When the body can no longer tolerate any additional training stress, it will activate self-protective mechanisms to produce a condition of overtraining, which sport physiologists refer to as overtraining syndrome. This condition is highly individual, subjective, and identifiable only after the athlete's performance and physiologic function have suffered. The first sign of overtraining syndrome is a decline in physical performance with continued training. The athlete feels fatigued, with a loss of muscular strength, coordination, and working capacity. Other primary signs and symptoms are related to the autonomic nervous, cardiovascular, endocrine, and digestive systems, as well as to psychologic conditions. These conditions and their treatment are discussed in later chapters.
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