Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Planned Overtraining

Planned overtraining or in geek terms, over reaching, is something that a lot of coaches and trainers have recommended over the years. Basically you overtrain your body for three weeks straight while never allowing complete recovery. Verkoshansky stated that the greater the decrease in performance (strength, speed, vertical jump, etc.) during the loading phase, the greater the supercompensation effect will be during the unloading phase. The goal is actually to shoot for a 10-15% decrease in performance.

Now call me crazy but why would I want to waste three weeks trying to do what I could do in one? If I overtrain, or train without complete recovery (for all the people out there who believe that overtraining doesn't exist) for three weeks straight I will get weaker, maybe smaller, possibly come down with the flu or something similar and have pounded my body with heavy weights for no apparent reason.

If I wanted to be 10-15% weaker, it wouldn't take me three weeks of lifting heavy weights and sacrificing my immune system and nervous system. It would only take me one week in Jamaica, smoking, drinking and staying up partying all night. I should know, I've done it. And I've come back 10-15% weaker every time. Saved two weeks accomplishing my goal and had a lot more fun.

Look into it.

Another thing to think about when it comes to planned overtraining is that what is being suggested is that your nervous system will get a supercompensation effect. Your NERVOUS SYSTEM...will get a supercompensation effect. Think about that, reread it. Now that is priceless comedy right there.

Also, this model usually suggest three weeks of planned overtraining and a one week deload. So basically you are getting one good training week out of four, right? Or three months out of twelve are actually beneficial.

There can be huge benefits to alternating periods of higher intensity with lower intensity with corresponding levels of overall volume but planned overtraining, where the goal is a to achieve a drop in performance, doesn't seem to pan out or make much sense in the real world.

If you still are convinced that a 10-15% drop in performance will result in a huge rebound effect, don't waste three weeks. Get a 30 pack and have at it. After staying up all night, head to the gym and test your max. I'm sure you will find that you accomplished your goal...