What works for some (another overtraining rant)

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    What works for some (another overtraining rant)


    What Works for Some
    On a daily basis I see posts, receive emails, and personal train people that are swimming in a sea of confusion about what productive training consists of. It's blatantly obvious that most folks get their training information from the body-building magazines and watching what others do in the gym.

    They are convinced that MANY sets and exercises are needed for each body-part and many days in the gym each week is just the ticket for the results they seek, when in reality this type of training protocol is EXACTLY what is holding them back from the gains they seek.

    While volume training is responsible for most of the pro's physiques, it is the same protocol that has almost every gym in the world full of guys mostly spinning their wheels going nowhere. Look around you in the gym. How many guys are even remotely big and moving big poundage’s? The vast majority of these guys don't even look like they lift at all. But truth of the matter is they are there almost every day.........and therein lies the problem.

    The #1 reason people fail to add size and strength is over-training. In many cases it goes hand in hand with under eating/not having the macro, and micronutrient profiles even close. It is certain no matter how perfect the routine, growth will be slow or nonexistent if you don’t fuel it. If diet isn’t there you might as well stay home.

    But will an optimal diet allow you to actually increase your volume and frequency? In almost every case the answer is yes, with a perfect diet you will raise the threshold. What varies a HUGE degree is how much of an increase occurs. Some a little, some quite a bit, but what’s universal is the fact that if you picked a 100 people at random, at your average gym without any bias used in the selection process, you will find pure volume training will not work for the overwhelming majority.

    And please all you volume junkies; I’m not bashing it. It works absolute WONDERS for those that respond to it. Unfortunately most people just don’t have the innate capacity to recover from true volume work. I work with people all the time that aside from the initial gains they got when they started training have barely gained an ounce in YEARS, and for many that saw a steadily increasing scale, they ended up fat with no appreciable muscle to show for it. And again, volume guys reading this that can’t wait to finish this to start slamming me; VOLUME FLAT OUT WORKS for a small percentage of the overall populace. Most of the true “monsters” I have met do volume work, as do most of the pro’s. Guess what? Not everyone has this capacity, MOST DON’T.

    I train people and exchange info with folks all across the globe, and it is sickenly common to hear from guys that have been killing their selves in the gym forever with such pitiful results they hate to admit they weight train. Or the guys that put on enough muscle when they first started training that they got a taste for what they no longer seem to be able to have, more muscle. It’s great when everyone comments on how big your getting, and how great you look. And it sucks when no one says a word anymore because you haven’t changed a bit in like…….FOREVER!

    Then you get these guys doing a SIMPLE routine with a handful of basic compound movements (more or less dependent on the individual, but nothing compared to volume) spread out over 2-3 times a week, and even less for some people, and they add 20-30 lbs of muscle in a short period of time.
    Keep doing the endless sets to assure all aspects of the muscles are fully stimulated or whatever bull**** reason you want to do that many sets and they continue to be stalemated with both poundage progression and size gains. What works for a few is pure poison for the masses. Pick up a copy of Brawn by Stuart McRobert. Or read some of Mentzers early stuff, Dorian Yates stuff, or better yet read Doggs “cycles for pennies” thread on:

    http://www.animalkits.be/

    under the “realm of dogg and iron addict” and you will see some real world results of what low volume does for guys that just wont grow.

    Here is my question for you:

    If your current routine isn't working now, how the hell is one day going to "magically" start working one day? Unless you are consistently adding weight to the bar or size to your frame you are lost and without direction will stay lost. If volume training works for you please, please keep using it. It truly is a great way to train IF you can recover from it. But if you can’t today, how will you tomorrow?

    I train people for a living, and all that matters to me is; what will make the person I am working with right now grow. After they have filled out the questionnaire and done an interview I make a determination on what kind of routine to put them on. I am not dogmatic in my approach at all, and when I believe volume is the answer, that is what they get. And for some of these guys, low volume work will often make them shrink due to the decreased workload.

    But in all honesty I don’t worry much about the guys I train that respond well to volume work. They usually have above average recovery ability and much more growth capacity than Joe average. I usually end up reducing volume a LITTLE bit, reduce all overlap, and give them a routine with weekly rotating loading parameters, nail down their diets, and monitor their excellent progress.
    Contrast that to the guys that are there because they have very little appreciable muscle, and despite having tried every POPULAR training program (usually changing it with each month’s ar***** of “Flex” magazine) have barely added any muscle in years. Now these guys have to have everything spot-on to progress.

    Low volume work is the way to get there for these guys.
    I’m not saying HIT and hardgainer style training is for everyone, and I write quite a few medium-volume routines for those that are not pure hardgainer. But it’s pretty safe to say if you are not making progress, under-training is not the problem. AGAIN, THIS IS ALL WRITTEN WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF DIET IS NOT CORRECT, ANY AND ALL TRAINING PROTOCOLS ARE MEANINGLES.

    ALL that matters is what works, and if it’s working it should be blatantly obvious its working, not a subtle, “yeah, I think I’m improving”. Strength gains are not the, be all, end all of training. But until you are fairly advanced, as in benching 275-300, and squatting/deadlifting 400-500, it should be your primary goal.

