T Nation

Overtraining Poll

I seem to be much in the minority around here when it comes to this, but I’d love to see more opinions.

So…Overtraining…Myth or Reality…and why…without quoting your favorite author, please use your own brain to form your answer…

I have stated that I do not belive in it. I feel it is a myth. No matter how hard I have ever pushed my body it has always adapted and continued working. I have read about Jerry Rice’s offseason training routines and if there was ever a man who was overtraining he would be one.

Why is weightlifting any different than running, or skating, or biking? Shouldn’t overtraining be overtraining? Lance Armstrong training for the Tour de France…wow, looking at those workouts he should never have won a race, he should have needed months off to not feel so overtrained, yet he kept winning and improving.

So give me your 2 cents…I am a big boy, I can take it…

I used to think overtraining was a load of bull made up by a bunch of lazy assholes, but after being in college and not being able to eat as well as I could at home or sleep nearly as much, I’ve come to realize it’s a very real thing. I think that if you could eat an infinite amount of food and do nothing between gym sessions but sleep and eat, overtraining wouldn’t exist, but that’s not how it is.

Define over training

to me over training is working out so much that your strength gains and workouts suck and your immune system becomes shit

deadlifting is a good mass builder how come everyone dosent do it five times a day seven days a week?

you would burn your self out
= over training

to original poster… i know exactly what you’re saying. before i got into lifting, i was a distance runner, running 2x a day 6 days a week, with a long run on saturday of at least 16 miles, sometimes as high as 20.

i improved tremendously, and it’s funny because everyone who is any good at running knows that high mileage is the key, and you don’t need steroids or other supplements to run 100 miles a week or more, just hard determination. there’s a website called www.letsrun.com and everyone there advocates at least 80 miles a week, but a lot advocate 120 miles a week if you can handle it.

It’s the runnersworld.com that freaks out about people running over 40 miles a week, and most people there are happy to run 18 minute 5k’s, where the people on letsrun.com are pissed if they aren’t running 15:30’s for 5k’s (which is very good).

2nd case, I get into lifting, start reading at menshealth.com, and start reading up on how i should be doing 3x a week full body workouts and don’t needa be in the gym for more than 30 minutes each time. I figure this must be the key to success.

Turns out I didn’t make as much progress on oen of those programs as i did a 5x a week bodypart split program, and guess what? menshealth.com is also in association with runnersworld.com, so i can only put 2 and 2 together that they are sites that promote mediocre results for those that are happy to just be mediocre.

Personally I’m starting more and more to lean towards working out more.

[quote]Jason B wrote:
I seem to be much in the minority around here when it comes to this, but I’d love to see more opinions.

So…Overtraining…Myth or Reality…and why…without quoting your favorite author, please use your own brain to form your answer…

I have stated that I do not belive in it. I feel it is a myth. No matter how hard I have ever pushed my body it has always adapted and continued working. I have read about Jerry Rice’s offseason training routines and if there was ever a man who was overtraining he would be one.

Why is weightlifting any different than running, or skating, or biking? Shouldn’t overtraining be overtraining? Lance Armstrong training for the Tour de France…wow, looking at those workouts he should never have won a race, he should have needed months off to not feel so overtrained, yet he kept winning and improving.

So give me your 2 cents…I am a big boy, I can take it…
[/quote]

Those elite level cyclists who eventually gain the recovery ability to participate in the Tour, and many don’t and remain one-day specialists, take many years to do so. It’s rare for a rider’s first grand tour to occur before age 25 because it takes so long to build up the work capacity.

In fact, training for cycling at a high level is built almost entirely around managing fatigue, walking that thin line between training which will produce adaptation and training which will produce overtraining/regression. This is the case in most non-skill dominant sports.

If you don’t believe in overtraining, I suggest you go max your deadlift every day for a month while continuing your normal training program. Come back then and tell me if you were able to eat and sleep your way out of declining performance, insomnia, depression, and loss of libido. Come back again a week or two after that and tell me if you’re good as new and better than ever.

If you’ve never managed to dig yourself a recovery hole that was too deep to escape without regression, then either you had great coaching, great luck, or a shortage of desire.

