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  1. #1
    Registered User dolphinsfan270's Avatar
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    Overtraining a good thing?

    -You always here the ridiculous workout routine of NFL guys and well, their in the NFL.

    -Jerry Rice would lift weights for 3 hours 6 days a week. He would do 3 sets of 10 reps for 21 different exercises for just lower or upper and he is IMO the best wide reciever ever in the NFL.

    -My buddy bench presses everyday almost and never does legs or back and he is a freshman in highschool and benches 315 at a weight of 180. There are just so many stories of guys working out all day long almost and they can bench or squat a lot.
    -My other buddy was doing WS4SB with me for 3 months and his bench went up 10 lbs. He went to the highschool gym for 1 month and put 30 lbs on his bench because they had him do 5X5 for flat bench then 5X5 for db incline then 5x5 for flyes then 5X30 pushups then a little bit of back. Its just so weird...
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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    You always here the ridiculous workout routine of NFL guys and well, their in the NFL. Jerry Rice would lift weights for 3 hours 6 days a week. He would do 3 sets of 10 reps for 21 different exercises for just lower or upper and he is IMO the best wide reciever ever in the NFL. My buddy bench presses everyday almost and never does legs or back and he is a freshman in highschool and benches 315 at a weight of 180. There are just so many stories of guys working out all day long almost and they can bench or squat a lot. My buddy was doing WS4SB with me for 3 months and his bench went up 10 lbs. He went to the highschool gym for 1 month and put 30 lbs on his bench because they had him do 5X5 for flat bench then 5X5 for db incline then 5x5 for flyes then pushups then a little bit of back. Its just so weird...
    As long as youre giving your muscles enought rest, and fuel you can work your muscles as much as you want. I dont see the point in just working out my arms, and chest though. Having a well balanced workout routine will help you get stronger. We all know that much. Having strong biceps, triceps and back will help you lift heavier on your bench.

    Im not sure if youre thinking these guys are overtraining...but overtraining is not good for you. Some guys would even go as far as saying overtraining is worse than not going to the gym at all.
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  3. #3
    Hai guiz! TheHitStick's Avatar
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    No it's not a good thing.

    You forget that these guys are GENETIC FREAKS. Everybody is different, what works for them doesn't work for you. Also, they're at a much higher level than you are.

    You forget that genetics have a huge role in what is considered overtraining.
    "Giving your best is more important than being the best."

    I train as an athlete, not a bodybuilder.

    REPS for SUBS.

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  4. #4
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    Just look at the weightlifters on olympic level.
    Chinese team works 30 hours a week when preparing for olympics.
    That means 5 hours a day, assuming one day is rest.
    They squat every day. They do live for that, they have the best recovery possible and they are all genetic freaks. And the last one is most important.

    When you do a selection of weighlifters, only those with great genetics will play a role on olympic level.
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    Originally Posted by TheHitStick View Post
    No it's not a good thing.

    You forget that these guys are GENETIC FREAKS. Everybody is different, what works for them doesn't work for you. Also, they're at a much higher level than you are.

    You forget that genetics have a huge role in what is considered overtraining.
    yea but I gave two examples of regular joes. My one buddy that put 30 lbs on his bench in 1 month benches less than me.
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    We all have to remeber like everyone had said most of these men are genetic freaks. I think too much emphasis is put on genetics but lets not be stupid and say every athlete could do these type of workouts.

    Interesting Fact: I read an article about how when athlete say they lift 2 hours or so only about 50 minutes or so is actually lifting. Now by no means am I saying that Jerry Rice is lying, but don't believe everything you hear about the MAJORITY of "Athlete Workout Programs."

    Trying to find the article as we speak it had a lot of great information.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    yea but I gave two examples of regular joes. My one buddy that put 30 lbs on his bench in 1 month benches less than me.
    Sounds like he's finding what works for him and he's getting newb gains. He could also have good genetics, maybe he fixed up his diet. It doesn't matter, there's so much in affect. What's overtraining to you, might not be to him.
    "Giving your best is more important than being the best."

    I train as an athlete, not a bodybuilder.

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  8. #8
    Registered User dolphinsfan270's Avatar
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    Yea but look at the last example I put up
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    Yea but look at the last example I put up
    My above post was geared towards the last individual. Obviously, you have a hard time reading.

