Training 6 Days a Week, Overtraining?

Dear T-Nation. I’m one of your biggest fans, I think I’ve read almost all of your articles. Honestly, I’m not expecting an answer but what the heck, I’ll try anyway. So, I’m a 1.85cm, 84kg meatless meathead (But I eat eggs and dairy, just meat is a no-no). After the imense amount of information, I got to the conclusion that I wasn’t training hard enough.

The big question is: Do you think that 6 days in a row for training is an overdue? I only get sundays off and honestly I would totally distroy the gym on sundays too…

I think I’ve got my nutrition on track now, after a few errors. I got a BMR of 2300 kcal, so I’m eating (with supplements) about 4000 kcal a day (2300 BMR + 600 - 800 on the workout + 300-400 daily activities + the growth). I’m trying to get about 1.5 - 2 grams of protein per kg (1 g per pound). I started working out back in august 2015 but my first months were a fiasco…

My workout is the following. I use supersets, dropsets and forced reps, rest time between 60 and 90 secs (depending on how I feel):

Monday - Chest day 1
Barbell Bench Press (2 warm-up sets + 4 working sets, 15, 12, 10, 8)
Inclinde Bench Press (4 sets)
Decline Becn Press (4 sets)
Flat bench Flyes - 3 sets
30 degrees Incline Bench Flyes - 3 sets
45 degrees Incline Bench Flyes - 3 sets
Cable flyes - from bottom to top (11 positions x 6 reps per position without rest) - 66 reps

Thuesday - Back day 1
Deadlifts - 2-3 warm-up sets + 4-5 working sets
Barbell bent over row - 4 sets
Pulldowns - 4 sets
Cable Rows (horizontal) - 4 sets
Cable rows (vertical) - 4 sets
Straight arm pulldowns - 4 sets

Wednesday - Legs days 1
10 min max incline treadmill warmup
Leg press - 10 working sets
Leg extensions - 6 sets
Leg Curls - 6 sets
Standing barbell calves raises - 5 sets
Goblet squats - 4 sets

Thursday - Arms day
Close grip bench press (2 warmup + 4 working sets)
Barbell lying extensions - 4 sets
Cable pushdows (straight bar) - 4 sets
Overhead Extensions (cable) - 4 sets
Reverse grip single arm pushdowns - 3 sets
Barbell curls - 5 sets or Dumbell curls - 5 sets
Cable curls with a handle for each hand, standing with the back at the machine (It’s king of a incline seated curl but with cables to increase TUT) - 4 sets (all dropsets)
Incline seated curls - 3 sets (dropsets)
Standing Hammer curls - 1 set - 120 total reps, 60 for each hand, without rest

Friday - Shoulders and Chest 2
Military press or dumbell seated press (2+4 working sets)
Seated lateral raises - 4 sets (light weight, focused on the form)
Rope face cable puls - 4 sets
Front raises (here I superset, 10 reps with palms us, 10 reps with neutral grip, 10 reps with palms down, no rest, 30 reps total) x 3 sets
Dumbells or machine revers flyes - 4-5 sets

Dumbell flat bench chest press - 4 sets
Dumbell 30 degrees bench chest press - 4 sets
Dumbell 45 degrees bench chest press - 4 sets
Dumbell Straight Arm pullover - 4 sets
Dips - If I’ve got some juice left

Saturday - Legs 2 + Back 2
Squats - 8 total sets
Romanian deadlift or stifflegs deadlift - 4 sets
Lunges - 4 sets
Dumbell rows (different variations) - 4 sets
Close grip high rows - 4 sets
Meadow or T-bar rows - 4 sets

And that’s about it… I’m looking to bulk the fuck up, I’ve strugled and thought about quiting 1000 times. Not eating meat is, for me, an ethical and moral choice, so please don’t…
I’ve managed to put on about 6 kgs, mostly muscle, since november, I’m making very slow progress in gaining weight. I’m at about 7% bodyfat because of the not eating meat thing (My Worldclass Gym has a 5000 euros Tanita weight thinghy that measures everything).

So that’s about it… Does this look like a recipe for disaster? Any qualified input is a blessing so feel free…

Thank you in advance!

You are doing more volume than an IFBB Pro bodybuilder on 5g of anabolics + gh and insulin.

But am I overdoing it?


You can easily train 6 days a week but doing it like that is just bullshit. The volume imbalance between upper and lower body is dreadful to say the least, separate day for arms with that kind of volume is absolutely useless and day to day volume is way too high.

Try training four times a week with an upper lower split first, then move on to something like Layne Norton’s PHAT that has one upper body and one lower body workout and one day for back+shoulders, legs and chest+arms individually. If that’s not enough volume and frequency for bodybuilding, nothing is.

