Topic of the week: Is Overtraining BS?

pike place

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Ummm...so you are saying over training does exist, by your definition.

May I ask what an "efficient nutrient" is?
I'm saying over training doesn't exist, you can't over train, you're "under eating or under sleeping" haha
 
muscleupcrohn

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I'm saying over training doesn't exist, you can't over train, you're "under eating or under sleeping" haha
How much of this is semantics? What if you train all out in the gym for 4 hours every day? Good luck eating and sleeping enough to offset that. Overtraining/overreaching is definitely a real thing. It may not be as common as some people think, but it does exist.
 
jonpaulevans

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Interesting to hear some intelligent views on the topic but I think it's all interpretation. Just words we use to describe how we're feeling. When looking at some extreme examples of conditions for becoming OT or OR'd, I turn to Ranger Training. Their training is completed over a two month period that involves very modest amounts of sleep and calorie intake. Could OT/OR be in our mind? Could the high dropout/fail rate in this camp be due to OT/OR or as they cal it "extreme exhaustion"? Yes to both
No matter how you interpret it, the fact is we all have a breaking point. I interpret OR as an issue based on muscular recovery and OT as a CNS burnout.
Accurate or not, it's terms I use for feedback. My experience has been that OR/OT is possible and the result was a shut down immune system that lead to a few days of Flu-like symptoms.
I will say that OT issues came during a time when I was in my early 20s and drinking and partying a lot. Drug and alcohol fueled nights and days of rather intense lifting. I wasn't doing my body any favors and it stopped me in my tracks once or twice. Ecstacy, coke and whiskey are no longer a part of my diet. I train harder now more than ever and never experience the same issues.

OT/OR is real but anyone who trains with half a brain and who listens to their body won't experience the worst of it. But I think we all intentionally dance on the threshold of OT/OR in order to grow.
 
jonpaulevans

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I'm saying over training doesn't exist, you can't over train, you're "under eating or under sleeping" haha
yes...its reflective logic though. If you under-eat you'll be over-trained. Provided you have an incredible mental fortitude and work ethic. It wont happen over night or in a week. But you can deprive yourself of all proper nutrients and rest necessary for recovery and stall your CNS and immune system.
 
HIT4ME

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I'm saying over training doesn't exist, you can't over train, you're "under eating or under sleeping" haha
You started your argument with, "There is no such thing as overtraining" and then the next word you used was "if" ...meaning there is a specific circumstance which constitutes over training and then you go on to define parameters to avoid over training. I find the intellectual approach interesting to say the least.

How much of this is semantics? What if you train all out in the gym for 4 hours every day? Good luck eating and sleeping enough to offset that. Overtraining/overreaching is definitely a real thing. It may not be as common as some people think, but it does exist.
You bring up the logical conclusion - if over training doesn't exist ...does that mean we can lift our 1 rm 30 times an hour, all day long? And I agree....there is a lot of semantics and preconceived notions at play with over training. I think most people think that they are hard workers and hard workers never complain about working too hard, so we can't acknowledge over training.

I am in sales and it reminds me a bit of the sales trainers who start off their seminar or book with, "I love cold calling..." Yeah...that's because you haven't done much if it.

Ironically, if you don't believe in over training, you aren't working hard enough.

Interesting to hear some intelligent views on the topic but I think it's all interpretation. Just words we use to describe how we're feeling. When looking at some extreme examples of conditions for becoming OT or OR'd, I turn to Ranger Training. Their training is completed over a two month period that involves very modest amounts of sleep and calorie intake. Could OT/OR be in our mind? Could the high dropout/fail rate in this camp be due to OT/OR or as they cal it "extreme exhaustion"? Yes to both
No matter how you interpret it, the fact is we all have a breaking point. I interpret OR as an issue based on muscular recovery and OT as a CNS burnout.
Accurate or not, it's terms I use for feedback. My experience has been that OR/OT is possible and the result was a shut down immune system that lead to a few days of Flu-like symptoms.
I will say that OT issues came during a time when I was in my early 20s and drinking and partying a lot. Drug and alcohol fueled nights and days of rather intense lifting. I wasn't doing my body any favors and it stopped me in my tracks once or twice. Ecstacy, coke and whiskey are no longer a part of my diet. I train harder now more than ever and never experience the same issues.

