In the process of the last couple of months I have overtrainned by working out every 72 hours. I then took 8days off trainned again*1*, trainned again 5 days later*2* and then today 7 days after that*3*.
After my 8day layoff I had made little/no increases in strength in the majority of exercises*1*. I made a slight increase in strength all exercises in the next workout*2* and today my increase have been MUCH more substantial*3*
I dont think that this is because i lengthened the periods between workouts. The difference in strength gain between workout *2* and *3* were not proportional to the extra 2 days rest time. I also have the experience of going from once a week to twice a week – and initially strength gains were basically divided by 2. The fact that i did not positivley after an 8 day break is also significant. These observations and reasearch thats says the muscle initially heals and strengthens at the same time has lead me to the following conclusion.
"Working out too frequently reduces your ability to adapt to weight trainning. You can adapt positivley in the short term on a frequency which is too high for you. But each workout takes a little out of you systemically – it sucks up your overall ability to adapt."
An overtrainned system, no matter how much time you give it, wont adapt to the stress. (i.e. my experience of not being stronger after my 8 day break)
A long break allows you recover your adaptability to the stress. And you can gradually recover ′adaptability′ (I base this on the disproportionate increase in strength increases as I gradually spaced out my workouts further)
Example Tricep Dumbell press;
15kg x 16
15kg x 16
15kg x 17
15kg x 20
Some may argue that the 3 extra reps came directly because of the extra 2 days rest – I Dont belive this is so. Like I said when I was not in an overtrainned state my strength increases simply halved when i doubled the frequency – I belive this is because my level of adaptability was initially still very high and that the positive reaction to exercise is approximatley a linear process.It wasnt just the above exercise – though this is a clear case, all my exercise improved instead of just some.
An ideal workout frequency would be one which always allows the system to remain 100% responsive to the stress at the next workout.
Basically, I am now a covert. Systemic and specific recovery EXIST as seperate entities. Just because your resistances are going up does not necessarily mean you are not overtrainning your ability to adapt…sooner or later your gains will stop. Because the stress imposed by workouts cannot be adapted to by a system exhausted by workouts. If your system was fully recovered you could respond to the same stress however.
Things may run something like this…..
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
* * * * * * * * Level of positive adaptation.
* * * * * * Days required for full systemic recovery.
The maximum amount of time to leave between workouts is the duration it takes to allow positive adaptation to take place.
The minimum amount of time to leave between workouts is the duration required for your body to recoup its (ability to adapt/sensitivity)