Muscle and Brawn Forums

Muscle and Brawn Forums (
-   General Fitness & Health (
-   -   "No Such Thing As Overtraining" (

SaxonViolence 10-23-2013 02:50 PM

"No Such Thing As Overtraining"
I was brought up to Believe that Overtraining was a very bad thing.

I was taught the more or less Orthodox Arthur Jones' Theory of Recovery:

"As one gets stronger, one's ability to deplete one's Recovery Ability grows Geometrically while one's ability to Recover Grows somewhat less than Arithmetically."

"More Sleep, Better Diet, Massage—Whatever, may increase one's recovery ability Marginally—but nothing helps it very much."

"The more advanced one becomes, the easier it becomes to overtrain."

We usually did 1 set to exhaustion with Beaucoup Burns, Cheats and Negatives.

Maybe 2 Exercises would actually be done for 2 sets—and maybe every other 6-week cycle, 1 Special Exercise might be done for 3 Whole Sets!

{Powerlifters did a few more sets on the 3 Powerlifts—but not on Assistance Exercises.}

I continually wanted to do MORE—But I diligently Restrained Myself.

Then I read The Barbarian Brother's Axiom:

"There is no such thing as Overtraining. There is only Under-Eating, Under-Sleeping and Failure of Will."

Well, I was always big on 9 or 10 hours sleep per night.

And when I ate too much, I put on FAT.

The Barbarian Brothers were reputed to eat 10 000 to 15 000 calories per day.

I theorized that the more that you could eat without getting fat, the more that you could train and grow—but few of us can pig-out like The Barbarian Brothers without becoming Porcine.

Now, decades later CT Fletcher comes along with the same Rhetoric...

Only he says:

"You Ain't really Worried about Overtraining. You're Just LAZY!"

That isn't fair, on many levels—but it does occur to me...

Never once did I try attacking the weights Barbarian Brothers Style over a long enough period of time to see if maybe I was one of the "1 in 10 000 Mutants" who could make such a high volume and high intensity regime pay off...

I Wonder Why?

It probably wouldn't work, but then—You don't know until you try...

But neither The Barbarian Brothers or CT Fletcher were/is very good at presenting a Structured Theory and Program.


With an "I'm either going to surpass all my former limits OR get 'Overtrained' trying..."

{And yes, there is the Issue of the Difference between The Medical Condition Known as "Overtraining" and what Athletes call "Overtraining" which is mere "Over-Reaching" 98% of the time...}

But exactly what Reps/Sets/Percentages/Exercises would someone use to put CT Fletcher's oft Quoted Theories a fair chance to work?

Logically, where would one even begin?


Saxon Violence

BendtheBar 10-23-2013 03:22 PM

As I always say...there might be no such thing as overtraining, but that doesn't mean we need to train like fools in the gym to acquire reasonable results.

Just because the body can expand to 1,000 pounds plus doesn't mean everyone should do it.

The "no overtraining = you should push training so much harder" mantra is poor logic.

Steroids improve creatine phosphate synthesis, which can allow a trainee to lift longer, stronger and with more energy. This can be beneficial when attempting to re-open sensitized muscle tissue receptors. There is more value in "pushing" things to insane levels for non-naturals. Whether this is needed is up for debate, and dependent on the chems, experience and responsiveness of the drug user.

MadScientistOfMaB 10-23-2013 03:25 PM

My guess would be to massively increase work load and calories and see what happens. Maybe do 3 sets of front squats after 5 sets of squats or something along those lines. Increase by 750-1000 cals per day and see what happens.

Another problem is what people believe over training is. So many people believe that you will get full blow "cancer of the AIDs" (thanks Chaos and Pain you sure phrase things right) if you train just a little too much. It has become something so feared that people think they can't train more than 4 days a week. Normally a mild case of overtraining can be fixed with 2-3 days off...

BendtheBar 10-23-2013 03:28 PM

Regarding overreaching, that's a personal thing. You know when you reach it. Fazc and myself played with it for about 18 months. It's not about sets/reps or weight. You can overreach with anything. It's more about fatigue management and not listening to it.

Fazc and I would ram for 2 weeks, learning to overreach during this time period, then pull back.

