T Nation

Rate My Plan, Over-Working Concerns


So I've been doing this new routine for about 3 weeks now.. (Thanks BONEZ for the help on this routine <3)

My workouts generally last anywhere from 2 hours - 3 hours. I don't really do anything else other than what you see in my routine. My rep counts for Chest/Back/Shoulders/Arms/Legs are generally 8-12. Core/Traps/Calvs are different. I do switch exercises up and do supersets, drop sets, pyramid sets, etc.

I don't really know how my workouts are lasting so long. I generally wait about 90 - 150 seconds in between sets. Sometimes I stop to chat with fellow gym regulars, or I'll have to wait 5 minutes to use something (the gym that I go to is only about the size of a standard classroom with no more than 1 of most machines excluding cario machines).

I have a friend who is an older guy (In his late 40s, early 50s) who I chit chat with and discuss fitness with. He helps a lot of people in the gym and is very nice and assertive. We talked today and he told me that I'm over-training and I need to cut my workouts down to about an hour each session, and no more. He was very sure of this and he's helped me with a lot of other gym related things so I don't really want to 'disobey' him. I do feel like, 1 hour and 30 mins would be ideal, but he insisted 1 hour specifically. He stressed that it was very important for me, as well.

I was basically just wondering what people thought about this because this week has been pretty harsh for me on my body I feel like. I'm feeling very lightheaded after sets, I feel drained during the day, I feel mentally exhausted. What are your opinions on what's going on? I do not want advice for a casual bodybuilder. I take lifting very serious and I care about my results and what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. Please don't give me advice for a casual lifter who only goes into the gym to kill time. Much appreciated, thanks.

My nutrition is very good as far as I know. My daily diet goes something like this...

The supplements I take are as listed:

Fish oil with every solid meal
jack3d pre workout
multi vitamin
waxy maize

note: I also try and get some more fruit in there in between meals, or with meals.


Something to clarify is.. I've been in the gym for a total of 4 months. I was just training with a different routine up until 3 weeks ago.


That seems like a lot to me. Most guys spend about an hour in the gym max, performing 3-4 exercises for big muscle groups like the chest, and 1 or 2 on smaller muscle groups like the biceps. Is your goal physique or strength related?

I generally perform between 4 and 6 different movements per workout, hitting 2 muscle groups each session. I think most of the big guys around here do something similar... or at least did when they were starting out.

Assuming your goal is size... read the bodybuilding bible sticky in the bodybuilding forum and all of the newbie threads. You should come out of that with very few questions remaining.


Would you mind posting an actual work out of yours (exercises, warm-up sets, working sets, reps, rest periods...) so that we can see if you're doing something wrong?

Concerning your diet, I'd throw in some solid meal... half a pound of meat at lunch wouldn't hurt :slight_smile:


IMO- Your problem is you are following and advanced body part split routine and you're an absolute beginner.

You would be better served following a basic full body 5x5 routine for a couple years and build a foundation.


put in an ipod and don't talk to anybody under any circumstances

also, up the intensity so you'll be begging to hit the showers and protein by the end of the hour


I am aiming to build a bit of mass which I've successful with so far I think, but I'm not training to build a very builk, full of mass, strong hulk-type physique(I still want more mass, obviously, though). I'm aiming more for an aesthetic, shredded physique. Maybe somewhere around 200-210 with 5%-8% bf? Most of the routines I see for people who own those physiques are very high volume workouts. I can't post any on this forum due to T-Nation terms of service.

I performed 4 exercises for chest (8-12 on all of them), 2 exercises for biceps (8-12) yesterday and that ended up taking me 2 hours. I had to wait about 5 mins to use a piece of equipment for chest and that was all the trouble I had I believe. I guess I'm just waiting too long in between sets or something.


Sure I can do that..


Stretch for 5 mins

Incline dumbbell press:

Warm up with 25lbs, 12 reps

50 lbs (2x 50) x10-12 (was 10)
50 lbs xfailure (8)
50 lbs xfailure (8)

(Had to wait to use bench/smith so I went and did..)

