Excessive Resistance Training Impairs Health and Performance

Resistance training has become one of the fastest-growing types of exercise in recent years, but the number of injuries caused by excessive training has also risen. Excessive resistance training, also called overtraining, is commonly caused by training with excessive volume for prolonged periods, using excessive intensity for extended periods or a combination of both excessive volume and intensity.

The January 2001 issue of Current Comments from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) lists the common symptoms of overtraining and provides simple steps you can take to protect your members from it.

Following are symptoms commonly observed from overtraining:

Decreased performance levels, training tolerance and decreased motor coordination
Chronic fatigue, sleep and eating disorders, infrequent menstruation, headaches, muscle damage and soreness, pains and joint aches
Apathy and depression, sensitivity to stress, decreased ability to concentrate and decreased self-esteem
Increased occurrence of illnesses, decreased rate of healing and impaired immune function

If your members experience overtraining, add recovery days to their training schedule to allow them to fully recuperate, and create a periodized training program to provide a variety of resistance exercises to prevent future overtraining. Other ways to prevent overtraining include avoiding monotonous training and training with excessive volume or intensity for extended periods, checking that training volume and intensity are inversely related.

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