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No Pain = BIG Gain

Is Your Exercise Program Wearing You Out?

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We’ve all heard that a combination of diet and regular exercise is the best way to lose weight and keep it off long term. 
 
For some of us, common sense dictates that the more you work out—and the higher the intensity—the better. But that’s not necessarily true. Even if you’ve gradually increased the intensity, duration and/or frequency of your workouts, you can still run into problems. 
 
Have you noticed that your workouts suddenly feel harder than before, even though you haven’t changed anything? Do you feel like you are losing ground, even though you’re working hard? If so, you may be overdoing it.  
 
The cause of overtraining is simple. You’re not resting enough to allow your body time to recover, or you’re doing the same exercises too much. Here are some common symptoms of overtraining:
  • Feeling tired, drained, and lacking energy
  • General body aches or mild muscle soreness
  • A decrease in performance
  • Inability to complete workouts
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation Continued ›
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is a certified personal trainer, certified health coach and advanced health & fitness specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • I think I needed to read this. I went from not exercising at all to doing 40-60 minutes every day. I hate taking days off, but I guess this is a good way to remind myself it's ok to take it easy some days and just take a walk instead of going on the exercise bike. - 7/23/2014 12:08:38 AM
  • TRIPLEM3
    I wish I'd read this sooner! My values of never giving up and discipline coupled with a high pain threshold, has resulted in me being badly injured and unable to do even household chores! I love exercising and the buzz I get from pushing myself, but after a month of being able to do nothing more than walk and cycle, I really wish I'd been able to rest more.. - 7/15/2014 7:35:32 AM
  • Thanks for sharing but this is not something that I'll have to worry about.
    I probably should aspire to it. :-) - 11/6/2013 5:45:18 AM
  • I definitely needed to read this - in July I started from doing NOTHING, and jumped into hitting the gym hard (twice a day, an hour each time, split between lifting and cardio), which I managed to keep up for about 9 weeks. The problem was, I was just worn the heck out. Between the increased calorie burn and the reduced calorie intake, I lost 40+ lb, which is great... but I was feeling stressed / frustrated that I wasn't losing as fast anymore, and felt that my workouts weren't paying off, *and* was starting to get down on myself for being lazy.

    I dialed back for about a week, and feel much better now. I'm still going twice-a-day during the week (lunch and evening), but weekends now have me cutting back to once a day plus doing some kind of "active recovery" (housework, walking around my neighborhood, etc.) - 9/22/2013 1:11:27 PM
  • I'm glad I read this article. My body has been hurting this week and maybe I am over doing my cardio. I did Zumba 3 days in a row but on day two my body felt REALLY tired and day three was no better. I think I am going to start doing that every other day because high intensity Zumba is kind of hard on the body and those in between days can help repair whatever is needed. - 8/30/2013 1:24:17 PM
  • I'm a sick puppy, I enjoy a little muscle soreness. I'm not talking, can't walk soreness, or even everyday soreness; just a little "Ugh" every now and then to remind me that I just did an awesome workout. - 8/30/2013 11:37:52 AM
  • This article is just in time. Yes, I will take this weekend off (after a week and a half with no breaks) and eat very well (maybe throw more veggies in the diet when I'm hungry too) and relax at the beach!

    But, Monday I will be back at it! - 8/30/2013 10:41:36 AM
  • Great article. My hubby tell me all the time that I push myself too hard. Because at nite my left hip really pain me bad. But I fell so guilty if I don't get it in. - 5/17/2013 7:17:13 PM
  • Today my legs are so sore--yesterday hamstrings, today, quads. I worked out Mon and Tuesday, rested Wed and felt better so did class yesterday and today--and now I am sore... More stretching, I guess. - 3/29/2013 5:36:30 PM
  • SARAH0204
    I BEEN GOING TO THE GYM FOR THE LAST 10 YRS AND I BURN OF 1000 CALORIES 3 TIMES A WEEK AND DAYS I NOT THERE I RUN FIVE MILES AND WALK 4 MILES 6 EVENING A WEEK, IM WONDERING IS THIS TO MUCH EXERCISE? I DO GET ANXIOUS IF I DON'T GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING - 10/11/2012 6:20:09 PM
  • This is good info.I just starte recently, haven't experienced this yet. Now I know what to do if this happens. - 9/9/2012 11:10:34 AM
  • AFUTCH04
    This was a very helpful article that helped give me insight for my plateau :) - 7/26/2012 10:03:27 AM
  • SANDIBETTS1
    Thank you for reminding us that commitment should not come with dread. - 6/26/2012 7:46:40 AM
  • I just read this article and it certainly explains why I am feeling the way I am feeling today. I just dreaded getting my bike out for another drive. I didn't want to think about walking - which I love and I didn't even want to look at an exercise video. I think I'm close to exercise burnout. I was blaming this blah feeling on food I had yesterday but maybe I am close to dropping from overexercise.
    I am going to have an offday today and see how I feel tomorrow. - 6/16/2012 10:38:50 AM
  • I personally don't think occasional weight training on consecutive days hurts anyone but I do know I used to weight train everyday as a kid and could never figure out why I was plateauing so often. - 3/26/2012 8:46:32 PM
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