Is it true that overtraining does not exist but its instead just under-recovery as to not rest,sleep,drink and eat enough?

  • 1
    I wouldn't know, so I'm interested in the answers that will come forward, but I can't imagine there is no limit to the amount of training a human body can withstand/handle.
    – MJB
    Feb 26, 2018 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


Let's be specific: by "overtraining", we really mean "applying a stress from which the organism cannot recover and adapt" in the context of the General Adaptation Syndrome, which we can summarize here as "stress, recovery, and adaptation".

So, the question becomes: "Is it possible to stress oneself (that is, volitionally) to an unrecoverable extent?" I'm unsure whether this is possible. The accounts of Pheidippides suggest that yes, it is possible. I suspect that other examples exist.

On the other hand, the vast majority of us probably aren't "overtrained".

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    Rhabdomyolysis - A condition of overwork that leads to actual tissue death, which can then cause kidney damage/failure and actual real death if not treated. Was a problem in the early days if HIIT/Crossfit type gyms, often referred to as "Uncle Rhabdo".
    – JohnP
    Feb 26, 2018 at 16:42
  • It seems like distinguishing over-reaching, and over-training is a good idea. Since one can be done easily, and the other is much more serious but way less common.
    – Jordan
    Sep 27, 2018 at 21:36

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