[quote]lifter85 wrote:
to original poster… i know exactly what you’re saying. before i got into lifting, i was a distance runner, running 2x a day 6 days a week, with a long run on saturday of at least 16 miles, sometimes as high as 20.

i improved tremendously, and it’s funny because everyone who is any good at running knows that high mileage is the key, and you don’t need steroids or other supplements to run 100 miles a week or more, just hard determination. there’s a website called www.letsrun.com and everyone there advocates at least 80 miles a week, but a lot advocate 120 miles a week if you can handle it.

It’s the runnersworld.com that freaks out about people running over 40 miles a week, and most people there are happy to run 18 minute 5k’s, where the people on letsrun.com are pissed if they aren’t running 15:30’s for 5k’s (which is very good).

2nd case, I get into lifting, start reading at menshealth.com, and start reading up on how i should be doing 3x a week full body workouts and don’t needa be in the gym for more than 30 minutes each time. I figure this must be the key to success.

Turns out I didn’t make as much progress on oen of those programs as i did a 5x a week bodypart split program, and guess what? menshealth.com is also in association with runnersworld.com, so i can only put 2 and 2 together that they are sites that promote mediocre results for those that are happy to just be mediocre.

Personally I’m starting more and more to lean towards working out more. [/quote]

This is exactly my point. Runners, skiers, speed skaters, swimmers, gymnasts, bikers, etc. all work the same body parts over and over and over and volume truly is the key to success. Why do those rules change when it comes to weightlifting? They shouldn’t and they don’t…

also those things are different. Do you realize the stress that heavy weights put on the human anatomy? all those people train often but they are sport-specific training. Im not saying what they do doesn’t put stress but ur comparing apples to oranges. I notice in ur list u didn’t mention weightlifters…

[quote]etaco wrote:

Those elite level cyclists who eventually gain the recovery ability to participate in the Tour, and many don’t and remain one-day specialists, take many years to do so. It’s rare for a rider’s first grand tour to occur before age 25 because it takes so long to build up the work capacity.

In fact, training for cycling at a high level is built almost entirely around managing fatigue, walking that thin line between training which will produce adaptation and training which will produce overtraining/regression. This is the case in most non-skill dominant sports.

If you don’t believe in overtraining, I suggest you go max your deadlift every day for a month while continuing your normal training program. Come back then and tell me if you were able to eat and sleep your way out of declining performance, insomnia, depression, and loss of libido. Come back again a week or two after that and tell me if you’re good as new and better than ever.

If you’ve never managed to dig yourself a recovery hole that was too deep to escape without regression, then either you had great coaching, great luck, or a shortage of desire.[/quote]

Awesome response. Thank you and nice job.

I believe that overtraining exists. But 90% of trainees are not even close to overtraining. For the MOST part, it is not overtraining, it is being undernourished.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
also those things are different. Do you realize the stress that heavy weights put on the human anatomy? all those people train often but they are sport-specific training. Im not saying what they do doesn’t put stress but ur comparing apples to oranges. I notice in ur list u didn’t mention weightlifters…[/quote]

Wouldn’t the same type of neural fatigue set in? And isn’t that the whole basis of overtraining? Isn’t weightlifting sport specific training?

I didn’t mention weightlifters in my list because it would have looked silly to put weightlifters in the comparison group when I was comparing that group to weightlifters.

Overtraining from just weight lifting, most likely not. Poor nutrtion and lack of sleep is more likely.

Overtraining from running (distance or track workouts), weight lifting, and sports; much more likely. If you do more than just weight lifting, over training is very possible.

When lifting half your max takes 100% effort after a full recovery, thats being overtrained.

[quote]Jason B wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
also those things are different. Do you realize the stress that heavy weights put on the human anatomy? all those people train often but they are sport-specific training. Im not saying what they do doesn’t put stress but ur comparing apples to oranges. I notice in ur list u didn’t mention weightlifters…

Wouldn’t the same type of neural fatigue set in? And isn’t that the whole basis of overtraining? Isn’t weightlifting sport specific training?

I didn’t mention weightlifters in my list because it would have looked silly to put weightlifters in the comparison group when I was comparing that group to weightlifters.[/quote]

I guess it depends i mean i don’t think doing heavy barbell curls everyday is nearly as taxing on the nervous system as heavy squats everyday. I do side with the guy above you though. most people don’t get to that true overtraining state, its undernourishment but COME ON PLZ. u think that it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!!!

to take ur body over the limit. I mean come on. think of the most extreme thing ever. LIke tbt training with fifteen plus sets per bodypart and failure every set is not going to damage ur nervous system to an extent that if you do this every day it will not destroy ur body? It just blows my mind away that you think it is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for it to happen.

