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How Overtraining Can Affect Overall Body Health

by Men's Healthy List Staff
exhausted man lying on gym floor after overtraining with barbell

            Overtraining can cause a host of issues for a guy looking to benefit and build his body and though it may be appealing and sound logical for him to bust out 3 times his normal workout when trying to build muscle fast, it is probably a better idea for him to take a supplement of sorts and preform a slightly adjusted daily workout before putting his body health at risk.

When the body is over trained many side effects can and will occur, one of many being a complete reduction, even a halt in testosterone production, meaning real bad news for the guys looking to keep up a love life, this could also mean a halt in sperm production and possible erectile disfunction. Other side effects of overtraining include a possible increase in anxiety and depression, a decrease in the ability to lose fat, body muscle begins to burn, can elevate resting heartbeat (from 50 bpm to 65 bpm) and can even cause muscle strain/deterioration. Along with the aforementioned there are many other potentially severe health problems that may occur due to overtraining.

How does overtraining decrease testosterone production?

tired overtrained man resting after running

Testosterone is a key hormone that is responsible for facial and body hair growth, the male sex drive as well as sperm production. Low testosterone levels can affect each of these areas of a man’s health, the lack of sex drive, hair production and the loss of sperm production can cause a host of issues.

Many men find themselves trying to grow facial hair and or other body hair, whether that be chest hair or even hoping their arms and leg hairs get longer and thicker for a manlier feel. The cause of the decrease in testosterone from overtraining is due to the fat cells that begin to emit the hormone called leptin, leptin signals to your brain that there is enough food in the body to avoid starvation. Because of the over production of leptin, the body halts the production of testosterone.

Along with the harsh blow low-T levels have on the sex drive, sperm production and hair growth, they also influence mental and emotional health. Fatigue and lack of interest, an increase in anxiety as well as irritability are other side effects of over working the body. Depression is also believed to be linked to overtraining, though is not fully believed throughout the medical community to be connected to the hormonal change caused by overtraining.

Overtraining can cause fat gain

In later stages of over-exercising the body will respond by elevating certain stress hormones including cortisol. Overtime this will lead to an increased storage of adipose tissues as well as inhibit the steroid-like hormones that help increase muscle making ability… in turn fat is harder to burn and easier to gain. Gaining weight is the exact opposite of what a guy wants from working out as he is probably doing it to lose weight, gain muscle and confidence.


man holding chest in gym suffering from ArrhythmiaOne of a few potentially life-threatening diseases that is linked with overtraining, but not to be confused with, is Arrhythmias. This is an irregular heartbeat that can cause many heart issues, go completely unnoticed or can become fatal by causing cardiovascular collapse. Arrhythmias has ended many athletes’ careers, avoiding this can be easy if the proper steps are followed and the body is taken care of.

Arrhythmias should not be confused for overtraining. These are misfired pumps in the heart’s lower ventricles that cause extra heartbeats — at times this could be up to 220+ hbm. Arrhythmias can create atrial fibrillations and premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), as well as many other heart irregularities.

Ways to avoid overtraining your body

If overtraining is something a guy wants to avoid, well, no one could really blame him. Avoiding overtraining is quite easy if the proper steps are taken, eating right is a great way to start as a diet packed full of protein will give the body fuel to workout and build the muscle desired. Another way to avoid overtraining is to monitor workout time and frequency, everyone’s body works differently so, be sure to get some good z’s and figure out what are the workout limits for you.

Overtraining is intense working out that causes sometimes irreversible side effects, this should be avoided always whether by maintaining a better more nutrient packed diet, changing sleep habits or going out of the way to time each workout daily and cut it off when the body says its had enough not the brain.

Eating better when it comes to avoiding overtraining, it is important to consume more carbohydrates than you typically would, carbs are a way for the body to have energy to burn and allows the body to build the muscle that is usually desired by the typical man. Eating more carbs means loading up on things like mangoes (these are surprisingly 50 grams of carbs per fruit), bagels (55 grams), breakfast muffins (74 grams), bananas (35 grams per large fruit), dates (74 grams per 4 dates), quinoa (39 grams) and sweet potatoes (42 grams of carbs).

Sleep is another key component in the avoidance of overtraining. When it comes down to it sleep is the driving force to waking life, without sleep working would not be possible and neither would be training. Training is great and all until it becomes so physically exhausting the towels must be thrown in. that isn’t the way it needs t Getting a good amount of sleep each night will ensure a smooth workout and give the body room to rest between workouts. A standard 6-8 hours of sleep a night is a good way to get the body on track and prevent it from exhaustion.


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