T Nation

Training Too Often?


I lift on a 4 day schedule of
Day 1: Back/Biceps + Abs
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
Day 3: Shoulders/Legs + Abs
Day 4: Off, usually 15 mins of easy cardio
Day 5: repeat day 1.. etc

And am noticing considerably slower gains than some friends who seem like they don't really do shit and lift 2 maybe 3 days a week. Am I training too much?

I'm 18, 5'7, 150 lbs. I've been following this program for a few weeks and have been lifting seriously for almost one year.


I'll give the obvious answer before anyone else does. If your friends are training less but gaining more, what are you eating? What are they eating?

Your schedule is very similar to the one I follow. I don't feel overtrained, however, I don't really think myself qualified to judge on this.

However, when considering your gains, definitely examine diet with equal intensity to training.


Exactly, look at your diet.

I'm 21, train up to 6 times a week, and I never feel overtrained, even when on a lower calorie day. You're young enough to train twice as often, provided you have your nutrition and sleep in order.

Overtraining is over-rated IMO. Most people probably don't lift with enough intesity to overtrain.


My nutrition isn't terrible, at least, I know it's better than most of my friends' by a longshot. A typicay day looks like:

8 AM: 2 eggs, shredded wheat or oatmeal, multivitamin
10:30 AM: protein bar
12:30 PM: tuna sandwich w/ light mayo on wheat bread, or a steak if I'm not working that day
3 PM: afternoon snack, celery w/ peanut butter usually
5 PM: workout/ protein drink
6 PM: Some sort of beef or chicken for dinner
8 PM: Protein shake

That's the thing, I certainly don't feel like I'm overtraining. I think if I were training any less I'd feel like I was wasting time. I'm just concerned that I'm not making the same progress as others and want to know why/ fix it.


Try ingesting more healthy fats. kick the light mayo and hit the real mayo made with whole eggs. Do more big lifts (eg. squats, bench, chins, dips) more often and skip isolation lifts (curls). Also check up on how many cals you're eating. It looks pretty low for a guy your age and size who wants to grow. Your diet has to account for:

Your natural growth (puberty etc.)
Your daily metabolic level (could be high if you are skinny and active)
The muscle mass you want (eat the food that someone 10 lbs heavier would eat)

Maybe your friends diets are more calorically dense because they are "worse" (eg. pop chips and shit foods). You could intensify your calorie needs by eating more healthy high cal stuff like pasta, butter, cottage cheese, simple sugars around training time (pop tarts, slthough not "healthy" come to mind). A guy I train popped on the muscle mass by eating a box of poptarts while he was working out.

Be sure you are getting lots of pre during and post trainig food. lots. what protein? weight gainer? not low carb i hope.




Thanks for the advice everyone who's posted so far. I'm definitely going give the simple sugars around the time of my workouts a try. I read on a post here that someone was going to have a few tablespoons of peanut butter with each meal for a quick ~1K calories added daily and I thought that was a great idea because it would increase healthy fats too.

I do at least one "big" lift every day that I train, obviously. Rows and Chins on back/biceps day, Bench and Dips on chest/triceps, and Squats, Deadlifts, and Military Presses on Legs/Shoulders day. I'm actually doing well (relative to the people I lift with) on chest in terms of strength. My 1RM is only 215, but again I only weigh 150.

I have an entirely separate question about protein powders. Just under a year ago I bought a tub of Mega Whey from GNC and it gave me a shit ton of digestive issues (literally). I'm lactose intolerant but still dumb enough to buy something called mega WHEY. So now I'm on Mega Isolate and to be honest it blows. You guys who get to mix your whey up with a nice glass of milk don't know how lucky you are. I'm sure I'm not the only lifter who has this issue to deal with, so what do the rest of you do?


i drink half a gallon of skim milk each day... usually 2 cups with my first 4 meals...thats 720 extra cals


scratch that. didn't see you were lactose intolerent.


This looks like a small woman's fat-loss diet. You likely need to eat more, a lot more, if you want to build muscle.


At 5'7", 150lbs you're too light. I'm guessing you're probably one of those skinny fast metabolism guys. Solution, gradually increase your food intake until you start gaining mass.


Haha, do you have any specific suggestions? What about the protein supplements?


You don't need protein supplements unless you can't get enough through food.

I'm tempted to recommend eating twice as much as you currently do, but you've probably been eating like a girl for too long to increase this much overnight.

Try increasing daily intake by 500 calories. If you don't experience weight gain after a couple of weeks, increase by another 500 calories per day. Repeat as necessary. If you find that you are gaining too much fat (I'm talking about really gaining fat here, not just getting smooth) cut back on caloric intake.

Seriously, it's that complicated. Lift heavy objects consistently and provide the raw materials (food) for growth.


I'll make it easy for you...Do a search on the "massive eating" diet. Then do a search on the "big boy basics" training program. Follow those for a few months then get back to us.