No. Training six days a week can be fine.

The way you’re doing it, yes.

You’re not 7% bodyfat, but I believe there’s a machine that might tell you you’re 7% bodyfat. But if you are very lean, you have more wiggle room to really bump up the calories and see faster results than about 1kg per month.

At 185 pounds, you’re eating 4,000 calories everyday and only gaining about 2 pounds per month? What, exactly, did you eat yesterday?

Sounds neat, but that’s not an actual goal. What, specifically are you trying to do? Weigh 100kg by Christmas? Weigh 90kg but with a six-pack?

Being vegetarian doesn’t have to mean slow progress and being a lacto-ovo vegetarian means you have basically zero excuses for slow progress. Eat a dozen eggs a day. Doesn’t have to be all in one meal, but, from wake-up until you fall asleep, your nutritional goal is to eat a dozen whole eggs in addition to or as part of your three meals a day, not “instead of” any meal.

Thank you very much for your response. I really appreciate all the help that I can get, I don’t want to develop bad habits or to fuck something up.

Wholegrain bread (200g) with 82% fat butter and some sort of cottage cheese (it has about 22g of protein per 100g) - The sandwich is about 800-900 kcal + 1 Banana (about 150kcal)

1h Before the workout: Oat pecan bar that has 454 kcal (12g of protein) and an apple (for the fibers and slow digesting carbs) or a raisins, wholenut and almons mix of 200g (950kcal in total)

During workout - After reading an article here on T-Nation, I’ve switched to drinking Aminoacids during the workout (BCAAs with 5g of Leucine) + 2l of water

After workout - Protein and carb matrix from BSN (1200 kcal with 60g of protein) + 5g of creatine monohydrate with 300 ml of almond milk to a grand total of about 1300 kcals

Lunch - Sweet potato cream soup with sunflower and pumpkin seeds (don’t know the energetic value, but is sure as hell above 700-800 kcal, as only 50g of seeds have about 350kcal)

Dinner - 2 greek yougurts (24g of protein) with roasted peanuts (with a grand total of about 40g of protein and about 500kcals)

Objective 1: Weight of between 87 to maximum 90kg by december 2016.

As I said, I’ve done a lot of mistakes with my diet, like fasting, going in the gym on an empty stomach, eating only 2000kcals per day (I was something like skinny-fat). In the past two months I’ve put my diet in check.

Clarification: Because of my poor eating habits, back in november I was at 78.5kgs. In the past 10 weeks or so I’ve gained about 4kgs.

I really want to train at least 5 or 6 days a week because, with the risk of sounding crazy, when I skip the gym for 2 days I almost imediately get depressed… It kinda became the only thing that I enjoy in my life and the only 1,5 - 2 hours when I’m focused and really connected to myself.

Objective 2: Hit every single bodypart twice a week for optimized hypertrophy!

So please, if you’ve got any sugestions regarding changes to my workout, feel free to jump in.
Thank you from my heart,

That’s not crazy, it’s sad. Give this a read and check number one here for balance and perspective.

There are tons of programs to try, just not a ton that call for 6 days of lifting. Consider this plan with 3 days of lifting that hit each bodypart 2-3 times per week and 3 days of cardio/“GPP” (which could be a blend of bodyweight and conditioning work).

Boring But Big is a 4-day a week routine that hits pretty much everything twice.

Thibaudeau’s Layer System has 6 days of lifting, but it’s movement-based so you’re hitting each “bodypart” once, maybe twice-ish, per week.

:facepalm: Ok, that’s good. It’s not quite the same as “I’ve managed to put on about 6 kgs, mostly muscle, since november”, but it’s definitely good. I’d say you’re much more on track then, even though the eating plan you listed was maybe 100g of good quality protein. Nuts aren’t a great source of protein and shouldn’t really “count” towards the daily total. Fix that (with eggs, but maybe not a dozen a day) and I think you’ll be in an even better place.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this…

…followed by this…

…does not make a whole lot of sense. Supersets, dropsets, and forced reps are fairly advanced techniques. So when I read this…

…and saw that “Chest Day 1” includes a whopping twelve sets of bench press, my reaction was kind of like this…

Being somewhat serious, when I see high-volume routines like this being done by trainees who are not especially experienced or advanced, I cringe. Because it’s very likely that you’re holding something back on those first couple of sets. There’s just no way you can put really great effort into the first series of bench press sets when you subconsciously know that you’re planning to blast your chest with another 8 sets of bench press and then four different variations of chest fly exercises.

