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  • Help with Balancing the Workouts, Please

    Good folks, I think I need a reality check. For a few weeks I have been suspecting that I am overdoing it. I had been fatigued and had a persistent back pain all week last week, and I am starting to suspect over-training.

    This week I am going to be out of the deload part of the workouts, and try to push the weights back up, so I think it is important to scale back on something to stand a chance of breaking past the stall.

    Goal: gain muscle at maintenance; diet: Whole 30 with white potatoes, eat when hungry, till full. Normally IF 14-16 hrs during the weekdays.

    Here is what I normally do in a week:

    Tu, Th, Sun: 3 lifting sessions with the 5 major barbell lifts, pyramided up (5 sets each), Madcow Schedule (SQT-BBR-BP/ lght SQT-OHP-DL, SQT-OHP-BBR-BP) + support on parallel bars (leg raise, pull-up, dips, chin-up)
    Sat: 1 machine session, 2x8 at ~ 60-70% 1 RPM
    30-40 min of dedicated cardio (bike 1x a week, Arc Trainer) 3-4 times a week (normally Mon, Tu, Th, Fri). I try to do it in Interval pattern, but if I am too tired, I just do SS.
    Walking & stretching: I try to walk 60 min a day, and stretch 30 min a day (usually I get about 5x a week)

    I like eating more on Saturday and Sunday, so I really would like to train on both Saturday and Sunday.

    The most under-recovered part of me are my legs. In other words, the legs feel tired when I start squats.

    I think my body is more tired from cardio than from the machine workout. Should I simply drop cardio to Mon and Fri, or should I drop a machine workout and replace it with cardio, and, maybe some body weight work (planks, push-ups?) Or should I split Sat and Sunday into the UB and LB workout doing BP, OHP and BBR on Saturday, and the SQT and DL on Sunday? Any benefit from adding a couple of machine excercises then to each LB and UB workout?
    Last edited by Leida; 01-16-2012, 10:41 AM.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  • #2
    Ditch the cardio. Sprint once every ten days.

    Your barbell routine is all you need - I am at about 8-10% bf, and all I do is eat primally, do strong lifts 5x5 once or twice a week, and get my ass to a yoga class as much as I can (1-2 days/week). And ditch the white potatoes man, they are useless. Have sweet potatoes or go fully primal.

    You'll find doing less will help. You are far too fatigued.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am a sugar addict, so sweet potato is out for me - the sweet flavor triggers sweet cravings. I am not worried about not eating enough minerals, as I am consuming a huge amounts of other veggies. Plus, Choco have me convinced that a white potato is superior as a post-workout carb (it works really well for me shutting down my appetite, a quick starch saturation)

      I am inclined to think along the same lines, dropping a cardio session or two. I am a female, so I do require a bit of extra cardio in addition to lifting, so I can't just go to 1 time every 7 days, but 2x a week is probably a better idea than 3 or 4.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey Leida, definitely cut back on the cardio and focus on the lifts. You say muscle building is your goal so cardio should just be an afterthought if you're up to it. You won't gain fat if your diet is spot on.

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        • #5
          Cut the machine work...
          Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
          PS
          Don't forget to play!

          Comment


          • #6
            what is this?

            you gotta squat.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cut the machine work...
              Well, if I cut machine work, should I change my lifting regimen for Saturday and Sunday so I train upper boy on Saturday and Lower body on Sunday? I really need a workout on both Saturday and Sunday, because I find it difficult to eat less and IF on the weekend?
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you are doing Madcow that means you are an experienced lifter (a year or more of solid gains). Madcow does not pyramid every session from what I remember. 3 days of Madcow is enough so drop the machines.
                Sat Heavy madcow day
                Sun long walk (slow cardio over an hour)
                Monday Rest
                Tuesday Madcow
                Wed Sprints
                Thursday Madcow
                Friday Cardio/slow cardio

                Keeping in mind you can do slow cardio on Madcow days as well. If you body is still nor recovering extend the 3 Madcow over 10 days, don't worry about the weekend, and add extra slow movement days inbetween.
                Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                PS
                Don't forget to play!

