T Nation

Overtraining: How Much is Too Much?


How much is too much as far as intensity is concerned? For example, I may be able to bench 300 pounds, but is that necessarily good for my skeletal/muscular structure? I know that bones will break and muscles will tear if I even attempted 500 pounds, 400...maybe 350 pounds on a given exercise.

My question is how do I find this limit without destroying my basic structure? Shouldn't there be an upper limit to how much force my muscles can output before ripping off of my bones? If so, how do I find that upper limit for each exercise (i.e. deadlifts, squats, bicep curls, etc.)?

Can I just continue to gain strength and size without any repercussions? How much is too much?

That a strength athlete wants to be as strong as possible, is obvious. But, me, I'm just a 5'11" 183-pound dude that wants to be healthy. Sure, strength is awesome, but I don't want to exceed my structural limits - long-term health is the key.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and i hope y'all had a great 4th of July.


Uh-oh, here it comes. Duck, OP!


For safety, stick to the pink dumbbells.


Ask to have this moved to the beginners section...


You're fine just being you.

You don't want to add muscle or anything, your kidneys, liver, and heart will explode.

And also, regardless of whether you juice or not, you'll elevate you testosterone levels and start feeling the "rage".....you won't be able to sleep at night, you'll have to buy a new wardrobe, people will stare at you cause basically you'll just be a freak, that's right, a freak.

You'll be ostracized in your gym cause you'll be lifting weights where you'll have to make a noise or two to get them up, you'll eat everything, everywhere, all the time, and the pain....oh the hunger pain........

So you just be you, and be happy as you. Good luck with that. There's nothing wrong with being average.



Big gulps, huh? Welp...thanks for the punch in the face. Again, happy 4th.


You will have to work much harder than it appears you are presently capable of imagining for any significant change in body composition to take place at all. TRUST ME, you will never be in danger of exceeding your "structural limits" whatever that means.

Nothing against you personally, but guys who ask questions like this will rarely bust their ass AND eat enough to accomplish much more than taking up equipment at the gym.

Just out of curiosity, what the hell have you been reading? Or who the hell have you been talking to? Whichever it is stop... today.


Well, I do bust my ass in the gym every day, and my eating discipline is rock solid. I ask because my 1RM bench has skyrocketed up towards 275-285 and my deadlift is pushing 330. That's about a gain of 50-60 pounds on the bench and 100 pounds on the deadlift in about 4 months. A dude that's 5'11" and 183 has to have his limits.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't get that by being "just average" in the gym or in the kitchen.

As for my sources - I just got to thinking: there have to be limits the human body. After all, no one in this forum can squat 2,000 pounds - sorry meatheads. Where is the limit? Are there any rules that I can employ in my training routine (i.e. stick with 1.5xBW for bench, 2xBW for Deadlift and you'll stay safe)?

The consensus in this message board seems to be if your body can do it...why not? I'm simply asking if there are repercussions - if so, how do I mitigate them?


Wow -- on top of everything, an egotist. And with an attitude, too ("sorry, meatheads....")



Apparently your imagination has no limits, but your ability to comprehend and/or read about lifting does. That is what happens when you're new to this.

You're wrong. I think your bench number is total bullshit, and

on a deadlift isn't that special.

Search Casey Butt. He will love to tell you all about limits.

That doesn't stop you from being a douche bag now does it? Sorry shithead.

I think you will be safest if you go back to the funny farm and let them put you back in the special jacket. That will be the safest for everyone involved.

Do yourself a favor, stop thinking. You're not very good at it.


Dude if you are worried about safety go play chess, 'cause you pick a sport that has 90% chances of getting hurt.




Solid. Thanks, dude.


Holy shit, you're serious aren't you?



I weigh 160 and I can dl 265x3. maybe I should slow down. I don't wanna hit my limits. oh, and the video is of mmgalb727 dling 341 at her last powerlifting meet, weighing in at 180, height 5'11"

OP, yes, there are limits, but you're not close yet. you're still being outlifted by drug free women.

have a nice day.


ha ha, fucking owned...

CBear84 is awesome.


I was thinking the same thing!


Gawd, some of these people are just flat out ignorant....even though they seem to think they are all geniuses.

Anyone who starts this with this type of mentality is destined to be one of those idiots who just keep me from using the equipment I've been waiting for as they finish not working.

Don't worry, you are at ZERO risk of EVER being able to bench a bone breaking 400lbs. My ass literally fell off when I did it. It took 35 stitches to sew that son of a bitch back on so I've got dibs on the pink weights.


You are destined for mediocrity if that's what you came up with when you "got to thinking." Pretty much every breakthrough in human history both physically and mentally was done by someone that didn't think about why they can't do it, but why they can(or just being blissfully ignorant to the "impossible" and doing it anyways).

09'ers keep getting worse =/


OK, you're making progress. That's good, seriously. Of course there are limits, why make the next step worrying abut what yours are? I mean what are you suddenly afraid of? Use your head. Don't load up twice as much weight as you've previously lifted and spend some time getting even stronger and paying attention to your body while learning.
People miss lifts all the time without getting hurt.

Think about how this sounds. "Hey guys, I'm making really good progress, but since nobody can squat 2 grand how much should I be able to lift before getting hurt?" You'll know long before you get there if you keep learning.

People do get injured lifting weights, even experienced guys, but if you ask them, most of the time they'll tell you it's from doing something they knew better than, but did it anyway.