I think sometimes people misunderstand what training “hard” really means. High volume is one way of training “hard” - but if you go through the motions on three-quarters of your routine just to survive the 24 sets of chest exercises on the day’s docket, I don’t think you’re actually going to be training quite as hard as you think. I’ve made some of the best progress of my life in the last couple months doing an extremely low-volume routine that is high-frequency and high-intensity. Most of us can only pick two-of-three from that menu (volume, frequency, intensity). If you are trying to lift high-volume, high-frequency, high-intensity without copious amounts of PED’s or a significant amount of time under the bar, it is unlikely that you’re setting the stage for sustained progress.

Ok, thank you all. So my workout plan is a bust. Too much volume seems to be the problem. I knew something was wrong, that’s why I wrote this thread here, because I felt something might be off.

I have made serious gains in the past two months, visibile in the mirror, but it seems that I’ve dropped a bit of strenght (probably because my nervous system is too tired from all this volume).

@Activities guy: Thanks for the answer. The thing is, I never really thought about that. I’ve never had in my mind: Oh my, how am I going to finish all this sets? The only thing that I had in my mind was that I needed to blast the fuck out of this set, the one that I’m doing now. The problem was not with the first sets, but with the lasts.
As a training tehnique, I’m using descending waves, so the number of reps go down and the weight goes up (so at the bench press I would do something like this: empty bar x 20 reps, 40kg x 15 reps, 60 kg x 12 reps, 70 kg x 8-10 reps, 80 kg x 4 reps, 60 kg x 8 reps).
It the past month I’ve literally felt the glycogen in my mucles depleting after about 25-30 minutes of the workout.

The question becomes, having in mind that I would like to train each bodypart two times a week:

  1. Do I lower the volume and keep this workout? (Something like no more that 16 working sets/day)
  2. Do I change it completely? And if I change it, into what do I do that?

Objective 2.1 Hitting the major muscle grups two times a week (Legs, Back, Chest)

Why not do a program written by a coach with knowledge, experience and a client base to test on instead of trying to conjure something up amd hope you don’t fuck it up (which you are 0-1 on already)

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I don’t get it, why 90% of people do this mistake when they start lifting. Everybody thinks they’re something special and think that they won’t progress with just regular beginner program?

Ok people, thanks very much for the responses.
I’ve found this article on T-Nation: 11 Principles of bodybuilding

It kinda made everything much clearer.

I only have just one more question: Is once every 7 days really enough? Don’t you miss out on potential hypertrophy, given the fact the muscle protein synthesis takes a maximum of 48 hours after the damage?

The answer is hugely individual. How experienced you are? If not, I would recommend full body program or upper-lower split for increased frequency (yoru muscles do not yet need shitloads of volume to grow).

I don’t know much about bodybuilding, but I think almost everyone should start quite similarly with simple beginner programs and big movements done for sets of 5-10. From there it is easy to adjust your training later.

PS. Totally agreeing the posts below. There’s always something to question/tweak and always some holes in every program ever made. Work is more important than thinking.

This is a question that deals with minor shit that you do not need to concern yourself with.

Choose a proven program, trust in the program, be consistent and eat to succeed.

The rest will follow.

What is of utmost importance for YOU is getting on a program with a proper progression model. That’s it. You think too much. Stop overthinking. This is a meathead sport. If you can tie your own shoelaces, you can succeed in this.

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Many lifts “overlap” muscle groups.

If you squat, to back raises and lunges one day, then deadlift and do leg extensions and leg curls another day, you’ll hit all your leg meat twice that week.

Military press and hit chinups and tricep extensions one upper body day. Then bench press, chin up and do curls and rear delts on the second day.

Load the first, or main exercises a little heavier than you have been.

Yeah, well, I’ve used progressive overload all along and that was one of my problems, I’ve fucked up and drained my CNS because I always looked to push my 1RM, to move more weight and I didn’t take a deload week or something to give my nervous system a breather in the past 3 months (doing 5-6 workouts a week).

I’ve taken into consideration all of your input, I’m still looking into plans, and as soon as I’ll find something that I think will fit my needs, I’ll lay it down here for you guys.

Thank you very much!

Methinks you may not really understand the term “progressive overload” very well.

Plenty of programs that are based on progressive overload (which is, like, every program) allow for deload weeks. Progressive overload does not mean setting a new PR every single workout.

Ideally at your level I would do something like this (do one day on, one off)…

If you really want to do a split look up the kingbeef thread, also forget about all the failure stuff like forced reps.

As long as not vegan, not eating meat no biggie.Get some fish in if allow yourself that. Veggies also can particularly benefit form Leucine…

You are a noobie, but if you have the dedication I see no reason why you cant train 6 days a week and as long as you eat enough you will probably have sick beginner gains.

Train LPP (or more commonly known as PPL or push pull lower, but I think lower should always be first in line for a number of reasons)

track your results for the percentages:

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