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S&C UnderGround >> Weightlifting and overtraining question


9/10/12 2:47 AM
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Ashilles
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Hey guys,

currently have a new client who competes internationally in weightlifting. 16yo F
specifically overhead squat, front squat and back squat.

the client is training 3 times a week on a 5 week cycle away from me. starting at 60% and progressing to 100% in her lifts

i have been asked to help with improving core stability and fitness. particularly the client has asymmetrical issues when squatting.

I will see the client 2 times per week and am writing programs for another day. so 3 sessions per week

what considerations would i have to take to ensure i am not overtraining her and impacting on her lifting. I have trained in olympic lifting and powerlifting before but would still like to hear someone elses opinion.

I was thinking of structuring our sessions as follows but am open to all opinions.

warm up - 5 min treadmill then dynamic stretching
focus on hips and trunk

core stability work focus on isometric contractions in weaker muscles groups (plank progression and hollow body work) then moving to resistance to external force (cables) then moving to moving midline stabilization (rollouts using trx and ab wheel) also some glute activation work thrown in.

fitness work. alternating days with 1:3 work rest over 10 minutes or 3m 2m 10s intervals over 20-25 mins.
followed by light boxing and prowler work to finish the session.
this will vary depending on how she is reacting to the exercise and will be doing more work on days with me and less when training alone.

what are your thoughts?
do you normally place core activation before fitness work?
or vice versa?

i will be working closely with her strength coach as well.
also i prefer to not use the term core stabilization as it conjures up images of squats on bosu balls etc but it gets my point across.

open to any recommendations, or considerations i have to make. first time working with a client like this and am happy to sift through more research to compose most effective program.
9/10/12 3:43 AM
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Leigh
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Not over training, the thing to worry about is under resting. People have different recovery times and it also depends on whatever else she is doing in her life.

If you have a method to check HRV, that would be very useful. If not, check out Joel Jamiesons bioforce app for iPhone and Android. It will tell you if you need more rest. Phone Post
9/10/12 5:23 AM
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Ashilles
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Awesome will do Phone Post
9/16/12 9:12 PM
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UnbreakableT
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Leigh - Not over training, the thing to worry about is under resting. People have different recovery times and it also depends on whatever else she is doing in her life.

If you have a method to check HRV, that would be very useful. If not, check out Joel Jamiesons bioforce app for iPhone and Android. It will tell you if you need more rest. Phone Post
So how does the hr work in reference to overtraining. Does it go up when o overtrained, cuz I swear when I've been pushin it for a few days in. A row my blood feels like it's thicker and hart ramps up faster. Phone Post
9/17/12 3:02 AM
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Leigh
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HR does go up when under rested but HRV is a better indicator Phone Post
9/18/12 5:01 PM
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Taku
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 Is there a difference between "under rested" and over trained? Just wondering what the difference may be. Or is it just semantics? Not being a jerk, really wondering what folks might feel is different between one state or the other.

Seems to me they are basically the same thing.

TAKU
9/18/12 5:05 PM
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Leigh
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Yes, a significant difference. I didn't get it at first. Over training is doing too much work, either volume, intensity or both. Under resting is not waiting until you are adequately recovered before training again. Phone Post
9/18/12 10:32 PM
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Taku
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 Based on your answer Leigh, I would imagine most folks have no clue if they are over training and or under resting. Personally I am not sure that the two are really that different.

IMHO most people do far too much volume, frequency. I have never met anyone who works too intensely. I feel it is very difficult to work too hard, very easy to work too often or too long.

TAKU
9/19/12 3:16 AM
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Leigh
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I agree that intensity is rarely an issue. But to give an explanation of the difference, lets say an athlete wants to include the following training in a week:

Bench press
Squat
Dead lift
Clean and press
Weighted chin ups
2 Cardio sessions
2 BJJ sessions
2 boxing sessions
1 wrestling session
2 MMA sessions

That is a LOT of volume and probably unmanageable unless you are a full time athlete. However, that is not the full picture. You could structure it like it this:

Mon - bench press, boxing
Tues - squats, BJJ
Weds - cardio, MMA
Thurs - clean and press, wrestling
Fri - weighted chins, boxing
Sat - cardio, BJJ
Sun - dead lift, MMA

That is obviously nuts and you might call that over training. But I would call it under resting and would instead suggest the following:

Mon - AM boxing, BJJ, SLEEP. PM squats, bench, chins
Tues - AM cardio, SLEEP. PM rest
Weds - AM wrestling, MMA, SLEEP. PM BJJ
Thurs - AM cardio, SLEEP. PM rest
Fri - AM boxing, MMA, SLEEP. PM cleaned and press, deadlift
Sat - rest
Sun - rest

Now that volume is starting to look more manageable.

I approach "over training" differently. If I feel the symptoms, I don't think I need to do less, I just rest until I'm recovered and then carry on like normal.

