Let's talk about overtraining and all the lies out there about this misunderstood weight training factor.
I really need to get this off of my chest. I see so many people throughout the world telling others that they are overtraining.
I hear them saying that working out more than 3 times per week is overtraining.
Or, I hear that working a muscle group more than once per week is overtraining.
All over message boards I see the same questions: Am I overtraining? Is this workout too much? Can I work my chest and abs 3 times per week? Can I work this muscle group more than once per week? And so on…
And the questions are not the bad part. It's fine to ask the above questions to a muscle building and fat loss expert.
The problem, though, is there aren't very many experts out there. It's very tough to find someone who really knows how to build muscle and burn fat.
The answers to those questions above that I see posted all over the Internet are some of the worst answers I have ever seen.
You have so-called “experts” answering these questions.
I hear them say that you are overtraining if you are working each muscle group more than once every seven days. Over and over, I hear and read this answer.
I can't take it any more!!!
You Could Lift Weights Every Day and Not Overtrain
Did you know that you could lift weights seven days per week for years and never overtrain?
The so-called experts out there would be all over this statement. They would say that I'm crazy without even knowing the details.
Just try putting together a fake workout schedule with workouts 7 days per week and post the question on any message board.
I bet you get clobbered. You'll have people that have no idea answering the question and telling you that you're overtraining.
No one can tell you that you're overtraining by looking at a workout schedule with sets, reps, and exercises.
If an Olympic weightlifter posted his/her weightlifting schedule on a message board, that lifter would get clobbered by 16 year old kids telling him/her that there's no way they will make progress with that schedule.
Even experienced personal trainers would tell them that they are overtraining. Yet, the Olympic weightlifter makes better progress than most anyone.
How can the Olympic lifter do so much work day in and day out and never overtrain?
The Olympic weight lifter has been conditioned to lift weights for more volume and more often than the casual lifter. The Olympic lifter knows how to keep intensity levels low enough to allow him/her to continue training more often and for more volume.
Every single person has a different tolerance level to lifting weights. This tolerance level can be improved with proper conditioning.
You see, the human body is amazing. If you condition the human body to lift weights every day of the week, it will adapt.
So, you can lift weights seven days per week for years at a time and make good progress. You can build muscle and strength with that schedule. What's the key to making progress, though?
The intensity with which you lift weights and your current conditioning level allows you to lift weights more often and for more overall volume. What? How about an example?
Let's say you post your fake workout schedule on a message board that has you lifting weights seven days per week…
You'll be doing a full body workout each day of the week for 7 days in this hypothetical situation. This means you'll be working each muscle group 7 days per week or 365 days per year.
If you use the proper intensity on each exercise, you can prevent overtraining with the above schedule. The proper intensity level would change over time as you become more conditioned to the 7 day per week workout schedule.
You would start out with a very low intensity and increase as your conditioning increased with time.
So, everyone is different when it comes to overtraining.
There are too many factors affecting overtraining for someone to tell you that you are overtraining by looking at a workout schedule. They have no idea how intense you are when you lift weights, and they have no idea how conditioned you are to lifting weights.
If you are lifting weights 7 days per week for a few hours per day and taking each set to complete failure and beyond through drop sets, you will most likely overtrain because most people just can't handle that type of weight lifting.
It may take a week for you to overtrain. It may take you 4 weeks to overtrain. It depends on your current level of conditioning.
Can I say that you will overtrain for sure after a set number of weeks? No! It's a good guess that you will eventually overtrain, but I can't tell you 100 percent that you will overtrain. Because I don't know you and your recovery abilities.
A Safe Bet is 3 to 4 Workouts Per Week
Now, you won't be using any 7 day per week weight lifting schedule with our programs so relax.
I want you to optimize rest and recovery from workouts, so you'll be working out 3 to 4 times per week at a maximum. Some of the workout schedules are 3 days per week while others are 4 days per week.
The WLC workout schedule allows the vast majority of people to make optimal progress. As I've discussed, you will have to adjust the intensity level of each workout to fit your body.
Some of you may be able to go to failure during certain sets and continue to make progress. Others will always need to stop a set when the rep speed slows down.
Beginners to the WLC System will stop a set when the rep speed begins to slow down for the majority of the time.
If you need to push a little harder during a set to meet the required reps, that's perfectly fine too.
This keeps the intensity level lower but still allows you to increase the weight each workout.
Remember, the most important muscle building factor is the load you apply to the muscle.
Increasing the load as often as possible allows you to build muscle at lower intensity levels.
As the beginner gains experience, he/she can start experimenting with higher intensity levels during a workout. Finding the optimal intensity level that fits your body can lead to faster muscle and strength gains!
Since everyone is different when it comes to tolerance to weight lifting workouts, only YOU can find your optimal intensity.
Our system makes it easier for you to find the optimal intensity level because you are closely monitoring your gains each and every week.
You can make adjustments each week to try a slightly higher intensity level until you find the correct intensity level.
During muscle building cycles, intensity levels can be much higher compared to fat loss cycles. Calorie levels are much higher during muscle building cycles along with nutrient intake. Cardio is much lower during muscle building cycles.
All of this means less stress on your body during muscle building cycles. Less stress means you can raise intensity levels for your weight lifting workout to achieve better gains.
It's wise to keep intensity levels lower during fat loss cycles. You will always lift hard and increase the amount of weight lifted over a weight lifting cycle, but you can decrease the intensity of the set by stopping a set when the rep speed begins to slow down.
If you've found that you can handle more, go for that extra rep or two.
Do not experiment with intensity levels until you are more experienced. Several months of WLC workout experience is required before you begin to experiment.
It's okay to push yourself pretty hard during a set every once in a while. Just don't make it a regular thing in the beginning.
This will prevent you from overtraining and will help you learn more about your body for experimentation down the road.