Women's Health

The Over/Under On Performance – Oxygen Magazine

Let’s say you have a friend who has been training consistently for a long period of time. She never misses a workout, and every time she trains, she works at a high intensity, pushing herself to that red line day after day. After several months, she complains about feeling unmotivated, fatigued and irritable, and she expresses concern about her plateaued progress, trouble sleeping and a persistent soreness that rarely abates.

Woman lifting weights

Are you overtraining, or under-fueling?

The Over

Given these symptoms, you’d likely identify her issue as overtraining, and indeed this could be the culprit. Overtraining occurs when the volume and frequency of your activity exceeds your recovery capacity, either from programming that progresses too quickly or from boosts in training volume that last for extended periods without allowing for adequate rest and recovery. Overtraining causes oxidative stress, which is a natural part of exercise as your body metabolizes oxygen to produce energy and encourage cellular repair. This process also produces free radicals, which are normal to some degree. However, with overtraining, the number of free radicals produced overwhelms the repair processes and can damage cells, DNA and mitochondria, causing inflammation, muscle fatigue and soreness that negatively impacts performance.

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