T Nation

You Are NOT Overtraining


I'm seeing a ton of new posts about being Over Trained in the BB Forum, and around the site in general, lately. Guys... Its not happening.

How do I know?

  • Oly Lifters have 12-18 training sessions EVERY week, lifting with near maximal poundages frequently

  • People who play sports not only perform at a high level, but also train at a high level... Its basically their JOB to workout with intensity all week long.

  • Competitive body builders train their asses off 5 days a week, do 7-14 cardio sessions a week, and drop calories to BASEMENT levels in order to strip every last ounce of fat of their body. And how many of them do you hear talking about being over trained, even on competition week?

  • There are MANY jobs that require the use certain muscles more than once a week, and those guys don't seem to be worried about over training.

  • Symptoms of over training include:

    Persistent muscle soreness
    Persistent fatigue
    Elevated resting heart rate
    Reduced heart rate variability
    Increased susceptibility to infections
    Increased incidence of injuries
    Mental breakdown

Think a HUGE, sustained drop in performce (20-30%), AND feeling like you have Mono. When you start developing skin sores, a rapid heart rate at rest, and cant bench 135, NOW you can start crying over training. These are not symptoms that last for a day, or even a few days. These symptoms can persist for WEEKS, a month, or longer.

Overtraining is a SERIOUS problem, it does NOT occer with a 5 day body part split. It does NOT occur benching 185x3 twice a week. It does not occur with a back day AND a bicep day...

Guys, Seriously... Over training exists, but unless you are working out so much even the gym rats tell you that you have a problem, it probably doesnt pertain to you.

Lift some weights, eat some food, get some sleep.



haha awesome post.


Good post.

It's not over training, it's under eating all week and then having 6 beers on Saturday that's killing your progress.


the fear of overtraining has caused more damage than overtraining itself...
I speak a little from personal experience too.


People over think, rather than over train.


Love the OP. I don't think 6 beers once a week is enough to kill someones progress though if everything else is in check, that's not even enough to get a hangover.


Excellent post

Just out of interest Lonnie, how frequently do you recommend having a deload week?


If you're undereating even beer will help your preformance as long as you can drag your ass out of bed to train hungover.


Good post but don't forget a lot of people on here don't have the same level of fitness/conditioning as you. These are the quiet ones who read to learn but never post.

It's entirely possible that they can feel "spent" after a 15-minute workout.

It's probably been a long time since that's been a reality for you.

When I was obese, my workout:
8 minutes of recumbent cycle
4 sets of chest or quads
4 sets of back or hams

Believe me, when I started it, my body had a hard time coping. So all of that volume you mentioned is indeed possible but must be attained gradually. You can't take a couch potato and tell him to train 5 times a week and do cardio 3-4 times and Yoga on Sundays and expect his body to be OK with it right off the bat.


Well duh Samir, but this forum section doesn't cater to the couch potatoes. TRAIN 7x A WEEK OR GTFO! <3


I understand what you say and agree, but someone at that level should be in the beginners' section, not gleaning info on the main bodybuilding forum, where it's assumed you've made progress beyond beginner gains and have taken what you can from the info over there.


I understand what you say and agree as well.

I saw this topic on that big list of active topics. In that same vein I'm sure a lot of (fellow?) beginners will see the topics in BB regardless of the fact that they are not in the beginner forum. Apologies for the mix-up.


Did you miss the "under eating all week" part? :slightly_smiling:

I see a lot of these guys, eat next to nothing, goes out every weekend... comes up to me in the gym and asks stupid questions in a tone of voice that suggests I should let them in on some secret. lol


Cool. I'm glad you posted that because I see a lot of 'beginners' jumping straight to the main forum without paying their dues. I don't mean that in a negative way, but there's more than enough quality info over there to be getting on with instead of having to endure bullshit like "curls hinder my performance/ recovery" (delete as applicable).


YoU gais iz so dumb, you just dont wanna tell me what suppz to take cause you afraid i'll git too much hyuugeer than you.




According to conventional wisdom I should be over training. I bench, deadlift, high incline and pulldown everyday normally 2 times a day. On heavy days the.last 2 weeks I have PRed bench and high incline. That is also just the stary of every workout. I then do a workout focused on a body part. 2 a days.for many body parts most weeks. Still progressing still growing. Just have.to keep eating tons of food. I don't even sleep good. Most night I only get 5 hrs of non continuous. Sleep.


@Dre: I dont necessarily recommend a deload week at any given interval. I PERSONALLY take one every 8-10 weeks but thats because the program I follow has that built in as part of the progression.

I know of guys who train their asses off 10-11 times a week that almost never deload (See: Chaos and Pain blogspot). We're talking 10-15 sets of 2-3 reps on big exercises, with weights in the 300-500 pound range.

I think the larger issue here is that people feel tired on Thursday and Friday, their arms are sore, and start thinking they are over trained, when in reality it takes a phenomenal effort to get over trained.

Dr. Lonnie Lowery often quotes a study where, in order to get people to an over trained state, they had them bench their 1RM 10 times a day for 2 weeks straight (or something close to that) - So the fact that you have a back day and an arms day throughout the week doesn't lead to over training. 10 max effort attempts a day for 2 weeks straight, THAT'S the kind of effort we are talking about.

Here's the deal - If you are BUSTING YOUR ASS in the gym 5 days a week, chances are you ARE NOT going to feel great every day. I personally live with some amount of soreness, somewhere on my body, every day of my life. It is honestly painful in my legs to sit down on a chair 3-4 days out of the week.

Get this, some days I feel pretty damn tired too. That's just how it goes when you ask your body to put forth a huge amount of effort, sometimes twice a day, 5-6 days of the week.


BTW - I should mention that this post wasn't meant to do anything other that MOTIVATE people to get out there and hit even more heavy weight than ever.

Seriously, your body can withstand almost anything you throw at it, so start throwing.

Now, I'm not saying jump from 5 workouts to 25 workouts... But if you add in some extra sets, some more weight, and some cardio of your off days you aren't going to keel over and die. Test your limits, go beyond them, and soon they will simply become your baseline... And then you can test and push THOSE limits.

Break out of your comfort zone. Push the prowler until your legs are wobbly. Max out on squats and dead lifts this week. Do some complexes until you can't breath for a few minutes...

You just might make some progress.


There is no overtraining only under eating!