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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Overtraining?

A friend of mine came with me to the gym today. I described my general program, and he's of the opinion that I'm likely overtraining. I'm not so sure, but I thought it'd be good to get some thought from our resident CLSB lifting gurus.

The program runs something like this:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Bi/tri
Day 3: Shoulders/traps
Day 4: legs
Day 5: rest

On a given day, I will do 3 different exercises per muscle group. The exercises are varied and I change up each workout. I alternate groups, for exampl it'll be a chest workout followed by back, then chest again and so on. For each exercise, I do 5 sets. The first set is a warmup using lightweight and 12-15 reps. The second set 8-10, also lightweight at medium intensity. The reminder of sets are at a weight where I can do 3-6 reps to failure.

I had pretty good success gaining strength thusfar, but lately the gains have been tapering, which is why I think there MIGHT be some merit to the overtraining theory. I also think it might be just the law of diminishing returns in action as well.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 03:22 PM
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Overtraining is not a theory, it's real. But you might just be 'hitting a wall' so to sepak if your routine has been to, well, routine. Maybe try mixing it up a bit.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
Overtraining is not a theory, it's real. But you might just be 'hitting a wall' so to sepak if your routine has been to, well, routine. Maybe try mixing it up a bit.
Oh I know its real. I just meant theory as it applies to my situation of diminished returns. The routine get varied every single time. Different exercises, varied angles, drop sets, etc.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
A friend of mine came with me to the gym today. I described my general program, and he's of the opinion that I'm likely overtraining. I'm not so sure, but I thought it'd be good to get some thought from our resident CLSB lifting gurus.

The program runs something like this:
Day 1: Chest/Back
Day 2: Bi/tri
Day 3: Shoulders/traps
Day 4: legs
Day 5: rest

On a given day, I will do 3 different exercises per muscle group. The exercises are varied and I change up each workout. I alternate groups, for exampl it'll be a chest workout followed by back, then chest again and so on. For each exercise, I do 5 sets. The first set is a warmup using lightweight and 12-15 reps. The second set 8-10, also lightweight at medium intensity. The reminder of sets are at a weight where I can do 3-6 reps to failure.

I had pretty good success gaining strength thusfar, but lately the gains have been tapering, which is why I think there MIGHT be some merit to the overtraining theory. I also think it might be just the law of diminishing returns in action as well.

Thoughts?
This does not sound like your over training.

You could be right about diminishing return. I would give a week of rest a shot. To reprogram the muscles. You could also just be at a plateau.

But I am sure I will be told how wrong I am.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 03:42 PM
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You need to give your body a break occasionally...the best way in my experience to do it and maintain your current schedule is to vary the types of workouts your doing for each muscle group...mix up your bench styles, curl types, etc. to work the muscle group slightly differently every week, giving the muscles you targeted the week before a little bit of a break. My brother (300 lb power type lifter) rotates his workout groups in 3 week intervals i believe.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 04:12 PM
 
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I do lots of 12 ounze curls on Friday and Saturday every week. Sometimes I mix it up and go with 40 ounze curls depending on location.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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I seem to recall a week off every 4-5 weeks.

I am also not familliar with the 5 sets. I have done and was trained to do 3 sets of 3 excercises per area. 1st 2 at a challenging weight @ 12 reps and the third with bumped up weight to failure (usually 8 reps or so).

My trainer also had me doing legs/abs every day (vascular and don't need rest) then I do back and chest on alternating days. As yet, I do not work on the arms, as they get a pretty good once over while working the chest/back.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach View Post
Overtraining is not a theory, it's real. But you might just be 'hitting a wall' so to sepak if your routine has been to, well, routine. Maybe try mixing it up a bit.
Definately...Best way to do this is to change to inclines/declines if you're doing flats, and take a week off to concentrate on cardio, that type of thing. Just remember to change things up, or you'll get bored or even worse, become unmotivated.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:09 PM
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Well first...I think the routine is unbalanced because you have 3 upperbody days, and just 1 for legs.

After day 5, do you start over with the routine again? So basically you lift 6 days a week? That combined with going to failure on every exercise...definitely overtraining.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimzx9r View Post
Well first...I think the routine is unbalanced because you have 3 upperbody days, and just 1 for legs.

After day 5, do you start over with the routine again? So basically you lift 6 days a week? That combined with going to failure on every exercise...definitely overtraining.
After day 5 I do start over again. I'm not really noticing much soreness or fatigue, which is why I was skeptical of the overtraining theory.

How often do you think I should be doing legs? Keep in mind I run for 30min about 3x a week. Everytime I do squats, I'm damn near crippled for 2 days.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:32 PM
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you need to work out until failure first off, Then I'd have at least 2 days a week rest. You don't do any abs? That's probably the most important muscle in your body...
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:45 PM
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Well soreness isn't an indicator of a good workout or growth. There are some people that just won't get sore at all, and it sounds like you're one of them. The body also adapts to the training frequency. The more often you do something, the less sore you will be. That's why you can work your upperbody all the time and not feel it, but you do legs once and it wrecks you.