    Originally Posted by TheHitStick View Post
    Sounds like he's finding what works for him and he's getting newb gains. He could also have good genetics, maybe he fixed up his diet. It doesn't matter, there's so much in affect. What's overtraining to you, might not be to him.
    "Giving your best is more important than being the best."

    I train as an athlete, not a bodybuilder.

    REPS for SUBS.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=125690683
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    Yea but look at the last example I put up
    Yeah, he found what works for him. Maybe he stalled because his template wasn't correct for wsfsb and he was doing the same exercises, and not targeting the correct muscles he needed to target.
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  11. #11
    Registered User dolphinsfan270's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheHitStick View Post
    My above post was geared towards the last individual. Obviously, you have a hard time reading.
    yea bc I typed mine while you wrote yours which was 2 min before mine so it didnt get updated on my screen till i submitted my reply
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  12. #12
    Registered User dolphinsfan270's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by desteph View Post
    Yeah, he found what works for him. Maybe he stalled because his template wasn't correct for wsfsb and he was doing the same exercises, and not targeting the correct muscles he needed to target.
    no I was doing it with him. We switched up the exercises every 3 weeks and we did everything correct. My bench went up 40 lbs but his, not so much.
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    no I was doing it with him. We switched up the exercises every 3 weeks and we did everything correct. My bench went up 40 lbs but his, not so much.
    He reacted better to another type of workout. that's all. not a single program will work for everybody.
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  14. #14
    Mundis Ex Igne Factus Ex txapn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dave**** View Post
    He reacted better to another type of workout. that's all. not a single program will work for everybody.
    ^^this!

    i cant say this enough!!! every one thinks they can print off a workout and see amazing gains! it doesnt work that way! everyone is different and everyones program has to different as well for everyone to see optimal gains!
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    Originally Posted by dolphinsfan270 View Post
    -You always here the ridiculous workout routine of NFL guys and well, their in the NFL.

    -Jerry Rice would lift weights for 3 hours 6 days a week. He would do 3 sets of 10 reps for 21 different exercises for just lower or upper and he is IMO the best wide reciever ever in the NFL.

    -My buddy bench presses everyday almost and never does legs or back and he is a freshman in highschool and benches 315 at a weight of 180. There are just so many stories of guys working out all day long almost and they can bench or squat a lot.
    -My other buddy was doing WS4SB with me for 3 months and his bench went up 10 lbs. He went to the highschool gym for 1 month and put 30 lbs on his bench because they had him do 5X5 for flat bench then 5X5 for db incline then 5x5 for flyes then 5X30 pushups then a little bit of back. Its just so weird...
    i put 30 lbs on my bench in 1 month and i benched 3 times a week, it depends alot on what your putting in your body to supplement and caloriewise
    i rep back if you do

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    Couple of points,

    1) There is no such thing as over training, just under recovery. If you concentrate on your recovery as much as your training you can put in a lot of good productive work. But working on your recovery just isn't as fun as the actual training part and is hard work. You need to be sleeping a lot, eating incredibly well-lots of good carbs, protein, fats etc etc. ice baths, compression wear, stretching and massage all play their part as well.

    2) Most pros will have done at least 10 plus years of consistent, highly structured training. So their bodies are used to that training load and can cope with it, most of the rest of us fit in training around a busy life so it's a compromise.

    Ok it's 3 points, but consistency is much much better than doing one big months and then being buggered for the next 2 weeks.
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    your friend that is benching almost every day is:

    1.) unbalancing his muscular structure, which will lead to injury
    2.) by benching every day, he will develop tendonitis sooner or later and be out for several months healing
    3.) Just because your friend is naturally strong doesnt mean he knows how to lift


    As for Jerry rice
    - great athlete who probably wasted about 2 hours a day 6 days in the wieght room when he could have been done in under 1 hour
    - just because someone is the greatest WR in the world doesnt mean their workout program is the best in the world
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    Originally Posted by Scotytri View Post
    Couple of points,

    1) There is no such thing as over training, just under recovery. If you concentrate on your recovery as much as your training you can put in a lot of good productive work. But working on your recovery just isn't as fun as the actual training part and is hard work. You need to be sleeping a lot, eating incredibly well-lots of good carbs, protein, fats etc etc. ice baths, compression wear, stretching and massage all play their part as well.
    dont agree with the first part... explain to me the findings of training from charlie francis and his athletes...