                Comment


                • #9
                  You shouldn't be exercising to make up for eating more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you are over training. Cut your lifting to only once per week. I'm 54 and began lifting at age 19. I did the typical high volume training at age 20 and got way over trained. My resting heart rate was around 90, and ended up with a bad back and had to quite lifting for a lest a year. Long story short, I got into the HIT training lifting each body part 2-3 times per week. I was still over training.

                    Why only once per week? Because it takes that long to recover and gain from a HIT workout. The heck of it is, through most of my years lifting I could only get about 300lbs in my bench press. When I cut back to lifting once per week I got up to a 365lb bench and was using 300+ for reps. I was 47-48 years old. But that's when all those years of lifting too much caught up with me and my shoulders began to hurt. I now have some arthritis in my rotary cuffs. If you think you are over training experiment and cut back. You aren't going to lose muscles, and you might find yourself gaining.

                    I never workout to burn calories. It's a waste of time to think you burn a lot of calories exercising. I was talking to a friend just this morning about this. He walks and bought a new pedometer that calculates calories burned per mile. He was talking about how age inputting into the pedometer reduces the calories burned per mile. I told him the reason age reduces the calories per mile is that it assumes you are carrying less muscle then a younger man would. It's because the pedometer's calculations not only includes the energy to cover the body's distance but it also includes you Base Metabolic Rate (BMR) which are the calories he's be burning anyway drinking his cup of coffee. Two people the exact same size and weight (irregardless of age) will use the same amount of energy walking the same distance....irregardless of age. If that weren't true it'd mean your muscles get more efficient the older you get.

                    For example: if the average person burns 100-150 calorie to cover a mile, that person would have to walk 700 to 466 miles to burn the calories equal to 20lbs. I know a postman who has told me some days he'll walk 11 miles. He's still fat. It's just too easy to eat those calories back on.
                    Last edited by Scott F; 01-18-2012, 10:07 AM.
                    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I absolutely, positively know that I am overtraining, I am trying to see what gotta go.

                      You shouldn't be exercising to make up for eating more.
                      I know! But I really like eating more on the weekends and training more too. Sat and Sunday are the days I have the most time to work in the gym without looking at the clock worrying about making food, picking the kid from the day-care. Sat and Sunday just make sense as lifting days. I'd swim, but the pool is too busy on Sat morning

                      I often try to put in my SS cardio after Madcow, but the time is an issue, as I won't make it in home in time to get my kid from the dayhome and cook supper.

                      Sat Heavy madcow day
                      Sun long walk (slow cardio over an hour)
                      Monday Rest
                      Tuesday Madcow
                      Wed Sprints
                      Thursday Madcow
                      Friday Cardio/slow cardio
                      Sprints on Wednesday will kill Madcow on Thursday. I had to drop my totally favorite Zumba class on Wed night because of it (woe is me!). I normally do plenty of walking on Sunday with my family and try to walk every day when it's not -30 degrees outside!. I don't think any amount of moving slowly is determental, right? Wed is the best recovery day between Madcow lifting ...

                      I have read the BBS snippets, but Strong Lifts was adamant that you need 3x a week, plus I know that women recover quicker. So, not sure. But I guess, if I don't try, I wouldn't know, right? After all, it's not like I am in a perfect place now, and I have been doing it this way for 2 years or so.

