T Nation

Am I Over Training?


I started exercising in the new year, and up till now it was going great. For one month, I've been doing 4 sets of chins/pull ups, (until failure) 3 times a week, mon/wed/fri. now it seems as though even that my reps are improving, I've become seriously depressed, easily angered, tired, have trouble sleeping, and ummm...... problems getting and maintaining an erection. I read somewhere that this might be caused by overtraining.

have these symptoms ever happened to anyone else here? and if so, how did you correct it. also, my last workout was last friday, as I am trying to recover, also notice my legs ache constantly.
thanks ahead of time for any ideas/ advice.


Do a more balanced workout, I bet you're overtraining if you go to failure twice each workout 3 times per week on two very similar exercises.

Throw in some dips/bench press/rows, and you'll have a well-rounded upper body workout that you can do twice a week, maybe to failure once but not both days...do deadlifts and squats either in the same day or preferably in two different days, for a total of 3-4 workout days.


Oh, I have no clue about the other things. If it's a very sudden change it's probably not from overtraining only, although that can contribute obviously.

1) get a good workout
1a) eat right
corollary: read the articles on the site

2) give it a little time, if you don't feel better...

-> 3) see a doctor and tell him the symptoms, but don't overemphasize the fact that you're lifting, or in fact don't even mention it, and see what he says.


Skip the training to failure and maybe...I dunno. Too many variables, is life stressing you? are you eating enough, I know you said you have problems sleeping but are you sleeping enough? (I'm guessing probably not.)


I am pretty sure that just doing two bodyweight exercizes you are not over training. If you are feeling run down you probably are not eating right. I was just on the Velocity diet and had some simular ailments. It does sound like exhaustion but with the workout you described it would have to be diet or lack of rest. Get those in order and get back with us in a week or so.


Any exercise to failure three times per week can result in overtraining. Maybe the overtraining isn't what's causing his other problems, but I'll bet he'd get better results in his lats with a more balanced less strenuous program, not to mention more results in other areas.

Besides, even though pull-ups ARE bodyweight exercises, I don't think they fall into the "JUST bodyweight exercises" - they're the best way to work your lats!


You are right they are a great back workout. I was just saying that doing just or two exercizes 4 sets of each should not get you to be overtrained. That would not tax his CNS enough to be really overtrained. Thats why I think it is diet and sleep causing his problems not a massive full body workout that is leaving him feeling the way he is.


starting to feel a little better, I still notice even after a whole week, that after I take my whey isolate, I still get that "pumped" feeling about half an hour later. last night was brutal, was still pretty sore everywhere.
as far as sleep, been getting alot, however maybe my diet does not have enough calories. I eat a multigrain bagel in the morning with 2 pieces of toast, and have a whey with milk drink. lunch is usually a ham sandwich, then dinner is whatever I make for main course, usually fish/beef/chicken, with rice and veggies, potatoes.

when I get back into it, cause I have no plans of quitting, going to start by doing one day per week, if it's not enough, then two.


Maybe take a week off or so. if you've been going hard since the new year then thats 3 months. A week off could help alot. The key is for you to be able to spot the signs of overtraining. It can manifest differently in everyone. For me I'm extremely tired and worn out all the time. I know it takes me a few days to recover from my workouts but if I'm still sore 5-7 days later I know I need to take some time off or do some deloading.


To the original poster,

Maybe you would do well by training up the style of your training. Try taking a couple of weeks to do dynamic stuff, powerlifting-style lifting, olympic lifting (if you know how) or some strongman-type stuff.

Having a passion for training is one of the most important thing. If you are dragging ass in the gym, your workouts aren't going to be as effective.

Switch it up for a week or two so you can get back there and start kicking your ass as soon as possible.


I don't think doing 4 sets of pull-ups 3 times a week is going to lead to overtraining, provided you are eating a well-balanced diet, and not scarfing down junk.

How many 'pull-ups' do you think mountain climbers do a week? How about gymnasts? How about those guys in cirque du soleil? And those are some of the best physiques I've seen...Now, granted, they are probably eating more food, and more good food at that, than 90% of the people that visit this site.


Why are your legs aching if all you do is pull ups/chin ups?


hitting the recumbant exercise bike half an hour each day too, was cutting calories and trying to lose fat as well.


well, just started taking b complex vitamins the other day, starting to feel alot better and will start training again shortly. with the pullups, every single set I've done was too failure, I think that might have alot to do with it. I still don't find pullups easy, I do 7 and can still feel it 2 days later.


How many calories were you cutting?

You weren't trying the Atkins diet, were you? 'Cause that could explain the depression and any mood swings.


probably around 1200 to 2000 cal. per day. I'm not sure it was low carb though, as there was pasta and also bread and whole grain bagels every morning. it's been over a week and feel alot better, actually pretty much back to normal, I've stayed on the whey protein and 3g of glutamine for the whole week of resting, so may start again tommorrow, but not going to failure like I was on every set, and alot less cardio. I don't eat very much to begin with, almost nothing compared to a bodybuilders diet, I may have been pushing too hard for someone who just wants to stay in shape.


eat more...you'll feel better, just make it clean


1200 to 2000 calories is a tiny amount of food, it sounds like you've been starving yourself. I've never heard of overtraining leading to difficulty maintaining erections or the other extreme symptoms you've described, you might even be suffering from malnutrition. I would a) see a doctor and b) eat something. I'm 6' 205 lbs, and 1200 calories is what I eat in a single meal.


That doesn't sound like enough food. 1200 calories is like the Lindsay Lohan diet. Even 2000 is pretty radical.

It would help if you posted some of your stats.

You could start with adding in a couple of snacks. Pre and Post workout nutrition is extremely important too.

There's tons of info on what and how to eat on this site.

\|/ 3Toes


No shit! I had 1000+ calories last night at dinner and I weigh 165 and am 5'7".