    I have NEVER seen a big guy that only benches 200 and squats 300, it just don’t work that way. Until you have a fair strength base built, being progressive with your poundage’s is what matters. Going to the gym, getting a great pump, and then repeating the same workout, with the same workload next session, week in, week out, won’t get you there.

    Iron Addict

    www.ironaddicts.com

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    I've always wondered though what actually defines "volume"?


    I'm pretty new at this.
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    Amen IA....The tide will turn eventually with more and more people getting bigger this way. One of my buds just divorced his wife and he's starting to train with me now. He's a pretty big guy to begin with, but I still have to always tell him that more is not better. He's learning, and hopefully he'll catch on. It's hard to break the mold at first, but when you get results from the get-go, there's no turning back.

    Peg, volume is basically the amount of sets you are doing, the number of time you train specific bodyparts within a certain time period, etc. Read up on all of IA's articles and you will learn a $hitload......Good Luck.
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    i complete disagree with the original post. imo, #1 reason people fail to add size and strength is most definitely NOT overtraining (or overreaching - people contintually do not understand the difference)

    frankly, i think most people who do not gain are not disciplined enough and/or eating properly and/or tracking their workouts (seeing what works and what doesn't) and/or are simply afraid of pain.

    i came to weight training from an endurance athlete background, so I already knew how much pain the body can endure, and that - while training harder is not necessarily training better - hard work... works.

    people are not putting in the level of effort they should. that is part of the reason a program like the 20 rep program works - it forces you to put in the effort. you just HAVE to do it.

    furthermore, while genetics vary, volume tolerance can be raised through proper training. the body is remarkably adaptable.

    i think the 'overtraining is the greatest/most common evil" thang is a meme that has just been stated enough such that it is now dogma.

    imo, it is just not the case.

    we all know there are genetic freaks who can gain merely by looking at a plate, and there are others who have to work much harder. however, imo - most of the guys who are spinning their wheels month after month do not have overtraining to blame. that is among the more rare of the problems, imo
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    jjjd if you do what ia says and train hard you can EASILY overtrain by doing it too often. try 20 rep squats every other day adn tell me you won't overtrain. in fact toss deadlifts in on your other days then come back and repost. afterall the body is amazing and you will then be putting in enough effort, oh and have your diet right! you'll blow your body away, i promise you that
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jergo
    Amen IA....The tide will turn eventually with more and more people getting bigger this way. One of my buds just divorced his wife and he's starting to train with me now. He's a pretty big guy to begin with, but I still have to always tell him that more is not better. He's learning, and hopefully he'll catch on. It's hard to break the mold at first, but when you get results from the get-go, there's no turning back.

    Peg, volume is basically the amount of sets you are doing, the number of time you train specific bodyparts within a certain time period, etc. Read up on all of IA's articles and you will learn a $hitload......Good Luck.
    Am reading right now. Very good stuff.
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    2gCorey, first of all, i DID do 20 rep squats every other day. for some time. when it got exceptionally heavy, i moved to every third day. and yes, i was natural.

    and you cannot easily OVERTRAIN doing this. overtraining is a medical condition that takes quite some time to develop. what you probably mean is OVERREACH not overtrain.

    i stand by my original statement. sure, SOME people overreach (which in targeted use can be a good thing - on occasion) and some overtrain, but it is HARDLY the #1 problem among the wheel spinners at the gym who are not gaining. that was his statement, and imo it is just plain wrong

    no way.

    i would bet good $$ that if you went to a gym and found people who had not made significant gains over the last 6 months, that MOST of them would not be overtrained, thus his statement would be proved wrong. it would NOT be the #1 problem. since i have no peer reviewed studies to prove this, i state it as my opinion.

    overtraining is the new big bad bogey man. it is FAR less common than the #1 problem among wheel spinners. that, imo, is ridiculous

    i am not some kind of high volume addict. not at all. i average 12-20 sets per workout 3-6 workouts a week. but i do not accept his premise.

    sorry
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    I think I just sprained my brain....
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    jjjd,

    That is a great premise that is founded on a sampling of ONE person. Just because you handle higher volume training well, you somehow equate that into meaning EVERYONE CAN TOO! Let's just run with this little stretch of the imagination.

    Since everyone should respond at least as well as you, so should you respond as well as Ronnie Coleman. Why aren't you up on the stage kicking Ronnie's ass? Well, because at some level, I am sure you understand that we all do not share the same genetic traits.

    As it is impossible for you to be like Ronnie, so too is it impossible for others to have the same innate abilities you have to respond and recover from high volume, high frequency workloads.

    What you, or anyone else can do is pretty damn meaningless if it doesn't work for the person doing it. I usually have 50+ personnel training clients I work with at any one time, and when you work with that big of a segment of the population, it becomes painfully obvious what does, and what does not work for those that have a difficult time adding muscle to their frame.

    As much as we are all alike, we are also so very, very different from each other. I acknowledge volume training works AWESOME for many people. Can you not see that others need a different approach?

