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The dangers of over (and under) training

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

The dangers of over (and under) training

I am often pressed by clients as to what to avoid when training in the gym (or indeed elsewhere for that matter) or when building a sustainable fitness programme.

There are of course many risks that those looking to sustain a workout plan over a period of time can face; following the wrong diet, using gym equipment incorrectly, not understanding the issues around the use of supplements (about which I have written before), and so on. All require education and the ability for those training to make the right, informed choices to avoid injury or disappointment.

For me though, one of the key things to be aware of, and to avoid if at all possible, is the risk of either over or undertraining when following a structured fitness programme.

Overtraining, particularly, will be something that many who train regularly (especially those working to set goals) will be familiar with. Undertraining, the often overlooked close cousin of overtraining can also be a risk for those who set out on a structured fitness programme, and is also to be avoided whenever possible.

But what do we mean, when we talk about over or undertraining?

Overtraining refers to training so hard, or for so long, that it is not possible for the person so doing so to recover from the exertion and physical demands that a workout places on the body and mind. Without sufficient time for recovery be