T Nation

Talk Some Sense Into Me


#1

Hey TNation,

This may be a long-ish post, but I hope that youâ??ll indulge me. I donâ??t really have people near me to ask their opinion about my training becauseâ?¦wellâ?¦most of them think that training more than four days a week is crazy. This is a thread about my possible overtraining: Iâ??ll address it in four sections: 1) context; 2) training; 3) observations about training; 4) symptoms.

Context:

Age: 25
Goal: Hypertrophy while not putting on more fat than I can help.

Experience level: as far as weights go, Iâ??m pretty much a beginner. Can deadlift double my bodyweight and squat about as much, bench press about 1.5. 5â??10â??, and about 175lbs at the moment, although I bulked to 200 earlier this year, but took a few months away from lifting after moving to a new city and starting a new job for a summer internship. I was still running at the time, and I make no excuses for not liftingâ??just got too absorbed in my job.

While Iâ??ve only been lifting pretty consistently (one three-month layoff) for about a year and a half or so, Iâ??ve been training seriously for about 6 years consistently. I was formerly a distance runner (and before that an overweight offensive lineman in high school). I love physical training of any kind, honestly.

Current Daily Training:

I wake up at 4am and run/jog for 40 minutes
Eat breakfast immediately after: 7 egg whites, 1lb of veggies, 200cals fat free cheese, 4 (minimum) tbsp peanut butter, bit of oatmeal

Train at 6. Lifting lasts about 1 hour and 40 minutes and involves very little down time, usually using antagonistic muscles to minimize rest periods. I lift every day, with 6 days of the week following a 2 way split that basically tracks OTS BBBâ??s 6 day split, then on Sundays I deadlift and do total body isolation exercises. I can be more specific if you'd like on this front.

Immediately after lifting, I walk on a treadmill at 9 incline at 3.8 speed or so for two miles, sometimes more.

After workout, I do a scoop of whey and 5g creatine.

Then school, then a big dinner every night. Sleep at 9 or so (see below for more on sleep).

Thoughts on training:

I donâ??t think this is a food issue. Iâ??m getting stronger in every core exercise from week-to-week or so. I donâ??t feel physically stressed or tired necessarily, although I never experience DOMS or a â??pumpâ?? at the end of a workout. But part of me thinks that my cortisol levels may just be jacked through the roof and that I donâ??t even notice it anymore. I wouldnâ??t even make an â??Am I overtraining?â?? thread were it not for these symptoms:

Symptoms:
1. Serious sleep problems despite taking ZMA, which used to work fine. I strongly suspect that I have some form of exercise-induced sleep apnea, as I wake up probably 6 times a night or more.
2. More troubling, Iâ??ve been getting these blood-filled sacks in my mouth after sleeping and sometimes spontaneously while eating (i.e. I wonâ??t have, e.g., bit my tongue or something). Usually occurs in the side of the mouth, but today happened on my tongue during breakfast (bled a lot).
3. Sleepy during day (likely related to #1)
4. A month ago, I was having a bit of blood in my stools, but that stopped.

Like I said earlier, I enjoy training and being physically active. But Iâ??m starting to think that Iâ??m just running myself into the ground without even realizing it because Iâ??m not even aware of the amount of stress that Iâ??m putting on my body. Iâ??ve been running for years and used to run really high mileage, so jogging for 40 mins or so doesnâ??t seem like a lot, but maybe it really is and I just donâ??t realize it.

What do you guys think? Should I scale back despite the fact that Iâ??m making good progress? My gym time is going really well, but these other signals are troubling. Itâ??s almost like my body is trying to tell me to stop in ways that are collateral to training itself (as opposed to, e.g., seeing my strength decline or something).

Or is this non-training related perhaps? I am a student in a professional school at an ivy league university, so I guess there's a lot of stress involved (perhaps more than I realize?).

Any thoughts appreciated.


#2

Scale it back for a few weeks and see how you feel.

It's perfectly normal to make progress while being irritable and having sleepless nights (induced by work load) etc...but it never lasts in my experience. There comes a point of diminishing returns where no amount of over-eating helps.

Goodness help me if I call it "overtraining" though...especially since you obviously need to be in a hospital bed, dying and no in-between area for it to be call over training :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

Thanks for the input. I guess that this morning was just a sort of wake-up call for me that I might be doing something that's giving me short-term gains but might seriously screw me up in the long term.

I've had this sleep apnea/recurrent waking situation for about the past two months.

The blood blister in my mouth thing is relatively new, probably the past two weeks, I'd say. The one I got this morning was alarming because it erupted spontaneously--it's not as if I bit my tongue and caused a blood blister to emerge. I was eating breakfast and then felt a large bulge in my tongue. Sort of freaked me out.