OT/OR is real but anyone who trains with half a brain and who listens to their body won't experience the worst of it. But I think we all intentionally dance on the threshold of OT/OR in order to grow.
Again, I agree with you and muscleupcrohn. Keep in mind though..ranger training isn't about packing on the most muscle or developing the most strength/power. Ranger training is about only letting people through who have a high workload capacity and strong mental willpower already. The goal IS to over train and see who quits from the hard work.
 
HIT4ME

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I'm saying over training doesn't exist, you can't over train, you're "under eating or under sleeping" haha
yes...its reflective logic though. If you under-eat you'll be over-trained. Provided you have an incredible mental fortitude and work ethic. It wont happen over night or in a week. But you can deprive yourself of all proper nutrients and rest necessary for recovery and stall your CNS and immune system.
Exactly. Further...to use this logic ...people who overeat would never over train, which would mean it is impossible to over train and get fat at the same time? There is a point at which you will over train and eating more will just make you fat...because you are just unable to adapt to the stress. This stress would be substantial, but that is all relative.

You may as well say there is no such thing as amputation, just under eating.
 
muscleupcrohn

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Exactly. Further...to use this logic ...people who overeat would never over train, which would mean it is impossible to over train and get fat at the same time? There is a point at which you will over train and eating more will just make you fat...because you are just unable to adapt to the stress. This stress would be substantial, but that is all relative.

You may as well say there is no such thing as amputation, just under eating.
This. If there is no overtraining, just undereating and underresting, surely you can make incredible gains going crazy for 4 hours every day in the gym, and sleeping and eating the other 20 hours in the day (absolute maximum eating and resting). Of course, this won't work. As long as you live on this earth, with 24 hour days, you can certainly train to the point where your body is incapable of recovering sufficiently, even if you eat and sleep every second you aren't in the gym. Doesn't that essentially prove that overreaching is a real thing, at least for any practical purposes that don't involve the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from Dragon Ball Z to make a day last longer than 24 hours? There is also such a thing as overeating, so you can't just eat to infinity to negate overtraining.
 

pike place

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How much of this is semantics? What if you train all out in the gym for 4 hours every day? Good luck eating and sleeping enough to offset that. Overtraining/overreaching is definitely a real thing. It may not be as common as some people think, but it does exist.
first off if you're training for 4 hours everyday you aren't going all out and two, if you train for 4 hours everyday you need some schooling on how to train
 
justhere4comm

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HST works quite well so how does one overtrain?

When I wrestled I under ate. Never slept. And trained far too much.

When your body consumes muscle. You're overtraining.
 
muscleupcrohn

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first off if you're training for 4 hours everyday you aren't going all out and two, if you train for 4 hours everyday you need some schooling on how to train
Regarding the bolded, that is true, but it was merely to illustrate my point that since overtraining can be reliably induced by spending 4 hours in the gym every day, how can you say it isn't real or doesn't exist? If there is ONLY undereating and underresting, then you should be able to train as long as you want as long as you eat and sleep enough. Since that's not the case, overtraining is, logically, a real thing and does exist, even if it isn't common, and isn't something you should be doing (unless it's planned overreaching). Regarding going all out for 4 hours in the gym, you're arguing semantics again; at hour 4 I won't be as strong as hour 1, but I can still go heavy and to failure, or even beyond failure, for 4 hours. It's not wise, but it proves that overreaching is indeed a real thing.
 
HIT4ME

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first off if you're training for 4 hours everyday you aren't going all out and two, if you train for 4 hours everyday you need some schooling on how to train
Sooo....Now you are saying that overtraining doesn't exist, and arguing that if you are training for 4 hours you are overtraining?