    Iron Addict
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    i didn't found it on the sampling of ONE person. the example i gave of myself was in relation to the person who said you CAN'T do 20 reppers every other day. all i need is one counterexample to prove that statement wrong.


    this was the statement 2gcorey made "try 20 rep squats every other day adn tell me you won't overtrain."

    i DID try that (as have several of my friends) and NOBODY overtrained. so, his statement is bogus.

    that is elementary analytical reasoning.


    and as for volume, my n=/=1. it equals MANY.
    I have worked AS a trainer, and i have trained with literally dozens of people in several gyms.

    I have seen people spin their wheels over and over. the problem is NOT (on the whole) overtraining. you are simply wrong. it is just as simplistic (and wrong) as the atkinites who claim "carbs are bad" when in fact it is eating too many calories that make you fat.

    and i didn't say EVERYONE can handle higher volume. i said that the body is remarkably adaptable, and that the claim that overtraining is the #1 PROBLEM AMONG WHEEL SPINNERS is ****WRONG**** imo

    your post is all ridiculous strawmen. why don't you read what i WROTE instead of what you pretended that i wrote. here. i''ll make it easy for you. let me knw if you need pictures.

    you said

    "The #1 reason people fail to add size and strength is over-training". that's YOUR opinion.

    and my opinion is that that statement is blatantly wrong. i do not see it supported empirically, sorry.

    if you'd like to respond to what i actually wrote, then knock yourself out. if, otoh, you'd rather construct strawmen, then spare me.

    you got your theory. and that's fine. and some people might read it uncritically. but imo, your theory (which you stated as fact. you never said "in my opinion") is simply wrong.

    and i have no problem with stating that. i have lurked here for some time and don't post much, but i couldn't let that one go by.

    sorry, you're wrong. in my opinion.
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    "2gCorey, first of all, i DID do 20 rep squats every other day. for some time. when it got exceptionally heavy, i moved to every third day."

    your counter example didn't get past the test of time or you would still be doing them with awesome results. i'm pretty sure i can continue with one of ia's type of routine's for a very long time, and its made for exceptionally heavy loads. i've talked a few people into lowering their volume at my gym and they also have started to gain weight.

    "i complete disagree with the original post. imo, #1 reason people fail to add size and strength is most definitely NOT overtraining" you stated people "meaning everyone/most" thats what IA meant more than likely, not my example.
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    Alright. I have to weigh in on this one.

    A the end of September I returned to the gym after being away for a total of 5 months. 3 months prior to that I had stopped doing weight training altogether.

    My absence was due to a torn rotator.

    When you see people everyday, it is hard to notice changes (unless VERY dramatic) in body composition so when I returned to the gym.. I started seeing some of the regulars I had seen previously while training.

    Does anyone care to know what my first thought was? I'll share:

    Holy ****... 5 months and not one noticable improvement from a lot of people.

    Now.. I don't make it a habit to critisize those who train on their own, but those who pay good money on trainers? You bet your damn ass I am harsh with my comments.

    I see them, they do the same rountines week in and week out, 3 days a week and with NO improvment. They aren't overtraining... they aren't even ****in' training!

    I don't believe the majority of people overtrain with their routines. I believe majority of people UNDERTRAIN.

    Where symptoms of overtraining come into play, I believe, is with nutrition and rest or rather lack thereof.

    Prior to my time off... I switched to a low volume type training. I too came from an athletic background and know full well the stress and punishment the body can handle. I had done very well with high volume training methods during my playing days but on the advice of a friend I switched to lower volume training for a pperiod of a year.

    I gave it a year. A full year to see how my body responded to this type of training. I responded but not to the extent I think I could have. After my lay off I went back to High Volume training. I've seen greater improvement in 4 months of high volume again than I did with low volume.

    Was it the time off or the high volume aiding in my improvements? Not sure yet, time will tell, though.

    That's all I have to say.

    Aaron
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    2gcorey, the 20 rep squat program is not designed to be done ad infinitum. it worked well. i got up to 330 lbs by 20 reps, and put on a lot of muscle AND a lot of fat. which is pretty much typical for the program. i had to make weight for wl'ing contest, and thus had to change my training modality (more towards singles) AND lose some fat. but my strength had gone up markedly, and I set new PR's. and fwiw, the 20 rep squat program is LOW VOLUME, not high volume.

    imo, the 20 rep program is (as strossen and others claim) a very effective program as an adjunct training method.

    again, the only reason i brought it up was to show your claim was false. you CAN do 20 reppers every other day. i have, and so have many others.

    fwiw, lowering volume (and concomitantly upping intensity) CAN work for lots of people at the gym. it does not follow they were overtrained. they MAY have been. it is also quite possible that merely changing the protocol offered benefits. that is true of many workout programs when people get stale. i have seen good results as well from many wheel spinners by upping volume and/or keeping volume constant and upping intensity. it is the same reason mayn people can get good results (initially) when switching to HIT. change of protocol can do that - as long as the protocol incorportate progressive resistance and compound exercises. it doesn't therefore follow that HIT is better, or that they were overtrained.

