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Thread: Overtraining vs. Undertraining

  1. #1
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    Overtraining vs. Undertraining

    I have come to the conclusion that I have overtrained for years. I have changed my routine, but now am feeling a bit lazy-feel like muscles aren't getting enough.

    I was hitting every muscle in my upper body twice a week throughout college. Legs were sporadic at best. Anyway, after all that time, some moderate increases, and definitely some good definition, but still thinner than I'd like. New routine is something like this:

    #1
    Chest
    Legs

    #2
    Arms

    #3
    Back

    #4
    Shoulder/Traps

    Legs and abs work their way in when I'm feeling especially ambitious.
    4 workouts throughout 7 days.
    These four workouts are rather intense, lasting 45min to hour.

    Finally to my question-How can I ensure I am not undertraining with this routine? Should my intensity be such that my chest stays sore for days after a workout, so it takes the whole week to recover, or should recovery take a day or two?

    Thanks for any advice...This is my first post and I'm excited to be here!

  2. #2
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Could you elaborate on your workout? Tell us every exercise you're doing for each muscle group and the sets/reps for each. How's your diet? Are you tracking what you eat?

    If you want a good basis to go by for a workout routine, check this out: WannaBeBig Routine #1 Read EVERYTHING.

    Some other helpful links:
    Gaining Mass
    What A Bodybuilder Eats
    Best of Diet and Nutrition Threads
    FitDay - - For tracking your calories.

    Oh and welcome to the forums!
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 05-03-2006 at 01:00 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    I don't think your routine is very good for maximal work with minimal excess recovery time! A split like push/pull/legs, upper/lower, fullbody, etc would be more effective. At the least, legs should get their own day as they are 60% of the muscle mass in your body! Also, you don't have to hammer a muscle into catabolic waste in order to get a good workout. 3-5 heavy sets with a good compound exercise is enough usually.
    Squat...Eat...Sleep...Grow...Repeat

  4. #4
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    Sure

    *Chest*
    Flat-5x5's or pyramid
    Incline-4 sets by 6 reps
    decline-3-4 sets by 4-8 reps
    Pushups superset w/ flies

    *Back*
    Pullups
    3 sets front grip
    3 Sets reverse grip
    3 sits inside grip
    8-15 reps on all
    3-4 sets Seated rows @ 8 reps
    3-4 sets standing rows @ 8 reps
    Some pulldowns
    2 sets front grip-8 reps
    2 sets reverse grip-8 reps

    **Arms**
    *Tri's*
    3-4 sets dips (20 warmup, then add weight and drop to 8-10 reps)
    3 sets Skull crushers superset with narrow presses(6-8 reps of each)
    Pushing single dumbbell up behind head 3 sets 8 reps
    Some pulldowns on lighter weight
    *Bi's*
    Hammer curls 3 sets by 8 reps
    Preacher curl 3 sets by 8 reps
    Standing curl 3 sets by 8 reps

    *Shoulders/Traps*
    Barbell military press 4 sets by 8 reps
    Seated dumbbell press 3 sets by 6 reps
    Side/front raises 3 sets by 10 reps each way
    Standing Military press w/bar 3 sets 6-8 reps
    Shrugs 3 sets by 10-15 reps
    Narrow grip pulling to chin 3 sets by 8 reps
    Dumbbell shrugs 3 sets by 8 reps

    Abs are worked in throughout, nothing heavy there
    Squat pyramid added to workout when feeling good (once a week)
    Leg curls and leg press also added 3 sets by 8-10 reps on different day than squats.

    Old routine was very similiar, but done twice a week, with slightly fewer sets on some lifts. New routine is 45 to 1 hour, old was 1 to 1.25 hours.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Good god... its a wonder you haven't already been reduced to an overtrained lump of flesh! You could stand to cut the workload for every muscle group at least in half. Plus you don't include the most important exercises for mass and strength... squats and deadlifts.
    Squat...Eat...Sleep...Grow...Repeat

  6. #6
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardgainer82
    Sure

    *Chest*
    Flat-5x5's or pyramid
    Incline-4 sets by 6 reps
    decline-3-4 sets by 4-8 reps
    Pushups superset w/ flies

    *Back*
    Pullups
    3 sets front grip
    3 Sets reverse grip
    3 sits inside grip
    8-15 reps on all
    3-4 sets Seated rows @ 8 reps
    3-4 sets standing rows @ 8 reps
    Some pulldowns
    2 sets front grip-8 reps
    2 sets reverse grip-8 reps