I am playing with your logic and probably seem a bit irritating and I am sorry for that...But I think you are highlighting some points, some of which became the reason I avoid this thread usually.

1. People, for some unknown reason, attribute some mystical meaning and all kinds of back story to the term "overtraining"

2. People think it has something to do with being willing to work hard.

I agree that it is difficult to find a consensus on what dose of training constitutes too much, but there certainly is a specific dose that yields maximum results, which you seem to be well aware of in your statement above.

You can further define acute vs. chronic...But that isn't what is being discussed directly, the existence of OT at all is being questioned.

And I agree with you very much that you can work hard or you can work long, but you cannot do both. This concept slips by a lot in these discussions. If you are pressing your 1RM, you won't do it for very long before the best you can do is your 90% and then 80, 70, etc. At those points it may be taxing and challenging, but it isn't hard work from a strength perspective anymore...It is hard on endurance only.
 
muscleupcrohn

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Sooo....Now you are saying that overtraining doesn't exist, and arguing that if you are training for 4 hours you are overtraining?

I am playing with your logic and probably seem a bit irritating and I am sorry for that...But I think you are highlighting some points, some of which became the reason I avoid this thread usually.

1. People, for some unknown reason, attribute some mystical meaning and all kinds of back story to the term "overtraining"

2. People think it has something to do with being willing to work hard.

I agree that it is difficult to find a consensus on what dose of training constitutes too much, but there certainly is a specific dose that yields maximum results, which you seem to be well aware of in your statement above.

You can further define acute vs. chronic...But that isn't what is being discussed directly, the existence of OT at all is being questioned.

And I agree with you very much that you can work hard or you can work long, but you cannot do both. This concept slips by a lot in these discussions. If you are pressing your 1RM, you won't do it for very long before the best you can do is your 90% and then 80, 70, etc. At those points it may be taxing and challenging, but it isn't hard work from a strength perspective anymore...It is hard on endurance only.
True, but it can certainly contribute to additional hypertrophy, and is still taxing on the muscles and body.
 
justhere4comm

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Incredible discussion. If I were not in the car at a light I would write more but have an idea regarding programmed training with experienced versus novice.

Maybe someone else could touch on that along with muscle memory and the edge of knowing limitations.
 
HIT4ME

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True, but it can certainly contribute to additional hypertrophy, and is still taxing on the muscles and body.
I agree that additional time under tension and metabolic stress may contribute to muscle gains in small quantities - but if large quantities of these types of stresses lead to muscle hypertrophy, then distance runners and people who did cardio would be building quite a bit of muscle....which we know doesn't happen. The adaptations are just for a different purpose, which gets back to your semantics statement and the application of the word "over training" - in a lot of cases the idea isn't JUST to get the biggest muscle, etc. - but there is an underlying application that is more important.

And I how hypertrophy actually takes place is a little bit debatable. It may be more like a light switch - it's either on or off and once you turn it on, you can continue to push up or toggle it all you want, but it won't give you more light. So, once you've stimulated muscle growth, you've done your job and more stimulation will NOT create more adaptation. I think this isn't 100% true, but I think it's closer than most people think. Sometimes a LITTLE more stimulation will get you a bit extra, but once you've turned on growth, you can't do much more.

It would be nice to just go to the gym and do 200 sets of something and get my adaptation in for a year all at once though...and then come back a month later and have a year's worth of progress.
 
jonpaulevans

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It seems that people think OT/OR are wicked terms.

1) Without a degree of OT we wouldn't grow. Too much too frequently has an inverse effect.
2) OT can simply refer to training beyond the maximal effective dose. Once you cross the line your body is pumping itself full of cortisol and if you don't know the damage that causes to almost everything in your body you should do some research.

So Overtraining isn't only about diet or recovery or time in the gym. If you tax your adrenal glands to the point of submission you will be over-trained.

Forget weightlifting. If you want to examine the concept of OT/OR just keep a steady diet of caffeine throughout the day and deprive yourself of darkness (constant sunlight or UV).

