Overtraining?

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    Overtraining?


    I generally like to train a muscle group until it's as close to dead as I can get it. I do a lot of sets, with low to moderate reps (usually 5-10, some more to 12 now). For example, today my workout went as such

    Barbell Military Press:

    1 set 10 reps 65 lbs
    1 set 10 reps 95lbs
    1 set 8 reps 115 lbs
    1 set 4 reps 140 lbs
    1 set 8 reps 115lbs
    (strength was down today)
    Dumbell Military:
    4 sets 8 reps with 50's
    Upright Dumbell Rows:
    4 sets 10 reps with 40's
    I drop set 10 reps 40's, 15 reps 25's, 20 reps' 15's
    Arnold Press (or some variation of it)
    4 sets 10 reps with 15's
    Supersetted with Bent over lateral raises
    4 sets 10 reps with 20s


    Then I did 4 sets of pullovers with a 60 simply because I have never really done them before but I have been reading a lot about ribcage development. Also threw in a few sets of leg raises and calve raises.
    Anyway, this high volume idea worked for me all winter while I was eating a ton, and I gained a lot of size and strength. Lately ive been recomping and while it seems to be working slowly but surely, i can't help but wonder if I could be seeing better results with less training. Given I train each muscle group on average only once a week, with 5-7 days in between the next session, but i've heard this may not be enough. However, im a little afraid to give up what was working for me if it means trying something less effective (although I guess thats what BB'ing is all about).
    Anyway, let me know what you think.

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    21 sets for shoulders? Yep, that is a lot of work, even for a week.
    Here are some rough guide lines for volume borrowed from the HST site:

    Increase your volume if:
    you're never sore; you're never tired; or you're not growing

    Maintain your volume if:
    you're slightly sore most of the time; you're tired enough to sleep well, but not so tired that you lose motivation to train; or you're noticeably "fuller".

    Decrease your volume if:
    you're experiencing over use pain, and strain symptoms in your joints and/or muscles; you're tired and irritable all the time, yet don't sleep well; or your strength levels are significantly decreasing.

    Volume and overtraining are very specific to the individual. I know what you are doing would be over the limit for me but it might be fine for you. Maybe the guidelines above will help you make an assesment.

    As an example both Max-OT & HST recommend 9 sets a week for shoulders. With a 5x5 like the Bill Starr or Madcow you would be doing 15 sets max.
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    That looks much like a workout that I used to do, and I got great gains (50lbs in one year). But as I learned to train with more intensity my bodyweight and lifts stalled. Recently I have been doing research on Mike Mentzer High intensity training. He believes that each body part should be given only one exercise and you should work out no more than 3 times a week. I have been following a cross between this and the way that dorian yates trained (similar, but yates did on average 3-4 exercises per body part) and I have seen incredible results. The key is to use every ounce of effort you have in the smallest possible time frame. It is based upon the fact that a muscle can only work at maximum intensity for a very short time, after it can no longer work at max intensity, your aerobic systems will kick in. This is good for burning fat, but not that great for building lean mass. For instance, when i would train before the only set that I would really go all out on was the last one anyway. If I went all out on the first few then in my last set I knew I would not be able to use the heaviest weight for the most reps. The amount of time between workouts is due to the fact that it takes a cumulative toll on the body to recover. For instance, if one does an intense leg workout one might notice soreness in the legs, but all of your body systems need to be engaged to fully recover. Once recovery has taken place the body is ready to give another full effort. This translates into heavier weights used almost evey consecutive workout and muscle growth. I have only been training twice a week for the last month and have seen by bodyweight go from 200 to 202 and my body fat drop from 8 to 6 percent. I thought that there was no way this training would work because I am very a very small boned ectomorph and thought that meant that I had to train even more. But this simply isn't the case. You should definitely do some research on the topic; scientifically it makes sense, but it flies in the face of what many do so it is not widely accepted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggplant21 View Post
    You should definitely do some research on the topic; scientifically it makes sense, but it flies in the face of what many do so it is not widely accepted.
    This is not to question the method you are using but if you are interested in the "science" of things take a look at http://hypertrophy-research.com or http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_index.html . Both of these site various sources of scientific studies and both methods completely fly in the face of the norm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawaro View Post
    This is not to question the method you are using but if you are interested in the "science" of things take a look at http://hypertrophy-research.com or Hypertrophy-Specific Training : : Official Home of HST . Both of these site various sources of scientific studies and both methods completely fly in the face of the norm.
    I read both of the pages you gave me and they seemed to support most principles of Mentzer High Intensity Training. Your second source even states that, "HST suggests that you limit the number of sets per exercise per workout to 1 or 2.." The first page even stated a seeming contradiction to the first saying, " Long duration endurance type activity causes increased activity in AMPK (5'AMP-activated protein kinase) this kinase then turns on events that switches off events that use ATP for anything other than fuel replenishment inside the cell, including the mTOR activated protein synthesis chain." High rep weightlifting would definitely fall into the category of long duration endurance activity. A huge problem that I found with the info you gave me was that it did not give any studies showing this to be conclusively the best path to muscular hypertrophy. It gave plenty of data about how muscles function, but no real data. Another problem I have is that training each body part three times a week is not enough time to allow for proper growth and recovery, that is unless you are not training with the most force possible. These workouts mandate a 5 to 20 pound increase regularly, which means that high intensity is needed, but with maximum intensity training each body part three times per week is impossible. The last problem that I had with the article is with my personal experience. I had been employing a version of hst for months on my whole body, except for my legs. On legs I was inadvertanly using high intensity training by going lighter on my first two sets of squat and all out on the third. My upper body experienced marginal growth, while my legs have grown from 22.5 to 27.75 in a little over a year. My max squat went from 265 to 550 in that same time span. I would also ask if you have tried anything like HIT training in the past. It is pretty consistent that intensity+rest = growth. I
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    I did high volume training for years and except for the beginning my results were poor and I was always getting sick. Low volume high intensity training has definitely given me the best results in strength and muscle gain. Mike Mentzer was a god send to me at the time and much of what I do today came from Mike. I am actually experimenting with reducing my frequency even more to test some of his other theories but the problem is I like training so I'm finding the reduction difficult psychologically.

