Building High-Performance Muscle™
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How Hard Is It to Overtrain?
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TrojanMan2011
Level

Join date: Jul 2011
Location:
Posts: 7

Hello All,

Ive been lifting off and on the past 4 years, with past 2 years being very dedicated. My routine has evolved into a kind full body compound lift routine with a lot of weight and a lot of volume.

An example of typical work out:
10 sets of cleans ... last 2 sets my maxes (pyramiding 10,10,8,8,6,6,5,5,3,3)
8 sets heavy standing military press ... again approaching maxes (pyramid again)
7 back to back sets of weighted dips and heavy pull overs
5 sets chin ups/5 sets pull up...10 per set...alternating till i hit a 100 total

Then bicep curls and tricep whatevers if im not to exhausted or I might super set them with a compound lifts that I did earlier.


I'll do variations of the routine above with squat, bench, back rows, deadlifts etc. Basically any compound lift with a ton of volume and weight.

Have any of you veterans here tried a similar approach and then fall back on your routine's difficulty significantly?

I use to do the 5 x 5 but I feel because of where I am at routine wise this maybe too easy.

I would like to improve and make my routine harder but i'm not sure how much harder I can make it on myself. Strength wise I can say I am one of the strongest people in my gym however my physique certainly doesnt show it...I started doing this routine to "tone" up. I see others in my gym who do 90 minutes of biceps and shrugs and look much better than I do...but I feel like these exerciss are a waste of time...


Am I doing too much?? Is my volume/routine possibly why my composition isnt improving??

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caveman101
Level 2

Join date: Jan 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3469

if you can recover and progress, you aint over training. that sounds like a damn fun session

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fr0IVIan
Level 3

Join date: Sep 2010
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1986

how many times are you in the gym every week doing this kind of thing?


are your weights going up?


is your body weight going up?

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TrojanMan2011
Level

Join date: Jul 2011
Location:
Posts: 7

fr0IVIan wrote:
how many times are you in the gym every week doing this kind of thing?


are your weights going up?


is your body weight going up?



I'll follow this kind of routine 2 days on, 1 day off. Every once and a while I'll take 2 days off because I'll be too sore. My weights have been rising very slowly. I can't keep the pace of progress I once had when I first started. My body weight seems to be at a stand still at around 220 lbs for over a year now.

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Chris87
Level

Join date: Nov 2010
Location: South Carolina, USA
Posts: 1983

There are a couple things you need to keep in mind when you think about your program:

1- are you recovering ?
2- are you making progress towards your goals?

and, less importantly,

3-could you make the same progress with less work?


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Chris Colucci
Contributor

Join date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 6234

It's very hard to legitimately overtrain a well-conditioned body.

It's "easier" to overtrain when there's some combination of poor/inappropriate training, poor recovery, and poor nutrition.

TrojanMan2011 wrote:
My weights have been rising very slowly. I can't keep the pace of progress I once had when I first started. My body weight seems to be at a stand still at around 220 lbs for over a year now.

You've been training consistently for two years, but your weight hasn't moved in a year?

These are all signs that you might want to consider changing your training, your diet, or both.

What's your height and general bodyfat (not percentage, just pudgy, lean, ripped, etc.)?

What are your current maxes on the basic lifts: squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press, row and clean?

What, exactly, are your goals?

Also...
I would like to improve and make my routine harder

Just to clarify, you should focus on making your routine better, not necessarily harder. They're two different ideas.

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fr0IVIan
Level 3

Join date: Sep 2010
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1986

you've been adding weight to your movements slowly? how slow are we talking about?

are you able to do more reps or improve rep quality at least every few sessions (more control, more speed, less cheat, etc)?

bw has not moved in a year. without an improvement in body composition (less body fat, more muscle) I would say this is a bad thing...


x1 million on getting the most results with the least work. you don't get an award for working harder than the next guy when you have little to show for it.

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RampantBadger
Level

Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 2053

slow strength gains = get on the 5/3/1 bandwagon

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Location:
Posts: 51898

I don't understand staying at the same weight for a YEAR and not doing something about that but then wondering if you wasted time or did something wrong.


Uh, yeah....you trained for a full year and didn't make changes based on the results you were actually seeing.

If my weight is staying exactly the same, I don't expect much progress. Yes, I have stayed near the same weight before for body recomp, but even that is a slow process.

You guys are wasting YEARS doing shit like this.

Eventually, you will reach the point where you just can't get that time back and will be limited in progress.

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Blackaggar
Level 2

Join date: Apr 2009
Location:
Posts: 2434

In a video where he was training with the scivation president Dorian Yates said that if your not seeing a big difference in progress in a months time then your doing something wrong.

Pick your goal and progress like a madman in achieving that goal, do whatever it takes to get to your goal the fastest

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JayPierce
Level 1

Join date: Jun 2008
Location: Alabama, USA
Posts: 3178

TrojanMan2011 wrote:

I would like to improve and make my routine harder but i'm not sure how much harder I can make it on myself. Strength wise I can say I am one of the strongest people in my gym however my physique certainly doesnt show it...


You have to train hard but you have to train smart. Are you doing too much? not enough? Experimentation will tell. Back off the volume for a while and see if that helps. If not, ramp it up a little and see.

