Can you exercise when you're overtrained?
I get this question a lot: Should I be completely sedentary to start feeling better, or can I move a little bit? Is weight lifting okay? What about HIT?
I'm answering all these questions below, but if you want to get started with your recovery today, get my Overtraining Recovery guide!
Assess Where You're At
So, can you still work out even when overtrained?
It depends on where you're at. Are you just slightly overtrained from one workout and now have sore muscles and some fatigue, or are you constantly tired and have several signs of metabolic dysfunction?
Either way, you can still move your body but it has to be done right.
You're Super Healthy – Here's How to Train
👍🏻You're SUPER HEALTHY: Your recovery is great, you seep like a happy baby, hormones are doing great and life is good.
WORKOUTS: You don't need to read this post because you got everything right already!
You're Mildly Overtrained – Here's How to Train
🤔 MILDLY OVERTRAINED: You had a few really hard workouts and your recovery hasn't been that great. You know that with some tweaks and a few more rest days, you get back to normal.
WORKOUTS: 2-4 strength sessions a week, occasional HIT if you'd like to, 1-2 restorative workouts per week.
You're Moderately Overtrained – Here's How to Train
😞MODERATELY OVERTRAINED: This is where things get more off balance. You start having sleep issues, muscles are sore longer than before, it's harder to shake that fatigue, and your periods may become more irregular or the luteal phase (between your ovulation & period) shortens. Less than 11 days is a reason to slow down.
WORKOUTS: 2-3 strength sessions per week but keep it simple. Full rest between sets, letting the HR drop. 2-3 restorative workouts, like yoga or stretching per week.
You're Severely Overtrained – Here's How to Train
🥵 SEVERELY OVERTRAINED: This happens when we don't pay attention to previous phases of OT so we end up having chronic fatigue, no/low libido, periods stop or get very irregular, hair loss, constipation, feeling cold, brain fog, anxiety, depression.
WORKOUTS should be called MOVEMENT instead. Walking, casual leisurely bike rides for fun and not for racing, yin or other super chill yoga where you lay down more than you're moving. No hot yoga and definitely no long cardio or HIT.
Listen to Your Body!
In every stage, it’s super important to listen to our bodies and take rest days as needed. The body gives you the most accurate feedback!