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Overtrained or Just Sore?


How do you tell if you overtrained or if you are just tired and sore or are they the same...

I worked my ass off last night in the gym (did tons of squats supersetted with
hamstring exercises + some abs for the hell of it). I felt fine (albeit sore especially from the reverse hypers and also because I did a sprint workout two days before on Sunday) right afterwards. But then as the night wore on (I finished lifting at around 2000) and 2300 came around, I was POOOPED. OMG I turned down sex just because my body was rapidly crashing and burning.

This morning I felt like I had a slight headache and couldn't get up, I ended up getting up at 0900 for work...

So what? Did I overtrain? How do you define "overtrain"?


I doubt you're overtrained...but you could be underconditioned.

Or you could have just pushed yourself too much and are now feeling the effects of DOMS (muscle soreness).


Some studies suggest that true overtraining can occur in as few as 6 days. (I'm thinking of one in which subjects did 1RM efforts daily.) This is a little scary, as it appears to take eight or more weeks to rectify.

Typically, if one's recovery is poor for three days in-a-row (beyond just DOMS), he's in a stale state. Depression, lack of enthusiasm, weakness, infections, and still other symptoms can suggest excessive over-reaching. Nutrition is half of the picture but there's also hot/cold contrast showers, massage, power naps, meditation, tapering or removal of gym efforts for a few days, etc. Recovery efforts should equal training efforts on a one-to-one basis (think "accountant's balance sheet"), especially when aggressively increasing intensity x volume.


Last night I had a sore throat and was feeling tired from the previous day's workouts, but I forced myself to do some deadlifts that I had been avoiding.

Despite feeling crappy overall, I managed to get a new PR twice. I cut my workout short, and was barely able to down my post workout drink. I picked at my dinner, and went to bed an hour early, and overslept through two alarms this morning.

My head was still pounding this morning, but other than that I feel pretty decent. It's very uncommon for me to feel like this, but I just got a phone call saying everyone in my family is now sick with some kids of summer flu. Maybe the combination of working out extra hard and a bug has caused you to feel this way too.


But can you overtrain from the result of just ONE workout session in the sense that I worked out Friday, took off Saturday, sprinted Sunday (felt fine), took off Monday, and then lifted Tuesday (BAM I am dead!)?

After doing yoga yesterday and getting lots of sleep, I feel much better today, but man, yesterday SUCKED!


I agree with Nate. You have to overdo it for weeks before you can be overtrained. It sounds like you have some muscle soreness combined with the overall fatigue that happens when your GPP (General Physical Preparation) has been overtaxed. I would continue the workouts but try to keep them shorter by minimizing rest intervals. Then see how you feel in a week and re-assess your condition. Light cardio, massage, stretching and proper nutrition will obviously help. If you're sleeping well it shouldn't take long to build up some endurance and get back to some tougher sessions.


No, you can get pretty fricken' sore from one workout, but unless you're feeling like that all the time, I wouldn't worry about overtraining. If it's really that bad just try and take it a bit easier next time.


This is actually a question I have had in my head for a while, how can one truely indentify if their "overtraining" or rather just pushing themselves?

I nearly always feel some degree of soreness, and especially now that I'm doing GVT :wink:

Is there a certain "measuring stick", some type of method by which one can diagnose if their overtraining?


I think soreness takes place in the muscles (physical realm) while overtraining also affects one's mentality (mental realm)... I think I overtrained, not just from that one or two days worth of workout but just for the past several weeks... I say this because I was unmotivated at the gym again yesterday and a headache started creeping in again. Maybe I should take a backoff week, it's been a while. =]


Thats exactly what I do. Yoga is frickin awesome. I know that sounds gay, but it really helps me alot recovery wise. Bikram in particular. They heat the room to 114 degrees and Iyengar style movements stretch and tone my body in very positive ways. Half an hour in the steam room and hot tub also help, though nothing like relaxing and stretching seem to do as well.


I believe over training has a lot more to do with the nervous system. A back down week can't hurt. If you are having head aches when you are working out you may need to drink more water. Dehydration can cause head aches.


I agree totally, dehydration will give you a headache. That is the main reason hangovers are so intense is from dehydration from the alcohol. In a 90 minute work out weights and cardio I will drink about 90 ounces of water.