Overreaching is a systematic attempt to intentionally overstress the body, allowing the body to adapt to the training stimulus beyond the level of adaptation attained during a period of acute overload.11 After this training strategy is adopted, there is a brief decrease in performance lasting for days or weeks, followed by improved physiologic function and physical performance. The difficulty with this kind of training is achieving its positive results while avoiding possible negative effects in the form of overtraining symptoms (described in the next section), recovery from which may take months or years.

Athletes who adopt overreaching training should consider a supporting program, especially regular dry needling therapy, to reduce the physiologic stress to the musculoskeletal system and other systems as well.

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