Flex Wheeler answers: Is overtraining BS or not?

FLEX ON ‘EM – is a weekly show starring Flex Wheeler as he digs deep into the biggest and most controversial topics in the bodybuilding industry. He will also give his expert insight for the most recent bodybuilding news, updates, and events. Flexin’ his decades of experience for enlightening conversation and must-see info.

Overtraining is a term that has been tirelessly talked about for years in the bodybuilding industry. It’s vague. It’s overused. And everyone has a different opinion on whether or not this concept is really true. Can you overtrain or is the whole thing a myth?

Flex Wheeler weighs in on the subject for our latest episode of Flex On ‘Em. After years of experience and testing his body, Flex might be the perfect person to put this debate to bed for good. Check it out above!

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57 COMMENTS

  1. In my experience with myself and clients is that overtraining is more often due to “undereating” and “underresting” however, if one believes that overtraining is a myth, I’d simply challenge them to do 10 sets of 10 for every body part, everyday….see how long you’ll last (much less how much you’ll improve)
    The thought that overtraining is a myth goes against every known principle of training. Especially the notion that “you tear down in the gym, you rebuild outside of the gym”

    • Agree.. Even at the gym… In my own experience, for example for bíceps, after 3 exercises or 9 sets the bíceps just don’t respond to more sets, it’s like wasting time… More is not better

    • Abraham Suffy agreed! For me, I’ve noticed that keeping the big compound movements as a base is my best option. I do a lot of presses and rows. So my bi’s tri’s and shoulders are involved. I kinda see curls and isolated tricep work as auxiliary movements now. At 46 it’s helpful to keep my joints healthy. And I’ve honestly noticed better growth and strength. “Can’t recover….can grow” pretty simple math, in my book.

    • Abraham Suffy also it dawned on me years ago…..why do we do as much work for biceps as we do for example, chest? It makes no sense. I’ve learned to look at it like a bank account. There has to be a positive balance. We only have a certain number of “recuperative dollars” once they’re spent, we have to either find a way to make more money, or we have to keep from overdrawing.

    • Raffaele Corrente um yeah, rest meaning when your not lifting, not exercising, not necessarily sleeping. Your tearing down when lifting, so if you lift 2 times a day 7 days a week you are overtraining. Right ? So the answer is you can overtrain. You will get better results trading say 4 days a week like Dorian Yates

    • you clearly don’t know the research on this topic and don’t know how protein synthesis work.
      First of all, muscle growth is not related to recovery. The concept of recovery is based on SRA curve, that is model created to explain glycogen super compensation. In bodybuilding community, that is full of ignorant people, they took the concept and said that protein synthesis is based on the same priciples.
      second: the body can add anabolic stimuli: a second anabolic stimulus doesn’t interfere with the first anabolic stimulus.
      Third: in your stupid example, you image someone having 14 workout/weely. In that case, he is overtraining, because he had training too much volume. That doesn’t mean that muscle growth is based on “recovery”.

      Dorian’s training style is one the best methods. But nor mentor or dorian correctly understood why and how it works.
      That doesn’t mean it is the only method.

    • Raffaele Corrente so the original question is can you overtrain? My answer is yes you can . Work out to frequent . My example is not stupid , you have no answer for it . Let me ask you this : do you think you will get better results lifting hard 7 days a week or 5 ? Or I would say 4 like Dorian. Why ? Because you will overtrain lifting hard 7 days a week. You will get better results lifting 4-5 because you can recover . Simple as that . Right ? I mean you can’t run a marathon every day.

    • Raffaele Corrente you must be the only person who applies the “second stimulus” principle in the face of the earth… You won’t grow at all by working muscles without proper recovery. I’ll try to explain the analogy Dorian Yates always uses in his seminars… Take a sandpaper and rub it in your hand… Your hand Will be bloody after rubbing it for a few seconds right? Ok the injure in your skin will heal perhaps in a couple of days… The skin will comeback stronger and harder, the same applies with muscles… Now after rubbing the sandpaper in your hand, try to do the same the next day when the injure is not even closed, you Will bleed badtime because your skin is not recovered. The same applies for muscle growth. So yes, the muscle growth is related to recovery.

    • Abraham Suffy sometimes less is more . Dan Riley , old strength coach at Penn State and Redskins felt 3 days a week HIT method , like Dorian was more effective because the players had more recovery time . They got better results he said. You are more likely to get injured training without being fully recovered.

    • Michael Kalustian exacly, i buy that… Even my self i used to do 5 days a week straight from monday to friday, i stucked in a plateaus, won’t grow anymore… Recently changed 2 days on 2 days off, 4 days a week and feels great to let muscles to recover fulltime so when i hit the gym i train intense and heavy and results are even better… Recover, rest, food, thats the way it works, and i also think HIT method is the best one, working with negative part of the movement is the more important thing and go all out in the working set.

    • Michael Kalustian indeed!!! recently, one week i trained 4 days in a row and believe me, i didnt feel same results nor even in the pump, because i was even tired because of the training of the day before, and as you say, take 1 or 2 days off, and you come back rested, recovered and psychologically ready for battle!

  2. I think it does to an extent but 90% of people are not working out nearly that hard,but I still hear weekend warriors at the gym shutting it down after 3 sets and two workouts because of fear of over training.I train high volume I get my sleep, food,supps and always listen to my body.

  3. I’ve found I can train every muscle group twice a week for 3 to for 4 hours myself but I’m well feed and rested I’ve been told I’m over training by guy who are not making gains I do use peds though my diet high in protein from meat fish and dairy I use shakes as well but not as my main source of protein as well BCAA recovery with creatine as wells as other stuff I won’t get into

  4. we should define the concept of “overtraining” because there are a lot of misconceptions.
    Can u train a muscle group every day? Sure. Will that lead to overtraining? no, if weekly volume is not too high.
    Can too much total volume be bad? Sure. Will it lead to overtraining? Yes

  5. I’ve read a few completely different definitions of the term “overtraining”. With 35+ years in lifting & bodybuilding, I’d say the answer is there is no such thing as overtraining, but indeed there IS such a thing as hurting yourself. If you’re sore all the time to the point where you can’t keep up your routine, then you’re overdoing something, but that’s just common sense.

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