When you do this for a couple days to a week - test your reading comprehension and math skills, record the number of push-ups you can do in 10 minutes and run a mile.

Overtrained is just a word or a term we use in the sport. The reason it's so debated is because we made it up and its not something a doctor diagnoses you with.

And no **** you can avoid it or limit it with proper sleep and diet. That doesn't mean it isnt possible. I can avoid falling off the golden gate bridge by not crossing it. Doesn't mean it couldn't happen under other circumstances.
 
jonpaulevans

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An athlete can perform better than 80% of the public and be chronically overtrained. Being OT doesn't mean being bed-ridden. But if you acknowledge the factors that lead to OT'ing you might adjust your regimen to optimize your energy levels and overall strength output and mental well-being.

symptoms of OT can be as innocuous as waking up tired, being moody or irritable, lethargic, depressed (even slightly), loss of appetite, decreased libido and poor sleep habits (ie insomnia)

Over-Reaching leads to being Over-Trained

At least that is how I look at it
 
jonpaulevans

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I will say this. I would never take advice or listen to much of what a personal trainer or health practitioner says if that person denies Over-Training.

The only case against it comes from people describing how to limit it or recover from it.
 

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The last few pages are really well-thought. Can't add much but that the concept of prilepins chart was developed for a reason. Stimulation for growth has a threshold where, in terms of results of the volume, more isn't necessarily better. Just like how highest intensities are not the be all end all to absolute strengrh, though a huge component of it. What I takeaway from this discussion though that i never considered is that overreaching is a failure in the climb and peak of performance, whereas overtraining is stimulation outdoing recovery, so the immune system, joints or whatever gets negatively impacted and/or inhibits optimal performance strategies
 

pike place

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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"
haha that was me
 

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Contradicatory synonyms. I also find on the brink of OT I make great gains. It's also an indicator to back off or else Hard to do when progress is at a peak. Had to learn to drop the ego here. Recovery ability being such an individual thing so there's no way to diagnose someone based on their training volume/intensity alone. Those who preach to impossibility of reaching an OT state can only speak from personal experience and not for you. Learn where your limits lie through trial and error. I've found my own recovery limits through trial and error. I know how hard I can train when I'm working and when I'm not. If i do get caught out it's usually due to making lifestyle changes or stressful life challenge pops up. Being able to adapt your training to keep progress consistent and optimal given a change in life circumstances isn't easy.
 
Dustin07

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I've over trained for years and it always led to stalled gains and injuries. the truth is, I like to be in the gym. I enjoy lifting. I'd go 7 days a week but I can't be effective squatting, deadlifting, benching, cleaning or snatching 7 days a week.

If I PR today, I know I need to let the body recover a little more for a couple days or even a week. But inevitably, I won't. I'll come back tomorrow or the next day and try to PR over my PR. that may work twice, but never thrice. instead, I'll go backwards and be forced into rest either from exhaustion or injury and have to start the climb again.
 
muscleupcrohn

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I've over trained for years and it always led to stalled gains and injuries. the truth is, I like to be in the gym. I enjoy lifting. I'd go 7 days a week but I can't be effective squatting, deadlifting, benching, cleaning or snatching 7 days a week.

If I PR today, I know I need to let the body recover a little more for a couple days or even a week. But inevitably, I won't. I'll come back tomorrow or the next day and try to PR over my PR. that may work twice, but never thrice. instead, I'll go backwards and be forced into rest either from exhaustion or injury and have to start the climb again.
What type of workouts do you do where you're attempting a PR on the same lift more than one day in a row?
 

kisaj

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It's odd that you would be training for years and making rookie mistakes like testing PR that often.
 
chemjr

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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"
If you have digestive issues and other health issues that can be a hell of a problem tho. Hell, even when I was healthy it was hard to eat enough to keep with being a mechanic and going to gym 2-3x a week! Even with protein shakes of yesteryear.

