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OVERTRAINING (101) - clearing up the controversy

Ok listen up. First of all I train very hard. For the past 4 months I was training 6 days a week- each bodypart only once a week, but very intensly. I was bulking up and I figured more rest-better recovery-more muscle growth. I have had great results went from 165@ 8%bf to 195@ 11%bf. What I want to know is…is it better to work each body part twice a week rather than once for growth? For the past 2 weeks I have been hittin each body part twice and I feel I may be overtraining. There’s too much he say she say spreadin around the gym. Can anyone clarify this to me? What do you think…once or twice a week?

If you continue working out at the same intensity that gave you results when at once a week, but can’t get stronger,then you are overtraining.
It’d as simple as this.

larry,
Not necessarily - you could be undertraining! That’s the hard part in this game - figuring out which part of that thin red line you’re on at any given moment. Overtraining is definately a very common problem in bodybuilding, but I think the whole fear of overtraining has been blown just a wee bit out of proportion in bodybuilding circles, starting a few years back when Mentzer/Yates started talking it up. Again, I’m not necessarily saying that Justin isn’t overtrained; he might be. But the opposite is also a possibility.

I doubt he would be undertraining if he is doing MORE than what he used too (while getting results)…

Okay I’ve tried working each bodypart twice per week, once per week, once every five days (a la Poliquin’s 2 on 1 off 1 on 1 off schedule) and what I currently do is work everything once per week except the bodypart I’m trying to develop at the moment. I like the schedule I’m on best for growth and the Poliquin schedule for maintenance. For pure strength development or when I’m pressed for time I revert to the three day a week modified whole body routine. The everything twice a week works for a little while for me but eventually I’m so tired by the end of the week that whatever I’m doing at the end suffers because I don’t have the mental energy to devote to it.

I hate to bring up the steroid issue here but it is relevent. But if you are natural, training six days per week is too much if you are pushing big compound movements to the maxand your hope is to gain bodyweight. I think 4 days is good amount of time in the gym. Remember recovery is still being slowed when you are training other bodyparts. Work on the big lifts, try to get stronger or add a rep or two. You are keeping a workout log right? If the weights are going up steadily you are doing fine. Also don’t forget to increase your diet to accomodate your newly gained size. PS I am not some HIT mike mentzer like freak! You simply need to allow your body time to grow. Peace

Alright thanks guys for responding. Well I know I’m definately not undertraining, in all my lifts I get stronger and stronger. I got another question for you and I need to know what you think. My upperbody seems to grow like a weed, yet my lower grows like a flower gettin no sun. My genetics just plain out suck. I’m 6’0 and have long legs, but I train the bastards so hard…and have since I started training. I stick to squats, leg press, front squats, leg extentions straight legged deads-everything! So my question is…instead of just quiting training my upper body to let the lower catch up- I was wondering if you thought it would be better to train upper bd once a week and lower bd twice to let the legs catch up to my upper bd? Thanks everyone!

I used to overtrain also, I can be a bit obsesessive-compulsive (I’ll bet most of us on this board have that tendency) and couldn’t get any bigger, esp. my legs. I’m “natural” I use supplments, but no androgenlike stuff. After I switched to working out 4X per week, with one bodypart being worked twice in one week, at 3 week intervals, I really started to grow and have been doing some variation of this, with an ocassional t-mag type program thrown in for 6 yrs. I’ll give you a very basic example:
1st Week
Legs,Abs
Chest,Arms
off
Back,Shoulders,Abs
Legs,Abs
off
off
WK 2
Chest,Arms,Abs
Back,Shoulders
off
Legs,Abs
Chest,Arms
off
Off


Then the next week work Back,Shoulder twice.On the off days I do abs, or sprinting,or what ever. Change the combos around every 6-8 wks depending on what you are lagging on.The bodypart you are doing twice, do a heavy day and a lighter “explosive” day. Remember,you are basically breaking down your muscle when you are lifting and it is during the rest/recovery phase that the muscle is growing. Try this if you are “natural” ,it even works for A Girl… :wink:

WELLL… I posted a description of my workout with the days and weeks separated by blank lines and the post has it squooshed together like some kind of superset. It should be separated into two bodyparts per day Ex:MON Legs,Abs…TUES: Chest,Arms…WED: Off…THURS: Back,Shoulders,Abs…FRI: Legs,Abs…SAT: Off…SUN: Off…MON: Chest,Arms,Abs…TUES:Back,Shoulders…WED: Off and so on If it is as clear as mud I don’t blame you, I don’t know why they changed the post format-Maybe I should have double spaced? Anyway sorry about that.

I also used to be a one part/day guy. I’ve switched to Back/Chest, Legs, Shoulders/Arms, Rest and have been getting results. However, if you do feel a little over tired, sore, or overtrained, don’t be afraid to take a few extra days off here and there. About once every five weeks I’ll take a few extra days off to rest up and fully recover. Of course how many extra days depends on what stage I’m in and how intense the stage was. General rule of thumb - if you think you may be overtraining, you probably are. Ease up and listen to your body, it knows best.