T Nation

Preventing Overtraining Syndrome

Hey wondering if anyone has some insight… I have been doing martial arts for almost ten years now, I have been weight training for 7, I have always done both at the same time with no problems. As of late I seem to be having more of a difficult time trying to split things apart to focus on recovery…

The martial arts I am doing right now is Jeet Kune Do; training and teaching out of southern California and am under a person in Scotland named Thomas Carruthers… I am not interested in the ring and have never been interested in fighting competitively though It is something I have a very high amount of respect for… Mainly I train for strictly street self defense and preserving Bruces true art among all the bullshit so called “JKD” instructors out there…

As of late for the past year for weight training I have been doing the Indigo program with full supplement protocol; I dropped it as of late because it is too expensive however after coming off Indigo am having some issues with recovery and performance… I weight train 5 times a week right now focusing on gaining some size though for as long as I have weight lifted my main goal was strength and performance… I simply just want to get up to 205 pounds at least just as my own personal goal.

I train a one time frequency a week training one body part a day, of course it does nothing for my training as of now I just want to look better but wondering better ways to help with recovery and preventing overtraining…

I make sure to eat BIG and sleep plenty so I have no issues with diet, at the gym I spend about 45 minutes to an hour a day there, for martial arts I train a solid hour a day, I practice at least 1000 kicks and punches a day for my martial arts, then I train extra with a partner whenever I get the chance for added training; most typically my usual routine is two a day workouts morning or afternoon I practice my martial arts for however long it takes to finish my reps, then evening or night I will hit the gym for an hour… I feel maybe I am over reaching a bit but with proper diet and sleep I should not see this being too much of a problem but wondering on others insights.

What weight training program are you following?

How strenous are your Jeet Kune Do sessions?

You said you eat big, but typically those trying to bulk up often skip vegetables in favour of some more calorie dense alternatives. Are you eating you veggies?

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I was doing the indigo hypertrophy program on this site from CT for about a year for a while before that HP Mass and before that I Body Builder, now I am following a routine I borrowed from King Beef called do this routine, not that one. Its the template from the first page with the one time frequency body part split on page 1; One day is chest, one day is shoulders and traps, one day is legs, one day is arms, and one day is back… Typically with higher volume then usual because of the decreased frequency of training… So maybe around 3 to 4 exercises with higher sets to compensate…

My JKD routine if by myself is hitting different canvases, heavy bag, paper target, speed bag, shadow boxing, lots of footwork, combinations, 360 degree punching and kicking drills, bob and weave, sometimes if I am lucky someone to hold pads but can’t really get that much of an “experienced” mitt feeder unless I am with a serious training partner… basically mixing it up but aiming to hit the daily set number of at minimal 1000 punches and kicks, typically though I always try to do a bit more, obviously the kicking is alot harder and more taxing on the body at that high of reps…

If I am training with a partner we go in alot more depth usually training drills for fighting, lots and lots of technique practice, distance, timing, striking combinations, typically I would optimally try and train with a partner 4 times a week, usually though because some people are a bit further of a drive and a lot of flakes it ends up only being two times…

Diet is always solid, I always make sure to be hitting my macros each day with a good balance and I logged my food for a bit of time; I still follow and know what I am eating each day but it is not as strict as before… Fruits in the morning and yeah veggies through out the day; lots of fish oil and multi vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and calcium… I still take surge work out fuel and MAG-10 for my workouts, might get the Anaconda again but stuff is expensive and I am not in a spot of excess funds right now…

I also use BCAAS, A pretty decent mass gainer, some glutamine, various other things that help to keep myself pretty anabolic throughout the day and to keep my body running at better levels for gains and general health. I aim for about 8 hours each night, I know the effects of sleep deprivation with high training volume so will not go down that road again lol

… What do you do for a living? I mean, this looks like 10+ sessions/week to me.

In general, I’d advise you to cut down on your volume. It’s very hard to be bodybuilder and martial artist simultaneously. When you do two things, you can’t commit to one of them 100%. It’s just the way it is.

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
I was doing the indigo hypertrophy program on this site from CT for about a year for a while before that HP Mass and before that I Body Builder, now I am following a routine I borrowed from King Beef called do this routine, not that one. Its the template from the first page with the one time frequency body part split on page 1; One day is chest, one day is shoulders and traps, one day is legs, one day is arms, and one day is back… Typically with higher volume then usual because of the decreased frequency of training… So maybe around 3 to 4 exercises with higher sets to compensate…

My JKD routine if by myself is hitting different canvases, heavy bag, paper target, speed bag, shadow boxing, lots of footwork, combinations, 360 degree punching and kicking drills, bob and weave, sometimes if I am lucky someone to hold pads but can’t really get that much of an “experienced” mitt feeder unless I am with a serious training partner… basically mixing it up but aiming to hit the daily set number of at minimal 1000 punches and kicks, typically though I always try to do a bit more, obviously the kicking is alot harder and more taxing on the body at that high of reps…

If I am training with a partner we go in alot more depth usually training drills for fighting, lots and lots of technique practice, distance, timing, striking combinations, typically I would optimally try and train with a partner 4 times a week, usually though because some people are a bit further of a drive and a lot of flakes it ends up only being two times…

Diet is always solid, I always make sure to be hitting my macros each day with a good balance and I logged my food for a bit of time; I still follow and know what I am eating each day but it is not as strict as before… Fruits in the morning and yeah veggies through out the day; lots of fish oil and multi vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and calcium… I still take surge work out fuel and MAG-10 for my workouts, might get the Anaconda again but stuff is expensive and I am not in a spot of excess funds right now…

I also use BCAAS, A pretty decent mass gainer, some glutamine, various other things that help to keep myself pretty anabolic throughout the day and to keep my body running at better levels for gains and general health. I aim for about 8 hours each night, I know the effects of sleep deprivation with high training volume so will not go down that road again lol [/quote]

Here is my recommendation. I think you can still achieve both your Martial Art goals and your bodybuilding goals so there is no expectation that you need to entirely sacrifice one for the other. I think a 4-Day split would serve you better than your current 5 days a week. It will give you that extra day in the week to recover slightly and if I were you I’d use that time to do some Foam Rolling/Stretching/Meditation/Yoga/Etc. Also, have a look at 5/3/1+Bodybuilding, its 4 days a week and may be a bit more beneficial to your combat goals (its somewhere on this site, don’t have the link though).