Overreaching can be done in a near endless number of ways. For example, go do an 8x8 squat with 225 each day until you feel like death, then deload until you feel human.

If someone is going to increase volume, I recommend doing it slowly so impact can be analyzed.

SaxonViolence 10-23-2013 06:18 PM

I remember when I removed Asbestos.

It was hot, back-breaking work.

We were working 12 hours per day, seven days per week.

Our night was almost done and we could sit the last 40 or 45 minutes—but first we had to haul about fifty 100 Pound bags full of asbestos and load them in the truck.

Wouldn't have been much work for 3 men, but my 2 compadres took off to hide.


Snitch (never!)

Or do it myself.

Those bags weren't supposed to touch the ground.

I'd been too exhausted to care—I'd been dragging them.

I could barely lift them up into the semi trailer.

Then I got enraged about my friends taking off and I was screaming, cursing and throwing those 100 pound bags all the way to the back of the Semi...

Standing down on the ground—first right handed and then left handed.

My Exhaustion was not a Ruse...

So where did Strength to throw that Fit come From?

I think that's where guys like The Barbarian Brothers come From.

Saxon Violence

glwanabe 10-23-2013 11:52 PM

I repped the original post due to the overall discussion that can be had from it, and then I read the responses. Perfect!

There are few if any forums that can have this discussion in a meaningful manner. I believe MAB is the place for that.

I work natural, but have no real ill will for those that chose to go other routes. I would just prefer that it could be talked about without penalty openly. The level of villany ascribed to it is not fair. What I really hate is claiming natural, when clearly you are not. Thats fraud. Lets get past that.

Most people can work far harder than they curently think they are working. You don't really know your limits unless, until you break them. It is at that point that you can define an envelope. I've been there, and failed. Got a big hole in my garage wall where I nearly killed myself while wearing a loaded barbell on my traps.

So, long story short, what Steve said.

Soldier 10-24-2013 08:34 AM

Agree with the idea that you don't know your limits until you reach them. When I was in job training for the Army we did PT every day. The XO for our company lead PT, and he was a beast. Tons of running, tons of walking lunges, tons of pushups and ab work. At first I didn't lift while I was there because the PT was so intense, but after a while I said screw it and started lifting every day. I would go after we got released and work either lower or upper body, alternating days, but taking no rest days during the week. The work load was enormous, but I had already adapted to the PT volume and my muscle memory kicked in for the lifting side of things. I never got too sore, and my lifting never seemed to interfere with my PT.

No one could just jump into that level of volume if they were untrained, but it was fun to push myself and see what I was capable of. Most people have the view of "what can I take away from this workout while still getting results". I see things like "what can I stand to ADD so that I can get MORE out of my session". If more people saw things this way I think a lot of people would get a lot more out of the gym.

GT55 10-24-2013 10:57 AM

I was doing a fullbody routine based on wendlers 531, and saw great progress as a rank beginner. Then I tried to do 100 push ups in 10 mins, and saw that the first 30 were easy, then it got harder and harder until i couldnt do more than 2 or 3 in a row. I then tried a 5x5 fullbody instead of 531, and hurt like hell after the first session. I couldnt walk. So ive decided to follow it despite promising to myself not to change routines for the first year. I think i underestimated the importance of volume.

big_swede 10-24-2013 11:08 AM

Its hard to overtrain in the gym. Its often factors outside the gym that contributes to "overtraining". Stress, bad sleep, no time to get in enough quality food etcetera.

bruteforce 10-24-2013 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by big_swede (Post 419958)
Its hard to overtrain in the gym. Its often factors outside the gym that contributes to "overtraining". Stress, bad sleep, no time to get in enough quality food etcetera.

I like this quite a lot. I run pretty high volume on some very brutal lifts sometimes, and the only time I run into trouble is if I am under a lot of stress. Stress makes my sleep and food intake tank, and then I'm not recovering well.

To quote someone somewhere, there's no such thing as overtraining, just under recovering. I'm not 100% on board with that, but generally, its very hard to push yourself into a state of truly going so far past what you can recover from that your body rebels and just starts shutting down. But it isn't that hard to push yourself to a point where you become far more susceptible to injury.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:50 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.