low HRV is an indicator of sympathetic activity, which is the part of the ANS more commonly known as the "fight and flight" system. Meaning that overtraining can lead to being in a prolonged "fight or flight" state (at least as far as your nervous system is concerned), resulting in more stress, worse recovery, mood changes, increased fatigue and worse performance (8).

    While having reliable biomarkers is a big help, all the fancy stuff aside just listen to your body. If you feel like shit all the time, worn down, mood getting worse, performance decreasing and you feel anxious, you're probably overtrained/over stressed (they go hand in hand).
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  4. BillytheFish

    BillytheFish Purple Belt

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    During a few months of particularly hard boxing training I got to the point where after 2 sessions in one week I felt nauseous and lethargic to the point I felt like blacking out. Ended up taking 2 weeks off to recover. At the time I was doing 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours training in the afternoon 6 days a week.

    On my walk home from the gym I sat on the sidewalk and nearly passed out in broad daylight, didn't even have the energy to stand up for 30mins. No pain- just zero strength...and it wasn't anywhere near the hardest week of the training when I hit that point...I believe it was the accumulation over time of training at an intense level without enough rest.

    Experienced similar training for a military selection where my running times dropped by literally minutes for what I thought was no apparent reason. Just pushed too hard for too long.
     
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  5. Badger67

    Badger67 Taxidea taxus

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    My only ammy fight in 2009.
    Was supposed to make 130, i came in at 124. Was pale white, sickly. I legit overtrained, was doing 2 a days on a drastic caloric deficit, was waking at 5am to work for 5:30 and wasn't able to go to bed until 2 am. Shit sucked. No serious medical issues, just basic over training.
     
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  6. corpse

    corpse Random Belt

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    heavy manual labour for 60+ hours, family issues, sleep disorder, alcohol consumption, succeeding depression and working out like an idiot to compensate for all the psychological stuff led me to protracted infections (throat, bladder, tonsils) and permanent fatigue and more depression.

    i repeated the whole circus several times over 3 to 4 years.

    i started to step back, meditate, listening to my body for real and changed the profession.

    i still work out too much sometimes but my body tells me immediately to calm down.

    below the line: listen to your body, eat and sleep.

    but you only learn this with age i think...

    take care
     
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  7. corpse

    corpse Random Belt

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    i learn so much from your posts. thank you again, man

    cheers

    edit: i was a garbage man, too haha
    shift was from 6 am to 6 pm, i came home and did the 50/20 thing with sandbag clean & press or 1 armed dumbbell clean & press. after the workout, going downtown and getting drunk. "good times" haha
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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  8. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Haha I know what you mean. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun times too!
     
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  9. beat...people...up?

    beat...people...up? Orange Belt

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    When I was a distance runner, I trashed my body by overtraining and undereating (because lighter = faster) so I'd do like, 4 miles in the morning 8 mile workout in the evening on maybe 1600 calories and way too few carbs. I wound up with diagnosed hypothyroidism, amenorrhea [super common in female athletes who are underweight or even just undereating], fatigue, constantly feeling cold, depression/irritability, and three nonhealing stress fractures. It took me years to dig out of that and I had to quit the sport, which is how I took up weight lifting and ultimately grappling.

    ETA: I know I'm female but men also suffer hormonal effects from overtraining, fyi. A male friend of mine was anorexic and his testosterone levels took ages to recover.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  10. gspieler

    gspieler Red Belt

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    You're a habitually good poster. Thanks for sharing.

    The reason I started this thread was because I have a medical issue. The onset was vision problems, confusion, chills, anxiety, and elevated HR. All symptoms except the vision come and go. But when they are present, they are debilitating. I am seeing a PA to try and diagnose, but no luck yet(she thinks may be vertigo, but cause unknown). Getting a CT Tuesday as well. The only thing in my lifestyle that's been different is training more(doing steady-state cardio 2x/day for past few months and lifting 3x/week). I thought there may be a relationship, but not clear. Just wanted to hear others experience, to see if any commonalities existed.
     
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  11. gspieler

    gspieler Red Belt

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    Thanks everyone who has contributed thus far.
     