(And yes, old post. Just reading it thru and commenting.)
 
Dustin07

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It's odd that you would be training for years and making rookie mistakes like testing PR that often.
na, it would be more like if Monday was say bench day and I PR'd then if today or tomorrow I was back on bench I'd probably just try to keep the linear progression and go for it again. I can't truly bench heavy every day, or squat heavy every day, etc or it will tear me down fast.
 
Gorgoroth

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Subbed so I can read the whole thread. In my opinion it is a thing. Just FAR overstated.
 
BennyMagoo79

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Overtraining is just a state of mind, an illusion if you will. But then, so is the Universe.
 
Yomo

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There's a reason RPE is being utilized more and more around the "Powerlifting" Community...

...it can be fairly easy to overly tax your CNS, when sessions revolve around compound movements.

Not sure I'd call it "overtraining"...but there should definitely be an acknowledgement of overall exertion when planning weekly and monthly progression...
 

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You cant really overtrain as long as you get the recovery you need, food and sleep are essential and if you use steroids that will help aswell.

But at some point even with perfect sleep, food and ass your body wont be able to recover intill the next workout so in that sense you could overtrain.

But 2-3 hours a day 7 days a week wont get you overtrained if you eat and sleep enough. And ofc learn to listen to your body, if a muscle is feeling sore or weird maybe you shouldnt go all in that day.

Atleast Thats what i belive from reading and doing for a few years now.
 
CJuggernaut

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I've trained Olympic, pro and collegiate athletes that workout 4-6hrs a day for years and they can reach a state of over training with all factors being controlled. And I don't believe many if any but a few in bodybuilding realm will actually overtrain. You may under eat, sleep, stress out, supplement poorly, etc but, not overtrain. Most just don't push hard enough to reach that point.
 

ericos_bob

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I don't believe it is any more unlikely to overtrain in bodybuilding than it is training for any other sport.
 
Jiigzz

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I don't believe it is any more unlikely to overtrain in bodybuilding than it is training for any other sport.
It is. Bodybuilders rarely push high intensity loads. They stick to higher rep ranges for the most part.
 

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There is not over-training itself, but moreso under eating and under recovering.

In my experience, a lot comes down to the nervous system. Lifting and other strenuous activity stresses the nervous and metabolic system.

Even if someone is working hard and eating a lot (say a lumberjack or hardcore construction worker), there is still a limit to how much they can train. If not, Olympic Sprinters, Olympic Powerlifters, etc. would train 16 hours a day/7 days a week.
 

ericos_bob

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It is. Bodybuilders rarely push high intensity loads. They stick to higher rep ranges for the most part.
That is irrelevant, you can stick to higher reps and burn out extremely easily. High reps may allow you to train longer but therefor individuals will exploit that possibility and hey presto we're overtrained again. I'd venture to say an individuals personality is much more significant determinant of how likely one is to OT. Basically anyone who exhibits an extreme drive to push the limits regardless of sport is going to find the toughest aspect of training is to loosen the reigns enough to allow for recovery. It is this drive that causes a great reluctance to ease off when their bodies are saying "I'm worn out and need a break". The kind who protest this seemingly cursed side effect of being human. It's a fine line to straddle as often great gains can be made as is the case with OR.
 
Jiigzz

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That is irrelevant, you can stick to higher reps and burn out extremely easily. High reps may allow you to train longer but therefor individuals will exploit that possibility and hey presto we're overtrained again. I'd venture to say an individuals personality is much more significant determinant of how likely one is to OT. Basically anyone who exhibits an extreme drive to push the limits regardless of sport is going to find the toughest aspect of training is to loosen the reigns enough to allow for recovery. It is this drive that causes a great reluctance to ease off when their bodies are saying "I'm worn out and need a break". The kind who protest this seemingly cursed side effect of being human. It's a fine line to straddle as often great gains can be made as is the case with OR.
Over training has a definition defined in literature; what you posted is not it
 
TatrsArsenal7

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I'm not sure if this will load correctly, but I've tried to attach information directly from one of my books. This book is from the NSCA and is largely considered an - if not the - industry standard. This is a newer version of what was effectively one of my grad level text books. Fantastic reference. Hope this sheds some light. Apologies if it loads as a wall of text.

