There's No Such Thing As Overtraining!
A BAG poster reposts an article whose author argues that there's no such thing as overtraining.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as overtraining, there is only under-recovering.
I dont think people appreciate the workload that the human body is capable of adapting to. To think that a person would stop at three sets of ten out of fear of overtraining is ridiculous and is probably a symptom of too much time spent reading muscle magazines and their stupid monthly work out suggestions and bad-advice columns.
The only fear a person should have is the fear of under recovering, because THAT is the true culprit in lack of muscle gains, lack of strength gains and overall poor performance. If your calories are high enough to suit your training volume, and if you are getting enough rest, you can push your body farther than you probably could even imagine! I doubt that most people train their body anywhere even near their limit, mostly due to the fact that they dont have a good idea of what their nutritional needs REALLY are. So they are constantly half-assing training and half-assing recovery, and then posting threads lamenting their lack of progress.
Lets look at me. Yes, I am on HRT, but my testosterone level is dead center normal. That means I have the testosterone level of a person who is NOT using AAS, but is in their mid twenties. So I am not receiving any hormonal boost in my training or recovery, i.e. I am basically training natural (which is to say that I, at 35, am hormanally the same as a natural guy 20-some years old...).
I train monday, wednesday and friday, with back monday, chest/delts wednesday, and legs friday. All of those days I either lift really heavy (1, 3 or maybe 5 reps)for 4 or 5 sets of 3 to 5 exercises then auxilliary work, or I lift lighter (10-12 reps) for as many sets as I feel like, and then do heavy auxilliary work. On tuesdays and thursdays I usually drag a 150lb sled for an hour, and then do 100lb plate carries for a few sets of 20 yards (in 70 - 80 degree heat). There have been variations over the years, but it has always been a tremendous workload (i.e. training 6 days a week for 2 hour plus sessions).
Do I overtrain?
I take in somewhere between 5000 and 8000 calories a day, try to get a gallon of water per day minimum and get a good nights rest. If I find a chance to take a nap during the day, I do so. I know my body well enough to listen to it when it tells me not to do another set, or to do a different movement because my rotator cuff or something is sore.
I know what my body can take and I know how to recover.
The fact of it is this:
If you are taking in calories equal to or exceeding your work level and getting appropriate rest, you will recover.
If you are taking in calories exceeding your work level and getting rest, you will grow.
If you are taking in calories exceeding your work level and getting rest, you will get stronger.
So ask yourself, are you under-recovering?
If your recovery is fine and you dont feel overtrained, ask yourself this:
Are you undertraining?
If you have spent your life doing preprogrammed routines of 3 sets of 10, and whatever else the magazines try to sell you, consider that lack of progress may be due to the fact that you are not pushing your body hard enough to elicit a response. Improvement only occurs when you present your body with a greater set of challenges than it is accustomed to facing, and if youve been using the same handful of training schemes your entire training-life, you haven't been giving your body anything but the same old stimuli it is used to getting.
If there is no new stimuli, there is nothing new to adapt to, so there is no reason for the body to change (i.e. get stronger, add more muscle, improve performance).
So do yourself a favor, and stop searching the boards and magazines for new routines of sets and reps and magical new exercises. Get out there and do the basics and do them hard until you cant take any more. Then eat, drink and rest and let nature do the rest.
People were growing muscle and getting strong WAY BEFORE fancy supplements, monthly magazine and internet forums were around, so spend less time looking and more time doing.
I would say more, but Im off to get something to eat...