You don't have to directly do legs twice a week, most people consider their back day a lower body workout day. That's only if you're doing deadlifts though, since those will focus on your butt and everything around your hips also.

I don't really see any reason to have a dedicated arm day for biceps and triceps. Triceps get plenty of work from any pushing movement, which you are already doing on chest and shoulder days. Biceps are pulling muscles, and get worked with any back exercise. Just stick a bicep or tricep exercise at the end of the workout and you'll be fine.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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Quote:
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How often do you think I should be doing legs? Keep in mind I run for 30min about 3x a week. Everytime I do squats, I'm damn near crippled for 2 days.

You should probably be running 45 minutes and squats 3x a week. Even if you are "crippled", once you get aty them, they will start to loosen up

I generally do 15 minutes of cardio pre and 30 minutes post weight training 4-6days per week.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimzx9r View Post
Well soreness isn't an indicator of a good workout or growth. There are some people that just won't get sore at all, and it sounds like you're one of them. The body also adapts to the training frequency. The more often you do something, the less sore you will be. That's why you can work your upperbody all the time and not feel it, but you do legs once and it wrecks you.

You don't have to directly do legs twice a week, most people consider their back day a lower body workout day. That's only if you're doing deadlifts though, since those will focus on your butt and everything around your hips also.

I don't really see any reason to have a dedicated arm day for biceps and triceps. Triceps get plenty of work from any pushing movement, which you are already doing on chest and shoulder days. Biceps are pulling muscles, and get worked with any back exercise. Just stick a bicep or tricep exercise at the end of the workout and you'll be fine.
Good info, Thanks!

The reason I have a dedicated arm day is mainly my biceps. One of the injuries I had from the truck incident was that the right brachial nerve was crushed, left my right bicep literally useless for 6 months. The test they did said I'd never get 100% fiber recruitment back, and I'm fucking determined to prove them wrong, so I really try to concentrate on it. it sucks when I can rep 135 on skullcrushers all day, but then go over to db curls and I'm lucky to squeeze out 35x5.

What do you think of the number of sets? Too many?

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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you need to work out until failure first off, Then I'd have at least 2 days a week rest. You don't do any abs? That's probably the most important muscle in your body...
No you don't. And unfortunately I see too many trainers in gyms preach this theory which is not correct. You should train to failure if it goes according to the program which you have set for yourself. I'm not going to train a powerlifter to train till failure on many lifts, nor is my average client going to benefit from that sort of training or be at all motivated by it.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 08:12 PM
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 08:24 PM
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Even with a warmup...5 sets sounds like a lot. Once you move on to the next movement within the muscle group do you really need to do a warmup set?

Everything else sounds good, but Id think 3 maybe 4 sets per movement will get the pump going.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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I'm gonna say what I've said many times in the past before. Everyone here, including myself is wrong. And we're all right too. From everyone's input here, take a bit, try it, see how it works for you. Remember that Brian is telling you to do what works for him, and someone else will tell you to try what worked for them. You might find a groove and roll with it, or you might find that what I or others do doesn't work for you. I like to go in and do 3x3 squats with 500+ during powerlifting season...should I suggest you try it? I would doubt it.

To kick off with the over training I'm going to say that I don't know. If you are leaving the gym exhausted each time then it's a good possibility that you are indeed over training. It's a difficult place to get, after all most people I see are highly UNDER training, so I'm not gonna leap out and say that you are. If you're only taking one day off per week then it might be a possibility, but still hard to say. But as others have said, the plateau may be what you have hit. Usually a routine unchanged is good for a few months and then you sort of level off. Let's take riding track for example. When most of us hit Blackhawk for the first time we thought 1:30 was blazing fast, and for us it was. But then you practice, you improve, and you cut a few seconds here or a few there. Same goes for lifting...you need to try different lines, body position, etc... Just as you become used to doing a lap at 1:30, you become used to your workout. It is no longer a challenge to your body.

Adapting is a good thing. In fact if you were doing the same thing day in and day out in the gym without even hitting your initial goals, then that would be a very very bad thing. So don't think of plateaus as bad, you simply need to change something.

My basic suggestion is not much different from others. I simply suggest trying a few things together. Give yourself a little break of a week and then come in with a new routine. In fact for anyone moderate or intense training I suggest taking a week off every few months...it can't hurt. Maybe instead of running, try stairmaster at a nice high intensity, change from squats to walking lunges, do full body exercises, etc...Those are simply suggestions to try. No matter what, you should still enjoy them, or at least enjoy having done them when you're done

Go workout near a trainer and client sometime and try to pick a good trainer. Look at some exercises they have clients do and take those as ideas. It's one thing for myself or anyone else to tell you to try something vs seeing correct form right in front of you. And often trainers will put a little twist on the exercises we all know and love such as single arm dumbell chest press vs standard dumbell press, and so on.

