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View Full Version : Please help- overtraining?



hpfiend
03-24-2011, 04:00 PM
Hello everyone,

I figured I would post in this section as I would likely encounter a more serious group that would know what they are doing.

Here is the story- I have worked out on and off over the years- the last few years I have worked out about 20-30 minutes 3-4 days a week. I have read starting strength by Mark Rippetoe and am now working out for 1.5-2 hours 3 days a week. I have had headaches off and on since I started working out again in mid november. Ever since mid February about when I started this rippetoe workout I have had frequent headaches and the sensation that I am wearing a hat when I am not. I have also drastically increased my eating. I started out working out pretty intensely in mid november but nothing like February 1st. I am very tired all the time and muscles are always sore- I did not do squats this wednesday and my legs are still sore from monday today. I have been to my doctor and he has done bloodwork generally and specifically for inflammation and I am having a cat scan done on tuesday am. I have gained 13 lbs of weight since mid january and feel almost as large as I was at my strongest in college. I weigh 135 lbs, 5'5 31 years old.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

As far as a contest prep I am trying to get in the best shape of my life by september when baby number 2 is born.

coltmasterj
03-24-2011, 04:24 PM
I am not familiar with that program but if you are working out intensely, with small breaks between sets (<3 mins), that could be pushing the boundary. However, that is actually what you want to do to achieve growth. If you have gained 13 lbs since January, you are probably getting muscle growth. You will need to back off at some point if you feel your strength on a decline for a couple weeks or if you just feel like garbage/sore for more than 1 week.
Overtraining is good over a short-term, but it can lead to chronic overtraining and increased risk of injury if volume is just too high for too long. If you feel the need, reduce the total number of sets in a workout by 50% for a couple weeks and increase volume when you feel you have made a full recovery, usually within 3 weeks.

hpfiend
03-24-2011, 07:17 PM
Thanks for your informative and quick reply...

Yes I take less than 3 minutes rest between sets..

the workout is really simple sounding- Monday and Friday squat 3 sets 5 reps, bench press 3 x 5, deadlift 1x5 and then on Wednesday squat 3x5, overhead press 3x5, bent over row 3 x 5 (supposed to be clean but I don't know how do to that yet) the following week you do the opposite 2x the row workout and 1x the bench workout- so cut back 50 % would be 1 set of each for a few weeks or so and drop deadlift?

coltmasterj
03-24-2011, 08:10 PM
Thanks for your informative and quick reply...

Yes I take less than 3 minutes rest between sets..

the workout is really simple sounding- Monday and Friday squat 3 sets 5 reps, bench press 3 x 5, deadlift 1x5 and then on Wednesday squat 3x5, overhead press 3x5, bent over row 3 x 5 (supposed to be clean but I don't know how do to that yet) the following week you do the opposite 2x the row workout and 1x the bench workout- so cut back 50 % would be 1 set of each for a few weeks or so and drop deadlift?

Something isn't quite adding up. If I do the math, you are doing at most 9 total sets in a workout. If you are taking 3 minute rests, which is a fairly long time between sets, that would make your workout time only about 33 mimutes (24 for rest and 9 for time during sets). You either are doing way more sets than you think, or you are resting much longer on average between the sets. Ideally, you want to be done in the gym less than an hour.
But, I look at the fact that you are doing compound movements and hitting each muscle group 2-3 times a week. Because of the total number of sets, I'd say you are in a pretty challenging, yet doable program if you recover well. However, every person may be a little different for recovery. I am also 37, and I don't recover as well on less volume than I did at 21. I am pushing overtraining this week, (hitting every body part 4 times this week) and next week, my volume will also be reduced significantly to allow for "supercompensation".
Yes. For a few weeks, do 1 set of each exercise in each workout and drop deadlift. Once you feel ready, go back to your normal routine.