There is a fine line between proper training and over training.  Over training will produce negative effects on the body.  The mentality for most people is to train hard and with high intensity.  Though it is good to train hard it is just as important to train smart.  Over zealot exercise enthusiast who are not conditioned enough to withstand high intense training are in jeopardy of over training.  Symptoms of over training are; extreme soreness, depression, insomnia, diarrhea, headaches, injuries, tendonitis, irritability, loss of appetite, frequent urination, dehydration, loss of hair, undesirable muscle loss, weight gain, chronic fatigue, colds, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, high cholesterol levels, high cortisol levels, sympathetic overstimulation.  To avoid overtraining it is important to cycle your intensity levels. It is not good to train with high intensity every time you train.  I often see on television these “Boot Camp” classes that have an instructor barking orders and forcing people to go beyond what they are capable of doing.  Though this type of drama is good for television ratings it gives the wrong message to those watching.  People will go the gym or will join an outdoor bootcamp class and will train very hard. They believe that if they go all out (110% intensity)  that the fat will burn off.  They usually end up overtraining.  Ego usually gets in the way training properly.  It is hard to decrease intensity when in a group of peers.  The peers are always trying to out do each other and this reinforces high intensity training which could result in overtraining.  Train smart and train within your own threshold.  It is important to have high intensity days and low intensity days.  If you suffer from any of the symptoms described, you would be better off taking a few days off to let your body recover.  Continuing training while already in an overtrained state will produce poor effects and could cause an injury.  Train smart not necessarily harder.  

Daryl Conant M.Ed