130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4 Overtrained

130519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 4  Overtrained

How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm? Listen to your body. As an example, one of my personal “sure fire ways” of knowing I am entering this phase is illustrated in the following scenario.

In my training diary, I keep track of every set, every rep and every weight lifted in every session. I note how each set felt with an alpha character beside the log entry for that set. It is either an “E” for easy, an “M” for moderate or an “H” for hard.

If my training is going really well and I find myself writing down how much weight I will be lifting a month from now on the present program…I know it is time to change or one of two things will happen:

1. I will get hurt (more than likely I will be getting hurt)
2. I will not finish the program

Invariably, this is a major clue to me to change the intensity, load, duration, sets reps, or frequency of exercise. If I do not heed the obvious warning signs of my projected gains, I lose in the end.

This little secret has saved me many a time over the past ten to twelve years of developing an injury. Every now and then, I forget and keep pushing ahead anyway.

The last time I ignored it I ended up with a shoulder surgery. I was laid up unable to use it for over six weeks. Yeah I know what you are thinking; he could have done squats with a safety squat bar. I did and the pads on the par extensions hit RIGHT ON THE STITCHES. I kept up squatting. I was complaining (whining) to my doctor about the pads hurting the shoulder he had stitched up so recently. He looked directly at me and said very calmly “Don’t rip out my stitches”. I stopped doing them and went instead to the leg press machines in my gym.

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS*D

In days of old when men were men and women were women they exercised in the fields or in their homes from sun up until sun down. And no one ever mentioned overtraining, supercompensation, distress or ustress; they just did what had to be done to survive. They ate clean, lived clean and died clean.

We could take a lesson from them and do the same but we don’t. Sure they were strong, they had to be just to keep living back then. It is apparent from reading any history at all that staying in shape was not the reason these old timers did so much hard work. It was to continue to live. But times have changed and we don’t have to struggle quite so much to stay alive-at least in many areas of the world. Now we can go to a gym or workout in our homes to stay in shape.

If we followed the regimen of sun up to sun down we would get in shape darn fast but how long could we tolerate the program? Not long I am sure.


“Supercompensation” is the thin window of opportunity between overreaching and overtraining. It is the ideal goal in any well-designed exercise program, especially if you are contemplating a contest in the near future. But, how is it reached without overtraining and getting hurt?

The body’s adaptive mechanisms are wonderful and can do marvelous things to keep you healthy. However, you must pay attention to what it is saying about the evolution-taking place concerning your training loads, duration and intensity and the effects on you.