    also even bulgarian training methodology and the chinese... they hit the dark times as they see it but they work through it and force the body to adjust and eventually come out of it but they certainly are overtrained at some point and the cns has to adjust...
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    Originally Posted by Scotytri View Post
    Couple of points,

    1) There is no such thing as over training, just under recovery.
    .
    i agree with this to an extent! (it not true but it makes people think)its more like most average people dont have the actual will/strength to actaully overtrain thier bodies! the down feeling most people have is mostly from them not eating correctly or getting enough sleep/rest (underrecovering)

    Originally Posted by scott_donald View Post
    dont agree with the first part... explain to me the findings of training from charlie francis and his athletes...

    also even bulgarian training methodology and the chinese... they hit the dark times as they see it but they work through it and force the body to adjust and eventually come out of it but they certainly are overtrained at some point and the cns has to adjust...
    yep...good points... the human body is an amazing thing!
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  20. #20
    Sleepy moderator scott_donald's Avatar
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    just to add...

    Originally Posted by Neuro_Doc View Post
    @crackyflipside - In the "dark times"? it's just as I said, a lot like "withdrawl"? from substance abuse. If you want the specifics, I?ll try to lay them out for you as best I can. Maybe this will clear up some of the misconceptions people like IA and his nuthuggers have over what actually happens when you lift weights. Then again, maybe monkeys will fly out of my behind...

    Most people think the only part of the body to adapt to lifting are the muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. In fact, the brain also adapts to whatever stress you put on the body. It physically changes its structure and ability to deal with chemicals which directly relate to your physical activity. If you are a runner, youll get better at making and using chemicals which deal with running. Youll also develop and affinity for extremely short shorts, politics, FOX news, granola, etc.

    One thing that pissed me off about IA is his insistence that the CNS fatigues? in some way. Bulls**t. People are still taught that the nervous system runs off of electrical impulses like a power cable. It doesnt. The nerve impulses (synapses) run off of chemicals (neurotransmitters). If these chemicals are not present, there is no signal between brain and muscle. The reason you can measure electrical impulses in the nervous system is because the electrical impulse is a BYPRODUCT of this chemical reaction. Its called an electrochemical reaction.

    A large part of how strong we are is the ability to create and deal with a higher concentration of these neurotransmitters. The nerves develop more receptor sites to connect with them, and the glands learn to make more of the neurotransmitters themselves. Only then do you get a stronger impulse.

    When you start placing demands on the brain to lift maximum weights every day, it says "oh crap I need to learn how to make and use these chemicals or hes going to kill us"¯. So it goes through an adaptive period where it shuts down some functions and tries to upgrade?. These are the "dark times"?.

    The main chemical in muscle contraction is SEROTONIN. It actually regulates how HARD the muscle contracts, which is why only the heaviest weights seem to effect our mood, the reason why people shy away from maximal lifting and cower from the imaginary symptoms of overtraining¯.

    Serotonin just happens to be the main feel good hormone in the body. It directly effects your mood and mental outlook, your ā??happinessā?¯ and willingness to train. Your sleep, appetite, and also effects the cardiovascular system (your heart rate increases when you are supposedly overtrained¯ - this is why). The serotonin cycle in the brain gets screwed up when drug addicts go into withdrawl (most recreational drugs artificially influence the serotonin pathways, which is why they are so much fun). There are other neurotransmitters which get effected by this (acetylcholine for example), but serotonin is the big one.

    So, when the body receives a demand to lift heavy things on a daily basis, the brain shuts down the serotonin receptors to upgrade¯ them. The brain structure changes take a few days to a few weeks. Changes in individual nerves happen quickly, a few days at most. This is why the dark times¯ occur. Its the adaptive period thats needed for the brain and body to get to the next higher level¯. Natures little joke is obviously making us feel like crap when we are actually improving.

    The body is trying to get us to stop the stress so it isnt forced to remodel the whole place, but thats exactly what you want. Thats why its so important to keep pounding away through it all. You want the greatest adaptation to take place.

    Guys who are afraid of this response are guys who are lifting because they like the way it makes them feel. If you do lighter workouts, this serotonin is raised, but there is no signal to adapt. You feel ā??highā?¯. Basically lifting weights becomes like a drug. People feel better doing light useless workouts, just like they feel better taking a hit of crack. I think this is why no one wants to try lifting the Bulgarian way. They are addicts.

