Topic of the week: Is Overtraining BS?

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You think its real or something that can fixed simply by calories?
 

cbsharpe

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IMO, I believe it's real. One can and does suffer injuries both small and large as a result of over training.

I've had bouts of over training where I would train 5-6 days a week because I was so pumped up, but ended up injuring my shoulder.
 
kbayne

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It's real but think people use overtraining as an excuse and do not fully understand what overtraining is.
 
Driven2lift

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I think there is a point where you can destroy muscle faster than your body rebuilds it,

There were times between 12 hour shifts and workouts daily that i was genuinely in pain at work doing my job.

I honestly dont think I lost muscle though, I kept building it. I think you can eat enough for your body to take care of you.

But there are a lot more factors than that.

Train to much you may be in pain, may have no energy, may be stressed.
 
EMPIREMIND

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Everyones threshold is different, as long as you can recover properly youll never overtrain.


I dont remember who said it, it was something along the lines of: " theres no such thing as overtraining, only under recovering and under eating"
 

NewAgeMayan

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Overtraining is certainly a real phenomenon. But, I do think there is a tendency for many people to conflate "overtraining" and "overreaching".
 

IFN15

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In my opinion the cns will become overtrained before the body, if enough rest and nutrient intake is present i don't feel the body would become overtrained but so many variables have to be taken into consideration so its possible.
 
Auslifter

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It's real but think people use overtraining as an excuse and do not fully understand what overtraining is.
this. you can over reach, but you would need to do some really crazy insane stuff and be under eating big time to actually overtrain
 
NoAddedHmones

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this. you can over reach, but you would need to do some really crazy insane stuff and be under eating big time to actually overtrain
Think it is more a relative thing per person. For instance a newish lifter will probably have a much smaller capacity to recover in fixed period because they are "less efficient" as compared to a veteran lifter whos body has unregulated many relevant systems to become more efficient.
 
Jiigzz

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Overtraining is a CNS condition, not a muscular one. So simply "being sore" or "having more injuries" is not indicative of overtraining, just under recovery from a muscular standpoint. An important feature is that training intensity must be continuously increased (or remain elevated) without adequate recovery. Intensity is not the relative term we often apply it to, for example: "I trained hard today and hard little rest; my workout was so intense!", but the actual training definition which is % of your 1RM. So a PLer training at 95% 1RM trains more intensely than someone pumping reps at 80% 1RM.

Most people also auto regulate before overtraining so they tend to "drop off" training intensity or frequency when feeling lethargic whereas an athlete will often push past the mental boundaries that serve as warnings of a potential overtraining state.

So true overtraining IMO does exist, but I highly doubt many people here have ever experienced it. Once overtrained, recovery can take months, if at all, to come back form.

When talking to coaches, it appears easier to frame the current topic as underrecovery rather than overtraining
When intensity and volume are increased during training, the subjective assessment of athletes becomes very important, because a long-term imbalance of stress (including training, competition and non-training stress factors) and recovery can lead to a state of overtraining
 
Abe Lincoln

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Fixed with only more calories? No. Maybe with tons of steroids, drugs, and food.

Who knows maybe they will make a break through in science that allows us to bypass CNS or make it recover in shorts period of times like a few minutes. Instantly heal wounds as well?
 

kisaj

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I've only done this once training for a competition and it is a very real thing. Like Jiiggz said, it can take a long time to recover and actually feel energy and motivation again. It can almost feel like a depressed state and much more than just physical soreness or weakness. I'd say 9 out of 10 times anyone uses this term, they aren't really talking about over training but rather over reaching or simply confusing bad soreness with it.
 
choccyswag

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Too much too soon, or changes too sudden. like going from 3 days/week to 6 days/week program without working up to it.

Trying to fit too much per session.

But for the rest of the people at the gym that I can see, its not over training so much. But its not enough attention paid to recovery.
 
DangerDave

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Nope only under resting and under eating. Rich Piana said that. I think some people's bodies can't handle consistent hard training but the human body is a powerful machine and can withstand a serious beating. The mind always quits first. I personally have done 2 a days 7 days a week for weeks on end and been fine.

I have a military background as a Marine. Look at how we train. Weeks on end every day, we eat a lot and sleep. Performance gets better once you break that mental barrier of wanting to quit once it hurts or gets hard.

So in my reality overtraining doesn't exist if you rest and eat properly.
 

kdubson14

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To echo what Jiigzz and IFN15 said, overtraining is a CNS phenomenon
 

NewAgeMayan

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Interesting that people are characterising overtraining (OT) in terms of the CNS.

I think OT and overreaching (OR) can be confused because they can both be characterised as "a condition brought about where training volume/frequency exceeds the bodies capacity to recover from".

