T Nation

Controlled Overtraining: All or Nothing

After being pissed of the lack of progress from two months (My deadlift only increased by a 11pound pr) Get Huge of a Hurry, I’m willing to give controlled over training a shot. I understand that this is a very advance principle. But as Poliquin puts it, if a .25 caliber won’t work, use a .5.

Here’s my basic program:

  • 10-12 singles of deadlift with as much weight as possible, perhaps even some variations with heavy rack pulls and deficit pulls
  • A set or two of supplementary exercises for one to two small muscle groups each session.

Here’s my first 2 days of my log:
March 6th (DAY 1)

I’m desperate for a better deadlift (405 to be specific). I’m thinking about following Poliquins advanced protocols for controlled overtraining. My training will be focused on 10-12 singles for a few days in a role, until it drops to about 60-70% of my 1rm.

I understand it is very advanced and taxing. I couldn’t see a better time to experiment with it. I’m a 2nd semster senior, and I can eat/sleep/rest a lot.

120kgx1
130kgx 5x1
125kgx 4x1
120kgx 2x1

Total reps = 12

Did some calve exercises. It’s such a small muscle group I doubt it’ll hamper my ability to recover.

Supplements:

  • 15 to 20 grams of fish oil a day
  • Flax seed hulls for fiber
  • 20 grams BCAA during training
  • Not a supplement, but I’m aiming for 2grams of protein (300-340grams)
  • Whey protein
  • Some vitamin C to speed up recovery and lower cortisol
  • ZMA for sleep

Recovery supplements after I’m done with the program
*Hopefully my shipment will arrive in time

  • Many many many meals
  • Shitloads of healthy food aka steak/fish/whatnot
  • Creatine/BCAA 5 grams 3-4 times a day
  • ZMA + 2 tablets of 30mg Zinc
  • 30grams of fish oil

March 7th (DAY 2)

After reading the advice from Personal pr thread rawelite, I realized I need more hip extension on my deadlift. I’ll work on it tomorrow and see how it goes.

Today’s Workout:

Warmups
135x5
185x3
225x2

Worksets
275x1
285x 3x1
290x NL
285x1
280x 2x1
275x 4x1

*11 Singles in total.

Did one set of light chins, and two sets of light incline dumbbell bench presses.

Today I am eating about 24grams of fish oil. I’m bumping up the protein, eating as much meat as possible. I’ll also be supplementing some greens+/Superfood to balance the acid out. I was amazed that my workset weights did not drop that much from the previous day. Oh I workout in two gyms, one uses KG, the other uses pounds. I usually just count the 20kg plate as 45 instead of 44, so my kg to pound conversion could be +/-5 off.

Heres a video of me doing 90% of my 1rp:

Anyone have any experience or suggestions to offer? I’m thinking of alternating between heavy singles of regular dl/ rack pull/ deficit lifts. Of course I’ll establish a baseline weight to see if I regressed to 80% 1rm.

Here’s my log if you’re interested:

Once you cross the line there is no control ~ because you are pushing yourself past the empty gas tank. It is difficult to do. I liken over-training to when I had to do more sprints on the whistle after 3 hours and I was blacking out and still sprinting and getting ready for the next round. Or getting 2-3 concussions within 10 seconds and still getting back up because the whistle wasn’t blown.

Train til you bleed from your eyes and foam at the mouth.

There is no “light” in the vocabulary of someone pushing their limits ~ everything is hard and must be hard and painful.

Make it hurt, when your cup of madness empties ask for seconds.

[quote]kinein wrote:
Once you cross the line there is no control ~ because you are pushing yourself past the empty gas tank. It is difficult to do. I liken over-training to when I had to do more sprints on the whistle after 3 hours and I was blacking out and still sprinting and getting ready for the next round. Or getting 2-3 concussions within 10 seconds and still getting back up because the whistle wasn’t blown.

Train til you bleed from your eyes and foam at the mouth.

There is no “light” in the vocabulary of someone pushing their limits ~ everything is hard and must be hard and painful.

Make it hurt, when your cup of madness empties ask for seconds. [/quote]

Dont worry, I’ll make it hurt. I’ll push it to the limit.

Past the limit.

ADVISORY
Injury is not worth anything ~ when you are riding the edge just make sure you know when to throttle down for the day.

To be honest I am doubtful that any sort of intended over training phase is a good idea for any beginner but there is only one way to find out right.

Maybe you should try some good old fashioned linear loading you know 3x5 (2 warm ups sets/1 drop set of 80% working weight) and load it with a (1-2.5% every week).

Your form on the deadlift looks pretty good hips and shoulders extend in time with each other, you are rounding a bit in the thoracic spine try to stick your chest out before and during your pull.

Given your training status I don’t think loads of assistance work will have that much effect outside of just deadlifting.

