T Nation

Increased Fatigue


I started working out consistantly about 2 months ago. I'm 33 years old, and was in reasonably good shape before starting a regimented workout routine. Approximately a month after starting out, I found this site and after reading a lot about various routines, settled on CW's ABBH 1 program. I'm now 4 weeks into the program, and I feel that I get weaker rather than stronger as I'm work through the program. My muscular size is increasing, and my body fat appears to be decreasing somewhat. However since starting this routine, my 1 RM has actually DECREASED, and my endurance has gone to hell. Going up 4 flights of stairs is taxing, which it never was before.

I'm practicing good nutrition habits, both by eating good meals at least 5 times a day, as well as taking 2-3 50g protein shakes a day. I'm getting plenty of sleep, and giving myself the 1 day between workouts to recover, as well as taking weekends off.

Any ideas what might be going on, or what I might change? This is getting frustrating.


First, does it matter to you that your max lifts are going down? If you're adding muscle, and losing fat, it's up to you to determine if your getting the results you want. And that depends on what your goals are.

With that said, my first instinct is that the program may simply be too much for your body to handle this early in the game. If you hadn't previously exercises, then you trained for 4 weeks, and then you started ABBH, you may not have a foundation of basic fitness laid down already. And ABBH can certainly be demanding. Lambourghini's might be awesome cars, but they shouldn't be given to every driver a month after they get their license, right?

I'd switch to a more general program for another month or so, to let your body learn different exercises, develop a base, and get generally accustomed to heavy training.

Maybe something like Total Body Training:

Renaissance Body Development:

Or even G.P.P. ASAP:

Just some ideas.


Thank you Minotaur. Maybe the ABBH 1 was too advanced for my body to handle, at least at this point in the game. Sometimes I think my body is still as capable as it was 10 years ago. I keep forgetting I'm in my 30's!

I think I'll take the weekend off from training, and begin one of these three routines next week.

Again, thanks for the advice!



What you described, at least in my personal expirience, looks like mild overtraining, or overreaching, as it's also called. Like the name says, you reached a level where you body can no longer keep up with the imposed demands.

It is usually cummulative, product of series of workouts. Most likely, as Minotaur suggested, that kind of work was too much to begin with.

But, it's nothing that a week off won't fix. You might want to follow it with a program which is higher in intesnity but lower in volume. That would constitute an accumulation/intensification cycle, and you would most likely end up bigger/stronger at the end of it all. There is CT's article "7 Tips" where in one of them he goes into detail about this. Also read stuff by Jack Reape about taking time off and how beneficial it can be.

Most importantly, analyze your training log. You now know where your "breaking point" is - how much volume and how much time it takes. See that the next program you decide to do has comparatively lower volume than that.


i wouldnt suggest a new program yet,im taking a rest week,but i have weight lifting as a class at school and im going light in there and my old 1RM was 200,i did it with ease yesterday,so take a week off first and try resuming the program,but if you feel it wont work then switch


Are you taking any EFA's? How's your PWO nutrition?


You'll have to pardon my ignorance, but I'm not sure what an "EFA" is? As far as post workout nutrition, I'm taking a protein shake within 15 minutes of workout completion, followed by a big high quality meal within 30 minutes of that. It might be worth noting that I exercise after work, not first thing in the morning. I'm also drinking a shake in the morning to go along with my breakfast of fruits and vegetables, as well as making a shake just before bedtime. I'm also drinking quite a bit of water, between 64 and 128oz, daily.

I'm contemplating taking an additional week long break from the actual workout and instead do 3-4 sessions of Waterbury's GPP training, then mixing in a workout the following week while continuing the GPP training as a warm-up.


Essential Fatty Acid supplements such as fish oil, flax oil, etc. Since the typical american diet(even a bodybuilder's diet) is often lacking in healthy fats, supplementing is highly recommended and is fact becoming a "must have" supplement.

Getting a gallon a day is good. Improving your GPP is always a good idea too.