How do you know when you’re overtraining?

Ivan

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My father told me I should be working out only once a day. But this seems too little for me. I am going back to my uni accommodations soon and I have been working on a plan to increase my general fitness once I come back. This includes 3-4 daily workouts.

The first is at 0430 that will consist of circuits with fundamental exercises: so one circuit will consist of something along the lines of 30 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 20 leg raises and 30 secs of wrestling bridges.

The second workout will be at around 1200 and will be a sort of “prison” workout. It will be circuits filled with more complex and anaerobic exercises - 10 centurions (an exercise I made where 1 rep consists of 2 spider pushups, a hip thrust, a clap push-up and a burpee), 10 chest dips, 20 tricep extensions and some jump rope skipping at the end of the circuits.

The third will be at around 1600 in which I will train using more martial related skills, such as 9-12 rounds of shadow boxing with a band to increase speed and power.

Every week, I will also go out on a run in the morning. I will be making sure to get 8 hours of sleep minimum, and be eating in a caloric deficit to cut some of the fat I gained over quarantine, and I plan on resting Wednesdays and Saturdays.

However, I am worried about overtraining, and I don’t know where to draw the line. Mike Tyson trained relentlessly for 6 days a week, with over 500 push-ups daily. Arnold also trained for over 4 hours daily. They don’t seem to have had problems with overtraining given that they stuck to their workouts.

How do you know when you’re overtraining? Online it says mainly to look out for symptoms such as “irritability” or “restlessness” or “apathy”. But these symptoms are relative and unquantifiable. Is there a way to tell when you’re overtraining? Does my regime seem extreme? How will I know if I am pushing myself too much.
 
My father told me I should be working out only once a day. But this seems too little for me. I am going back to my uni accommodations soon and I have been working on a plan to increase my general fitness once I come back. This includes 3-4 daily workouts.

The first is at 0430 that will consist of circuits with fundamental exercises: so one circuit will consist of something along the lines of 30 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 20 leg raises and 30 secs of wrestling bridges.

The second workout will be at around 1200 and will be a sort of “prison” workout. It will be circuits filled with more complex and anaerobic exercises - 10 centurions (an exercise I made where 1 rep consists of 2 spider pushups, a hip thrust, a clap push-up and a burpee), 10 chest dips, 20 tricep extensions and some jump rope skipping at the end of the circuits.

The third will be at around 1600 in which I will train using more martial related skills, such as 9-12 rounds of shadow boxing with a band to increase speed and power.

Every week, I will also go out on a run in the morning. I will be making sure to get 8 hours of sleep minimum, and be eating in a caloric deficit to cut some of the fat I gained over quarantine, and I plan on resting Wednesdays and Saturdays.

However, I am worried about overtraining, and I don’t know where to draw the line. Mike Tyson trained relentlessly for 6 days a week, with over 500 push-ups daily. Arnold also trained for over 4 hours daily. They don’t seem to have had problems with overtraining given that they stuck to their workouts.

How do you know when you’re overtraining? Online it says mainly to look out for symptoms such as “irritability” or “restlessness” or “apathy”. But these symptoms are relative and unquantifiable. Is there a way to tell when you’re overtraining? Does my regime seem extreme? How will I know if I am pushing myself too much.
there two issues,

one set some defined performance goals are an achievable time scale for getting there. working out isnt a performance goal, it's a way of reaching that performance goal,

if you over train you start going backwards in your goal, if your doing less push ups this week than you were last, then you have a problem

two,,, you feel like ****, get up in the morning, feel like ****, your over training, get up feeling fully refreshed and raring to go, not over training,
 
My father told me I should be working out only once a day. But this seems too little for me. I am going back to my uni accommodations soon and I have been working on a plan to increase my general fitness once I come back. This includes 3-4 daily workouts.

The first is at 0430 that will consist of circuits with fundamental exercises: so one circuit will consist of something along the lines of 30 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 20 leg raises and 30 secs of wrestling bridges.

The second workout will be at around 1200 and will be a sort of “prison” workout. It will be circuits filled with more complex and anaerobic exercises - 10 centurions (an exercise I made where 1 rep consists of 2 spider pushups, a hip thrust, a clap push-up and a burpee), 10 chest dips, 20 tricep extensions and some jump rope skipping at the end of the circuits.