    You asked me about cortisol. There are no good and bad¯ hormones. There are only hormones specific to your physical activity. Do you know why cortisol is released in weight lifting? Cortisol controls the blood pressure and concentration of blood sugar.

    With short bursts of intense lifting (singles and doubles), blood sugar is not the primary fuel. Blood sugar only becomes an issue when you are doing higher reps. Cortisol is released mainly as a way to cope with these high reps, a way to shuttle more fuel (blood sugar) into the muscle tissue by using higher blood pressure. This is one reason bodybuilders have their posing trunks in a bunch over it. Cortisol is dealt with just like serotonin. The body tries to adapt to using it, and all the bodybuilders run and scream. If they stuck with it theyd go through a response much like the ā??Dark times¯, and theyd be able to handle more high rep sets afterwards.

    In this case, cortisol is specific to the activity bodybuilders, not power or olympic lifters. Keep your reps low and you never have to worry about it. (It has nothing to do with total volume, only reps in the set.)

    Thats funny what you mentioned about the Bulgarians having huge adrenals. It makes sense. They adapt by getting larger and stronger just like anything else. Thats also a great argument against limiting ā??geneticsā?¯. Someone else would look at normal sized adrenals and say they would obviously be overloaded by stress. The Bulgarians entire organism changed in response to their lifting. Form follows function. Awesome stuff.

    The adrenals dont only release cortisol, they release adrenaline as well. Adrenaline acts as one of the triggers¯ to this adaptive period. You should go read the lecture by Ivan Abajiev here :

    - weightliftingexchange.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=74&Itemi d=75

    He explains this whole adaptive period and how it effects more than just the musculature. Go read the paragraphs which start with:

    "So this is our aim when we are training athletes, that we would build up all those organs and muscles needed for a certain performance, not only the muscles, but the whole cardiovascular and other systems that support the working of the muscles in order for a better performance. The adaptive process however, does not only include all the lungs and the heart and the other organs that I mentioned."

    So I hope I explained that all well enough. Bottom line, from a physiological standpoint - BROZ IS RIGHT. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Take care.

    (p.s. - If you think maxing squats daily is tough, try typing all of this out on a phone!)
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    and

    Originally Posted by dave woodhouse
    Charlie Francis and the CNS: Implications to Weightlifting--by David Woodhouse

    The importance and role of the central nervous system (CNS) was first brought to my attention through reading Charlie Francis' (semi) autobiography, Speed Trap. On reflection this is a worrying statement given that I had at that point completed a BSc in Sports Science and two gym instructor courses, but that's another story...! Due to its frank discussion of drugs, Speed Trap has been dismissed by many conservative scholars but for many people it is remains the best book about elite level athletics ever written. Francis is revealed to be a highly intelligent, analytical and 'athlete focused' coach, and the passing of time has only given more credence to his more controversial claims.

    Francis was himself an Olympic sprinter but is best known as the long time coach of Canadian sprinter, Ben Johnson. Johnson's performance in winning the Seoul Olympics was widely regarded as the fastest run in history until Usain Bolt broke the world record in 2008 (Johnson ran 9.79s on a softer slower track and whilst slowing to celebrate in the last 10 metres). Other notable athletes Francis worked with were Commonwealth Champions Mark McKoy and Angella Issajenko.

    Charlie based much of his training philosophy around carefully managing the demands on the CNS. More specifically, his training week was modelled on the idea that the CNS requires at least 48 hours to recover from high intensity training such as sprinting, plyometrics or heavy lifting. Charlie learned of this through discussion with top (Eastern) European coaches from the early 70s. Before this most elite sprinters (including himself) in the West performed speed work on a daily basis and therefore in a constant state of CNS fatigue.

    Most modern sprint coaches now prescribe speed work only on alternate days. Between speed sessions lower intensity 'tempo' running is performed as a form of active recovery. Anecdotal evidence suggests that moderate exercise can increase rate of recovery faster than rest alone. Weightlifting coaches have for years alternated heavy and light workouts and this perhaps provides a logical reason why. As an aside, in my experience, most lifters don't distinguish enough between their heavy and light sessions. They go too heavy on the light days and, due to fatigue, not heavy enough on the other days! What results is a string of moderate workouts that achieve little.

