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Overtrained: Low-Intensity Cardio OK?


I'm feeling all the common symptoms of overtraining. I was lacking motivation yesterday at the gym, completing a 45minute long cardio session seemed like a chore, my sex drive dropped, I'm lethargic and not enjoying anything.

So I decided against lifting weights until Monday.

However, I'm very committed to my plan of dropping bodyfat.

Would it affect my recovery to sneak in a couple of light-intensity cardio sessions on a stationary bike?

Or am I just fooling myself, and I should just take the 4 damn days off and come back with full-intensity on Monday?


How, exactly, have you been training? How long have you been training for fat loss? What results have you seen?

All the symptoms you mentioned aren't necessarily overtraining. That could just be from being in a calorie-restricted diet and training hard. Fat loss is a pain in the ass. This we know.

Taking four days off and not training at all would be punking out, and the first step away from reaching where you want to be.

Keep active and do something productive, not just some light cardio. Now might be a good time to switch your training routine around (depending on the answers to my questions above).

If you're used to doing 45-minute cardio sessions, look up the Tabata method for something very different and very effective.


Mon: Squats + Calf raises
Tue: Arms + 30 min HIIT
Wed: 45 min steady state cardio
Thur: Chest/Back + 30 min HIIT
Fri: Shoulders + optional cardio

Diet is good, following Tom Venuto's BFFM. Consistent, steady b/f loss over the last 4 months, with no muscle loss. Having increases in strength all around.

I'm getting my body ready for a 5x5 routine off stronglifts.com


I found that lack of sleep, a shitty diet the day before, serious stress with college, or not being hydrated enough the day prior all effect my workouts the next day, and put me in a mood to where I dont want to be there. This is something everyone knows, but it really effects me.

Make sure your source of "stress" per say is not coming from some where else.

If you think you are overtraining, I would take a few days from your traditional routine. Meaning, instead of 45 mins of steady state, go play 45 mins of basketball, or go swim for an hour, something you can enjoy a little, instead of pounding it out on the treadmill.


One other thing, if your chest and back workout is straight, I would drop your arms day.

I would also move your shoulder day in with your legs day.

Something like:

Monday - Chest/Back (bench, deadlift, dips, rows)
Tuesday - Cardio/Core Work
Wednesday - Legs/Shoulders (squats, calf raises, leg press, military press, upright rows, etc)

Thursday - Cardio/Core Work
Friday - Off
Saturday -repeat

I think for fat loss, focus on the compound movements and do them hard, and some cardio. Obviously, the compounds require more muscles than isolation work, which will ultimately burn more calories in less amount of time.


I'm not totally familiar wth Venuto's plan, but you may have just run your course training five days in a row for four months straight. Maybe keep your nutrition the same but switch your training to something like Cosgrove and Waterbury's Real Fast Fat Loss:

It's just three days a week, but you're hitting everything with hybrids, complexes, circuits, and finishers. Should be a great change of pace.


I agree and possibly give your self more a week of eating a bit more food still HIGH quality but increase intake. Keep lifting but lower the intensity and volume, come back and get rolling again. Your on a fat loss plan, make training SPOT on more is not more better is more, make the session brief but worth while. You dont have the intake to support a LOT of volume and intensity so make everything count and throw out he fluff