It is an honor to treat and work with a pretty motivated and diverse population of athletes. Across all segments – high school, college, tactical, CrossFit, and yoga – a common condition we see is the chronically over-trained individual.
In this video Dr. Theresa Larson discusses what overtraining is, how to know if you are in an overtrained state, the concept of overreaching, and general adaptation syndrome (GAS).
One area not discussed in the video is the body’s endocrine responses to prolonged periods of overtraining. There are several, but the primary responses are as follows:
- Increased levels of creatine kinase, which can lead to muscle damage.
- Decrease in muscle glycogen, which is your body’s stored fuel. Overtraining also reduces the body’s lactate response, which means it is less efficient in turning lactate into fuel. Less fuel = less energy.
- Increase in cortisol, the ‘stress’ hormone. Higher level of cortisol causes the body to fatigue more quickly.
If you are an athlete with intentions of competing and performing at the highest level your body, mind, and spirit can handle, be sure to be mindful of rest, nutrition, and progression of training. Also, always keep in mind stable positions and maintenance on your stressed tissues. When you do get a rest week – take it, your body will thank you!