And it seems to just be one thing after another. If it's not the small amount of blood on my toilet paper, then it's a blood blister in my mouth, or an extended period of blurred vision while weight training. But then again, these could all just be related to the crappy sleep and not the training itself. But I am exercising (counting the treadmill walking) for roughly 3 hours/day total, and maybe my skeletal muscle has adapted to that while the rest of my body is using these signals as a way to say "dude, stop." It's just hard to tell, and I feel like I'm still making progress doing what I'm doing so it might not be overtraining per se.


#4

Also, apologies for how screwed up the OP is--I typed it out on Word and copy/pasted it.


#5

Yeah what you find is it effects your sleep, which in turn effects everything else (turns into a vicious circle).

The "blood in the stools" part - have you changed your diet recently? This happened to me when I introduced new foods/more food...

The scaling back part is mostly for the running etc.

As for blood blisters in mouth, this can be induced by stress factors outside the gym too (work, personal life, lots of things changing in your life etc).

Usually it all can be solve/alleviated simply by reducing volume for some weeks/and or taking some days off.


#6

No one looks before posting. A few threads down...

http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/you_are_not_overtraining


#7

That thread is actually what made me think to write the original post. Do you mean that I should have posted it in that thread? I didn't want to interrupt their discussion with my own situation.

But generally speaking, I wholeheartedly agree that 99% of people who think that they are overtrained are not. That's why I thought I'd make a thread asking whether my particular situation sounds like overtraining or something else.


#8

This thread has achieved its purpose--by giving me a chance to reflect, I'm just going to man up. I like the training, and my body will get used to it. I'm going to cut the jogging by 10 minutes and focus on getting more sleep, although I can't really control whether it's better sleep. Probably eat more as well.

These physiological issues have been going on for a few months, and I guess I was just at a breaking point this morning and needed to vent. Thanks again for the responses, its_just_me.


#9

Go see a doctor and get blood work done, complete panel.


#10

maybe cut the evening cardio and see if that helps improve sleep. I know if i train past 5pm, i cant sleep for ages


#11

You've added far too many bells and whistles onto the program. You shouldn't be minimizing rest times; the rest times given in the book are a cornerstone of the entire program!

Antagonist supersets ? I have a hunch that you've added in more volume and exercises than the program suggests as well..

Sundays are for rest, not squeezing in an extra session. Why have you made all these tweaks? Follow the routine as written.

The post-lifting treadmill walk is redundant with the daily running you're already doing, and if the running is for enjoyment, you don't need to be doing it every day. There's no mystery here.


#12

If I was bleeding from my ass and getting strange sacks of blood in my mouth I probably would go to the doctor.


#13

Yeah, I'm cutting the jogging significantly, which I only did out of habit, really (been running long distance for years).

As to what you said about BBB, I'm not running BBB right now. I did BBB during the spring and may return to it, but I just meant that I was following the body part split.

Thanks for all the input, folks. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting more sleep and, as I said, cutting back on running and seeing where that lands me in a few weeks.


#14

it's great to read how active you are.

you have written about hypertrophy being your goal. so if you want to grow, don't wake up at 4am for a jog, sleep and grow instead and eat the precious egg yolks (btw. they are delicious). take some rest between sets and add weight. ditch the running. after training eat a lot of carbs (i prefer bananas or rice).

don't get me wrong, i respect your effort, but if you want to grow follow the habbits of big guys: good sleep, heavy weights, plenty of protein, carbs, fat, little cardio.


#15

Actually you're not because you've added a seventh session on Sunday. You're probably doing greater volume per session than suggested in the book based on what you said, too.

Don't let your enthusiasm for training overtake training for results. I don't see the logic behind your lifting routine, the running, and the walking other than you get a buzz out of exercising as often as possible.


#16

Go to the doctor.

Also, cardio lift cardio? WHY FOR? WHY.


#17

ya dude.. that seems a bit extreme in my opinion. Don't think that will help with hypertrophy whatsoever seeing that cardio actually "decreases" muscles size in order to become more efficient. definitely scale back. Also 1hr 40 min? that's quite a length of time to spend in the gym in my opinion. 60 minutes> is how quick i get things done on my 5-day split...


#18

Eight oh five wut wut!

SLO town home town here.


#19

U throw away egg yolks and eat fat free cheese which is rubbery as hell IMHO but then throw in at least 4 tbsp of peanut butter? Im kinda new but what's the rationale for that? Send me yer yolks and i'll eat em.