Recovery and "Overtraining"
The people that worry the most about overtraining are the ones that don't train hard enough and aren't strong enough to need to worry about it.
On the flip side, the stronger dudes that train like maniacs on a regular basis don't give recovery the respect it warrants and often push themselves beyond their limits.
That's why it's difficult to write about overtraining: the wrong people pay attention. Weak and lazy people use overtraining as an excuse to feel okay about their indolence, while the people that should pay heed are too busy kicking the shit out of themselves to care.
Strength and Real Overtraining
When I first started training I was so anxious to get stronger that I trained almost every day with marathon workouts that would scream "overtraining" on paper. You know what happened? Absolutely nothing. I actually got stronger and it taught me the true meaning of hard work. I wasn't strong enough and hadn't learned how to push myself hard enough to overtrain.
Now that same program would absolutely bury me. On paper my workouts today don't hold a candle to what I used to do, but they still kick my ass even more because the weights I'm using are so much heavier and I've learned how to push myself much harder.
Conventional wisdom would say that the more advanced you get, the more workload you can handle, but that's only true to a point. The stronger you get, the more emphasis you must also place on recovery.
Most people need to worry about undertraining much more than overtraining, but we here at T Nation are part of the few who perpetually ride that fine line between training hard and overdoing it, hence the added importance on recovery methods to ensure we aren't sabotaging ourselves.