T Nation

Paranoid of OverTraining

Heh fellow T-MEN,

I am scared of overtraing which will lead to no gains. I am thinking of increasing my program by adding an extra set and or a 5th excercise/body part. I have been lifting weights for years and my gains right now are as slow as hell even though diet is in place. I am a pretty big guy, 6 feet and about 245 lbs with 14.5 % bodyfat… Perhaps I am near my natural potential. Any advice is appreciated!

Here is my current program for Chest, tri’s, bi’s Which are done on the same day.
1.Bench Press 4 sets of 8-12 reps
2.Incline Press 4 sets 8-12 reps
3.Fly’s 4 sets 8-12 reps
4.Cable Pulls 4 sets 8-12 reps

1.French Press 4 sets 8-12 reps
2.Tri extensions with dumbells 4 sets 8-12 reps
3.Lying dumbell extensions 4 sets
4.Tri Pushdowns


  1. Ez-Bar curl 4 sets
  2. Preacher Curls 4 sets
  3. Alt D-Bell curls 4 sets
  4. Concentration curls 4 sets

Based on your previous posts, I’m assuming that you aren’t natural. That said, 48 sets in one workout is probably too much already, and I’d venture to guess that 64 would definitely be overdoing it.

I’d much rather see you focus on exercise quality than quantity. For example, your triceps will be hammered pretty good after the pressing in your chest workout, so you can probably get away with not using a close grip bench variation. You might consider adding dips, though. Bang out 3-4 sets of 1-2 exercises for the long head of the triceps (e.g. decline extensions, overhead extensions); no need to do 12 sets for the long head alone.

Also, your bicep workout is good in that it contains exercises that stress the low, mid, and upper range of movement for the biceps. However, you have no direct work for the brachialis or brachioradialis. Since you have two movements that emphasize the mid-range (EZ Bar Curls and Alt. DB Curls, not to mention pullup movements on back day), replace one of them with an incline hammer curl or reverse curl. Personally, I always include some variation of the incline curl in my programs, as it is very effective in targeting the long head of the biceps.

This, of course, assumes that you even need to be training arms directly. If it was me, I’d can about 50% of the volume on everything, using core movements as the foundation and isolation as the filler.

Hope this helps.

4 sets of 8-12?

That’s not the best combination if you’ve been doing it for some time now. Also, Eric pointed out that your volume is fairly high.

It may be time to switch things up and try something new. Do the opposite of what you’ve been doing.

Too much volume, I cant see you not overtraining on such protocol.

There is no need to use so many sets with such a high rep range to induce growth, and stagnation is likely to occur. How long does that take you? 2 hours?

Take 6 weeks and try something like Waterbury’s “Anti-Bodybuilding Hypertrophy Program”. I think you’ll be amazed.

To Eric:

Yes based on my previous post it would seem that I was not natural, but I assure I still am. I have thought about attaining some gear because I am not happy with my progress anymore. But I have decided that I like my full head of hair, and the fact that I am not suffering gyno.

I want to try and remain natural, but I’d be lying if I said that the temptation was not there.

Thank you for your advice.

“I have thought about attaining some gear because I am not happy with my progress anymore.”

You aren’t happy with your progress because you’re training like you ARE on gear. Drop the volume and stick to the basics.