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Overtraining?

  Yesterday I went to the gym for a workout and I trained for about 4 hours pushing myself pretty hard.  I did all upper body starting with chest.  I feel that I worked out for too long on chest and also shoulders.  I didn't have any pain to speak of and felt like I could have worked out more. When do you know if you overtrained?

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
Yesterday I went to the gym for a workout and I trained for about 4 hours pushing myself pretty hard. I did all upper body starting with chest. I feel that I worked out for too long on chest and also shoulders. I didn’t have any pain to speak of and felt like I could have worked out more. When do you know if you overtrained?[/quote]

If you can work out for 4 hours, you’re taking too long between sets and are probably doing everything BUT compound exercises.

Why in the world did you work out for 4 hours??

You weren’t training hard. Crank up the weight and cut down on rest time between sets.

I did alot with dumbells. There was no time wasted inbeetween sets. Whats wrong with working for 4 hours? I know it’s a little long, but I didn’t waste time and the workout felt great. My question was how do you know if you overtrained, not “can you ask me questions about why I worked out for 4 hours”.

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
I did alot with dumbells. There was no time wasted inbeetween sets. Whats wrong with working for 4 hours? I know it’s a little long, but I didn’t waste time and the workout felt great. My question was how do you know if you overtrained, not “can you ask me questions about why I worked out for 4 hours”. [/quote]

Because, smartass, 4 hours is too much…every coach worth their salt would tell you that.

So before you start mouthin off like a punk, you may want to know what you’re talking about.

This is a joke right?

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
I did alot with dumbells. There was no time wasted inbeetween sets. Whats wrong with working for 4 hours? I know it’s a little long, but I didn’t waste time and the workout felt great. My question was how do you know if you overtrained, not “can you ask me questions about why I worked out for 4 hours”. [/quote]

If you’re doing chest, work up to your 1 rep max in the bench press, and follow it up with a few sets of heavy rows, board presses, and tricep extension of some sort. Keep rest times around 1 minute, and then you’ll feel like you’ve worked hard. Do that same type of workout for a month with little food and rest, and then you’re overtrained.

I’m not mouthing off like a “punk” I was just asking some questions and every time I post, everyone always has something negative to say. Tell me why 4 hours is long?

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
I did alot with dumbells. There was no time wasted inbeetween sets. Whats wrong with working for 4 hours?
[/quote]
Nothing. If you have the time and the gumption go for it. However, with out impecable nutrition and/or drugs it would not be something you could maintain day in and day out. You will get over trained pretty quickly. Take a day off. But so often it’s fun to take it to your physical limits. Why not?

[quote]
I know it’s a little long, but I didn’t waste time and the workout felt great. My question was how do you know if you overtrained, not “can you ask me questions about why I worked out for 4 hours”. [/quote]

There are tests you could do, but it would require you take some baseline tests after a good rest period. Basically I know it when I feel lathargic in the gym and light weights feel heavy and nothing feels right. That’s a good indication you are overtrained.

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
I’m not mouthing off like a “punk” I was just asking some questions and every time I post, everyone always has something negative to say. Tell me why 4 hours is long?[/quote]

Because it’s a sign that you’re lacking intensity. If I (or better yet a powerlifter or pro bodybuilder) worked out for 4 hours with high intensity and little rest between sets, I/they’d be in the hospital after puking out their own stomach.

Rest anywhere from 30-60 seconds between sets,just enough time to catch your breath. You can tell if you’re reaching your max because your heart will feel like it’s going to jump out of your chest.

Try doing some heavy DB Swings followed by Hang Cleans as a super set. Then a heavy set of DB bench presses super-setted with weighted chins. Gauranteed you won’t be working out for 4 hours after that. Keep it brief and intense 45-60 minutes max.

[quote]testostronefreak wrote:
<<< Tell me why 4 hours is long?[/quote]

Look, it’s almost not possible this is a serious question. Also, you can’t overtrain in one day. You can do too much at a time, but that’s doing too much at a time, not overtraining.

You say you always get negative responses to your questions. If your questions are always like this one what do you expect?