Hopefully you appreciate me typing that FRAT on my phone :) Phone Post
9/19/12 7:36 AM
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LiftStrong
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Awesome post Leigh. Completely agree.
9/19/12 8:56 AM
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Taku
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Edited: 09/20/12 4:59 PM
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 Hey Leigh,

I always appreciate your time, (phone or not) so thank you.

I do the same thing (rest until I am recovered). I might structure the week slightly differently however. Still. if I am following your schedule above (the second one) and I decided I need more rest, in a sense, does that not mean I will train less? Suppose by Thursday I am feeling spent, so I take that day off to recover, I have now done less workouts for that training week. Would you squeeze it in on another day to try and keep the volume the same, or would you just wait until next week and see how you were feeling?

Thanks again for your time.

TAKU 
9/19/12 10:34 AM
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Leigh
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Yes you may end up training less at some point but its not because you are doing too much, its because you need more recovery.

I know exactly where you are coming from on trying to see the difference cos I was the same but when you start structuring your workouts based on recovery times rather than work volume, it starts to make more sense. Phone Post
9/20/12 5:04 PM
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Taku
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 I always structure my workouts based on recovery times rather than volume. One problem I feel is that people stay locked into the standard calendar. "How much training time can I fit into one or two weeks? "

Instead I base my training on recovery and allow a "floating" training schedule. I feel that if one is getting stronger, and working very intensely, then more recovery is always required over time.

TAKU
9/20/12 5:11 PM
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Taku
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Variable Frequency

High intensity and progressive overload are absolutely, positively necessary if you want to make gains in muscle mass and size. There is just one catch…you can’t accomplish both of them on a fixed training schedule. Frequency of training is one of the most misunderstood elements of productive strength training. One of my litmus tests as to whether a training article, book or course is worth anything is to look at how training frequency is addressed. If it says, "Train 3 days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday."...I know it's a useless program. Why? Because you can't have both PROGRESSIVE overload and a FIXED training schedule.
 
Your body won't tolerate it. The stronger you get, the more rest you need between workouts. Fixed schedules are the single biggest reason why trainees quit going to the gym after a few weeks, get injured or develop a cold, flu or other ailment after training a short time. (Sound familiar?) And even if you manage to clear all those hurdles, you’ll soon hit a training plateau and stop making progress with your physique.
 
A consistently productive program requires a variable training frequency. You need to analyze your recent rate of progress and adjust your training frequency to ensure full recovery before your next workout. But some people like to workout as often as possible and some want maximum efficiency. (i.e. to workout as little as possible while still achieving their goals.) Fortunately, when you complete a workout there is a range of time over which your next productive workout can occur. The limits of the range are the first day you can return to the gym without overtraining and the last day you can return to the gym without under-training. For example, if today's workout was on the 1st of the month, you might be able to return to the gym fully recovered as early as the 6th and perform a productive workout. But you might also be able to wait until the 19th of the month before losing the benefit of your last workout. You see? So whether you return on the 6th, the 19th or in between is a matter of preference. But either way it is absolutely imperative that you rest enough time for your body to fully recover. Recovery must be complete before new growth can occur.
 
Think of it this way…suppose a caveman had a battle-to-the-death with a saber tooth tiger and after the fight the caveman lies on the ground totally exhausted. What is the first order of business for his body in order to ensure his survival? A) re-supply his existing tissues and organs with what they need to get him to safety, or B) build him some new muscle just in case he has a similar struggle in the future. Fortunately for us, the brain gives the first priority to immediate survival. So when you leave the gym after doing battle with heavy squats, your brain first takes care of your full recovery. The actual muscle growth process is quite brief and recent studies reveal it likely occurs while you’re sleeping. But if you don’t wait to fully recover and return to the gym for another depleting workout, you’ll never experience muscle growth. And without a variable training frequency, eventually you will reach the point where you never fully recover between workouts.
 
Can you make any progress on a fixed schedule? Sure…for as long as your fixed training days happen to be far enough apart. For example, when you first start training your workouts won’t be very demanding and your body might only need, perhaps, 18 hours to recover. As long as your workouts are more than 18 hours apart, you’re fine. But very soon you’ll need 29 hours rest between workouts…then 46.2 hours…then 63.8 hours…you see? And since you never know exactly when recovery is complete and muscle growth occurred, you need to be on the safe side by adding extra time off. I work with some advanced clients who train once every 7-10 days. In fact, they perform workout “A” then wait a week and do workout “B”…so it’s 2 weeks between the same exercises for the same muscle groups…and they make progress EVERY workout. With the massive weights they hoist, it would be impossible for them to train three days per week. If their training schedules stayed fixed from Day One, they could never have progressed to where they are today.

 TAKU
9/20/12 6:00 PM
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Leigh
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Makes a load of sense mate. Can't have athletes under resting ;) Phone Post
9/20/12 6:23 PM
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Taku
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 LOL...Leigh,

I LOVE YOU MAN  <----Not in a gay way, Like A Viking!

TAKU
9/21/12 9:44 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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Taku- Regarding your Variable Freq post.