And if you don't feel like putting a new routine together or simply like yours a lot then you can also change the order in which you work things. Go reverse or flip certain muscle groups. So work the same exercise but do chest and tri's then next day back and bi's and so on. No need to even try any new exercises then, you can see if that works.

Finally for cardio vs weights, it's a big problem for some. I would do it this way but only a suggestion to try like the others and that's to work your focus first. If you want a monster squat, then you're gonna do your squats first, then assistance exercises, then run. Otherwise if you're interested in cardio then run first. Ideally you simply split up the running from the legs. If you're working legs today, why not do the row machine for cardio? It sounds more or less like you know what you're doing, just need a bit of input from folks, none of us here need to say "for sure do this" like I tell beginners who need the guidance. Be creative, listen to your body. Don't forget about nutrition and sleep either, they are no less important than the actual workout.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-14-2007, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
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What do you think of the number of sets? Too many?
I don't see a problem with the sets, 12-15 total is the general rule. You're doing a modified 5x5 with the first 2 sets as warmups, and that works for most people.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-18-2007, 04:56 PM
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There are some great workouts on bodybuilding dot com. It's one of my favorite websites. I started to hit a plateau in my lifting and found a workout that shocked my muscles and helped me get past it.

I lift with a bunch of guys and I do 3 sets of 8 with pretty heavy weights for my size. I'm going for definition, not bulk. The guys I lift with usually do 3-5 sets of very heavy weights, and they are going for bulk and definition (a few are competitive body builders). The guys going for size don't do cardio..I on the other hand do 30 minutes to an hour 5 days a week (icccck!).

Nicole


oh ya and Rob...skullcrushers are my fav! If you want to shake it up a little try them on the decline!
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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 01:44 PM
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Doesn't sound like you're overtraining at all. In fact, that's almost my exact workout!
Try throwing in a day or two off somewhere though -- I was told the same thing, and I tried it, and I actually started gaining a bit more. Not by a lot more, just a bit.

Oh and any supps? Makes quite a bit of a difference.

Kim
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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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just workout till you feel like your going to throw up... ... jk jk... I workout 6 days a week and around 3-4 hours a day... I got ripped pretty quick... especially when I started taking pro-hormones... I went from benching 165 to 205 in just over 3 weeks on pro-hormones ... when I start working out again i'll be taking them again

All the stuff i'm taking are Universal Animal Pak (daily vitamins)
Trust Nutrition (TN) creatine
TN Nitric Oxide
Legal Gear Methyl 1 Alpha
Fish Oil
BCAA + G
Milk Thistle (cleans out the liver)
TN Protien Powder
L-Glutanie Powder

uhhhh....yea I THINK thats about it...

Last edited by HighFlyingIL; 05-05-2007 at 12:56 AM.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-05-2007, 01:05 AM
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That's a whole load of stuff.

I take my RDA of chipotle once a day, that's about it.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 10:40 PM
 
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That's a whole load of stuff.

I take my RDA of chipotle once a day, that's about it.
yea it is but it was all essentials (cept for a couple of the things there) to maintain a healthy body while taking supplements... they all sort of compliment eachother for the most part
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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just workout till you feel like your going to throw up... ... jk jk... I workout 6 days a week and around 3-4 hours a day... I got ripped pretty quick... especially when I started taking pro-hormones... I went from benching 165 to 205 in just over 3 weeks on pro-hormones ... when I start working out again i'll be taking them again

All the stuff i'm taking are Universal Animal Pak (daily vitamins)
Trust Nutrition (TN) creatine
TN Nitric Oxide
Legal Gear Methyl 1 Alpha
Fish Oil
BCAA + G
Milk Thistle (cleans out the liver)
TN Protien Powder
L-Glutanie Powder

uhhhh....yea I THINK thats about it...
To save some cash, my personal suggestion is to lose the Nitric Oxide. It does nothing. Well, for the money it costs it does nothing. Makes me think back to my days in high school when the latest craze was Inosine. The amount you need to take plus the costs vs the results is not worth it, especially since something like creatine will give you far superior results. Also, you really shouldn't need any glutamine. Unless you're working out for 4 hours a day...glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in foods and proteins as well as our bodies. I'd bet that if you take a look at the break down of aminos in your protein powder, it will list glutamine as the highest.

I would also be cautious with your using M1A. The side effects are largely unknown. From looking at it chemically I'd guess it's pretty hard on the liver and can give you other side effects that are similar to steroids.

As crazy as this sounds, my suggestion is that if you're going to take something as close to steroids as possible...just go and take the illegal steroids. These products that come to market either

a) do nothing and remain legal till the end of time (hmb for example)
b) don't give you the same effects as steroids but still give plenty of the side effects and are eventually banned.

Why take illegal ones? Because the side effects are known, different stacks are written about all over the web for years upon years. I would personally feel much safer (and get a HELLUVA LOT more results) on a Deca-Durabolin, Dianabol, and Testosterone stack then flipping to Winstrol as opposed to these 'legal anabolics'.
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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 11:16 AM
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