NSCA-Overtraining1.PNG


NSCA-Overtraining2.PNG


NSCA-Overtraining3.PNG


NSCA-Overtraining4.PNG


NSCA-Overtraining5.PNG
 

jdm23

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I think it's based on several variables. Persons age, training experience, diet, sleep, and supplementation. In my experience it is possible to get "worn down" as I call it. This usually tends to happen when one of the following slack off; diet, sleep, or supplementation.

If a person eats above maintenance, gets 8+ hrs of sleep, and hits the major sups consistently(multi, fish oil, bcaa, etc) it takes months of intense training to "overtrain". Many times though a day or two off a month can be very beneficial for my lifts.

As to the style of lifting, I don't really notice a difference in lifting for weight or reps when it comes to fatigue.

Just my experience with my body.
 
Old School

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To be honest, there are very few cases of actual overtraining. It really is hard to do. I do say though, the central nervous system does need a break now and again
 

irone93

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I think it is.

But under resting is real.

Think about it, if you work everyday loading boxes, at first your sore then in a couple weeks your stronger and stop getting sore. But you did it everyday.
 
muscleupcrohn

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I think it is.

But under resting is real.

Think about it, if you work everyday loading boxes, at first your sore then in a couple weeks your stronger and stop getting sore. But you did it everyday.
But surely there has to be some point where your training volume/frequency/etc. surpasses any amount amount of recovery. You only have 24 hours in a day; in theory if you spend 2-3 hours in the gym twice a day seven days a week busting your ass lifting, good luck finding the time to recover from that. You could say that you’re just not resting enough to sufficiently recover from the above training protocol, but it’s the same end result; the training is too much to recover from given there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.
 
Bintherduntht

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You think its real or something that can fixed simply by calories?
It is definitely real. Training to much will lower your testosterone levels and hinder recovery... Just read an article on it
 
HIT4ME

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But surely there has to be some point where your training volume/frequency/etc. surpasses any amount amount of recovery. You only have 24 hours in a day; in theory if you spend 2-3 hours in the gym twice a day seven days a week busting your ass lifting, good luck finding the time to recover from that. You could say that you’re just not resting enough to sufficiently recover from the above training protocol, but it’s the same end result; the training is too much to recover from given there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.
Nah broski, you can train 24/7 which would be all training and no recovery - that isn't over training, just under recovering. You just need more hours in the day and you're set. Overtraining is extremely rare, it's just under eating or under recovering.

I hope my sarcasm is coming through over the internet...
 
muscleupcrohn

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Nah broski, you can train 24/7 which would be all training and no recovery - that isn't over training, just under recovering. You just need more hours in the day and you're set. Overtraining is extremely rare, it's just under eating or under recovering.

I hope my sarcasm is coming through over the internet...
But what if I eat and nap between my 24/7 sets?
 
Dustin07

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I remember some of the big guys like Rich Piana talking about how if you're natural you absolutely need to let yourself have more time to recover and you can't do the same massive workouts as a guy on gear. To me it was good to hear someone with experience on both sides be so candid about that truth.
 
HIT4ME

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But what if I eat and nap between my 24/7 sets?
Well...if you are on modafinil and IV protein shakes with HMB, leucine and HICA, then of course you are fine. But if you don't have that setup, you are just over reaching of course.
 
bonbon

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Few hours exercise per week shouldn't be too much for anybody unless eating and sleeping aren't in check
 
Dustin07

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Few hours exercise per week shouldn't be too much for anybody unless eating and sleeping aren't in check
there's a big difference between a few hours of running and a few hours of heavy deadlifting though, to be fair.
 

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Don’t think overtraining is real. Anyone who is ‘overtraining’ is just not prioritising recovery imo
 

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