The third will be at around 1600 in which I will train using more martial related skills, such as 9-12 rounds of shadow boxing with a band to increase speed and power.

Every week, I will also go out on a run in the morning. I will be making sure to get 8 hours of sleep minimum, and be eating in a caloric deficit to cut some of the fat I gained over quarantine, and I plan on resting Wednesdays and Saturdays.

However, I am worried about overtraining, and I don’t know where to draw the line. Mike Tyson trained relentlessly for 6 days a week, with over 500 push-ups daily. Arnold also trained for over 4 hours daily. They don’t seem to have had problems with overtraining given that they stuck to their workouts.

How do you know when you’re overtraining? Online it says mainly to look out for symptoms such as “irritability” or “restlessness” or “apathy”. But these symptoms are relative and unquantifiable. Is there a way to tell when you’re overtraining? Does my regime seem extreme? How will I know if I am pushing myself too much.
The classic symptoms are chronic mild (but increasing) fatigue, then a compromised immune system (just getting sick easily) then minor but chronic injury, which might become not so minor if you ignore it long enough. Usually this will be preceded by an increased perceived effort in training and generally declining performance or at least benefit from training. So, yeah, these are definitely somewhat subjective. I think they've developed a blood test to test for creatine kinase levels and other markers but last I looked into it (years ago) it wasn't useful for detecting the early stages of mild over training.

If you are young and healthy you can train a lot without over training, assuming you are eating and sleeping well and enough and other factors like life stress, etc. are all good. The intensity of your training and the depth of inroad that you are achieving can have a big impact on what constitutes over training. What I described above are the symptoms for the most common form of overtraining, which generally starts off very mild and for many people is self correcting (they feel like crap so they get some rest). Something that is serious and can happen (rarely) to people who are super dedicated (or are pretty dedicated and being pushed by an imbecile in authority over them) is rhabdomyolysis. If you're not familiar with it you should do a little reading just so you know what it is.

Now as to whether your routine constitutes overtraining, there's no way I could guess without knowing you or being able to see how you perform it. It certainly could be if you are pushing hard and not taking any rest days. Even if it isn't right now it might be if your life circumstances change (illness, stress, sleep disruption, etc.). In general I agree with Jobo that training should be for a goal, not the goal itself. I document my strength training workouts carefully (tracking weight, time under load, total workout time, time between sets, etc.) so that I can track progress and make adjustments if I'm not seeing progress towards my goals. Journaling (with periodic review) about your performance and state of mind and health is another form of documentation that can be helpful for managing more subjective signs of overtraining and works better for the sorts of exercise that are harder to measure by weight or with a stopwatch.

When it comes to Arnold (assuming you mean Schwarzenegger) and his recovery, well, he has acknowledged that he used steroids which can have a big impact on your recovery time, so I wouldn't use him as an example for how to train without the juice. I haven't heard anything about Mr. Tyson in this regard but I've got my suspicions there too.
 
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I have had periods where I would train up to three times a day on at least some days a week. I was younger and single and without other obligations other than a job. That definitely made it easier.

I found that I could maintain it for a while, but not indefinitely. Eventually it catches up with you and you need a break and some rest. It is also possible that you burn out and completely lose interest in it permanently, or for a long period and lose all the benefits that you had gotten from it. Perhaps a better approach is to figure out a schedule that avoids burn-out and that can become a life-long practice so you can benefit for decades and don’t risk walking away from it in six months or a year.

The other thing is, life needs to have more things in it than just training. Time for family and friends and relationships and pursuit of other interests is very important. Otherwise you risk becoming isolated and so single-minded that it is difficult to relate to other people. I’ve known people like that. It’s kinda sad, and in hindsight I was probably moving in that direction myself, in the past. I don’t recommend it.
 
Thanks to all of you for your replies. I found all of them insightful and helpful.
 
Thanks to all of you for your replies. I found all of them insightful and helpful.
I think an important thing to remember is that you don’t want to become a slave to your training. Why do you want to train so much, literally all the time? Is there a reason? Are you trying to become a competitor or get into MI6 or military special forces or body guarding for high profile people? All of these things, other than competition, require far more skills and study than hand-to-hand combat.