However, where OT symptoms tend to be systematic and 'global', OR symptoms tend to be localised (to a specific bodypart, or muscle, etc). With OT, ones general training capacity is compromised; with OR, only the targeted muscle(group) is affected.

To give an example, if someone were to run a sucessful OR on, say, their chest, their capacity to perform specific chest movements would be compromised but their capacity to squat would remain relatively unaffected. With OT, every exercise is negatively affected.

I dont profess to understand all the physiological intracacies involved with either condition but, it would seem that where OT is systematic and CNS in nature, OR is more about hyper-glycogen depletion.
 
NoAddedHmones

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Interesting that people are characterising overtraining (OT) in terms of the CNS.

I think OT and overreaching (OR) can be confused because they can both be characterised as "a condition brought about where training volume/frequency exceeds the bodies capacity to recover from".

However, where OT symptoms tend to be systematic and 'global', OR symptoms tend to be localised (to a specific bodypart, or muscle, etc). With OT, ones general training capacity is compromised; with OR, only the targeted muscle(group) is affected.

To give an example, if someone were to run a sucessful OR on, say, their chest, their capacity to perform specific chest movements would be compromised but their capacity to squat would remain relatively unaffected. With OT, every exercise is negatively affected.

I dont profess to understand all the physiological intracacies involved with either condition but, it would seem that where OT is systematic and CNS in nature, OR is more about hyper-glycogen depletion.
I always interpreted Overreaching as a defined period of going beyond your normal protocol in Volume, Intensity or frequency. Kind of like a structured refeed. I think overreaching is mutally exclusivie to what overtraining's definition is. Whether either/or are a result of CNS burnout, localised or systemic under recovery is probably likely to differ from person to person as to why they have burned out, not soley cause of CNS.
 

NewAgeMayan

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I always interpreted Overreaching as a defined period of going beyond your normal protocol in Volume, Intensity or frequency. Kind of like a structured refeed. I think overreaching is mutally exclusivie to what overtraining's definition is. Whether either/or are a result of CNS burnout, localised or systemic under recovery is probably likely to differ from person to person as to why they have burned out, not soley cause of CNS.
As far as I understand OR and experience it, I wouldnt characterise it as 'burnout'. If I were to characterise it symptomatically it would be where I get weaker at specifically targeted lifts, there is a strength drop-off. This is due to purposefully training at an 'excessive' weekly volume/freq for that particular lift. My sleep is unaffected, as are my other lifts.

I think there is a grey area with these conditions, because a whole body overreach could, with a bit of extra effort/time and no deload, become overtraining.
 

plifter42

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I think that overtraining is a myth. Maybe started by people who didn't eat a pre-workout meal or forgot to stay hydrated and became dehydrated from sweating during their workout, feeling like ish and saying they overtrained... In my opinion if pre-workout nutrition is on point and intra-workout hydration is on point, overtraining is highly unlikely. Some will disagree but that's just my .02.
 
Jiigzz

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I think that overtraining is a myth. Maybe started by people who didn't eat a pre-workout meal or forgot to stay hydrated and became dehydrated from sweating during their workout, feeling like ish and saying they overtrained... In my opinion if pre-workout nutrition is on point and intra-workout hydration is on point, overtraining is highly unlikely. Some will disagree but that's just my .02.
I can write you a program tailored to overtraining if you like? Remember, your style of training will likely not put you to that threshold, but if I got you doing something that did, your tune might change somewhat ;)

No amount of nutrition could prevent it
 

plifter42

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I can write you a program tailored to overtraining if you like? Remember, your style of training will likely not put you to that threshold, but if I got you doing something that did, your tune might change somewhat ;)

No amount of nutrition could prevent it
Haha, this is true. But after years of training I know what works for me and I have my training dialed in to a point where I've been making steady gains every year.

I might have experienced "overtraining" before... Squatting 225 raw, ass to grass for 22 reps and puking all over the squat rack on the last set... Varsity wrestling practice until sundown in a small room with the goal of dehydrating ourselves... Two-a-days during football going through practices with multiple concussions...

I've experimented with overtraining... Wasn't for me. ;)
 
Spaniard

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Haha, this is true. But after years of training I know what works for me and I have my training dialed in to a point where I've been making steady gains every year.

I might have experienced "overtraining" before... Squatting 225 raw, ass to grass for 22 reps and puking all over the squat rack on the last set... Varsity wrestling practice until sundown in a small room with the goal of dehydrating ourselves... Two-a-days during football going through practices with multiple concussions...

I've experimented with overtraining... Wasn't for me. ;)
Wrestling gives you balls, man. I'd take a wrestler over any other athlete when it comes to work ethic and not quitting. When I used to train, wrestlers were my favorite, no bull **** complaining that even an NFL athlete or two would throw at me.