    true overtraining (vs. overreaching) is not hard to diagnose. rise in resting heart rate, sleeplessness, DECREASEd strength, etc. are all things to look for. it is not nearly as common as the OP claimed, and it is certainly NOT the #1 problem for wheel spinners.

    i stand by my claim. overtraining is NOT the #1 problem among wheel spinners at the gym. i simply have not seen empirical evidence of that, and i have seen significant empirical evidence to the contrary. i am well aware that SOME wheel spinners are overtrained. but it is hardly the #1 problem as compared to others, for most.

    houseman, i agree with many of your points. people spin their wheels because... they spin their wheels. fear of pain, lack of discipline, psychological barriers, mindset, nutrition, supplementation, hydration, complacency, etc. there are many factors.

    the psychological factor is key. let me make an analogy. prior to Sir Roger Bannister breaking the 4 min mile, it was widely thought impossible. that was a huge psychological barrier. ONCE Sir Bannister broke it, MANY followed him in the next several years. it was not improvement in technique, training, nutrition, etc. it was MINDSET. i am not saying every tom dick and harry can or will ever break 4 min. i AM saying that psychological factors are (imo) far more likely to result in wheel spinning than overtraining.

    overtraining (or overreaching) is simply not the #1 problem
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    i'd like to see many o thers do 20rep squats every other day, like ia said you might be exception but you are NOT the norm! i realize 20rep squat is low volume, i brought it up as an example of overtraining, i wish you could follow this conversation. anyway, i'm done! ia had a good post that was meant for the masses, not just YOU
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    fwiw ia's post was meant for those TRYING and serious about it, of course if smoenoe eats like crap and lifts easy weights 2 times a week he's not close to overtraining, but i'd say its not a true hobby of his and he's not serious. ia's post wasn't about those people. sheeeesh people
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    rubbish, i have known MANY who have done twenty reppers every other day. big whoop. with the 20 reppers, you start out light. i started at 90 kilos, which is very light. i still made remarkable gains. and short of running a marathon, it was the most painful thing i have ever done, sports-wise. but it did not result in overtraining for ANYBODY i know.

    and you keep confusing overtraining with overreaching. they are nOT the same

    ia has valuable information, and he's stating his pov. that's fine. i'm stating mine. on the subject of the relative prevalance of overtraining as a syndrome among wheel spinners, i happen to completely disagree with him. if that is a bad thing, that's too bad. i have experiences, and knowledge to share as well. people can make their own decisions.

    as i have said, most people don't even understand the difference between overtraining and overreaching. overreaching, if done in moderation (if that's not oxymoronic) can be a good thing. a # of training protocols take this into account including various powerlifting, bbing, and oling routines.

    overtraining, to contrast, is a specific medical condition and is simply nowhere near as common as IA suggests, nor is it the # 1 reason for wheel spinners to spin. that's simply ridiculous imo. if he honestly thinks that the "#1" to use his terminolongy problem that accounts for wheel spinners not making gains is overtraining than he must live in a radically different world than i do.
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    Whatever jjjd... Over the past 2 years I've tried several training methods WITH Proper diet and my progress was very slow and even close to none sometimes. I do a lot less now and I progress on all lifts every time I train, it's simply amazing. So whatever works for you, ok... but IA's methods work great for a lot of people around this board and you can't refute that.
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    of course not. if his advice works for you, rock on.

    what I refute (and unlike him, i state my opinion AS opinion) is his claim about overtraining being the #1 problem among wheel spinners at the gym, to account for their wheel spinning.

    that was my disagreement, and i haven't seen any evidence to convince me otherwise.

    if IA's methodology works for YOU (n=1), then why WOULD you doubt him about its effectiveness for YOU.

    i have not doubted for a second his training methodology's effectiveness for you. i have doubted the veracity of his claim about the #1 problem for wheel spinners
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    "2gCorey, first of all, i DID do 20 rep squats every other day. for some time. when it got exceptionally heavy, i moved to every third day. and yes, i was natural."

    WTF? I would say you have exceptional genetics to recover that quick from a 20 rep squat, so your experience is definitely not the norm.
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    that's rubbish. i have lots of friends who have done 20 rep squats, and if you think this is somehow genetically unusual to do the first group of workouts at every other day, why don't you talk to Dr. Strossen over at Ironmind, and ask him about various people's experiences vis a vis the 20 rep program?

    the body is adaptable.

    this is not n=1. this is n=many.

    i know a lot of people who have done the supersquats (20 rep squat program). this is hardly unusual.

    and this means ALL factors in place - gallon of milk + a day. 8 hours of sleep minimum a day, etc.

    have you even tried this before?
    furthermore, even if i *was* the exception (which i don't concede), it still refutes 2gcorey's challenge.

    this is what he said (quoted exactly)
    "jjjd if you do what ia says and train hard you can EASILY overtrain by doing it too often. try 20 rep squats every other day adn tell me you won't overtrain. "

    well, he's wrong./ i did do it every day and i did not overtrain. so even if i was the exception, his prediction was still wrong.