Dumbbell flies on the big gym ball:

35 lbs (2x35) x10-12 (was 10)
35 lbs x10 (10)
35 lbs x10 (10)

Smith machine bench press with gym ball:

145lbs x10-12 (10)
145 lbs x10 (8)
145 lbs xfailure (6)

Pec Deck:

140lbs x10-12 (11)
140lbs x10-12 (10)
140 lbs xfailure (10)

Standing Barbell Curls (up against a wall for form support):

70lbs x10+ (10)
70lbs x10 (10)
70lbs xfailure (9)

Standing 1-armed Preacher Curls (w/dumbbell):

30lbs x10+ (10)
30lbs x10 (10)
30lbs x10 (10)

That was pretty much it. I worked some abs after that and that's when this guy came in and we started talking and he proceeded to tell me I was over-training and to cut my sessions down to strictly an hour.


Also, I definitely think it's safe to say that I am over-trained at this moment. If I'm not over-trained, then I'm at least on the route to becoming over-trained. What do you guys suggest I do? Take a day off? 2 days? a week? Don't take a day off and just shorten workouts? I was thinking about taking today(friday), saturday, sunday off and coming back strong on monday with a new goal; to shorten and intensify my workouts.


Stop this shit immediately. Use a bench. I don't care what some guru moron told you about stabilizers and all that shit, leave this bullshit for the cardio bunnies.

And don't use a smith for benching, either.


Ok, I can see two main problems here:

  • poor exercises selection: you basically use dumbell before barbell, stability ball, smith machine, and two almost identical exercises (DB flies and peck deck); I'd go with barbell flat bench press (free weight, of course ! ! ! ), dumbell incline press and peck deck (or DB flies);

  • bad loading parameters; you're going "to failure" with the same loading for three sets in a row...why? Here's how I'd set up your incline DB press, for instance:

Warm up with 25lbs, 12 reps

50 lbs (2x 50) x 8 (you could have done 10)
55-60 lbs x 6 (could have done 8)
60-65 lbs x as many reps as possible with full effort and good form; when you get 10 reps, increase the weight

Basically, in all of your sets you should do 2 reps LESS than failure, increase the weight and prepare your body for the last, all-out set. Weight jump change according to exercise (squat vs DB curl...) and strenght (if you were to incline DB 120's, you'd need more than 3 sets to get there).

Take the rest of this week off, start again next monday and go to failure only on your last set.


Order a large Hawaiian pizza, and get a 6 pack of Canada Dry Ginger Ale or Coke regular. Eat the entire pizza and drink a coke.

Then continue to carb up over the next few days until you feel better.

Only if your muscles aren't recovered.

General fatigue doesn't certainly mean you aren't recovered enough to hit a muscle group again.

Not unless you need it, and hell no to purposely taking a week off unless you are injured or have the flu.

I would think upping your intensity is only going to make shit worse.

Eat the pizza & carb up, "deload" the weights a little for a couple days and get some extra sleep. You'll be fine in 2 or 3 days.

But in general, 2-3 hours is a fucking lifetime to be in the gym, lol. I suspect you are chit-chatting more than you realize. You don't need to be strictly an hour, but 2 or 3 is a bit too much. Shoulders MIGHT take me 35-40 mins if I don't do any arm work with them.

Learn how to ramp your weights, and like Jay said, get rid of those fucking balls. I'd prefer to see you press with a BB or DB's rather than the smith at this point in your lifting career, but it's not like the smith isn't a useful tool, so do what you will.


More on exercises selection and order: http://www.tmuscle.com/readArticle.do?id=1701042&cr=bodybuilding

choose one exercise of each category (remedial only if needed), for each muscle group, and do them in the correct order (primary, secondary, auxiliary).


Well, ok. Would you mind explaining why it's a bad idea for me to be using that ball?


Wtf@ Ordering a pizza and soda??


Massive amount of calories = better recovery. You can also go for huge amounts of pasta, rice, potatoes, whatever. It's just that less healthy food will usually have a lot more calories, so you won't feel like you're stuffing yourself. It will also give you a nice mental break (if you need one). And don't you dare worry about gaining fat - you can't do that in one day.



Oh I'm sorry, sugar & carbs is da ebilz... I forgot.


Keep eating whatever it is your eating THAT ISN'T ENOUGH TO ALLOW YOU TO REMAIN UNFATIGUED.

I really don't give a shit.

Carb up for a few days, ramp your weights, and stop wasting your time talking more than you are lifting in the gym.


Continue to come up with 300 excuses to take time off, because you don't really want to train in the first place.

Again, I don't really care.


That and I get the feeling he is a carb-a-phobe and under-eating in general.


Also, WTF do you think waxi maze is? It is corn dude.




It's just a phase, he'll get over it (or not make any progress). Hell, I'd say I'm not fully over it yet. We need some kind of a 12-step program...