As far as the post goes. Yes, overtraining is very real. Most people think it doesn't exist simply because they're not tracking each and every session and the subsequent stress that continuous progression puts on the body.
 
Jiigzz

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As far as I understand OR and experience it, I wouldnt characterise it as 'burnout'. If I were to characterise it symptomatically it would be where I get weaker at specifically targeted lifts, there is a strength drop-off. This is due to purposefully training at an 'excessive' weekly volume/freq for that particular lift. My sleep is unaffected, as are my other lifts.

I think there is a grey area with these conditions, because a whole body overreach could, with a bit of extra effort/time and no deload, become overtraining.
I would highly doubt you reach the threshold of over-training within a weekly block of training. What a lot of people tend to do is read the symptoms, then apply it to them and self diagnose a condition in which they do not have, then proceed to "treat" a condition which they do not have.

This little graph shows the recovery time you can expect for true over training:

View attachment 120347

An important consideration is that under recovery can exhibit the same symptoms as over training but chronic under recovery may not necessarily lead to over training. Common over training we might see is back in the early 2000's when the relationship between prolonged intense loads and under recovery plus the stress of competition was not understood, and elite athletes were competing in some cases every 3-5 days at maximal intensities (think sprinting in soccer, ice hockey etc.) with only a few days recovery that also required the athlete travel between time zones and sleep little on buses.

In competition, the loads are not self regulated - you are expected to perform to a high degree regardless of fatigue and so athletes would commonly peak every 3-4 days for an entire season. This would be akin to a PLer or Olympic lifter trying to compete in a new competition every few days (competition loads are typically greater than training loads).
 
Jiigzz

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Haha, this is true. But after years of training I know what works for me and I have my training dialed in to a point where I've been making steady gains every year.

I might have experienced "overtraining" before... Squatting 225 raw, ass to grass for 22 reps and puking all over the squat rack on the last set... Varsity wrestling practice until sundown in a small room with the goal of dehydrating ourselves... Two-a-days during football going through practices with multiple concussions...

I've experimented with overtraining... Wasn't for me. ;)
Haha i'm not too sure what you mean here? I don't think you have the correct definition of overtraining. Being sick during a set isnt overtraining. It's heavy for sure, but the term isnt literal to the definition.

Its not how much you do necessarily, its a combination of increased volume loads, intensities (not perceived intensity but the training definition which is relative to maximal), competition stress, external stress, lack of recovery days between movements or exercise patterns etc. etc.
 

plifter42

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I don't know the definition of overtraining. I said that I "Might" have experienced overtraining. I don't know what the definition of overtraining is or maybe I just haven't experienced it. Either way, I've suffered multiple injuries and muscle tears from lifting weights, I know that.
 

NewAgeMayan

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I would highly doubt you reach the threshold of over-training within a weekly block of training.
No, of course not, but then Ive never overtrained either. Hell, Ive never reached the threshold for overreaching within a weekly block, typically takes me up to 3 weeks to do that.
 
Abe Lincoln

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I've done 5 a days for 2 weeks straight. Started to flatline but maybe it was because I was young that I was fine?

So what effect does steroids have on overtraining?
 
kenpoengineer

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Overtraining is real for us older lifters (55 next month). The body simply cannot regenerate tissue as fast. This is the reason I've moved to One Lift A Day routines.
 
MidwestBeast

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Real? Yes.

Something most people will encounter? Nope.



If you wanna see people battling through it, just look at the way kbayne and EMPIREMIND are training ;)
 

kisaj

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You can't point to someone's training and say that it is an example of over training or working through it because everyone has different capabilities. I know where you were going just as an example, but for the sake of those that think it happens more than it does, just FYI.
 
MidwestBeast

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You can't point to someone's training and say that it is an example of over training or working through it because everyone has different capabilities. I know where you were going just as an example, but for the sake of those that think it happens more than it does, just FYI.
Perhaps my choice of wording with "battling through it" was poor.

The point I was trying to make is what you hit on as well -- it's an individual thing, but generally speaking, the average person isn't going to run into that wall. The body is capable of being pushed to pretty extreme limits (and that last part is why I highlighted those guys' training styles).
 
EMPIREMIND

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I think its beneficial to overtrain at some point. I have absolutely overtrained my cns, and it has shown me my breaking point. To get to that point i had to do an excessive amount of compounds and hiit and it still took about four to five weeks to reach that point. It has enabled me to understand my limits and push past them accordingly. I am much more aware of my body, and in this sport knowing YOUR body is everything. I am currently over reaching, but have increased my cals and rest time accordingly. I will not overtrain.

