Doing less is harder than doing more


This is something that not many people talk about but it is definitely something I have struggled with throughout my training career and most of us have come across this problem but not even realised it.

The problem I am talking about is overtraining.

Overtraining increases your risk of injury, mental burnout and ultimately has a negative affect on your results.

It is often something that is associated with high level athletes but newbies and anyone who is recovering from an injury can also be effected.


When you are new to exercising it is very easy to over do it. Have you ever started running and realised you quite enjoyed it? This makes you want to go out again because you feel highly motivated but before you know it you have such bad knee pain that you have to give up running for a month or so. By the time you are ready to run again something else has taken it's place in your life.

When we are new to exercise it is important to give our body time to recover and adapt, making sure we are fully ready for the next session. It is easy to get carried away and want to repeat the exercise again the next day or even double the distance we previous done.

When we introduce our body to resistance training the amount of stimulus required for our body to adapt is far less then someone who has been training for a while. In other words you can get really good results by doing a lot less and who doesn't want that?


This is something I have had to include in my training more then I would like to admit due to injuries from my football playing days. Rehab exercises can often feel a little pointless and we have the urge to work a lot harder! However just like a newbie to exercise trying to progress quicker then our body is ready for is only going to prolong our recovery and put's us at a greater risk of developing another injury.

Consistent Exerciser

If you are someone who consistently exercises you are also at risk of overtraining. We often hear phrases like 'no pain no gain' and 'rest is only for the weak' but these couldn't be further from the truth. Going to an exercise class every single night or weight training 7 days a week might sound like a good idea, but you won't be able to sustain this without developing symptoms from overtraining.

Common symptoms of over training:

  • Lack of muscle growth

  • Poor recovery between training sessions

  • Poor sleep quality

  • Loss of enthusiasm

  • Injuries

So how do we prevent overtraining?

The best way is to follow a structured training programme and this should include the following:

  • Adequate volume for individual

  • Gradual progressive overload

  • Scheduled rest days

  • Scheduled recovery weeks

It is also important to focus on good sleep patterns, reduce external stress and focus on a healthy nutritional balance diet.

If you would like help with your programming or have any other questions.

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