Here’s some great questions. What makes you ask in the first place? How do you feel? Are you achieving your goals? What are they? Do you plan on being able to walk past the age of forty? Most of all what in the name of all that’s holy have you been reading that would have you training 4 hours a day?

I trained legs yesterday for about 40 minutes and today I’m pretty damn sore from the waist down. 4 hours and I would’ve had to have been squeegeed into a little sack.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Because it’s a sign that you’re lacking intensity. >>>
[/quote]

Yes it is and please don’t come back with “I workout with plenty of effort and intensity”

If you can train like I do for 4 hours straight I do hereby declare myself your manager and will fly to wherever you live in the morning to discuss our very lucrative future together.

You cannot enter into a state of overtraining with one workout. It is an accumulation over time of too strenuous workouts. Typical signs are feeling exhausted, crabby, irritable, trouble aleeping, loss of weight, not progessing in your lifts, etc.

Arnold once did 9 hours straight of nothing but calf raises. He claims it broke a plateau he was experiencing and that he retained 1/2" of calf growth from that workout.

Forcing muscles to occasionally do more than they are accustomed to doing is not a bad idea from time-to-time. However, a steady diet of it will lead to burnout pretty quickly.

So, did you do bad? No. Did you do good? Perhaps. Should you continually do that? No. How often? Perhaps once every 3 months or so. When? Preferably just before taking a week off to decondition.

Overtraining is a cumulative, whole body effect. You can over do it in one workout but you can’t overtrain. Overtraining symptoms include: bad sleep patterns, general lethargy, irritability, lack of energy, diminished desire to train, drop off in strength, etc.

The reason you’re getting flamed for saying you worked out intensely for four hours is that we all know that can’t be done without drugs. No offense, but you had to be coasting some of that time. Pushing a serious chest/shoulder workout for over an hour should completely fatigue those muscle groups.

It’s also counter-productive since you’re almost guaranteed to be in a catabolic state after an hour+. I hope you were guzzling Surge!

[quote]Avoids Roids wrote:
You cannot enter into a state of overtraining with one workout. It is an accumulation over time of too strenuous workouts. Typical signs are feeling exhausted, crabby, irritable, trouble aleeping, loss of weight, not progessing in your lifts, etc.

Arnold once did 9 hours straight of nothing but calf raises. He claims it broke a plateau he was experiencing and that he retained 1/2" of calf growth from that workout.

Forcing muscles to occasionally do more than they are accustomed to doing is not a bad idea from time-to-time. However, a steady diet of it will lead to burnout pretty quickly.

So, did you do bad? No. Did you do good? Perhaps. Should you continually do that? No. How often? Perhaps once every 3 months or so. When? Preferably just before taking a week off to decondition.[/quote]

Good points

You know, I am just not getting the flame job here. I have done marathon sessions in the gym, mainly when I was younger. Did you take breaks? probably. Did you check out that chick on the abducter machine for a couple of minutes? probably.

Did you have a really big workout with a ton of volume? probably. A lot of elite atheletes train multiple hours a day. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s good to go to the gym and air it out once in a while. Fun too. I do not see how people, who were not with you, can comment on your intensity.

The biggest caveat to progress is dogma. The whole “You should never…” thing will hold you back more than anything else.

You train as long as it takes you to get all your work done. Simple as that. Sometimes for me that’s 45 minutes, sometimes it’s 3 hours.

Metal Militia benchers train at least 3 hours a pop on a weekly basis and it works for them. When you get strong, it can take you 45 minutes or more just to work up to a max. Then depending on how much supplemental and accessory work you have to do, it can take awhile.

I’ve found that BCAA and a training drink help a lot with longer sessions.

Just get done what needs to get done. Real overtraining is not going to happen to you unless you are training on the nerve for hours a day every day with inadequate recovery for a long period of time. Being overtrained is a serious condition and can take a long time to recover from. It’s not the same as simply doing too much work to make optimal progress. The latter can be capitalized on with a planned deloading week; at the end of the week, you’ll have realized tremendous gains that were stimulated by the large amount of work you did before.

Cut down your volume and up the intensity. You’re not overtraining; working out 4 hours and still have juice in ya would make that closer to undertraining.