As of right now I am working full time as private security, going back to school next semester though; You are right I do not think I can commit to both my main interest is martial arts though, the wright lifting is supposed to be a supplement but I just really like it, to be honest I am more of a strength performance athlete then an interest in body building, I just wanted to build my body up a bit before I get back to strength work focus again, thanks man I will check out that other program, thinking 4 day a week frequency is better for recovery anyways… Really I could care less the program I use just whatever it takes to get myself up to around 205 and look decent. I do practice a lot of mindfulness, meditation, foam rolling, a lot of stretching and flexibility… The only issue I have had other then workouts itself was working with recovery because I had a General Anxiety disorder that can make recovery more frustrating because of the exaggerated sympathetic system. I already worked on recovering that so its not an issue; will dial in a 4 day week program and then really just focus on my diet and sleep and keep eating big…

Digging this template!! Still going to be pretty taxing on my system and everything but if I am careful should be alright, If anyone else has some good advice or insight just let me know. Thinking so far, doing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off Thursday, Friday, sat and Sunday off… Training for my martial arts Monday, Tuesday, wed off, thursday, Friday, Saturday off and Sunday.

Day 1: Shoulders and Biceps
Standing Military Press ? 5/3/1
DB Military Press ? 4 x12
Side Laterals/Rear Laterals ? 4 x12
Barbell Curls ? 4 x12
Preacher Curls ? 4 x10

Day 2: Back
Deadlift ?�  5/3/1
Bent Over Rows ? 4 x12
Chin ups ? 4 x10 (or do Lat Pulldowns)
Good Mornings ? 4 x10
Hanging Leg Raises ? 4 x12

Day 3: Chest and Triceps
Bench Press ? 5/3/1
Weighted Dips ? 4 x10
DB Flyes ? 4 x12
Triceps Pushdowns ? 5 x 20
Push ups ? 4 sets to failure

For martial arts. If alone, footwork, skipping, heavy bag, speed bag, canvas striking, speed bag, pad combination, striking, 360 punching and kicking drills, various height, distance drills… Lots of reps… If I train with a partner I won’t train alone that day but those workouts usually take around 3 hours though actual training time of constant movement and repitation is 2 hours 30 minutes…
Day 4: Legs and Abs
Squat ? 5/3/1
Leg Press ? 5 x 15
Leg Curls ? 5 x 15
Leg Extensions ? 4 x12
Ab Wheel ? 4 x12.

Anyone know more in depth about 5/3/1 program or will I have to buy the book off the Wendler, elitefts site?

First of all, don’t push yourself to hard for a number on the scale. I’m familiar with the feeling, but sometimes it just takes time. Now, gaining fat is easy. But in your case (somebody who’s been training for quite a while) gaining more muscle takes time.

There’s a pretty good online tool for 5/3/1 http://blackironbeast.com/5/3/1/calculator

Not really about over training, but as for your programming I would add more upper back volume. Add pull ups or rows to the military press and bench press days.

I agree with a guy name John Broz which is that over training does not really exist. You can push yourself a lot harder than you realize, we all can. Just relax and do not let your anxiety get in your way.

You said you do stretching(yoga and it’s breathing practices will be better suited) and meditation, both of those will be very effective in assisting CNS recovery and the activation of your parasympathetic nervous system. I would say do at least one or the other after your workouts before you eat. This will not only help in recovery, but also in absorption of the nutrients you will ingest after.

As for gaining weight make sure you eat enough and sleep enough.

I won’t push myself to a breaking point or anything just for that number, got to take it easy mainly that’s just an deal goal but the focus is just on putting on added mass and great body composition; of course scale weight is not everything usually measurements and calipers work miles better, especially on the indigo program because my entire body composition changed all together… Yeah it will take more time because I am not new to it but usually I find I can make some pretty quick gains when I am eating a ton and not burning it off, if I only worked out and did no conditioning then I would have no issues but my main interest is in my martial arts.

Hmm not sure man I don’t believe overtraining will kill or anything but weight training does follow the law of diminishing returns; after a certain point if you are doing too much over load without recovery your body will break down and not get a chance to make improvements. Sympathatic system goes into overdrive, cortisol shoots way up, mood becomes highly effected, resting heart rate raises, motivation drops, strength stops and then begins to drop, far accumulated and muscle is begun to shrink… However yes the body can handle far more then we think, but in terms of making positive improvement overtraining will only hinder… I have been trying to get into SEAL team since high school and been training for that; Those things apply in their training but it is usually noted at BUD/S. your strength and endurance do not improve during the sixth month period, you are severally over trained and it is all about breaking your physical body down where all you are left with is the mental side to persevere… I was in enlistment process but obviously at the time I couldn’t join because that’s when I had gotten anxiety; had to get waiver but am able to join in two years on a case by case basis by doctors but have to prove that I fully cured and re trained my behavioral habits at MEPS; obviously that’s still no garuntee because a very tricky waiver to get by but that kind of gets off topic of this thread lol,