What am I referring to here? I’m alluding to the futility of using the typical bodybuilding “overtraining symptoms” advice as a sign of having gone too far with your bodybuilding workouts. Let’s take a look at an example of that advice.
In a previous entry, I mentioned my experience nearly eighteen years ago with ‘The Bulgarian Power Burst System’. Testing that training system took three months out of my life and set my bodybuilding progress immeasurably backwards.
One of the chapters of that Bulgarian system book was devoted to the topic of “overtraining symptoms” in bodybuilding. Would you like to know that program’s stellar piece of advice (sarcasm overload) for monitoring bodybuilding ‘overtraining symptoms’?
Here it is: “Check your systolic blood pressure and pulse rate every morning to make sure they’re not going up significantly.”
Here’s the problem with that: These are measurements of “systemic overtraining”. In other words, they’re bodybuilding ‘overtraining symptoms’ indicating that the entire body is being taxed beyond its recuperative abilities. Once you’ve reached that point, you’re oftentimes well beyond the overtraining symptoms indicated by local muscle recuperation inadequacies.
These local muscle conditions should be your REAL threshold indicator between muscle gaining and overtraining. If you work your triceps on Monday and you decide to do them again on Friday, it should be clear whether they gained strength in the interim. If you worked them with appreciable effort and they didn’t get stronger, you’ve experienced ‘overtraining symptoms’ at a point where you’ve the most leverage to rectify the situation. Your triceps are either over-trained or under-recuperated (the inverse of the same damned thing).
There’s a list of overtraining symptoms here on Wikipedia. But do yourself a favor: Consider everything on their bullet point list as chronic bodybuilding ‘overtraining symptoms’.
Use your sensory acuity of your own muscle performance as the most efficient way to prevent such a chronic and time-sapping situation.