                      Maybe it is really better to do only two lifting workouts a week (Tu and Sat/Sun), plus one sprint (Th), to get better recovery, and steady state/play otherwise. I will try to replace lifting with a sprint this Thursday, do a combined lifting session on Saturday (SQT, OHP, BBR, BP and DL), with low food intake on Sunday (after Saturday refeed).
                      Or maybe split out DL or SQT/DL with some cardio on Sunday?
                      Last edited by Leida; 01-18-2012, 11:06 AM.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Strong lifts is a beginner program so you can go 3x per week. Madcow can also be done 3x per week if that is all you are doing. If you are struggling extend it to a 10 cycle. If you like to know what you are doing each day of the week split the madcow into 4 sessions over the 14 days so you are only lifting twice a week. Adjust your other activities to fit.
                        Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                        PS
                        Don't forget to play!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's not so simple as that, my life has its pattern, so I can't just go into a 10 day cycle there are classes I have to take my daughter too, commitment to pick her up from daycare at a certain time at certain days, and the gym flows I need to take into account (I can't go lift at 7 pm, for example, the whole high school is there) & I still need to put in my hours at work and commute, and the commute is shorter the earlier you go (I can manage to make it ~ 40 min each way if I take the first bus in at 5:13 am and go home by 3 pm from work). Anyway, I have Tu, Wed, Sat and Sun for guilt-free gym visits, with Sat-Sun being also rush-free, providing nobody at work decided to put me in a meeting till 3:30 or gods forbid 4 pm!

                          I am going to take a rest, let my back heal completely, and re-start lifting once the back is good. Swimming etc in the mean time.
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Leida, here's Dr Doug McGuff's Body by Science videos
                            BODY BY SCIENCE 1 (COMMON THINKING ERRORS ABOUT FITNESS & HEALTH) - YouTube

                            I've only recently heard of McGuff (less than a month) but through self observation and experimentation I came to the same conclusions as him nearly 10 years ago, that the body does better by giving it a week off from high intensity training. Steroids aside, Dorian Yates followed a short HIT workout.

                            From Clarence Bass' web, same thing: SUCCESS STORIES(2)

                            How did I come to the conclusion/belief that I was training too often? A gym-owner friend of mine, Tim, and I once did Ellington Darden's HIT routine. I was use to lifting HIT 4 times per week but Tim followed the typical bodybuilding routines of that day. He threw up his lunch the first workout. The workout consisted of 3 days per week. We got the time of workouts down to 40 minute sessions. Keep in mind that neither of us every used steroids and creatine wasn't around either. Beginning of week one I weighted in at 202lb. By the beginning of week 3 I weighted in at 206lb. While I was setting up to do the 2x20 squats Tim asked me, "Are you gaining weight?" While I was up 4lbs Tim went up 6lbs. At the end of 6 weeks my body weight was 216lbs. That weight gain wasn't fat. I had none lifting friends began asking me I planned to compete in bodybuilding competitions. I would have never believe someone (esp not using steroids) could gain that much body mass in that short period of time. We recorded our weights and reps on every lift. Once me got the required number of reps on that lift the very next workout the weight was increased 10% for that exercise. I always considered myself week in the bench press. On that routine of benching 1 set three times per week I got to a bench press of 300lbs, and I never had that much mass in my quads before or since.

                            Sounds like a great workout, no? So what's the problem? Tim and I pushing each other to the max on each lift 3 times per week lead to overtraining by the end of 6 weeks and we both had to quite and give ourselves time off to recover. Neither of us at that felt like going back on that routine. At the time I think I was age 26 (Tim 24). In my later 40's, around 46-47, (I'm now 54 years old) I switched lifting only once per week per body part but still on a split routine. Simply by cutting back on my lifting frequency I got my bench press 365lbs....and was kicking myself for not cutting back on frequency in my 20's.

                            If I could turn back the clock to when Tim and I were on that routine I'd cut it back to once per week to try and avoid the overtraining. The number of exercises on Darden's routine was more than McGuff's recommended Big 5. Although I build my routine around those 5 big moves I still add more isolation moves. (leg curls, biceps curls, abs). Since I'm not afraid to experiment I've included Mark Sisson recommendations of cutting back on the aerobics I was doing and including a few wind sprints.

                            What was always missing from my fitness routine was getting the diet right. I believed in the American Heart Association's guidelines of a low-fat, high- carb diet, so reducing my % of body fat was a matter of staving myself. Since going paleo/primal and primarily cutting the grains getting lean almost seems like cheating it's so much easier.

                            All I can give you, Leida, are my years of personal experience and the mistakes I made during that time.
                            Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                            • #15
                              Definitely don't do a lot of interval cardio.

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