How do you explain the results of the very muscled 105 and 105kg+ Weightlifters that squat and pull everyday as much as they can and as heavy as they can?

Would they do better squatting and pulling 1x every 7-10 days?
9/21/12 9:19 PM
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Taku
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 Hey Jeremy,

Great question. I honestly do not know. The training which I advocate is counter to the type of training that these guys do. As I recommend training to failure and they rarely do this due to the extreme loads that they are lifiting and the high technique requirement.

They are also most often extreme examples of genentic predisposition towards thier chosen sport combined with "assistance".

It would be interesting to see just how infrequently they could train and still get results. I think that they are coming at it from the other end.

How much volume can they get in and still make progress.

TAKU
9/22/12 2:29 AM
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Leigh
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I think the top guys who train that way usually have genetics and a lifestyle that helps. They also have highly developed CNS and I think a lot of the strength training at that level is neural.

Also, this isn't s&c for another sport, it IS their sport and probably the only physical training they do. Some are also on gear. Obviously not all but in some cases, that could be an explanation.

Basically, a number of reasons and to be competitive, those guys need to find a way to make it work Phone Post
9/22/12 12:54 PM
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Taku
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 Hey Leigh,

Agree on all counts. It is their sport. And...It is highly technical. So maximum exposure within tolerance to still improve, allows max "practice" of the required technique as well.

Jeremy,

Back to your question. There was a team in Florida back in the 1970's that would only do non-specific strength training off season and then practice the O-lifts intensively for a few months before the competitive season...And they won often.

Their strength training would be termed H.I.T. by most.

TAKU
9/25/12 4:10 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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When someone says or writes absolute rules that should be followed I like to play devils advocate.

There are athletes on either side that get great results. For instance...

Eric Lillibridge, one of the best Powerlifters in the world right now has an 854lb squat in a belt and wraps. Pat Mendes is an up and coming Weightlifter and has an 800lb squat no belt or wraps.

They are both around the same age and weight. Eric trains his squat 1x every 2 weeks, Pat trains his 2xs a day 7 days a week. So you have 2x a month vs 56~x a month both with similar results.

This is why I am hesitant to giving people advice on how they should train. I am not arguing for either way, just playing devils advocate.

" There was a team in Florida back in the 1970's that would only do non-specific strength training off season and then practice the O-lifts intensively for a few months before the competitive season...And they won often."

I would like to read anything you have on these lifters because I find it all interesting.

I also think that if they did do that well then other clubs and countries would have adopted their style. Just like with everyone copying the Bulgarians and the Russians. Although the Chinese kind of took something from both countries and made their own style.

Leigh- Thanks for chiming in.

"I think the top guys who train that way usually have genetics and a lifestyle that helps. They also have highly developed CNS and I think a lot of the strength training at that level is neural."

This could be applied to both lifting methods. Someone who can train their squat 56xs a month is a freak, just like a guy that can squat 24xs a year and squat 854.



9/26/12 9:02 AM
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Taku
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Hey Jeremy,

 

I never preach absolutes. I just say what I recommend. My approach is to find the safest most efficient path to the goal. The least amount of work required Vs the most tolerated.

 

I know that many approaches produce results.

TAKU

9/26/12 10:01 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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" Because you can't have both PROGRESSIVE overload and a FIXED training schedule."

" But either way it is absolutely imperative that you rest enough time for your body to fully recover. Recovery must be complete before new growth can occur."

These seem like absolutes to me.

Maybe you can have progressive overload on a fixed schedule. A lot of people seem to be able to do it.

Do you know for sure that you "MUST" fully recover before new growth can occur? I don't know that for sure.

" My approach is to find the safest most efficient path to the goal. The least amount of work required Vs the most tolerated."

This is probably where we differ the most. I want the goal no matter what strategy. Whether it be squatting 56xs a month or 2xs a month, whatever gets me there is the best way.





9/27/12 5:23 PM
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Taku
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Edited: 09/28/12 10:11 AM
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Hey Jeremy,

Fair enough...(on the wording I chose looking inflexible). The truth is, I am not, so poorly worded on my part.

As far as what you said about the goal being the most important, I hear you. However, if you found (over the course of tracking programs, progress etc) that you tolerated and made progress on 56 squat sessions per month, but were able to still progress with only 25 sessions per month, would not the 25 sessions prove more efficient all other things being equal?

What I am saying is that I look for what is the least amount rquired, to produce maximum benefit. If I tolerate three hard sessions per week, but can still make at least equal progress on three hard sessions every two weeks, than I will opt for less. Leave more time for other pursuits. I work with a lot of athletes, so they have many elements to fit into their training schedule.

If lifting is the sport, (Power or Olympic) than the training and the skill work are more easily combined. If I work with a hockey player, short track speed skater, etc...they have a lot of other technical, tactical elements to deal with.

Hope that makes sense.

 

TAKU

9/28/12 11:46 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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Taku

It makes sense and I agree.


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