Concentrate on a lot of rowing, 2/3 extension movments (glute ham, RDL, GoodMornings) trying to put there numbers up as well.

But to be honest you will get the most out of just trying to increase your deadlift and practising the movment pattern at this point in time.

Other than that I can’t think of much to add good luck.

March 8th (DAY 3)

Today’s Workout:

Worksets
275x1
285x1
295x1 Weights went up?
305, 300 NL
285x1
290x1
295x1
300,290 NL
275x 3x1

*9 Singles in total

Deficit deadlifts on 2-3inch platform
225x3
250x1
260x 2x1

Finished up the day with some light ab circuit. Overtraining is way tougher than I expected.

Still need to get more hipextension/hip thrust. Tomorrow I’ll add in some rack pull from knees. For 2-4 singles over the three days, I got it like 1-2inches off the floor and it simply stalled. Perhaps more deficit lifts?

Some lifts/ fails from today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTCuRQGiIpI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03ezdQz-GA (FAIL) it come up about an inch and I just couldn’t get it. Dont you just love the guy curling in the background hahaha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9PNvqGex4Y
*I think my lumbar spine is rounding a bit?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0frDsrLLCnI

[quote]IrishMarc wrote:
To be honest I am doubtful that any sort of intended over training phase is a good idea for any beginner but there is only one way to find out right.

Maybe you should try some good old fashioned linear loading you know 3x5 (2 warm ups sets/1 drop set of 80% working weight) and load it with a (1-2.5% every week).

Your form on the deadlift looks pretty good hips and shoulders extend in time with each other, you are rounding a bit in the thoracic spine try to stick your chest out before and during your pull.

Given your training status I don’t think loads of assistance work will have that much effect outside of just deadlifting.

Concentrate on a lot of rowing, 2/3 extension movments (glute ham, RDL, GoodMornings) trying to put there numbers up as well.

But to be honest you will get the most out of just trying to increase your deadlift and practising the movment pattern at this point in time.

Other than that I can’t think of much to add good luck. [/quote]

I’m willing to give it a shot :slight_smile: I’ll definitely do something similar to your suggestion after this short overtraining phase.

Retarded.

i laughed so much when i watched that video of you deadlift.

U RAISED YOUR ARMS UP JUS LIKE CRESSEY DID IN ONE OF HIS VIDEOS!!!

…and you copied it!

HA

A couple thoughts–

yeah, overtraining can be useful, and I think you should give the idea some thought. However, you don’t want to miss lifts. Ever. This is part of “greasing the groove” if you will.

I’ve used various forms of controlled over-training for several years now (more properly known as “over-reaching” instead of over training), using a variety of methods.

You might try the Smolov Squat cycle template, but use the deadlift. Which I used to put 40 lbs on my deadlift in 2 weeks. That gave me my first 405. I would only do the “intense” phase of the cycle, not the base volume phase.

I did this. You should be aware though, you’ll probably only need 2 weeks of the cycle, and recovery time is necessary before test day. I was only able to last 2 weeks of the 4 week intense block. However, I followed the written “peaking protocol” successfully (but did not pull as heavy as it called for–I chucked the sets above 75-80%, and tested when I felt good)

Thing with over-reaching is, peaking is tricky. Especially the first few times you try it because unless you’ve got an expert coaching you, you’re unsure as to your recovery time. Too much, you don’t quite get as big of a PR. Too little, or too much time in heavy training, and you fail to PR because you moved into minor over-training and failed to recover in time.

It’s tricky. But do your reading and make a run for it.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
You might try the Smolov Squat cycle template, but use the deadlift. Which I used to put 40 lbs on my deadlift in 2 weeks. That gave me my first 405. I would only do the “intense” phase of the cycle, not the base volume phase.

I did this. You should be aware though, you’ll probably only need 2 weeks of the cycle, and recovery time is necessary before test day. I was only able to last 2 weeks of the 4 week intense block. [/quote]

This was very interesting for me – aside from being interesting generally, I’m about to be doing a Smolov deadlift cycle, though I was planning on the Smolov Jr format.

Looking at the option of using the Feduleyev template (“intense mesocycle”) on reading your post had me noticing something:

[b]Week # 1

Monday 65%x3 75%x4 85%x4x3 85%x5
Wednesday 60%x3 70%x3 80%x4 90%x3, 85%x5x2
Saturday 65%x4 70%x4 80%x4x5

Week # 2

Monday 60%x4 70%x4 80%x4 90%x3, 90%x4x2
Wednesday 65%x3 75%x3 85%x3 90%x3x3, 95%x3
Saturday 65%x3 75%x3 85%x4 90%x5x4 [/b]

(The above uses the good Communist “reps for sets” notation rather than imperialist dog “sets of reps” notation, just to be clear.)