    **Arms**
    *Tri's*
    3-4 sets dips (20 warmup, then add weight and drop to 8-10 reps)
    3 sets Skull crushers superset with narrow presses(6-8 reps of each)
    Pushing single dumbbell up behind head 3 sets 8 reps
    Some pulldowns on lighter weight
    *Bi's*
    Hammer curls 3 sets by 8 reps
    Preacher curl 3 sets by 8 reps
    Standing curl 3 sets by 8 reps

    *Shoulders/Traps*
    Barbell military press 4 sets by 8 reps
    Seated dumbbell press 3 sets by 6 reps
    Side/front raises 3 sets by 10 reps each way
    Standing Military press w/bar 3 sets 6-8 reps
    Shrugs 3 sets by 10-15 reps
    Narrow grip pulling to chin 3 sets by 8 reps
    Dumbbell shrugs 3 sets by 8 reps

    Abs are worked in throughout, nothing heavy there
    Squat pyramid added to workout when feeling good (once a week)
    Leg curls and leg press also added 3 sets by 8-10 reps on different day than squats.

    Old routine was very similiar, but done twice a week, with slightly fewer sets on some lifts. New routine is 45 to 1 hour, old was 1 to 1.25 hours.
    That is some hardcore overtraining. Go here: Click Me
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMeat_Headx
    Good god... its a wonder you haven't already been reduced to an overtrained lump of flesh! You could stand to cut the workload for every muscle group at least in half. Plus you don't include the most important exercises for mass and strength... squats and deadlifts.
    Even while doing each muscle only one day per week and having 2-3 days rest in that week? I figured kill it the one day it had to work! Squats are in there, a pyramid is done once a week.

    Scarz, thanks for highlighting that workout. I had skimmed it earlier, but was a bit turned off on the 3 days per week aspect of it. In 3 days/week at 1 hour per day can you hit each muscle hard enough for gains? I plan to give it a shot as I am not huge from my previous routines, but can't help but feel like it will make me soft.

  8. #8
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    In 3 days/week at 1 hour per day can you hit each muscle hard enough for gains?
    Yes. And judging from your user name, I think you need to EAT MORE. What's your diet like?


    I plan to give it a shot as I am not huge from my previous routines, but can't help but feel like it will make me soft.
    No, it won't make you soft. Stay on it for at least a few months and eat like an animal.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN
    Yes. And judging from your user name, I think you need to EAT MORE. What's your diet like?
    Diet consists of oatmeal, yogurt, banana at breakfast
    Fruit and granola bar mid morning
    Lunch varies-but always make a point to get protein and complex carbs
    300 cal protein bar afternoon
    protein shake right before workout
    protein shake after workout
    Dinner varies-but same criteria as lunch
    Fruit and fiber/protein cereal before bed

    That is a standard day
    Back in college, scripted out my caloric intake and was over 4,000 cal. Was running more back then though

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Built
    Try Baby Got Back - it might be just what you're looking for.

    And read this: Hypertrophy Primer - it'll explain a lot about why BGB works.
    Thanks for the link. A very interesting workout. I think I will give it a go after I've given the more basic workout a shot for a few months.
    Thanks

  12. #12
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardgainer82
    Diet consists of oatmeal, yogurt, banana at breakfast
    Fruit and granola bar mid morning
    Lunch varies-but always make a point to get protein and complex carbs
    300 cal protein bar afternoon
    protein shake right before workout
    protein shake after workout
    Dinner varies-but same criteria as lunch
    Fruit and fiber/protein cereal before bed

    That is a standard day
    Back in college, scripted out my caloric intake and was over 4,000 cal. Was running more back then though
    If you're not gaining, add a few hundred calories and stay on that intake for a week or two. If you're not gaining, add a few hundred calories. Find a caloric level that allows you to keep gaining. When you stop gaining at that caloric intake. Repeat the process again.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN
    If you're not gaining, add a few hundred calories and stay on that intake for a week or two. If you're not gaining, add a few hundred calories. Find a caloric level that allows you to keep gaining. When you stop gaining at that caloric intake. Repeat the process again.
    Will do and thanks much for the tips. I'm excited to see if the 3 day a week routine can produce some gains.

    Is anything done on the days off?

  14. #14
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Is anything done on the days off?
    Nope...just resting your muscles, my friend.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 05-03-2006 at 01:55 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  15. #15
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Another thing...you don't need to do 3 sets of each kind of grip for pulldowns or pullups/chinups. They won't work your lats any differently. Pick one and stick with it. If you really must, you could switch grips by week or something for variety.

    Same goes for 3 different types of curls in the same workout. Easy there, fella!
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