I receive this so often that I thought it was important to reiterate it again. If you are having an impasse in progress, if you are feeling tired, lethargic or your metabolism is slowed… your body is trying to tell you something and that something is that you may very well be in an over trained state, a deep over trained state or nearing an over trained state! It may require a layoff, long layoff, a change in volume and frequency or all of the above. Overtraining is overtraining people! Please try to get this as this is the deadliest mistake a high intensity training bodybuilder or athlete can make.
The theory of high intensity training was brought about by Mike Mentzer, an Olympian Champion, bodybuilder and trainer. Mike was the thinking man’s bodybuilder… who spent a great deal of his career and life testing and researching the theory of high intensity training. He did this both in the gym, his phone clients and personally. Mike’s contributions to bodybuilding and the understanding of anaerobic training were great, but the most valuable thing he taught me was how to think!
I recently was in a High Intensity Training forum and a member had questions about training with a technique called Rest Pause. This technique is one that allows for a maximum contraction on every rep, while resting seven to ten seconds between each rep. Reps are normally no more than four or five and only one set is employed. The just of the post was that after doing rest pause training, this athlete felt tired for a good many days and wanted to train more often for the experience of training… he liked it and had an emotional attachment to it! He reasoned that if he waited longer between reps where he could do each rep without using assistance or dropping the weight and not training to failure, it would be easier on his system and he would not feel so tired. This was just a by product of a very important point that I will discuss below which was my answer on to the HIT athlete.
Mike Mentzer Said….
When Mike Mentzer said overtraining was not just something sort of negative and that it takes sometimes weeks to recover, you better believe it is the truth…. I have seen it in the gym and with my phone clients… although they don’t like to hear it and usually not until we go through a thorough phone coaching session their negative results so far can usually be linked to overtraining, not high intensity stimulus… but not resting long enough to allow the increase to occur after high intensity training.
You have to check your logic here… become emotionally unattached…because if you think clearly about it, you stated that RIGHT NOW…you are the strongest and most muscular you have ever been and you have been training in high intensity fashion. IF you continue to train within a specific spectrum of rest, and I find this very often…you are going to lose the battle. WHY? Because your strength can increase some 300% while your recover ability may increase only 50%! If you do the numbers you will see the seesaw tilting to one side. The only way you can compensate for the affect of growing larger and stronger is taking more rest time.
It takes time for the body to recover. I can’t begin to tell you how important that is. If the body doesn’t recover… it can’t go to the next step of laying down muscle. I have trainees that train every 10-14 days and not until then… do they compensate let alone overcompensate for the exhaustive affects of the workout. It is genetics. There are those that can train every other day and recover… (however not forever either….) and those, and I have had clients like this… who have had to take a straight six months off before they began to train again because it took that long for them to fill the ditch… this is true guys!! High Intensity, Heavy Duty (Mike Mentzer’s trademark), R U Serious, you call it what you will is extremely demanding and thus extremely productive. If you have a thorough understanding of the theory, there is no guessing.
This is the way to think through it…
OK, you are training intensely, with an intense contraction to stimulate muscle growth, to turn on the growth mechanism.
You are training briefly, not using too much of recover ability and leaving as much possible there … being aware not to dig too deep of a ditch…
***Question….Are you really training briefly or do you need to cut back farther? Remember, training is always a negative, we are talking VOLUME….
If you are still tired after a week or two or three, your body has not compensated for the exhaustive affects of the exercise, let alone over compensated…. more rest is required. Not everyone is using recovery enhancing drugs etc so it will take time, but the wait is well worth it…. we are talking FREQUENCY
Read about Lethargic….
Lethargy or Lethargic- deficient in alertness or activity; “bullfrogs became lethargic with the first cold nights” [ant: energetic] … is lack of energy… energy is something we are, everything is energy… when we expend it… it must be replaced. The body recovers systemically and replaces energy as such.
Have you ever noticed how when you are sick or over tired, you do not even feel like eating? Animals are the smartest…when they are ill, they waste no energy on eating, their body saves all its energy to fight off the STRESS, and sickness is a stress…. See… it is all stress related… the body doesn’t know the difference…
So if your metabolism seems sluggish, you feel lethargic etc, chances are you have allowed yourself to move into a state of overtraining and continuing so just digs a deeper hole. A sluggish metabolism or lethargic is the first symptoms I use, along with a slowing of progress, to analyze the beginning of the overtraining condition. If you are active and healthy and not over trained… you should feel energetic. If done properly, you should never reach a condition of overtraining.
If we realize there is one valid theory of high intensity training, if we really understand anaerobic exercise, then the answer is not changing routines, not going to the volume approach, not dropping the intensity, the answer to the problem or question can be found in one of the two elements of this training… that is in volume or frequency or both…. who says that you have to train every so many days? Who says that your workout has to be one, two, three or five sets? Who says that those abbreviated workouts have to be all large compound movements? Stick with the theory and you will find the answers to the question.
This really has to do with being 100% for your next workout. I personally could not imagine at this moment, another Rest Pause Leg Workout, which is my next workout. I am scheduled to train again tomorrow and I got news for you, I will reassess where I am next Monday…I have already taken eight days off since my last workout, tomorrow will be nine. I will add five days and if I am 100%, I will be there, 14 days later… if not, no problem. I am after the result not the experience so the less I am in the gym; the better as it gives me more time to live, play and enjoy the result, a strong, muscular and energetic body…
Always use logic in working out these similar problems and you will find the answers precisely.
Source by Bill Sahli