If you don’t believe in overtraining, I suggest you go max your deadlift every day for a month while continuing your normal training program. Come back then and tell me if you were able to eat and sleep your way out of declining performance, insomnia, depression, and loss of libido.

Come back again a week or two after that and tell me if you’re good as new and better than ever.

If you’ve never managed to dig yourself a recovery hole that was too deep to escape without regression, then either you had great coaching, great luck, or a shortage of desire.[/quote]

you are speaking wrongly about that. what i mean is, of course it’s not good to max out every day, just like it’s not good to race all out every day. my dad once said “if you wana get faster at the mile, why not just run a mile all out every day?” that kind of maxing ISN’T good every day like you speak of, yes, but we’re not talking about maxing out every day.

What about lifting 2-3 reps short of your rep that you’re aiming for and do it more frequently? By this I mean if you want 10 reps, go for your 13-14 rep max maybe, and if 5 reps, go for your 7-8 rep max. This is what all distance athletes do except for their speed workouts, which are only 1-2 workouts a week in a total of about 13-14 workouts in a week.

whatever i can’t argue this anymore. man i am not going to be able to sleep tonight with this argument in my mind. it is like that author once said(dont know the name)
“Good conversation can be as stimulating as a cup of coffee,and just as hard to sleep after.”

Overtraining exists. All other factors being the same (perfect diet and stimulus) I believe that ability to recover is somewhat genetic. For example, two identical trainers, but one has twice the testosterone (occuring naturally). His likelihood of overtraining is far less.

While you may not have experienced overtraining symptoms very often, I have several times. All the “textbook” symptoms… I like the “rebound effect” however, then I’ll take 3-4 days off, and come back stronger than ever.

In the quest for the fastest gains, I would expect most serious trainers to experience overtraining. After all, you don’t know how much is enough, until you know how much TOO MUCH is.

I know it a complete reality to say the least…

When I took just 9 days off last month after lifting heavy for around 8 weeks, I GREW, and im only talkin about an inch on every body part! completley shocked the hell outa me!

Made me realise, going at it heavy with a good level of intensity and volume for 8 weeks and then having over a week off, really did do me some good! it is something I will be repeating.

If you think it doesn’t exist, then you obviously have a lot more learning to do.

Overtrainming = VERY real but RARE IMO and MUCH harder to get to then ppl think.

I do agree it has gone to far to the point of being cructh for working hard and adapting to the work. BVUT yes I can say I did over train it was a mix of diet and training and Work.

I was 215 lbs went on a very very strict low cal (2000 or less) a day diet nearly zero fat, went from not doing cardio to jogging twice a day EVERY DAY, lifting full body, twice a day 3 -4 times a week for 45-60 minutes,. working full time hard labor (tire shop) 6 days a week.

Lets just say that was over kill i dropped VERY fats to 165 on my frame thats LOW my body quit havning the ability to even heat itself, Im still to this day and for life will be paying for it with health probs etc.

So yes its real but its a Mix of drastic diet and massive amounts of over work coupled with life stressors.

Yes real, but over played as an excuse

Phill

[quote]mithious wrote:

I like the “rebound effect” however, then I’ll take 3-4 days off, and come back stronger than ever.

[/quote]

If you can recover in 3-4 days of rest than you’re overreaching and not yet into a state of overtraining (there is a very big difference). For those that said genetic and hormonal factors also must be taken into account you’re absolutely right.

I also think comparing running to resistance training is a horrible analogy. Imagine a cut on your arm. With proper rest it will eventually heal itself. But if you keep cutting it in the same spot each day how the hell will it ever heal. Overtime it will get deeper and deeper until one day it’s beyond repair.

I thought we already came to the conclusion that more isn’t always better.

People DO NOT realize that cycling for 5-6 hours a day is MUCH LESS fatiguing on the physique in comparison to lifting 1h 30 a day.

I’ve been there because I still compete form time to time in cycling. If I work out 6 days out of seven for 1h and 30, I’ll get aches everywhere, unless I used 60-70 percent loads all the time.

If I cycle 4-5 hours a day for 5-6 days a week, I just get impotent, but not fatigued (I seriously get impotent if I don’t stop for 1-2 days)