T Nation

How to Tell If You're Fully Recovering?

I’m curious to know if I’m allowing enough time to recover from my training sessions for optimal growth/ stregth gains. I know everyone’s recovery rate is different but aside from soreness what are the ways to tell if im doing too much assistance work? I’m currently doing the following program

Monday
Bench Press 5/3/1
Leg Extensions (I can’t squat so I do these twice a week)
Dumbell Flyes 3x10
Cable Crossover (low 2 high) 3x10
“Ahead” Cable Flyes 3x10
Dips 3x10
Tricep Extensions 3x10

Tuesday
Deadlift 5/3/1
Chin Up 3x10
Barbell Row 3x10
Cable Row 3x10
Barbell Curl 3x10
Cable Curl 3x10

Thursday
Press 5/3/1
Leg Extensions 3x10
Press 3x10 (lighter assistance for form/hypertrophy)
CGBP 3x10
DB Flyes 3x10
“Ahead” Cable Flyes 3x10
Triceps Extensions

Friday
Hang Cleans 5x5 (still learning perfect form)
Barbell Row 5/3/1
Lat Pulldowns 3x10
Cable Row 3x10
Barbell Curl 3x10
Cable Curl 3x10

I know there is a good amount of volume but my primary goal is to gain muscle mass. However, almost as important is to progress in the main lifts. I just ran the first cylce of 5/3/1 on my main lifts and aside from some soreness (expected) it seems as if I’m recovering well between sessions that use the same muscle groups/movement patterns.

Also my lifts are doing well and I’m continuing to blow past my scheduled reps for the last set. Basically what I’m asking is if this is too much assistance work? And what is the tradeoff if I reduce the assistance work? WIll my main lifts go up but my mass gains suffer a bit? Thanks for the help guys I’m just trying to understand this better

If your not always tired and run down chances are your recovering enough. You will know when your over training lifts will stop progressing, getting out of bed every morning will be a chore, just will be run down. Continue eating sleeping and growing.

Yeah well I have been dealing with some pretty constant fatigue. I never thought it could be from my training because I’m dealing with some serious health issues as well. Im debating on taking out 1 lift for back and 1 lift for chest on each day but those are two areas that I like to give a lot of volume. Thanks for the speedy reply though Reed, you’ve been handing out the advice left and right lately. Haha keep up the good work

If you are able to keep adding weight to the bar/db etc OR at least match whatever you managed last time, I’d say you’ve been recovering sufficiently.

If I were you I would simply add day of rest between each workout.

monday - wednesday - friday - sunday - tuesday… etc.

No problem man. I work third shift and my wife works first so during the day I honestly dont have much to do but sleep, train (only takes a hourish) and try to help who I can on a few forums which in turn helps me alot of the times.

@gorilla- well if that’s the case I’m doing fine for now.
@reed- you’ve def been helpful around here and I appreciate the input

If you’re numbers are going up, then you are recovering fine.

I think your assistance work is kind of crap though, personally. At least the upper body days. You’re doing three types of flies for goodness sake.

Why dont you take a look at 5/3/1 for bodybuilding? If you can’t squat then find a better replacement. Lunges or leg press are infinitely better than leg extensions.

On another note, this much assistance is probably unnecessary, even if your goal is primarily hypertrophy. I would take a good look at reducing it.

@Chris haha thanks for the honesty. I know it might sound stupid but the attempt is to hit the chest from all angles as my chest is a major sticking point. I should have explained more about the no squatting. I can do very very little leg work with the open wound that I have. Leg extenstions are pretty much the only thing that don’t stress the wound or open it up.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
@Chris haha thanks for the honesty. I know it might sound stupid but the attempt is to hit the chest from all angles as my chest is a major sticking point. I should have explained more about the no squatting. I can do very very little leg work with the open wound that I have. Leg extenstions are pretty much the only thing that don’t stress the wound or open it up. [/quote]

I will never understand the “all angles” mindset. There’s only so many ways to stimulate your chest. 4 or 5 movements is just overkill.

My mindset is that the the bench press if for strength, crossovers target the upper chest, the cable flyes target the lower chest, and the flyes hit teh whole chest. But yes you are prlly right that may be a little much

Bulk dont take this wrong way man and I mean no offense by this but, your posting in the beginner section. This means no matter what your goals are chances are you need to add more over-all size to your chest( most likely the rest of your body as well) I dont mean this to insult at all I am just saying you need to focus on BIG compound movements.

You have 1 press and 3 flyes. You dont need all the isolation work yet. There is nothing wrong with trying to hit a weak point but, if your chest is lagging then use movements that are going to add size. Use more of 2 to 1 compound movement in my opinion.

Bench Press: For Strength
Incline DB Press: Upper and Inner Chest
DB Flyes or Cable Crosses: to really smash what you feel is the weakest if it makes you feel better.

You guys are both right. I am going to swap out the crossovers with incline DB press once my wound heals (its on my ass and not only would sittin with heavy dumbbells pressing down on me hurt but I don’t think I can kick the weight up with my knees without really hurting it). The flyes I can get them up a bit with my legs then just lay back. I’ll do that then maybe get rid of one of the flyes.

Is there too much for back too? I know that the back requires more volume than most body parts, and wendler says to pull more than you push.

[quote]Reed wrote:
If your not always tired and run down chances are your recovering enough. You will know when your over training lifts will stop progressing, getting out of bed every morning will be a chore, just will be run down. Continue eating sleeping and growing.[/quote]

yep. it’s almost a kind of physical depression

I personally think your back work looks fine I hit mine twice a week as well and you only have 9 work sets per session for the lats that’s pretty spot on in my opinion.