Changed to full body workout and struggling.

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Han
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Changed to full body workout and struggling.

Post by Han » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:34 am

Hi all,

I've been reading this site for a while now and have found it a great source of information. However I have been having a bit of an issue since changing to a full body workout and felt it would be a good time to start posting.

First some background. I'm 28, male, 68kgs (150 lbs) and I have been lifting for about 18 months now. For the first 12 months my workouts weren't too bad and included all the big compound moves, although after reading this site they were probably also a bit heavy in isolation exercises. I used to do upper/lower splits, working out three times a week. I'd also do a 20-30 minute jog two or three times a week.

About five months ago I moved to South Africa. It's not really safe to jog here so I ended up lifting four times a week instead, and doing a HIIT session once a week (cycle).

Then in an effort to cut down the amount of time I spend in the gym, I recently changed to a full body workout (based closely on Starting Strength) three times a week and very little cardio. I did this for about a month and then went on holidays for a three weeks (just got back).

However, prior to going away, I started to struggle with the full body workout. It seems to take ages for my heart rate to come down between sets, and by the end of the workout I am shagged and feel completely out of energy.

My thoughts are that it could be two issues. (1) Overtraining. However the three week break didn't seem to help - I just got back from a workout and it was worse than ever. Or (2) Loss of cardio fitness - although I would have thought that a FB workout 3xweek would have at least been enough to maintain.

Sorry about the long post but I would really appreciate any suggestions as to what might be going on here - also should I be seeing a doctor perhaps?

Cheers,
Han

PS Diet-wise I think I am ok. I eat two reasonable sized protein/carb meals a day, plus muesli for breakfast, plus snacks of fruit and 3x30g protein shakes on workout days, two on off days.


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stuward
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Post by stuward » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:44 am

It sounds like overtraining to me. Realize that there may be non-gym factors at play that can affect your recovery. If you have just moved to a new country, that would certainly cause stress. I assume there is a job change as well. On top of what is already a stressful workout, overtraining is likely. How are your workouts now that you've been off for 3 weeks?

Han
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Post by Han » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:57 am

I had my first workout since I got back today, and it was as bad as it's ever been! This is what confused me as I was hoping if it had been overtraining that the three week break would help.

I'm not sure it could be the move - I did my upper/lower split for three or four months here before I switched to the full body and had no problems, actually made some good gains as this is when I started getting serious with the protein.

Anyway, what I am now thinking is back off to 2xFB workouts a week to counter the overtraining, and 2xHIIT sessions in case it is cardio. I have definitely noticed a drop in my fitness as well which I don't like (I guess this could also be due to overtraining). I'm also going to drop out an exercise from each workout, so I'll be doing these:

Workout A:
Front Squats (just experimenting here, have been doing back squats for ages)
BB Bent Row
BB Bench Press
Pull Ups
DB Incline Bench

Workout B:
BB Dead Lift
Military Press
Pull Ups
Close Grip Bench
DB Rows
Calf Press (I know not strictly necessary, but I have chicken legs).

Just had another though - I only started dead lifting when I started the FB, this could contribute to overtraining I suppose.

Cheers,
Han

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Jungledoc
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Re: Changed to full body workout and struggling.

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:09 am

Han wrote:...changed to a full body workout (based closely on Starting Strength)....
Then Han wrote:Workout A:
Front Squats (just experimenting here, have been doing back squats for ages)
BB Bent Row
BB Bench Press
Pull Ups
DB Incline Bench

Workout B:
BB Dead Lift
Military Press
Pull Ups
Close Grip Bench
DB Rows
Calf Press (I know not strictly necessary, but I have chicken legs).
This IS NOT based even loosely on Starting Strength. Bench press and dead lift are all it has in common.

Starting Strength basic template looks like this:
Workout A
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

Workout B
3x5 Squat
3x5 Standing military press
3x5 Power cleans

Han
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Post by Han » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:31 am

Yes sorry about that. I re-read the Starting Strength stuff and realised it really wasn't that similar. I did a lot of reading about full body workouts before I switched and I must have got a little confused.


LuckyBuff
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Post by LuckyBuff » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:06 pm

whoa wait its has to be those workouts? cant it be those workouts and a little additions?

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stuward
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Post by stuward » Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:56 pm

LuckyBuff wrote:whoa wait its has to be those workouts? cant it be those workouts and a little additions?
That's the program. If you add stuff to it it won't be the same workout and the results may not be the same. The program is designed for a purpose, to get untrained people to a basic level of strength. This has been developed over years of running a very successful gym and this is what works. Yes there are additions that may work in some circumstances, but if you aren't sure, stick with the basics because what you add on may reduce the effectiveness of teh program.

Stu

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Jungledoc
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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:31 pm

LuckyBuff wrote:whoa wait its has to be those workouts? cant it be those workouts and a little additions?
Well, if you say you're doing SS that's what it means. If you say you're doing someting "closely based" on SS, it shouldn't be much different. As a novice lifter you have lots of choices, and Rip is one of the most experienced, successful and respected people in the business. He's adamant about not changing the program (he says it more colorfully than I do!)

Han
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Post by Han » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:54 am

Just in case anyone is interested, I have some feedback on this. I dropped my workouts back to twice a week and now do HIIT twice a week. And the problem is gone.

Unfortunately I cut back and introduced cardio at the same time, so it's impossible to tell whether the issue was overtraining or lack of cardio fitness, but anyway, I feel much better now.


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