I honestly believe people dont realize how strong they truely are. I always remember this qoute; "if it doesnt challenge you, it wont change you"
 
Rodja

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I've experienced overtraining, but it was while I was fighting and that's a whole different animal. Overreaching is something that everyone should be doing in their training, but most don't know what it is or how to implement it.

Another thing is that overtraining and excessive use injuries are often confused as well. Inflammation or a strain of a muscle from excessive training does not indicate overtraining. It's merely using something too often beyond its normal capacity with inadequate rest and not a systemic issue like overtraining.
 

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I thought it was bs and trained 7 days a week for a year. Loved the results but eventually I hit a plateau I decided to take rest days. Started growing again and breaking PRs. So I think it's good to not believe in it initially and listen to your body
 
Jackedjack

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Overtraining is definitely real, but not many people succumb to it now adays, especially in a period where autoregulation is in most new programs such as reactive training system. And if you ever feel your CNS getting fried just pop a few nerve restore and lift
 
Matthew1237

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Overtraining is possible if someone's not working within their means. IE - training too much without enough rest, food, flexibility work. But if all those are adequate I find it difficult to overtrain.
 
HIT4ME

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Of course over-training exists. Anyone who claims to doubt that is fooling themselves. I mean - nobody on here does 200 sets/workout and works out all day, for days on end. They'd kill themselves. I don't care how much you eat. haha.

The most popular routines - whatever you choose - all account for modulation of intensity, volume and frequency. Everyone has a threshold, some have a higher threshold than others, and most people who claim over-training is an excuse are actually working less hard than the people who have been through it. If you go high intesity, all the time, every day, for weeks, you will fall. I think intensity, as Jiggz said, is the biggest contributing factor to overtraining. On the same hand, no one gets huge running marathons - but that is training for a different reason.
 
Shasow

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Of course overtraining is real. The "no such thing as overtraining" really came from people/gurus trying to motivate the lazy to push themselves and stop being little pv$$ies. You tell a certain type of person (the highly driven kind) overtraining doesn't exist and watch what happens to them.
 
Matthandyo

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Haha, this is true. But after years of training I know what works for me and I have my training dialed in to a point where I've been making steady gains every year.

I might have experienced "overtraining" before... Squatting 225 raw, ass to grass for 22 reps and puking all over the squat rack on the last set... Varsity wrestling practice until sundown in a small room with the goal of dehydrating ourselves... Two-a-days during football going through practices with multiple concussions...

I've experimented with overtraining... Wasn't for me. ;)
I as well wrestled and played varsity football and the training for both sports is very different. It was a lot easier to be worn out and just tired from wrestling, from limiting calorie intake and drill practice while also trying to drop water weight and all while trying to stay focused. But I wouldn't call it overtraining. My weight training coach for football was much better at helping to reach goals. Even though he would basically have us eating as much as possible and then train before we went and practiced. With two a days it wasn't really overtraining it was more of just being exhausted from practice then lifting and practicing again. I really think people just use "overtraining" as an excuse. Not saying it doesn't exist. But I think people who overtrain go months at a time doing two hour bicep workouts a couple of times a week and don't know why they aren't getting bigger.
 
Magg0078

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Depends in the actual definition of over training. If you improperly stimulate muscle growth to the point you are running circles in the gym, that is over training to me. Adrenal fatigue can be over training. Improper nutrition can lead to over training. It just depends in my opinion. Ole Ronnie Coleman hit his muscles twice a week and was on of the best, bet he did methodically, along with proper nutrition.
 
HIT4ME

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Ole Ronnie Coleman hit his muscles twice a week and was on of the best, bet he did methodically, along with proper "nutrition".
I corrected it - you forgot the " around nutrition. No big.

Beyond that, your post was great!
 
Magg0078

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Thanks, sorry about the grammatical errors. iPhone has a mind of its own sometimes.
 
HIT4ME

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Thanks, sorry about the grammatical errors. iPhone has a mind of its own sometimes.
LMAO - no worries man, I was just busting your chops and pointing out that comparing the typical person with Ronnie Coleman ....Coleman had a lot more than nutrition on his side....lots of drugs too I would suggest. I was just giving you a hard time. I am far from the grammar police. Say it however you have to...haha
 

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I see admin has a knack for asking good questions. :)

I think overtraining is mostly myth in bodybuilding until you get to competition-level seriousness. I don't necessarily think bodybuilding is the best example of athletes overtraining, but rather combat sports like MMA and boxing.

Floyd Mayweather is famous for what would widely be regarded as an overtraining regimen.

Junior Dos Santos in MMA started monitoring various blood markers after heavy training sessions after he nearly developed rhabdomyolysis which is the worst-case scenario as a medical outcome.
 

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