Tag Archive: overtraining

Rest Day or Punishment Day?

One of the reasons overtraining as a concept exists is that people don’t realize that lifting weights or going for a run is only PART of your training.  I read a comment on youtube today:  there is no overtraining, only undereating and undersleeping.  I think that makes an important point:  diet, rest and exercise all have to come together for you to train.  (Not to say you can’t overeat or oversleep, haha!)  You have to remember to balance, you can train like a beast, but you also eat like a horse and sleep like a rock.


thanks Goku!


So Friday I trained hard.  Now Saturday I get to take it easy.  It’s rest day!!  Hooray!


I slept in and headed down to the gym to do some cardio (active rest day! not comatose rest day! live your life and do what you love!).  My neighbour asked me to join him for a 11 am spin.  And so it was.

Monique taught this spin, and… what to say.  Not to come off as overly critical, because without spin teachers I would be bored out of my mind doing cardio alone, buuuuut… this chick needs to learn some new songs.  The record is broken, people!  While we’re at it, she needs to learn about fartlek.  15 min of heavy seated climbs results in a very sweaty Jeremy still breathing through his nose and with a not-so-elevated heart rate.  Balance the seated climbs out by sprinkling in some sprints!  Keep the heart rate bouncing around!


After class, my neighbour invited me to go see the new GI Joe movie, which was EQUALLY as painful!  Today has felt like an odd punishment for my hard work, haha.


How about you?  Was today a rest day?  Leave a comment!

when in doubt, just lift

How much training is overtraining?  I think it’s different for everyone, and you have to learn what your own limits are.  I learned what my limits were last year when I sprained my shoulder, so I know what’s at stake.  But when I eat clean, get good sleep, and use supplements sensibly, I find that sometimes my capacity spikes, and I can do more… I WANT to do more.  Not all the time, I listen to myself, but every week or two I just have one of those days where I want to see how far I can go.  It’s that kind of mentality that leads me to do spin marathons, to do multiple hot yoga classes in a row, you just do it because you CAN.

I don’t encourage anyone to push past where they are comfortable, but I am also sick of people filling new weightlifters heads full with notions like “6-9 working sets for biceps is optimal, and anything more is overtraining”.  Bullshit, know your own limits.  I have tried back and bicep sessions where I do 13 sets for back and 7 sets for biceps (bear in mind back work often uses the biceps),and I have recently had to admit to myself that 7 sets for biceps just does not FEEL like enough.  I want more than that.  I can, and will do more.

So while I do have a plan, every once in a while I get strange notions into my head, and mix it up, often adding volume.  Just because I can.

All Thursday night I felt restless, I had a lot of doubt and self-talk filling my head, and I was tired of all the noise.  I went to bed early.  When I woke up Friday, the chatter was still there, so I resolved to go to the gym every chance I could get, all day long, and “just lift”.  When in doubt, just lift.



So Friday morning I showed up for 6 am spin with Andrea.  We got our work in.  After spin was done, my legs felt really good, so I figured why not do some lifting?

morning leg work:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

squats:  115 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 175 x 5, 185 x 7

leg extensions:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

stiff-legged deadlift:  175 x 12, 12, 12

seated leg curls:  165 x 15, 15, 15, 15

standing bodyweight calf raises:  95, 95, 95, 95

notes:  I am happy to report I got some good depth on squats finally!  Instead of focusing on high reps, I just ramped up weight each time and focused on getting DEEP.  This squat rack has a mirror in front of it, so I could make sure I went deep enough.  And it worked well, I got below parallel each time, almost smacked the ground with my butt a few times!  If I can just get used to that feeling, I can replicate it without a mirror.  I will dismantle this messed-up mental block I have regarding squats, one rep at a time.

Once squats went so well, the rest was cake.  My hamstrings are definitely feeling stronger after all those SLDL and prone leg curls I do in the studio with Leslie.

So, morning cardio and leg day down, off to work!

Work was aggravating, so I slipped out at lunch (well, more like 11 am).  It’s humid out today!  Went to the adjacent office gym for some shoulder work.  Place was empty!  A coworker joined me, he only did cardio (he also had not had anything to eat all day… son, I am disappoint).

noontime shoulder work:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

smith machine seated press:  warmup, 80 + bar x 15, 15, 10, 11

cable lat raise:  30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

reverse pec deck:  60 x 12, 12; 90 x 12

cable upright row:  120 x 12, 12, 12, 12

notes:  it went pretty good, cleared my head some more.  shoulders looked good in the mirror during the seated press!  it was short, but I had to get back to work.

I barely escaped work with my sanity, and had to head to the studio for my apt with Leslie.  But I had a conundrum:  I had already done legs and shoulders!  What could we do?  We decided Les and I would team up on some badass biceps exercises!

Biceps with a Buddy (sets are traded back and forth between the lifters)

15 min warmup on the elliptical

Spider Curls:  25 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15

curls for the girls!

curls for the girls!


incline curls:  50 x 12, 12, 12



EZ bar curls:  70 x 12, 12, 12

preacher curl DROP SET  50 x forever; 40 x forever




notes:  these felt great!  I really enjoyed working out with a buddy.  Tbh, I was goofing around a lot, although Leslie seemed to be in pain, haha!  I wasn’t sure how much gas I had left in the tank by this point, we were filling up my 4th hour in the gym in that day alone… but I think I could have gone heavier, and will next time.

We still had 15 min before Leslie’s next client, so we figured, hey, Les can do some triceps!  I would join, but I just did them yesterday so I’ll hold the camera while you do the work, haha.

rope pushdowns

rope pushdowns

dumbbell skullcrushers

dumbbell skullcrushers


Not a lot of time, so we did some BRUTAL dropsets of rope pushdowns, then some high rep sets of skullcrushers.  I did them on Thursday, so I know they work fine 🙂


And that was my day!  75 min cardio, 20 sets legs, 14 sets shoulders, 11 or so sets biceps, was that too much for one day??  For some people maybe, but be your own judge.  Of course, I had a secret weapon that got me through the day…


this awesome goddamn shirt

reppin CT Fletcher

reppin CT Fletcher