Overtraining in the Gym: Fact or Fiction?



When I started lifting weights, I was always told that "you cannot overtrain your muscles" or "you can't work out the same muscle group everyday" When I heard about this I, like many others, thought it was true but had no idea why. I guess it made sense to me that your muscles need time to recover and that you need rest before your muscles are back at full strength but, looking at some of these bodybuilders, I thought to myself, "there is no way these enormous men do not workout their arms every day." So about a year ago I stumbled upon a few Youtube videos made by a former bench press champion, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHiKDa4ip_Q">C.T Fletcher</a>. Although C.T has a loud, vulgar way of saying it, lets just say he disagrees with this whole "overtraining" malarkey.


C.T believes in training his 22-inch pythons to the point of exhaustion every day in the gym. In short, this means that he goes through a full Tricep and full Bicep workout every day, on top of the other training he has scheduled for any other muscle. At first I thought he was just your typical meathead but after looking deeper into his videos, he definitely had some logic behind his claims.


He claims that "overtraining is individualized." This means that one man's workout may be too much for another and vice versa. Overtraining is only a mindset in a sense. C.T claims that if you are mentally tough and dedicated, you can see significant gains in the weight room by training to the point of exhaustion every day.


Fletcher compares <a href="http://douglasernstblog.com/2013/08/03/ct-fletcher-is-correct-over-training-is-a-myth/">overtraining in the weight room</a> to basic training for the army and triathalon training. He claims that as he was in basic training, he was pushed to the point of no return with a lot of the exercises. Although it was extremely tough, he had no choice but to do it. He said his body "adapted" to the physical strain and any given workout then had a feeling of normality.


Additionally, overtraining is often time used by Professional athletes. <a href="http://experiencelife.com/article/overtraining-myths-facts-and-fantasies/">Eric Cressey</a>co-owner of Cressey Performance, preaches that the majority of people who believe that overtraining is affecting their performance, haven't actually trained to the point where this could be possible. The human body is an amazing thing. You can push yourself way further than you think. This is proven to be true in world-class athletes. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you think you are overtraining your muscles during a workout, imagine going through a workout that Adrian Peterson goes through to prepare for a big game against the Packers. That alone is evidence that the body can be pushed to such an extent where essentially, overtraining is impossible.


Some may be skeptical about C.T's methods, but I for one, 100% endorse it. I feel like the human body can accomplish more than what we think it can, and the only way to find out is too push your limitations. It makes sense that if you consistently break down your muscles every day, they have but no choice to adapt and recover at an accelerated pace. I highly recommend checking out his videos for anyone who is big into lifting weights. They may change your entire approach in the weight room. 

Works Cited: 





I've been following CT for a very long time, so i know exactly what you mean on this Overtraining idea that CT has. Every video of his CT is just preaching and cursing about how one must overtrain every single time in order to make gains. I don't think this works for everybody though. Since lots of people are made differently, and people that are able to handle high intensity work outs can handle it, people should train depending on how hard their bodies can handle.
Here are signs of overtraining and its consequences.

I actually blogged about this subject myself. However, the approach I took to it was more of a mental stand point. It talked about how teens who over do working out are as vulnerable to low self-esteem and stress as those who do not make exercising a priority at all. I can see you are looking at it from more a physical stand point, which can be a completely different matter.

I find this blog very interesting because I could never understand how people go to the gym every single day. To me it seems like they are causing more harm then good on themselves. I always heard that when lifting weights you need to give your body a resting period of a couple of days so that your muscles have time to recover and grow. After all, your muscles grow the most when you are out of the gym and resting your muscles after a good work out. And I agree with what CT said that this method of training is very dependent on the type of person because I don't think I could do what he does, yet I'm sure there are many people in the world that do it.

The idea of "not over-training your muscles" stems from the risk of releasing myoglobin (proteins) into your bloodstream which can then leak into the kidneys. I actually have a relative who was admitted into the ER earlier this fall because she was over-training and this exact circumstance happened. She was fortunate enough to catch it earlier due to her arms swelling but others are not as fortunate. Here is a link to how the proteins leak into the bloodstream and the relation to exercising: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3793334

And to follow up on that, here is the effects it can have: http://www.chronolab.com/point-of-care/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=344&Itemid=55

I am not telling people to not do the CT method but as Brennan said, it is for select people in the world and most of us are not it. Be careful.

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