Are you overtraining?

There is no doubt that a CrossFit work out is intense. This intensity is the very thing that can accelerate you to higher levels of fitness by increasing your output. However, we need to manage that output with adequate amounts of recovery in order to find an effect dose of training. Sleep, diet, stress, and the frequency of your training will all have an impact on the quality of your recovery. Ultimately it is the recovery that allows you to most effectively adapt to your training. If your recovery isn’t matching your output, you may be running the risk of overtraining.

Overtraining is a condition that manifests in a number of symptoms. The following is a list of things to watch for as signs of overtraining.

1- Joint pain

Joint pain is related to inflammation within or around any particular joint. This can be caused by factors including poor diet, poor technique and over use. While training can be a great way to help rehabilitate joint pain, too much training can worsen the problem. If you are experiencing joint pain during your CrossFit work outs, please consult with a coach. The pain may be remedied with an analysis of particular techniques or perhaps a referral to a professional who can direct your recovery more specifically. A nagging pain is your body letting you know that something needs to be adjusted with your training. Don’t dismiss joint pain and fight through it. Talk to your coach and we can help direct you towards better recovery.

2- Loss of motivation

If you’ve felt like your work outs have been lack lustre, or your finding it hard to get yourself to the gym, this may be a sigh of overtraining. When your stress-recovery ratio is out of whack your body does a good job giving you signs. The tough part is listening to those signs. In this case you may decide to take a couple extra days off during the week to soak up some more recovery. Heck you may even need to take the whole week off. If your in a sate of overtraining and your worried about losing fitness by taking a week off, think again.  Remember the recovery from the stress that makes you stronger and fitter.

3-Sleep disturbance

When you train intensely, all the systems of your body are demanded to kick into overdrive. In recovery, these systems relax and other systems activate to rebuild and prepare for the next bout. If your recovery systems aren’t completing their job this can leave you feeling restless and excitable during sleep. Poor sleep amplifies poor recovery and this too can lead to overtraining.

4- Performance decrease

Tracking your daily performance can tell you a lot about your progress. The whole point of training is to see an improvement in your performance markers. If these things take a general dip and continue to worsen, it could be a sign of overtraining.

The remedy to overtraining is simple, get better recovery. Better recovery comes from better diet, better sleep and sometimes taking a break. Taking a break might just be the best thing to accelerate your fitness to the next level. Be aware of the signs o overtraining and make sure to take appropriate action. Overtraining isn’t something you can just grit your teeth and train through. Ask a coach if you think you are feeling symptoms of overtraining. If you’ve experienced any of this personally, please share in comments. Often times people can connect much better with a personal story from a peer than from our ramblings on the website.


People who misunderstand CrossFit commonly view pictures like these as Overtraining. Those who have experienced an effectively coached CrossFit program, and therefore properly understand CrossFit, easily recognize pictures like these as Recovery, a key component to avoid Overtraining.