Or is it simply a matter of not sleeping enough and not eating enough? I feel like I have been in an overtrained state for 2 years now. I am no longer competitive, I lack strength, my joints are constantly sore, my heartbeat is very low. Soccer isn't fun anymore, and all the lifting is making me smaller. I have tried taking 2 weeks off, and I try coming back slowly, but even bodyweight squats and lunges leave my hamstrings sore for days. I get about 7 hours of sleep but I never feel completely refreshed, EVER. I consume about 3000-3500 calories daily, but I feel my best when I manage 4000-5000, but it gets difficult for me to eat so much. I have thought of taking a year off of any activity, but I don't think I can. Some fitness experts, like Eric Cressey, believe overtraining is a myth and it rarely happens in amateur athletes. Is he right?? If I fix my sleep and eat even more will I get my athletic abilities back?
You might want to look into your cortisol levels.
If you took two weeks off, I would think that any overtraining would have been taken care of, yet you went right back to feeling like crap. Unreasonable tiredness after exercise and long recovery times are classic signs of an adrenal problem.
From my understanding most of the people that say Over-training doesn't exist say its under recovering not by doing to much.
So sleep more, I would say that is the easiest place to start. Do want you need to do and track your sleep, see how you feel. You already know how you feel at 7 hours. Lets up it to 8 and then 9. Keep increasing until you no longer feel any benefit.
If that doesn't work, you may need to take a month or so off, but a year is a little overkill IMO.
I thought I was overtraining so I took a year off and feel it was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. I am so weak now and finding it hard to re-engage. My symptoms got worse not better and it turns out that I had a bad h. pylori infection (overgrowth.) Over-training may exist but I'd look for some lab work to support the diagnosis. Is your cortisol rhythm off. Do you have low T? The threat is real but the fear (especially in this community) is overhyped.
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