    and furthermore, let's get the distinctions down. overtraining =/= overreaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjjd
    i complete disagree with the original post. imo, #1 reason people fail to add size and strength is most definitely NOT overtraining (or overreaching - people contintually do not understand the difference)

    frankly, i think most people who do not gain are not disciplined enough and/or eating properly and/or tracking their workouts (seeing what works and what doesn't) and/or are simply afraid of pain.

    i came to weight training from an endurance athlete background, so I already knew how much pain the body can endure, and that - while training harder is not necessarily training better - hard work... works.

    people are not putting in the level of effort they should. that is part of the reason a program like the 20 rep program works - it forces you to put in the effort. you just HAVE to do it.

    furthermore, while genetics vary, volume tolerance can be raised through proper training. the body is remarkably adaptable.

    i think the 'overtraining is the greatest/most common evil" thang is a meme that has just been stated enough such that it is now dogma.

    imo, it is just not the case.

    we all know there are genetic freaks who can gain merely by looking at a plate, and there are others who have to work much harder. however, imo - most of the guys who are spinning their wheels month after month do not have overtraining to blame. that is among the more rare of the problems, imo
    afraid of pain? you got a 'holier than thou' thing goin here because you think people wimp out? i personally think you've got something shoved up something else waaaaay too high...
    i worked my ASS off for quite a while and didnt get anywhere; and i dont want some chump on the internet to tell me that it was because i was afraid of pain? pain is relative friend; you have no clue about how different each person is to pain tolerance...
    when you've got the credentials to post up some of this; you can do it; but you dont; you've got 17 posts under your belt; and other than that no one has ever heard of you...

    "overtraining is a myth" type of person really pisses me off because they have NO IDEA what its like sitting on the ****ty side of the genetics fence... i got to 160lbs on a typical volume routine 3 times a week; with great diet... big whoop; it stopped about there and never went any furthur...
    i didnot bust past 170 until i started using IA's and DC's style of workouts which emphasize intensity over volume... its slow going but i'm still making progress... before i went up and down between 155-165 for a LOOOONG time even on juice...

    just stating the fact that you were able to do 20 rep squats every other day (if you really did TRUE 20 reppers), that means you have great recovery ability... you did 20 reps on 330lbs; that about my max on squats period... you've got to be quite a large fellow; and definitely above average genetics for building muscle and strength...

    take joe blow out of the YMCA and if he does your workout; he'd be overtraining; simple as that
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    afraid of pain? you got a 'holier than thou' thing goin here because you think people wimp out? i personally think you've got something shoved up something else waaaaay too high...
    i worked my ASS off for quite a while and didnt get anywhere; and i dont want some chump on the internet to tell me that it was because i was afraid of pain? pain is relative friend; you have no clue about how different each person is to pain tolerance...
    when you've got the credentials to post up some of this; you can do it; but you dont; you've got 17 posts under your belt; and other than that no one has ever heard of you...

    "overtraining is a myth" type of person really pisses me off because they have NO IDEA what its like sitting on the ****ty side of the genetics fence
    Good post Bean, I was gonna say something like that, but I figured he wasn't even worth it.
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    jjjd, What was the profile of your typical trainee? My brother is a personal trainer at a personal training studio and the profile of his typical client falls in two ranges:
    1. Middle to upper class, in what the average public would call decent shape, and trying to keep it. Few (if any) have mastered the basics of bodybuilding (diet, rest, and training).
    2. Middle to upper class, in horrible shape, and trying to get into what the average public would call decent shape.

    I worked out with my brother over Christmas, and my routine and the amount of iron moved is so different from his typical trainee that he felt like he should be lifting with me rather than training me. Then again, the rest of my lifestyle is identical to his which is way different than his typical trainee.

    I'd wager that IA's typcial trainee is someone who has lifted for several years, is a regular reader of one or more internet bodybuilding forums, and their lifestyle (diet, rest, and training) is lightyears ahead of the typical dumbass found in gyms all over the country. IMO, this type of person is more likely to be overtrained because they'll try to imitate the pros they are trying to look like rather than being like the typical dumbass found in gyms all over the country who imitates other dumbasses they see training.

    ~Todd
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    ok, i have a # of points to address, so let me start here...

    ironaddict: ironaddicts is full of strawmen. first of all, i do NOT train high volume. my average workout is from 12-20 sets and i workout from 3-6 times a week, usually 4 or so. in some weeks, i work out 3-5 30-45 minute sessions. that is HARDLY high volume.

    my point is simply this - empircally speaking, your claim is BOGUS. most wheel spinners in the conventional gym are not spinning their wheels because they are overtrained. that is simply ridiculous. hth. In MY opinion

    bean: yes, AFRAID of pain. that's simply the reality. arnold said it, steve prefontaine (famous distance runner) said it, and it is simply true. the willingness to withstand pain is often what helps people break through plateaus and take it up the next level - REGARDLESS of genetics.

    many people are just afraid of REAL hard work. and certainly a higher %age of those who spin their wheels in the gym are doing so (spinning with little progress) because of 1) lack of hard work 2) lack of proper diet 3) lack of proper rest 4) poorly designed training modalities etc.

