T Nation

Controlled Overreaching?


Starting next Monday, I was thinking of implementing a "controlled overtraining" program kind of like what Coach Poliquin has talked about before, except it would from Monday the 1st until Saturday the 20th, which is when I leave on vacation for Christmas. My whole thinking with this is that I won't be able to lift for about 6 straight days while on vacation, so I thought I might as well make that time as productive as possible.

Has anyone else ever followed an overreaching/controlled overtraining program like Coach Poliquin's before? And if so did you get as good of results as he claimed?


No one has actually tried it. It's too brutal and he says you won't be able to make it. Better believe him.


I know a few people gave it a shot one that comes to mind screwed up his recovery by taking something that messed with his stomach and gave him an ulcer, but I think there was another guy who did well. Back in the day I tried the 30 day program by Waterbury and did me good.

I think it should work fine. Only thing I would caution is that if you find yourself getting into injury territory, lower the intensity a bit and continue to overtrain with whatever volume you need. And make sure you're quite well prepared in advanced for the feasting to begin.


I've always thought of controlled overreaching a very advanced tool for bodybuilding. Only used for select people that could handle it (elite 5-10%). The problem is 90% of people think they're in the elite 5-10% LOL. I'd say forget about it. Taking a small amount of time off (it's only six days!!) and doing just calisthenics or bodyweight exercises will do you better (allow your body to recover) than overreaching would. Also- not to be a dick but- since you had to ask this question on the forum in the first place means you're not ready for something like this. Just workout and rest. You'll be fine.


Yes controlled overreaching is a good way of doing things.


May i please see your workouts for your over reaching and then the planned under reaching ?

Just to make sure your not screwing it up.

And just to be very clear about this: If you fuck this up you WILL hurt yourself. "CONTROLLED" is the word you must repeat ALOT in your head !


As above it depends on the program.
Unless your normal recovery is really,really good I wouldn't do more than one workout a day 6 days a week


Here's what I've planned to do. Any comments/criticisms are more than welcome.

Monday-Lower Body Strength
Squats 5 sets 8,6,6,4,2
Romanian Deadlift 4 sets 8,6,6,4
Leg Press 4 sets 8, 6, 6, 4
Leg Curl 4 sets 10, 8, 8, 6
Lunge 3 sets 8 (each leg)

Wednesday-Upper Body Strength
Bench Press 3x4-6 ramping up to one all out set of 4-6 reps.

Hang Power Clean-same set up

Military Press-same set up

Weighted Chin Up-same set up

Incline Dumbbell Press-same set up

Barbell Row-same set up

Close Grip Bench Press-same set up

Dumbbell Row-same set up

Friday-Lower Body Hypertrophy
Deadlifts 5x8-10
Front Squats 5x8-10
Leg Press 4x12-15
Seated Leg Curl 3x8-10
Leg Extension 3x10-12

Saturday Upper Body Push Hypertrophy
Incline Flye (Pre-exhaust) 3x10-12
Incline DB Press 4x8-10
Lateral Raise (Pre-exhaust) 3x10-12
BTN Smith Machine Press 4x8-10
HS Incline Press 3x10-12
HS Shoulder Press 3x10-12

Sunday Upper Body Pull Hypertrophy
Wide Grip Pullups 4xFailure
T-Bar Row 4x8-10
Pulldown 3x8-10
Seated Row 3x10-12
Upright Row 3x10-12
Chins 1xFailure

Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to go to conditioning for my lax team and can't get to the gym, so I thought I would just do an arms workout in my garge around 8-10 sets each for biceps and triceps keeping the reps somewhere between 6-12


I could be wrong, but if you aren't overreaching, aren't you just maintaining?


He means overreaching as in overtraining, not as in progressing