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Thread: Question about overtraining

  1. #1
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    Question about overtraining

    I've been arguing with a buddy of mine about this for a while, maybe you all can shed some light.

    Basically, my friend is doing crew (rowing) right now and he has developed a very think and stong back. He exercises with his crew team 4 days a week, basically working back very hard each day since all they do is row. Now in my mind this is extreme overtraining, but him and all of his crew mates have huge strong backs. What gives? How come he can go row for an hour+ 4 times a week and get huge but I do seated row twice a week and have slow gains?

    Any thoughts would be muchly appreciated.

    -chris

  2. #2
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    I'm going out on a limb here and suggesting "genetics"?

    Another reason could be that crew rowing is a much lower intensity activity than seated row (assuming you are training hard and heavy)
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-10-2004 at 07:34 AM.

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    Steak and Eggs pusher's Avatar
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    You wonder how long he's been rowing compared to you ? anything that impacts muscle growth like diet etc can be called into question.
    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it." -John Ruskin 1819-1900

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not
    become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into
    you." - Nietzche

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    Extreme: I agree that crew rowing is lower intensity, but it is still one hell of a workout. I went with him to practice once or twice and just about died. Also, if it was genetics how is it that all crew people have good genetics?

    Pusher: I have been lifting a longer than he has been rowing. He does eat more than me though, as he burns a lot more calories doing crew.

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    Hot as FCUK Shark's Avatar
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    Come on now, no other comments? I am really confused about why this happens.
    Last edited by Shark; 08-10-2004 at 11:55 PM.

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    I wanna be big
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    Everybody is different.

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    Senior Member Exnor's Avatar
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    I believe it's all about the body adapting. The first few times he went for a session, he probably worked through any DOMS he had - and adaptation of the exercise would take place. It is the same as all other day-to-day manual labour jobs, a lot of these guys get very large, essentially lifting with the same muscle groups every day.

    Bodybuilders tend to work all major muscle groups in the body, traditionally all at HIT to failure. I would say if you worked your back every day doing cable rows and no other muscle group your back would eventually grow faster. Not very balanced, though...

  8. #8
    Steak and Eggs pusher's Avatar
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    You could blame any number of things, but I don't really think you can say he's overtraining, thats a different story that involves a lot more than just training a muscle group hard and often.
    "The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it." -John Ruskin 1819-1900

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not
    become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into
    you." - Nietzche

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    I tend to think it does have a lot to do with body adaptation. I guess it just makes me wonder becasue a lot of those crew guys also lift weights, yet they seem to make good progress.

    Another thought I had is that since they burn so many calories, most of them eat like horses. Having all that energy readily available must help a bit as well.

  10. #10
    headbutting mirrors
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    Yea, I knew a guy on a row team, huge lats. Probably the biggest I saw at that age.

    Him eating more is huge though, the key to gains is eating. Also, Arnold used to lift each body part 3 times a week (rather than, once or twice), so if you want quicker gains, add another back day to your weekly schedule and eat more.
    give me gains or i will headbutt every mirror in the gym...

    bring the pain...

  11. #11
    Senior Member aka23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crussow
    I've been arguing with a buddy of mine about this for a while, maybe you all can shed some light.

    Basically, my friend is doing crew (rowing) right now and he has developed a very think and stong back. He exercises with his crew team 4 days a week, basically working back very hard each day since all they do is row. Now in my mind this is extreme overtraining, but him and all of his crew mates have huge strong backs. What gives? How come he can go row for an hour+ 4 times a week and get huge but I do seated row twice a week and have slow gains?

    Any thoughts would be muchly appreciated.
    I did crew in college. I rowed in the bay area, like your friend. NCAA guidelines permit 20 hours per week of training. Four 1+ hour practices is a light schedule for a competitive Div I team. I believe my team practiced 15-20 hours over 6 days per week. These practices included weight training, running, circuit training, rowing ergs, as well as rowing in the water.

    Intensity is varied to avoid overusage/overtraining. On some days we focused on speed and on others technique. Note that cardio activities like crew do not stress the CNS like sets of <10 reps to failure. It is common for athletes to train for 6 days per week in cardio-related sports.

    Your friend's back size/strength probably has more to do with weight training and genetics than the crew. Cardio type activities are generally a poor way to develop strength or size. Crew teams usually include weight training for strength and for various other reasons.

    Note that rowing involves more than just your back. A typical stroke stresses your legs, back, and arms.
    Last edited by aka23; 08-11-2004 at 11:25 AM.

  12. #12
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by crussow
    Also, if it was genetics how is it that all crew people have good genetics?

    .
    I was talking about your friend though, not ALL the crew people. See what aka23 wrote.

  13. #13
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    Overtraining has more to deal with the central nervous system than any specific muscle. Diet and adequate sleep also play a role.

    What I'm saying is you can't look at someone's routine, whether it be lifting weights or rowing, and say "yes, that person is definitely overtraining". The term overtraining is not as simple as the name implies.

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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I agree with Vido and Aka.
    Last edited by chris mason; 08-12-2004 at 11:21 AM.


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