    is overtraining a factor? of COURSE. is it the #1 reason, as IA claims? no

    i am not saying overtraining qua overtraining is a myth. i am saying it is the new mantra for those who repeat what is en vogue. it is NOT the #1 reason for wheel spinners in your average gym to be lacking progress.

    and screw this "17 posts" thing. i have plenty of credibility in other fora and i have lurked here for quite some time before posting. but i can call bull when i see something i think is bull.

    you don't even know what my WORKOUT IS, so how can you claim joe blow would overtrain on it? the 20 repper thing was referenced to show 2gcorey where he was wrong. i know PLENTY of people who have done 20 reppers every other day. my workouts are NOT high volume.

    go over to ironmind.com and get the book "supersquats" if you don't believe me about people's experience with 20 reppers.

    which i did ONCE in my entire lifting career for a couple of months.

    i see the way people train in the gym every time i am there. i am sorry. imo, IA is wrong. overtraining is NOT the #1 problem.

    that's my opinion, and you guys can gang up all you want, spew ad hominems but if you want to actually discuss FACTS, that would be preferred.

    one can learn to transcend pain. soldiers do it. athletes do it. it CAN be learned and it can be (to a large extent) overcome. and many people simply do not put in that effort to do so.

    i know people who have thrown up doing 20 rep squats. THAT is hard work. when was the last time you saw somebody at the gym work that hard?

    most people in conventional gyms who spin their wheels are NOT overtrained.

    when I did 20 reppers, my MAX squat (oler style) was about 400 pounds. the point is the program worked to put on significant strength and mass (and fat). and it hurt. the only thing that has ever hurt more was the marathons. i know LOTS of people who have done it, and Dr. strossen over at ironmind has constant feedback on the program. i am not especially gifted genetically.

    my OLing coach has coached literally hundreds of kids. and he agrees that this overtraining MEME has been blown WAY out of proportion to the point where people are terrified of it like some big bag bogeyman. he has trained kids at all abilities and experience levels and middle aged athletes as well.

    fwiw, i almost NEVER work to failure, and i incorporate various training modalities, but i do NOT train what many people would think of as high volume.

    but one thing is clear, as my 4 minute mile analogy tends to demonstrate... if you TRULY believe in this stuff, it WILL limit you - physiologically as well as mentally. if you believe that you are a hardgainer, then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    i am sure there are PLENTY of hardgainers out there. i am also sure that overtraining is not, as IA claimed (without ever stating it as opinion i might add) the #1 problem among wheel spinners at conventional gyms
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    personally (my opinion) is if you have genetics that let you recover from A REAL 20 rep squat and let you do it every other day you should be competing with coleman with genetics like that, or YOU DON'T KNOW WTF PAIN IS! i don't know ONE PERSON who can do a 20 rep squat like i do more then 2 times a week, and most people once a week, if that!

    most "wheel spinners" ia is talking about probably aren't your guys who go in the gym once every week and mess around, he's talking serious people! i think its obvious what he's talking about

    you remind of bellicose and its just a bunch of bull****...ia had a damn good thread going till you came and spred a bunch of **** in it...thx man, i'm sure everyone here appreciate it and your racking up tons of respect!

    fact is ia has a hell of a rep and just about everything he says most everyone in here agrees with, try's it and loves it, or see's what he's talking about (ia even admits everyoen is diff, he's talking the norm). then you come on here and say "this is how it is?". as for your overtraining and overreaching, drop it, i just don't give a damn! we all know what ia is saying, but have no clue what your'e saying, again... ia can reach the masses and you spin your wheels on the details. you might know how to do 20 rep squats but you "spin your wheels" in online forum communication, just drop it! pls
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    oh for one thing i was in special ops and we did workout harder then hell and overcame a lot, but we didn't bulk up, not a damn one of us gained weight! we did the opposite so don't go tossing soldiers into your analagy because its WRONG! you lose weight, trim up, tone up etc in those programs, you don't bulk up like people here want to do.
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    I have at best average genetics for bodybuilding.
    Initially I tried a moderate volume approach with most sets to failure and I didn't make much progress.
    Then I gave HIT & abbreviated routines a try.
    My strength improved & although diet was sound, I didn't add much quality mass.
    More recently I have been training 4 x week with 6-16 sets per workout.
    I don't usually go to failure, but if I do it's on the final set.
    I've found that using moderate volume and not going to failure, I can stimulate the muscles without burning out my CNS.
    This means I recover quicker than using a moderate volume to failure approach, HIT or the abbreviated approach.
    Ultimately it allows me to train more often, thereby stimulating my muscles more and creating more opportunities for growth with good diet/rest.
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    So how do you KNOW you are overtraining?

    Where do you draw the line between not working hard enough, and over training?
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoofy
    So how do you KNOW you are overtraining?

    Where do you draw the line between not working hard enough, and over training?
    BINGO!

    Most don't know what is or what isn't overtraining because they fail to even bring their body to the point at which they COULD be overtraining.