    Taken from HST site
    "Each muscle group should be loaded 3 times per week. This adheres to the Frequency Principle. A loading stimulus for hypertrophy must be frequent enough to create a consistent ³environment² for the muscle to adapt to. If the muscle is loaded too infrequently, the muscle will adapt and then un-adapt before the stimulus is applied again."

    I sort of agree with the above statement but it sounds like unless you train a muscle 3 times a week it will un-adapt before the stimulus is applied again. I usually train a muscle once a week and unless my eating or sleeping goes to sh!t I am stronger by a rep or two the next time I train that muscle. How is this possible if my muscles are un-adapting before I train the muscle again a week later. Now that I'm older and train more intensely I feel I need to take a week off every 6-8 weeks but every time I come back stronger as well. This equates to 2 weeks without training that specific muscle so why hasn't that muscle un-adapted over a 2 week period of time? The only answer I can come up with is that muscle does not atrophy in a 2 week period . I am now training less frequently to see if I can avoid taking the week off but as I said earlier it's a hard thing to do when you love training.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggplant21 View Post
    I would also ask if you have tried anything like HIT training in the past.
    Actually I followed Max-OT for about 8 months and I would guess it would be considered HIT. Dont get me wrong, I am not saying HST is the greatest, I havent even tried it, I just thought the science behind it was interesting.
    Personally I am following one of the 5x5 variants.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawaro View Post
    Actually I followed Max-OT for about 8 months and I would guess it would be considered HIT. Dont get me wrong, I am not saying HST is the greatest, I havent even tried it, I just thought the science behind it was interesting.
    Personally I am following one of the 5x5 variants.
    How were your results on max ot? I have looked at that a bit and it looks quite a bit like HIT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggplant21 View Post
    How were your results on max ot? I have looked at that a bit and it looks quite a bit like HIT.
    They were ok, not spectacular but not bad either. It is difficult to keep the intensity up week after week for me. The 5x5 is getting the same way. I am at the point where 3x a week I am hitting PR's on lifts unless I am stalling. With "heavy" being a relative term I am training very heavy. I have had my best gains in size and strength with the 5x5. It may be because of the scheduled progression but it is still what has worked for me. Plus I do not have any intentions of every doing anything competitive. I just want to be bigger. With that in mind I live and die by compound lifts and rarely ever do iso's.
    I am really considering giving the HST a try, just to see how it goes. I like the mix rep ranges with the scheduled progression and it still works with my 5x5 routine.
    I looked over some of the Mentzer articles last night and I was surprised to see that his intensity technique for advanced trainees is almost identicle to what is recommended in the Max-Stim program at the Hypertrophy-Research site.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawaro View Post
    They were ok, not spectacular but not bad either. It is difficult to keep the intensity up week after week for me. The 5x5 is getting the same way. I am at the point where 3x a week I am hitting PR's on lifts unless I am stalling. With "heavy" being a relative term I am training very heavy. I have had my best gains in size and strength with the 5x5. It may be because of the scheduled progression but it is still what has worked for me. Plus I do not have any intentions of every doing anything competitive. I just want to be bigger. With that in mind I live and die by compound lifts and rarely ever do iso's.
    I am really considering giving the HST a try, just to see how it goes. I like the mix rep ranges with the scheduled progression and it still works with my 5x5 routine.
    I looked over some of the Mentzer articles last night and I was surprised to see that his intensity technique for advanced trainees is almost identicle to what is recommended in the Max-Stim program at the Hypertrophy-Research site.
    The thing that I am loving about the Mentzer HIT is that every workout I am hitting PR's. My body is fresh every single time. I never have a weak workout. Im working twice as hard and Im half as tired all the time. And for you it would be great because you could really focus on you compounds seeing as you only do a compound and another lift for each body part. I think that you would see your strength and size go up if you rested a little more, and added more intensity. The only inconvenience is that you have to find a training partner who not only takes weightlifting serious, but is willing to cooperate with the program. Mentzer takes a very logical and scientific approach to his training. I liked the idea of the Max OT training except there just isnt enough rest it looks like. If HST doesn't work for you just pm me and ill set you up with a HIT program, or better yet you could go buy Mentzer's book. Good Luck.
  

  
 

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