If there is not such a goal, then training simply becomes a burden, to do it all the time. I experienced this when I was trying to keep current with the practice of several systems. It simply took all my time and to be honest, created anxiety because I felt I was never training enough. I was becoming a slave to my training. When I finally decided to focus on one system and dropped the rest, it was a relief, and a burden lifted from my shoulders.

Your training should serve you. It should enrich your life and build your health and fitness and give you combative skills, but should not completely take over your life unless there is a compelling reason and an end-goal that requires such a level of training.
 
I think an important thing to remember is that you don’t want to become a slave to your training. Why do you want to train so much, literally all the time? Is there a reason? Are you trying to become a competitor or get into MI6 or military special forces or body guarding for high profile people? All of these things, other than competition, require far more skills and study than hand-to-hand combat.

If there is not such a goal, then training simply becomes a burden, to do it all the time. I experienced this when I was trying to keep current with the practice of several systems. It simply took all my time and to be honest, created anxiety because I felt I was never training enough. I was becoming a slave to my training. When I finally decided to focus on one system and dropped the rest, it was a relief, and a burden lifted from my shoulders.

Your training should serve you. It should enrich your life and build your health and fitness and give you combative skills, but should not completely take over your life unless there is a compelling reason and an end-goal that requires such a level of training.
I want to be a competitior. So I train like a competitor. I enjoy training, and it's probably one of the only things I have that's completely mine - I find it very exciting and exhilerating knowing I am giving it my all.
 
You have already been given some very good advice but I'll say this. Professionals train differently than the average student/martial artist/fitness trainer because it's their job, their livelihood. Two things concern me about your training plans. One thing is that it may become nothing more than a chore, reducing any benefits you aim to reap. Second is that if you don't recover quickly to 100% for the next session, you are very likely over training and going backwards physically. It's always best to start out slowly, gradually increasing the intensity as your body & mind require.
 
My father told me I should be working out only once a day. But this seems too little for me. I am going back to my uni accommodations soon and I have been working on a plan to increase my general fitness once I come back. This includes 3-4 daily workouts.

The first is at 0430 that will consist of circuits with fundamental exercises: so one circuit will consist of something along the lines of 30 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, 20 leg raises and 30 secs of wrestling bridges.

The second workout will be at around 1200 and will be a sort of “prison” workout. It will be circuits filled with more complex and anaerobic exercises - 10 centurions (an exercise I made where 1 rep consists of 2 spider pushups, a hip thrust, a clap push-up and a burpee), 10 chest dips, 20 tricep extensions and some jump rope skipping at the end of the circuits.

The third will be at around 1600 in which I will train using more martial related skills, such as 9-12 rounds of shadow boxing with a band to increase speed and power.

Every week, I will also go out on a run in the morning. I will be making sure to get 8 hours of sleep minimum, and be eating in a caloric deficit to cut some of the fat I gained over quarantine, and I plan on resting Wednesdays and Saturdays.

However, I am worried about overtraining, and I don’t know where to draw the line. Mike Tyson trained relentlessly for 6 days a week, with over 500 push-ups daily. Arnold also trained for over 4 hours daily. They don’t seem to have had problems with overtraining given that they stuck to their workouts.

How do you know when you’re overtraining? Online it says mainly to look out for symptoms such as “irritability” or “restlessness” or “apathy”. But these symptoms are relative and unquantifiable. Is there a way to tell when you’re overtraining? Does my regime seem extreme? How will I know if I am pushing myself too much.
If you keep your bouyancy, your aggression and drive, and your willingness to work, then it isn't overtraining. You need 2/3 to know you're not overtraining but you can have 0/3 and not be overtrained. Keep your spirits up and use overcoming isometrics above 70% max to improve recovery. This can mean a static deadlift with a rope under your feet and each end in your hands, which would be very good for recovery. A static squat is also very good. If your arms are dead, laying down and doing a static bench with the rope under your back and a static curl is good. Whatever is fatigued you should iso, but just the static deadlift will do.
Emotional and mental strength is what you need to do anything so focus on those.
 

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