    The "average" gym goer out there doesn't put their body through what we on this board would. Overtraining to them isn't in their vocabularily because to them 3 sets of hack squats at 40% their one rep max is taxing. Stick'em in a squat rack and they'd **** twice before even thinking about doing the lift.

    Most DON'T train anywehre the point of potentailly overtraining. If you people think the majority do then you have worked out in some very hardcore gyms in your life. Campus gym anyone? Anyone wanna tak ebets on how hard most at those gym work?

    A
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    Geez... what did stop me from making gains on the previous training methods I've used?!? If it's not overtraining, then what is it? Because I have the same darn diet. Fear of Pain!?? What the hell... I reach a pain level beyond my mind capacities like I did with higher volume workouts. So if I have this fear of pain you mention wouldn't I just plateau? Cause I actually don't.
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    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

    It appears to me that tatortodd nailed this one on the head, perfectly. As houseman just demonstrated in the prior post, the people who are disagreeing with IA are looking at the term "majority" and thinking of all the people who wander their way into a gym, chat for hours, lift for seconds, and never make it consistently. One thing that was clearly lost in IA's post is that he is not talking about that guy.

    He never does, because that is not his intended audience. When he speaks of the majority, he's speaking in terms of the majority of the people *like us* that train their asses off, know what pain is, know what bulking/cutting and putting a fork to the plate means, and who still end up not progressing like they should. For those people who frequent the boards, and would be familiar with IA, issues like discipline and pain threshold should have been lost years ago. IMHO IA is trying to enlighten the DEDICATED, HARDWORKING aspiring BB who is simply not progressing because he's working beyond his limits.

    With this clientele in mind, imagine removing diet, consistency, motivation, and discipline from the bodybuilding equation. There quite frankly isn't much left except for the routine, and (I obviously don't have numbers to back this up, just experience) those routines are generally just too much for the genetically typical trainee. Enter IA attempting to reach those average individuals who are almost too dedicated, because they want to improve so much they end up spending too much time under the weights, and not enough time actually growing.

    Side Note: Totally off topic, but jjjd I strongly recommend taking the approach of a linguistics minded person rather than grammar one, and accept that overtraining is the common term for what used to solely be called overreaching. This is how language progresses, just look at the etymology of words like bar, cool, etc and you'll realize that if it weren't for words gaining new uses, there would simply be no progress in language, and that would break the cardinal rule that language is always progressing.

    Okay, rant over, everyone go home and have a protein shake. Unless IA chimes in and says I was totally off-base... then disregard everything I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by tatortodd
    jjjd, What was the profile of your typical trainee? My brother is a personal trainer at a personal training studio and the profile of his typical client falls in two ranges:
    1. Middle to upper class, in what the average public would call decent shape, and trying to keep it. Few (if any) have mastered the basics of bodybuilding (diet, rest, and training).
    2. Middle to upper class, in horrible shape, and trying to get into what the average public would call decent shape.

    I worked out with my brother over Christmas, and my routine and the amount of iron moved is so different from his typical trainee that he felt like he should be lifting with me rather than training me. Then again, the rest of my lifestyle is identical to his which is way different than his typical trainee.

    I'd wager that IA's typcial trainee is someone who has lifted for several years, is a regular reader of one or more internet bodybuilding forums, and their lifestyle (diet, rest, and training) is lightyears ahead of the typical dumbass found in gyms all over the country. IMO, this type of person is more likely to be overtrained because they'll try to imitate the pros they are trying to look like rather than being like the typical dumbass found in gyms all over the country who imitates other dumbasses they see training.

    ~Todd
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    spoofy going by ia and doggcrapp when you don't add one rep or 1lb EVERY TIME you're in the gym you're overtraining! its not as hard to tell as some in this thread would like you to believe. i've been doing it by ia and dc for 2 or 3 months now and i've never gone up in weight like this, and yes, by lifting LESS! less can be MORE...

    if you don't add weight or a rep, try cutting back, BUT you have to go INTENSE when you do lift, then back off till you can add weight everytime or take away rest days till you can't, you'll find your limit
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    Opinions are like *******s, everybody has one.
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    I have to agree with IA on this one most of the people in my gym overtrain there are in there for hours each day trying to get big. The second biggest thing would be diet, no one seems to know how much of what they need in order to grow.
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    Thumbs down


    Quote Originally Posted by jjjd
    ok, i have a # of points to address, so let me start here...

    ironaddict: ironaddicts is full of strawmen. first of all, i do NOT train high volume. my average workout is from 12-20 sets and i workout from 3-6 times a week, usually 4 or so. in some weeks, i work out 3-5 30-45 minute sessions. that is HARDLY high volume.

    my point is simply this - empircally speaking, your claim is BOGUS. most wheel spinners in the conventional gym are not spinning their wheels because they are overtrained. that is simply ridiculous. hth. In MY opinion

    bean: yes, AFRAID of pain. that's simply the reality. arnold said it, steve prefontaine (famous distance runner) said it, and it is simply true. the willingness to withstand pain is often what helps people break through plateaus and take it up the next level - REGARDLESS of genetics.

