Overtraining?

  • equus77

    Posts: 55

    Aug 13, 2013 11:34 PM GMT
    I'm looking for some opinions as to whether I might be overtraining.

    I've been doing an upper/lower body split routine for the past 4 or 5 months. Each body part gets worked twice per week. For the past 3 or 4 weeks I've been feeling more and more tired. I feel wiped out earlier in my workouts and my body is starting to hurt a little more. Upper body is Mon and Thurs, lower is Tues and Fri. I'm also doing 25 minutes of cardio M, W, F, and Sat.

    This is my first time doing this type of workout. Previously, I've only done routines where each body part gets worked once per week.

    Am I overtraining?

    I should probably add that my job is physical. I'm on my feet and moving all day long, lifting things (though not necessarily heavy), etc. I also know that sleep is important and I admit that I probably don't get enough but that is unlikely to change any time soon.

    If I am overtraining, should I find a different upper/lower split routine or go back to working each body part once per week? I do like my current routine as I feel like I've made some gains with it but I feel like I'm reaching the point of diminishing returns.

    Thanks for any advice!
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    Aug 14, 2013 12:52 AM GMT
    I would say go back to the once a week routine for each body part for a while to switch things up. Sounds like it could be overtraining and you could be getting sore joints from overuse. You might even (gasp) want to take a week off to strengthen your body up.

    Always good to switch things up anyhow. Listen to your body, its tired for a reason. Often we keep pushing and pushing and pushing and yes we are able to go into the gym everyday but eventually the lack of sleep, rest and expending so much energy catches up with us
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    Aug 14, 2013 1:05 AM GMT
    I was doing something very similar and have since switched to doing 'parts' once per week over 4 sessions. I do 20-30 mins cardio at the end of every workout. Since starting this routine I feel much better. Sure, my muscles are a bit more sore, but in a good way. Overall, I feel like my body appreciates this approach... Maybe it's an age thing too...

  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Aug 14, 2013 1:10 AM GMT
    jerseywoof saidI would say go back to the once a week routine for each body part for a while to switch things up. Sounds like it could be overtraining and you could be getting sore joints from overuse. You might even (gasp) want to take a week off to strengthen your body up.

    Always good to switch things up anyhow. Listen to your body, its tired for a reason. Often we keep pushing and pushing and pushing and yes we are able to go into the gym everyday but eventually the lack of sleep, rest and expending so much energy catches up with us


    This is good advice. Also worth mentioning is that our work lives or just the stuff going on in our day-to-day existence can compound the strain that your body is already experiencing because of your workouts. Mental stress factors in, too.

    If you're feeling tired and sore, your body is telling you to ease up. Listen to the signals, because otherwise you could be setting yourself up for an injury. Better to rest for a few days, than to be out of commission for a few weeks.

    You'll actually come back stronger after a break, so embrace it!
  • equus77

    Posts: 55

    Aug 14, 2013 1:23 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice so far! It's really hard for me to take a break because I often feel like I'm being lazy. And in the past when I've taken a week off it feels like I skipped a month.

    I do like the idea of going back to working each part once per week.
  • dc415

    Posts: 255

    Aug 14, 2013 1:34 AM GMT
    Working a muscle twice a week is not going to lead to overtraining. I'd try scaling back the cardio (either do it less than four times a week, or scale back the intensity), and see if you feel more energetic.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Aug 14, 2013 1:37 AM GMT
    seems legit

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    Aug 14, 2013 1:48 AM GMT
    equus77 saidThanks for the advice so far! It's really hard for me to take a break because I often feel like I'm being lazy. And in the past when I've taken a week off it feels like I skipped a month.

    I do like the idea of going back to working each part once per week.


    Try just doing cardio for a week or two then go back to weights and cardio... worked for me...
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Aug 14, 2013 2:53 PM GMT
    Like other guys have said, if your body`s feeling increasingly tired and sore, it`s telling you to ease up somewhere, if only temporarily.

    The question of sleep is important, too. It would be worth addressing that as well.
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    Aug 14, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
    It's hard to say if you're overtraining just from this. Athletes work out 6 days a week for much longer than it sounds like you're in the gym, so just working a body part 2x a week isn't overtraining per se. How hard and how heavy are you going?

    But slow down a week and see how you feel. It won't kill you.

    I might look at your diet too. If you're not recovering that could be a culprit.
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Aug 14, 2013 6:06 PM GMT
    I would like to reiterate what others have already mentioned. As i have become older, my ability to maximize workouts has becomes more ....fragile. That is, it has become more dependant on things such as eating habits, sleeping patterns, and emotional stress. With that said, even when i do take care of myself, my ability to combine cardio, weight-lifting, cross training, etc for weeks on-end has also been reduced. When i do experience the symptoms you described, i critically look at all of the above variables in order to determine what i need to modify and sometimes it's comes down to just needing a break from the gym. When that happens, it is never for more than 2-5 days.
  • equus77

    Posts: 55

    Aug 14, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
    jakenoh saidIt's hard to say if you're overtraining just from this. Athletes work out 6 days a week for much longer than it sounds like you're in the gym, so just working a body part 2x a week isn't overtraining per se. How hard and how heavy are you going?

    But slow down a week and see how you feel. It won't kill you.

    I might look at your diet too. If you're not recovering that could be a culprit.


    I'm trying to go pretty hard and heavy. I'm lifting more than I ever have on most of the moves, especially the compound lifts like squats and bench. That said, a shoulder and elbow are starting to bother me more and more. As squats get heavier my lower back is also hurting more. I'm sure some of that could be form related but I've been trying to stay conscience of not losing form just to increase weight.

    I'm thinking I might back off a bit next week and see how I feel.
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    Aug 14, 2013 8:49 PM GMT
    equus77 saidI'm looking for some opinions as to whether I might be overtraining.

    I've been doing an upper/lower body split routine for the past 4 or 5 months. Each body part gets worked twice per week. For the past 3 or 4 weeks I've been feeling more and more tired. I feel wiped out earlier in my workouts and my body is starting to hurt a little more. Upper body is Mon and Thurs, lower is Tues and Fri. I'm also doing 25 minutes of cardio M, W, F, and Sat.

    This is my first time doing this type of workout. Previously, I've only done routines where each body part gets worked once per week.

    Am I overtraining?

    I should probably add that my job is physical. I'm on my feet and moving all day long, lifting things (though not necessarily heavy), etc. I also know that sleep is important and I admit that I probably don't get enough but that is unlikely to change any time soon.

    If I am overtraining, should I find a different upper/lower split routine or go back to working each body part once per week? I do like my current routine as I feel like I've made some gains with it but I feel like I'm reaching the point of diminishing returns.

    Thanks for any advice!

    That would be severely overtraining for me, but everyone is different. If you're feeling tired and fatigued, chances are you're overtraining. If size is your goal, I would drop the cardio completely. If you still lack energy and your body still hurts, switch to a 3 day split.
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    Aug 14, 2013 8:50 PM GMT
    jakenoh saidIt's hard to say if you're overtraining just from this. Athletes work out 6 days a week for much longer than it sounds like you're in the gym, so just working a body part 2x a week isn't overtraining per se. How hard and how heavy are you going?

    But slow down a week and see how you feel. It won't kill you.

    I might look at your diet too. If you're not recovering that could be a culprit.

    But he has a physical job and chances are he's at that job 5 days a week 8 hrs a day.