Overtraining vs Overreaching

Overtraining is quite a common term used in the fitness industry. In a nutshell, overtraining can be described as a chronic condition and the incorrect increase in training intensity, which often results in reduced performance and recovery time can take a number of weeks. Now that there is an understanding of overtraining, what do you know about overreaching and how can it be beneficial or harmful to your training regime? Let's unpack it:

Overreaching is the prelude to overtraining and is basically the shorter, less severe form of overtraining, from which you'll be able to recover in just a few days. This temporary condition is the body’s response to taking part in heavier or more intense loads. If a gymthusiast does not allow for their body to recover from this temporary condition, the result could lead to overtraining.

There are two forms of overreaching, functional overreaching which can be beneficial to your day-to-day training, and non-functional overreaching which prevents improved performance.

Functional overreaching

Functional overreaching can be described as a reduction in performance which can be guided into enhanced performance - provided sufficient rest has been taken.

Non-functional overreaching

Non-functional overreaching is the reduction in performance that allows the body to recover completely, but only after a period of rest. This does not lead to improved performance.


When overreaching can be useful and how to prevent overtraining

To put it in simpler terms, building muscle on the damaged or overworked muscle is the process of overreaching. This ultimately leads to muscle growth, which is ideal for a more enhanced physique. To avoid overtraining, certain steps must be taken to avoid long-term damage. These steps include:

·       Developing a stable training regime that works on certain parts of your body each day.

·       Stretching before and after a workout to relieve the tension within the muscles as well as warming them up. This can also be achieved by doing a cardio session before intensive training.

·       Resting the muscles between gym sessions to recover fully. It is also very important to rest when a muscle has been severely damaged to avoid permanent damage. This also includes getting a sufficient amount of sleep.

·       Eating the correct foods is also part of preventing overtraining. Carbohydrates are useful for energy that your body uses for the process of recovery.

It is important to identify the type of training you want to do and what you want to accomplish in your fitness journey and understand at which point you need to take a step back. To get the most out of your training and get the breakdown of a stable and consistent training regime, consult one of our pros.