Now here’s the thing I am thinking. Smolov is referencing everything here to the entry 1RM. This phase begins in the 9th week of the program. Even if the only preceding weeks giving 1RM gains were the base mesocycle, still presumably 1RM went up 10 or 20 kilos already.

Thus, “95% 1RM” is not 95% of the 1RM one has on entering the Feduleyev phase. It is 95% of perhaps 10 or 20 kilos less than what one has on entering this phase.’

In your case, adding 40 lb in 2 weeks suggests that for whatever cause you were underperforming relative to what “should” have been doable for you and the program helped you overcome that, among other benefits. Or for some other reason your gains were unusually fast.

At any rate, if I were to apply this as a jump-right-into-it phase, and I think if others were to do so, those percent RM’s for those reps are higher than intended and higher than what will work properly, for the reason stated.

If I were expecting to do sets of 3 reps with 95% of my current 1RM after only a week and a half of starting this program, I would in my instance be thinking quite unrealistically. I am talking about the three reps actually being in the same set, as opposed to separated way out from each other and in fact comprising three singles. That would be doable but would not be the same thing.

However, sets of 3 reps with 95% of (current 1RM minus 20-30 lb), which I think would match up with Smolov’s intent as he is having you use a pre-recent-gains 1RM, that could be different.

So…
Basically…
You’re going from not training intelligently and not eating enough to…
…elite level training methods with a shit-load of supplements.

I really hope Bill’s input on this thread is just him thinking out loud and not real consideration that over-reaching should EVER be used by a 167 lb beginner.

[quote]Clown Face wrote:
i laughed so much when i watched that video of you deadlift.

U RAISED YOUR ARMS UP JUS LIKE CRESSEY DID IN ONE OF HIS VIDEOS!!!

…and you copied it!

HA[/quote]

I tried it once and I just can’t stop myself from doing it hahaha.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
A couple thoughts–

yeah, overtraining can be useful, and I think you should give the idea some thought. However, you don’t want to miss lifts. Ever. This is part of “greasing the groove” if you will.

I’ve used various forms of controlled over-training for several years now (more properly known as “over-reaching” instead of over training), using a variety of methods.

You might try the Smolov Squat cycle template, but use the deadlift. Which I used to put 40 lbs on my deadlift in 2 weeks. That gave me my first 405. I would only do the “intense” phase of the cycle, not the base volume phase.

I did this. You should be aware though, you’ll probably only need 2 weeks of the cycle, and recovery time is necessary before test day. I was only able to last 2 weeks of the 4 week intense block. However, I followed the written “peaking protocol” successfully (but did not pull as heavy as it called for–I chucked the sets above 75-80%, and tested when I felt good)

Thing with over-reaching is, peaking is tricky. Especially the first few times you try it because unless you’ve got an expert coaching you, you’re unsure as to your recovery time. Too much, you don’t quite get as big of a PR. Too little, or too much time in heavy training, and you fail to PR because you moved into minor over-training and failed to recover in time.

It’s tricky. But do your reading and make a run for it. [/quote]

My method was inspired by you! I remember reading in the super-accumulation method comment where you said you added about 70lbs in two weeks in your youth with this. You even added how you were able to recovery quickly from it due to your young age. So you would recommend me to drop what I’m doing and give the two-week intensive smolov deadlift a go?

Mr Roberts,

Whats your opinion on my controlled overtraining? Doable if I drop it by 10-20lbs? Worth a shot?

This is how my cycle would be if I wanted to add 40pounds aka 355pound deadlift

Aragorn:

Week # 1

Monday 65%x3 75%x4 85%x4x3 85%x5
Wednesday 60%x3 70%x3 80%x4 90%x3, 85%x5x2
Saturday 65%x4 70%x4 80%x4x5

Week # 2

Monday 60%x4 70%x4 80%x4 90%x3, 90%x4x2
Wednesday 65%x3 75%x3 85%x3 90%x3x3, 95%x3
Saturday 65%x3 75%x3 85%x4 90%x5x4

You would not do the sets above 80%? just to be sure.

[quote]TooHuman wrote:
So…
Basically…
You’re going from not training intelligently and not eating enough to…
…elite level training methods with a shit-load of supplements.

I really hope Bill’s input on this thread is just him thinking out loud and not real consideration that over-reaching should EVER be used by a 167 lb beginner.[/quote]

No… as always it is saying only what it is saying.

On this other question – and also asked by Mondy in anothe post: Not only is a plan such as this not appropriate or a good idea for a beginner, but a beginner does much better any and all sorts of “super” plans to “shock” the system that have a place for advanced trainers who, unlike the beginners, may be stagnated without such things.

A beginner needs to find what works for him well on an ongoing, month in month out basis. No intensity, really unusual volume, or other really unusual techniques are called for or actually a good idea here.