  12. pokerandbeer

    pokerandbeer Green Belt

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    yea I have. I drove my CNS into the ground with too many rack pull sets. Never ever again
     
  13. Badger67

    Badger67 Taxidea taxus

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    I think i may have done that once with deadlifts on 5/3/1
    I did like 30 reps ish and was so tired but couldnt sleep for 2 days. Felt like a junkie
     
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  14. pokerandbeer

    pokerandbeer Green Belt

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    same here. Deadlifts and rack pulls will tax you like crazy especially if you are also squatting heavy during the week competing for recovery.
     
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  15. dannysmith

    dannysmith Blue Belt

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    Never overtrained, just unrecovered.

    Check out Chris duffin on instagram/YouTube

    He' squatted 800lbs every day for 30 days. He talks about the recovery aspect of that particular feat being tremendously difficult.
     
  16. pokerandbeer

    pokerandbeer Green Belt

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    thats crazy i like it
     
  17. wufabufa

    wufabufa Brown Belt

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    I can usually tell when I've been pushing too hard. I usually get really poor sleep and have a hard time regulating my temperature. Almost like I have a low grade fever with a headache. I don't know if its considered overtraining but it certainly is a symptom when I have really hard days of lifting followed up with cycling the following day for a week straight. I also work a physically strenuous job that can be emotionally draining and stressful with productivity standards that are usually hard to meet.

    I nearly blacked out at work one afternoon some years back. I was trying to lift, train BJJ, and cycle with barely any rest days. I wasn't eating enough and had also just moved across the country to start my career. Although I'm still pretty bad at managing stress I'm way smarter about deloading every 4-5 weeks to let my body do some healing.
     
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  18. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    You're welcome :)

    Well while they all could be signs of physical/mental stress, the gradient sounds strong. Vertigo would be accompanied by the classic symptoms most likely as well. It's really hard to say if there's a relationships between your increased volume in training and what you are experiencing. Maybe try to scale down the intensity a bit and see if it helps, remember to rest and digest too. Definitely get checked out at the docs and see if they can rule anything serious out. Good luck with everything, keep us posted if you feel up to it!
     
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  19. Sano

    Sano Black Belt

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    Overtraining and underrecovering is in many ways the same thing. The basic physiology of exercise is stimuli-degeneration-regeneration-adaption.

    It's always hard to use a single example. Just because someone like Chris Duffin can lift near his max on a select exercise for 30 days as an experiment, and do alright under the circumstances, doesn't mean another person would be able to do the same. They very well might as long as they can adapt to it, but there are several influencing factors as explained earlier.

    You are entirely right in that managing recovery is a very important. It might be the most important thing. With that said, someone like Chris Duffin has a very long training history. He's adapted in ways that other people have not. He might have a certain innate mental and physical disposition that helps him recover. He's probably able to take the time he needs to unwind, and doesn't have a stressful job on the side (I'm guessing lifting is his job?). More importantly, he's on anabolics/PEDS.

    You can think of overtraining like a seesaw. On the one end there is recovery (unwinding, diet, sleep, mental attitude, job, social relations, health, training history, age, genetics, so on) and on the other is training (volume, intensity, frequency, type, so on). They both effect each other.

    Most people can work out and push themselves hard just fine. Sometimes you need to dial it back for a while, it happens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  20. Pugilistic

    Pugilistic Red Belt

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    I've been getting injuries in my back and hips from doing everyday tasks like getting up from the toilet or opening the door. One time I felt a sharp pain while shifting my weight in my chair while at work. These injuries would happen every couple weeks or so.

    I realized I was making a few grave mistakes. I was trying to hit my one rep max every time I lifted. On days I didn't lift, I went to the boxing gym and went hard on the bags, so I didn't have a lot of rest days. I wasn't stretching and warming up properly both pre and post work out. I went to get a massage and lady said I was full of knots and suggested that my muscles have tight and are pulling on other parts of the body, facilitating injuries.

    Some suggested it's age but I'm only 32. For the past month I've been training smarter and stretching almost every day. Also been getting a massage once a week or two. So far no issues but a mild pain (that I got while picking up my umbrella) around my glute area that I've had for several weeks refuses to go away. I don't know what the exact issue is. Stretching helps and it doesn't hurt while lifting, but it does sometimes hurt while standing or sitting. I can't tell if lifting is affecting it or not. Although I can tell boxing (twisting motion when punching) is for sure affecting it.
     

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