T Nation

Am I overtraining?

I was reading German Volume training 2k. I realized that as part of my regular workout I do more sets per bodypart than that. Heres my general rules:

For chest and back I do 4 excersises at 3 x 8-10

I do 3 quad excersises at 3 x 8-10

Hamstrings 2 excercises 8 3 x 8-10

Shoulders I do one press, side OR front lateral and one rear delt so total is 3 excercises 3 x 8-10

Bis and tris 3 excercises 3 x 8-10
Heres my current split


I go every other day. Heres my questions:

A)Is 12 sets for back/chest too much?

B)Should I be training chest/tri’s and back bi’s to avoid overtraining them?

C)Am I doing enough shoulder work? Poliquin always said he thought people overtrained them so I guess that stayed with me.

I guess Im concerned that Im doing too much and overtrainng my arms.


I can’t say. Do you feel overtrained? Are you making consistent gains?

General commentary:

A) Perhaps, but you’re only working 'em once every 8 days. Consider switching to 5 sets every 4 days.

B) There isn’t one optimum split. Yours looks decent, except when you combine upper and lower body. Poliquin’s recommended against that.

C) Shoulders benefit from solid training twice a week. I’m not familiar with your back workout, but I’m sure it affects the rear delts quite a bit. Same for bench. Emphasize overhead movements (military or shoulder press) in your shoulder workouts.

Again, how’s it feel to you? Different routines for different people.


I feel ok I guess. A sample back workout for me would be Chins, one arm dumbell rows, seated row(close) and the T-row machine where you lay on your chest. My chest workouts are a combo of incline dumb, flat bp, decline and incline flies. So I get alot of shoulder work there. I wonder Id doing bi’s with back and hams with quads would be better for me.

It may be light on the Bicep though considering I only do them every eight days with that split.

I think that you really have to be the judge of that, if you are really fatigued physically and are seeing no results, then hold off a little, but if everything is progressing, and you body is saying lets go, then go. I probably would get picked apart if people here found out how much I train, but I see my body as having no limits, the only way I will know my true potential is if I push myself past the point my body wants to go. Now I am very in tune to how I feel below the neck, so if I feel like it is time to rest, than it is time to rest, you just need to make the connection

Your back routine has an enormous amount of lat work, but not a whole hell of a lot for traps or rear delts. It’s a recipe for bad posture and forward-sloping shoulders.

Consider 35 degree bent BB rows (elbows out) and cable rows to the neck if your shoulders can take it.

Bi/Tri/Delt/Calves are small muscle groups that recover much more quickly. Thus, a split covers all of 'em once a week in addition to the usual non-specific compound movements works well.

I could go on, but I’d rather just reference CT’s OVT. It’s a effective varation of GVT. Give it a shot, I’ve enjoyed it.

Phase 1 and 2. Please save these, they were ungodly difficult to find.


You present an interesting point about my trap work because Im not that thick. Especially in the trap area. Im going to add shrugs as well as the cable row to the neck. The cable row can be done with a rope both sitting and standing correct?

I’ve never cared for shrugs. Prefer deadlifts and overhead olympic lifts.

My cable row machine is seated. Yours may differ. Either way, keep the elbows out.

Seriously, check out OVT.