T Nation

Am I Overtraining?

I am currently in preparation for my first amateur strongman competition and my progress has seem to come to a stand still( I am 6 weeks out).  I have been experiencing a decrease in strength, a decrease in sex drive, decrease in appetite, difficulty sleeping, the feeling I am constantly in a �??brain fog�?? (joe vs. the volcano anyone?) and just an overall feeling of �??yuck�??. 

I work two jobs �?? one of them being an office job and the other I double up during the week as a bouncer Thursday and Friday nights (11-3). So all in all I am working about 50 hours a week. (warning, this is a long one)

Here is what my program looks like:

Warm Up: Stretching and Jump rope
Squat (set of 20 or 5,4,3,2,1 to a max single) or Deadlift (Trap Bar or Fat Bar for reps at 470lbs which is the contest weight)
264lbs I-Beam holds w/ 2�?? handles for time
12�?? Log hang Clean usually 3x3 or 5x2 (I really stink at these)
600lbs tire flip (not in the competition this is more of an endurance builder for me) 140ft (70ft one way and a turn back)
3�?? barbell shrugs working up whatever I can hang on to by that point usually around 315lbs

Treadmill Run �?? I go as far and as fast as I can for 20 minutes. I usually end up somewhere around a 10 minute mile.

Warm Up: Stretching and Jump rope or Jumps for distance
Front Squat 5x5 (usually can get up to 295lbs without compromising form)
Power Clean 5x5
Behind The Neck Press 5x5 (I know people look down on these but they actually feel more natural to me and hurt less then doing a regular OHP)
Fat Bar Curls (not strict) 3x10
Leg Raises 3x25

AM: Stair Climber 15 minutes high intensity
PM: Treadmill Run 20 minutes

Friday or Saturday:
Warm Up: Stretching and Jump rope
Fat Bar Deadlift 5x5 (work up to a max usually about 515 for 5)
Over Head Pressing w/ Barbell 5x5 (work up to 225)
Step Ups with DB�??s 3x10 each leg (I like these in particular because they work your static holds and really get your heart rate up)
DB Bench Rows 5x5
Hanging Knee Raises 3x as many as I can hang on for

Sunday: Pasta and Meatballs

Here�??s my typical diet day:


1 cup Oats (or 1 cup Fiber One)
1 cup Lactaid Milk
1 scoop Protein
1 Tbsp Honey
.25 Raisins

Morning Snack:
Apple and 30g protein

6 ounces Lean Meat
A big salad with apples, goat cheese, walnuts and Ginger Dressing
1 cup pineapple

Afternoon/Pre Workout Snack:
Apple and package Pemican Beef Jerky or a large plain Strained Yogurt (Greek Yogurt) with honey �?? Strained Yogurt has a lot less carbs and nearly triple the protein of normal store bought yogurt

Post Workout Shake:
A carb/protein mix either Pro Gainer by Pro Complex (600+calories w/ 80g carbs and 55g protein) or Biotest’s Surge (double serving) if I have it. Sometimes in a pinch I�??ll just take 2 scoops of Protein and Mix it with two packs of Carnation Instant Breakfast and some OJ

6 oz of lean meat
As many veggies as I can eat
And either have something like Lemon Potatoes or Barilla�??s Protein enriched pasta with homemade sauce (tomatoes, olive oil, onions, garlic, basil and some salt)

Before Bed Snack if I am still hungry:
Either a Shake with Lactaid
Or a Large Strained yogurt with Honey and Walnuts
(I usually allow myself a couple of scoops of ice cream once a week with blueberry preserves)

My weekends are not strict but I don�??t usually go nuts eating either. If anything, I eat less and really go to town on Sunday�??s�?�it�??s pasta day. Gotta love being a guinea!

I am pretty sure that�??s about 3000 calories with plenty of good carbs and enough protein. My Current stats are: 27yrs old, 6�??2�??, 260lbs, 39�?? waist, 20% BF, 118/60 BP

I know my BF% is at the very high end of o.k. but I have never been lean. Just not in the cards for me it seems.

I hope I have provided enough information here to get a good critique/explanation of why I may be feeling like crap all the time despite eating basically clean. An odd thing I�??ve noticed is the last time I was under 20% BF was this summer when I was 260 @ 15 - 16% BF and I was only doing two 20 minute, full body workouts a week (and yes they were HIT workouts but using barbells and dumbbells �?? no machines). My only cardio being walking and the constant chewing of BBQ.

Should I switch up to Super Abbreviated Workouts and just spread them out during the week? Eat more? Start Supplementing?
Thanks for your time.

Take a week off…you need to recover

How long have you been on this program?

A few questions before I comment…
How long have you been training?
How long have you training specifically for strength?
How long have you been using this program
What are the specific events you’ll be doing in your comp?
What is your best performance to date in those events?

One thing I will say right now, is that if you are backsliding at this point and you want to be ready for this competition, you need to take at least a few days off, preferably 4-5, to allow your system to recover. I suggest you still do some LIGHT cardio and stretching, but get as much rest as you can otherwise.

Get back to me with the other information, and I’ll do my best to help you out.

A week off a month out from a competition seems excessive. I’d take a couple of days off and then play it by ear the rest of the week. I’d also cut out the running, personally, and EAT MORE.

Additionally, you failed to mention how much you’re sleeping, but if you’re working two jobs, I’m betting that’s a big problem. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, you’re fucking up.

I would probably cut out the running on tuesday/thursday. If you wanted to do it though I would do it at the end of your workouts. And I would definitely eat more, especially more protein. You might also want to try taking some BCAA’s during workouts, as well as glutamine and creatine after.