Get your diet sorted out FIRST, though. Being active, it's hard to eat enough good healthy food to get fat. It's actually impossible for a lot of us, who have to resort to eating a little dirty to gain.

I started doing this routine to "tone" up. I see others in my gym who do 90 minutes of biceps and shrugs and look much better than I do...but I feel like these exerciss are a waste of time...

Soooo... they look better than you, but you think they're wasting their time, huh? Ever think maybe you're the one spinning your wheels, and they know something you don't? Why not add in some of what they're doing and cut out some of what you're doing and see if that doesn't make an all-around improvement in your training?

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alexus
Level

Join date: Feb 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4751

much much much harder than it is to underrecover

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spar4tee
Level

Join date: Sep 2010
Location: District of Columbia, USA
Posts: 9678

alexus wrote:
much much much harder than it is to underrecover

QFT

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SamMcLoughin
Level

Join date: Oct 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 514

spar4tee wrote:
alexus wrote:
much much much harder than it is to underrecover

QFT


Yup.

If you want to lift seven days a week and you're getting stronger, then go lift for seven days a week and get stronger.

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kinein
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2006
Location: California, USA
Posts: 1202

TrojanMan2011 wrote:
Hello All,

Am I doing too much?? Is my volume/routine possibly why my composition isnt improving??



You wasted a year if you haven't changed much and your weight hasn't gone anywhere and you want to "tone" up.

Read what professor X said a few hundred times.


It sounds like you want abs and "cuts" ;)

Your nutrition and cardio are why your composition are not improving - thats where im putting my chips.



Eating + Rest + More Eating + Weights + Cardio


Your failing in one or more departments.

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louiek
Level

Join date: Nov 2011
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 639

Routine seems like it might work due to compounds/volume, but your workout day schedule and general knowledge of what good programming is might be lacking. If you're not getting what you want, reevaluate your goals and change your routine.

Like others have said, list your maxes and current goals of training.

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Zeppelin0731
Level

Join date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 493

Not to sound like a cockmaster, but if you feel like you are overtraining, you are probably undereating or not sleeping well. Either that or you are probably doing something stupid with your workouts. If you feel burnt out or you are getting tendonitis really bad, take a deload week where you reduce weight, eat like a king, and sleep at least 8-9 hours a day. Come back the next week and go for some PR's.

-Zep

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Consul
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2012
Location: England
Posts: 1244

spar4tee wrote:
alexus wrote:
much much much harder than it is to underrecover

QFT


x2

If you eat enough and make good sleep a priority, you'll be fine. You can probably train harder and more frequently than you think, OP.

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TrojanMan2011
Level

Join date: Jul 2011
Location:
Posts: 7

Chris Colucci wrote:
It's very hard to legitimately overtrain a well-conditioned body.

It's "easier" to overtrain when there's some combination of poor/inappropriate training, poor recovery, and poor nutrition.

TrojanMan2011 wrote:
My weights have been rising very slowly. I can't keep the pace of progress I once had when I first started. My body weight seems to be at a stand still at around 220 lbs for over a year now.

You've been training consistently for two years, but your weight hasn't moved in a year?

These are all signs that you might want to consider changing your training, your diet, or both.

What's your height and general bodyfat (not percentage, just pudgy, lean, ripped, etc.)?

What are your current maxes on the basic lifts: squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press, row and clean?

What, exactly, are your goals?

Also...
I would like to improve and make my routine harder

Just to clarify, you should focus on making your routine better, not necessarily harder. They're two different ideas.



So many responses! I'll give a current break down of myself...

I am 6 foot even and 220 lbs. I have no idea what my bodyfat is but you can make out my top 4 abs if flex them in good lighting. So sort of lean

Current Maxes (I don't do the 1 rep thing, I think id hurt myself, alot of these are hit on 8th or 9th set per what i do now)
Deadlift 415 x 3
Bench 275 x 3
Squat 355 x 3
Overhead Press 195 x 3
Cleans 195 x 3


My diet could use improvement . My only rules are eat lots of protein and avoid sugar like the plague.


You all also gotta keep in mind I was once a 135 lb long distance runner before. I literally warm up with what I use to weigh. Im not sure how much more weight I can add to my frame at this point. My goal at this point is always to get stronger but "tone" up.



Do those of you have been lifting a while how much % of you workout do you allocate to concentration lifts? (i.e. the lateral raises and curls)

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ashylarryku
Level 5

Join date: Aug 2009
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 3820

I just want to say, just because your bodyweight isn't increasing, doesn't mean you're not making progress. I had a PLing competition last November and totaled 1,245 at 212 BW. A little under 4 months later I totaled 1,355 at 202 BW. So, I lost 10 lbs but added 110 to my total. I made progress in the gym, that's all that matters if you ask me. Yet, my weight decreased 10 lbs.

As far as overtraining goes, if you're taking a day off every 2 days, I'd say it's gonna be really hard to overtrain. As long as you're getting in a solid amount of NUTRIENTS (overall calories obviously matter, but where they come from is important) each day, a good amount of sleep, and using staple supplements, I'd say it's pretty much impossible to overtrain as long as your workouts are somewhat thought out.

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