    many people are just afraid of REAL hard work.
    I stand by my original post about you taking a "holier than thou" approach... just like i dont know what your workout is; you dont know wtf pain is to someone else as i said it was relative to the person...

    and like I said also; you have no clue what its like to be 6'1 and 125lbs when you're 21 years old... no clue at all... no clue to how HARD it is to even get up to 150lbs when your metabolism burns so fast you get the hunger shakes from not eating after 5 hours (and you DONT workout at all; like if you sat at home on the computer all day when you werent at work, which involved sitting behind a computer and programming 8-10hrs a day)...
    i would take A LOT of pain to be able to get somewhere; i'd break my leg or arm if it meant i could achieve 250lbs at ~10% bodyfat... but i'll never get there EVER...
    you dont know what i've gone through and i find it INSULTING that you waltz in here spouting bull**** like this about not wanting it bad enough
    and you know what the kicker is? there's a whole ****load of me's out there... a whole BUNCH of them... there's tons of them in every gym; and they're spinning their wheels because they overtrain; doing workouts described in muscle magazine...

    are you one of those guys that goes into the gym and thinks he accomplished something if he bleeds? oh brother
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    2gcorey, you have a problem with reading comprehension. my point about soldiers/warriors (and props to you for serving) was that they are often trained to overcome pain. it has NOTHING to do with gaining mass. the LAST thing a special ops guy wants is bulk. duh. it has to do with understanding that pain is in the mind, and overcoming pain is often a necessity for battlefield success.

    i don't know how you do 20 rep squats. i do them as described in supersquats. i do them to PLer competition depth (ie competition parallel) not full ass to grass, as i do my oler squats.

    and as yet, nobody has made the distinction between overtraining and overreaching.

    overtraining, to reply to spoofy, can be diagnosed via a # of factors.

    #1 check your resting heart rate every day. if you are overtrained, you may see a rise in your BMR. it is a good factor to look for. (it could also mean many other things), but this is one thing

    #2 check your blood pressure. I check mine every day.

    #3 are your training weights going DOWN? if you are losing strength, that is a good indication of overtraining

    #4 sleep. are you getting good sleep, or are you having problems sleeping?

    #5 mood. are you depressed, lack motivation? do you dread getting out of bed andor working out?

    fwiw, overtraining is ALWAYS bad. overreaching is not. overreaching can be a good thing. essentially overtraining is an overall systemic response. overreaching is usually more localized
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    bean, bleeding is meaningless. progress is what is the goal of my workouts. and fun.
    if you think what i am saying is bull****, that's fine. i think it is correct. look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions. imo, ia's statement was bogus. the #1 problem among wheel spinners is not overtraining.

    that's all. draw your own conclusions. and i have NO problem with people disagreeing with me. some people seem to take that very personally. not a good attitude to have if you wish to learn from others. that's why i'm here. and i have learned a lot. but when i see somebody say something that i think is totally wrong, i state my OPINION. and unlike IA, i qualify it AS opinion
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    As a former "special ops guy" we trained for bulk 4months out of every year. But what would I know?
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    A few points........... Just because someone trains people doesn't mean they know what they are doing. I have seen a lot of bad trainers who have a lot of clients. No training routine will work forever.........period! The body adapts to training protocols. Some people mistake overtraing with adaptation. Over training is a physiological state and it takes time to occur. Some of you are acting like if you do more than one set you will instantaneous over train. It doesn't work like that. I'll repeat part of my post from another thread.........

    I think what happens is someone is following a routine of a bodybuilder who has a pharmaceutical factory in his body. They are totally over training but when they switch to an HIT type of training protocol they start seeing results. They then mistake HIT training for the holy grail of training. Doing one set is not enough to stimulate muscle growth. It takes more than one set to hit motor units and stimulate muscle fibers. In my experience doing one working set per body part will only work for a short period of time and it's usually after some high volume work or when some was over training that it is most effective.
    I think it was Charles Stanley who said something to the effect of the best training routine is the opposite one that you doing. If your getting great results doing 20 sets of 15 reps an exercise resting 30 seconds between sets and it stops being as effective, change it to 6 reps and tens sets resting 3 minutes between sets. There is no holy grail of training. All training routines will work for a short period of time.

    I do know what it's like to not make progress in the gym. I labeled my self as a hardgainer. I continued to read the mags and experiment. At this point in time steroids were not talked about at all in bodybuilding mags and I thought that all the pros were natural (I was young give me a break). I don't remember were I came across it but I read two interesting things. One was that about 40 to 45 minutes in to training the anabolic hormones start to decrease and catabolic hormones start to increase. Another was that cardio training was the polar opposite of weight training and it would sap results from lifting. I cut out cardio and cut my work out time to 45 minutes. Then a funny thing happened.................. I started gaining size and strength......... fast. I just don't buy the hardgainer label. Are there people who put on muscle easier than others? Sure. Can these people get results continually from training 4 sets per work out year round? I really don't think so.
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    Bean your kind of taking this a little too personly don't you think? Have you had any blood work done?
  

  
 

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