Overtraining - a myth according to Thibs
- 02-18-2009, 09:36 AM
Overtraining - a myth according to Thibs
The following is an article by Christian Thibaudeau of T-Nation[dot]com.
"1. Train Hard, Recover Harder
I've said it time and time again: The more you train without exceeding your capacity to recover, the more you'll grow and the stronger you'll get.
I'll go one step further and say that most people don't train hard enough to progress past the beginning of the intermediate stage. When they first start, they gain because any training represents a drastic increase compared to the hole they were wearing through the couch. But as soon as they get past the beginner stage, gains become exceedingly rare because now that their body is used to physical stress, it takes a lot more of it to force adaptation.
One of the reasons why these people fail to train hard enough to stimulate gains is out fear of overtraining (which is often just a justification for laziness).
Well, let me tell you this: True overtraining is exceptionally rare. In all my life as an athlete and coach, I've only seen two real cases of overtraining, and in both the guys were Olympians training over 30 hours per week under tremendous psychological stress.
In reality, most elite athletes train over 20 hours per week, with some even hitting the 40-hour mark. Not all of this is strength training; speed and agility work, conditioning, and skill practices are also on the menu.
Before you throw the doping argument in my face, I've seen a ton of young athletes who were obviously not on drugs follow that type of schedule. I've worked as the head strength coach of a sports academy where kids ranging from 12 to 18 would go to school from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, then train or practice from 1:00 to 5:00 pm every day. Their programs included daily strength work, agility training, and practices cumulating over 20 hours per week. None of them were overtraining; all of them progressed quite well.
Similarly, most high-level Olympic lifters train for three hours per day spread over two or three daily sessions. Heck, Canadian National team member Marilou Dozois-Prévost engaged in two sessions daily, each lasting two hours, and would often extend these to do additional jumping or gymnastic work... when she was 14!
The benefits of youth? Maybe.
But how do you explain the case of Marcel Perron, who at 68, would lift for two hours in the morning, sprint for 30 minutes before lunch, and train for two more hours in the evening? His partner, Emery Chevrier, who power cleaned 285 and power snatched 225 pounds at a bodyweight of 170 when he was 70, would do the same minus the sprints.
And on the practical side, I've known quite a few farmers who chugged along for eight hours straight day after day, doing work that'd bury the most hardcore gym enthusiasts, without overtraining.
The problem is that most people lack the recovery capacity and don't take the necessary means to recover properly.
The Barbarian Brothers, two of the hardest training bodybuilders mankind has ever known, said that there was no such thing as overtraining, only undereating.
While not 100% accurate, they have the gist of it. Most people who think they're overtraining are simply under-recovering. While you can't make your body invincible to overtraining by pigging out, undereating, and especially undernourishment, can drastically reduce your capacity to recover."
What do you guys think about his claims of overtraining being a justification for "laziness"? Thoughts/comments people!
- 02-18-2009, 10:03 AM
I agree with this and I think you see a lot of people here believe basically the same thing. overtraining is hard to accomplish when proper rest is utilized. However, throwing in stressful jobs where sleep and actual rest are hard to come by, it's a lot easier to overtrain due to lack of proper rest.
02-18-2009, 10:16 AM
I only have 2 days before I hit same body part... I'll let you know how it goes in a few years, lol.
02-18-2009, 10:22 AM
02-18-2009, 12:31 PM
ya i buy that...i think ppl underestimate their own abilities and the majority don't go hard enough or frequently enough to actually hit true overtraining..
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02-18-2009, 12:38 PM
02-18-2009, 12:41 PM
Actually I reread this article 3 times carefully, and the more you read it, the more I realized there was to it. His main point is that it is hard to physically overtrain if you recover fully/properly. So basically he is trying to say that overtraining should be renamed under-recovering in almost all cases.
I know in January I started lifting 5x/week and doing 3 fasted cardio sessions (50min.) ; add on top of that tons of stress and an ignorance of the need to relax/destress, within 2 weeks I was feeling like crap and exhausted. Took a full week off, and then these past few weeks I've taken it easy (Still nursing the broken fingers/ caught a cold). It's doable for an overworked student from personal experience.
02-18-2009, 12:54 PM
This is definetly what I beleive. Only one thing is different though: Stimulants.
These compounds stress your adrenals big time, which makes it harder to recover. (IMO big time). It is the worst thing you can do to your body. I'm hooked to it, and I still use it, but I'm doing my best to get rid of it. I wish I never used stims at all.
02-18-2009, 01:04 PM
Stims have their place in moderation. The problem with stims is the problem you have with any supplement that gives you more of what you want... you want more of it all of the time. This leads to burnout in any type of product.
02-18-2009, 01:07 PM
I think under-recovering is the key word. Looking back when I played football and wrestled in high-school, I think I'm only going 85% of what I used to. I remember many many days when I held back puking during practices and weight lifting sessions - whereas I rarely go that hard anymore after work.
The problem is that I've found my recovery times to be longer when I do go that hard. I think it has to do with working at a stressful job 40-50 hours a week, not focusing as much on eating, and not being able to sleep as much as I would like. I think it's much easier in school (or if that's your profession) to do that, but so much more of my time goes to working that I've had to sacrifice a certain amount of rest to make it all work. That in turns seems to dictate the amount of recovery I can dedicate time too. Often taking week(s) helps immensely when I get back to the gym. I also found that I responded very well to training with weights three days a week (DC training), but going much harder.
Interesting thread though.
02-18-2009, 02:28 PM
I like it how they call it a myth and then they talk about elite athletes...
I overtrained very easily even before I started DC. Nine easy sets for legs and I need 14 hours of sleep, I lose my appetite the next day and have a horrible headache, given that I never get headaches. Six easy supersets for biceps and triceps and I can't get out of bed next morning. I have to admit my recovery improved with time but still every day after training is horrible to live through, it's just very depressing. I am sure my body was never meant to do anything difficult for a long time, be it mental or physical, but it's late to choose my parents now.
Now on DC I can get up to 7 weeks before cruising for a week. It's funny that volume has greatly increased given how much stronger I've gotten but my blasts are still 7 weeks long. Nutrition has helped a lot in that aspect but I could never overcome the depression and emptyheadedness that follow each workout.
From what I've seen almost everyone on the boards has better recovery than me but they tend to do so much volume that they overtrain the body while still undertraining the muscle. But that's a whole new thread.
02-18-2009, 03:23 PM
02-19-2009, 07:03 AM
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