    The tempo or light sessions also serve to raise general work capacity, manage body composition and can be an opportunity to address technical errors. Clearly all these benefits are equally important to the weightlifter. In my experience however, for the novice and intermediate lifter, rest actually IS better than light lifting for promoting recovery. Perhaps until the athlete has developed sufficient work capacity, general exercise such as swimming, walking or cycling may be more effective than specific lifting on 'off days'.

    For elite (full time) athletes, Francis favours the following weekly template:
    Monday, Wednesday & Friday: Speed & Weights
    Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: Tempo and Calisthenics

    The specific track work is always given priority over strength work in the gym in the same way the competition lifts are generally given priority over squatting and pure strength exercises in weightlifting. Observant readers may notice the similarities between this program and the 'Americanised Bulgarian' program that I outlined in my previous article.

    Less advanced athletes generally follow the following program:
    Monday & Thursday: Speed
    Tuesday & Friday: Weights (strength)
    Wednesday & Saturday: Tempo

    This ensures that the CNS is fully recharged for the speed sessions but cuts total work by a third (one less speed and strength workout per week). Weightlifters could apply these templates by substituting the competition lifts for speed work and squats for strength.

    Why is CNS fatigue so important?.. A fatigued CNS cannot generate the frequency of nerve impulses required to activate the highest threshold motor units. As a result, the most powerful 'fast twitch' muscle fibres are not recruited and subsequently will not be trained. It is intuitive therefore that training performed in a state of CNS fatigue will be at best inefficient. If high intensity training is repeated for prolonged periods then performance will likely stagnate or decline. This state is typically described as overtraining, and causes symptoms of insomnia, irritability and involuntary muscle contractions.

    Additionally, a fatigued CNS has a compromised ability to coordinate muscle action which is also detrimental to performance in any multi joint sport. Interestingly, Francis interpreted his athletes' inability to learn new skills as a sign of CNS fatigue and would, in those situations, conclude training early. If a weightlifter is making technical errors and missing warm up lifts, the coach might conclude that he has CNS fatigue and should stop or have a lighter workout.

    Francis insisted that all speed work be done at maximum intensity, but that total volume per week should be less than 1600m. By the mid 80s his athletes would run over 100 metres only once per week. By training at maximum the athlete's neural adaptations were maximised and his risk of injury in competition were reduced. Clearly Francis believes intensity to be a more important, a more powerful variable than volume! He also states that a mature elite level athlete may have to reduce volume to allow further progression and also to reduce injury risk. The idea of lifting at maximum intensity was covered extensively in my last article, 'Ivan Abadjiev and the Bulgarian System'.

    Francis also controversially states that CNS adaptation can be both specific and general. The former includes inter and intra muscular coordination and is specific to the exercise being performed. The latter involves a higher output (rate coding) by the CNS and leads to improvement across all exercises. So in the same way that bench press can improve sprint performance, sprinting can improve bench performance. When considering this the reader should be careful to distinguish strength improvements via neural mechanisms from those due to increases in contractile protein.

    I hope this has been a thought provoking article. For further reading I suggest readers visit www.charliefrancis.com/forum for direct insight from the man himself or track down a copy of Speed Trap on ebay.
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  22. #22
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    The Charlie Francis is very intresting and makes a lot of sence. To be honest I had only ever heard of him befor in the contex on Ben Johnson and all the bagage that goes with that. His training philiosphy is some what simmular to the way I train, albeit I am a a lot lower level and more greared towards endurance.

    In respect to the Bulgirain and Chinease lifters, will they tapper down towards a big event?

    There is a school of thought, especially for more explosive events like sprinting or lifiting of doing massive volume befor a comp. and then having a very extreame taper.

    My statment of there is no such thing as over training just under recovery is very very sweaping, but I think valad for 99% of the people out there since we simply don't have the time or motivation to be properly over trained.
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    Overtraining is relative to the individual. The workouts i do combined with my track sprint workouts would probably be too much for some people, but there are many factors. Genetics, right diet, rest, right recovery steps, injury prevention steps, planning the workout itself, and experience. So obviously Jerry Rice had the ability to do his workout, most people i'd say about 95% of people won't be able to stick to that type of training for more than a few months without injury or exhaustion.

    So i would say that overtraining isn't a good thing, just different body's have a different capacity.
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