THE BLOG

Overtraining Is Still the Greatest Unrecognised Enemy of any Athlete's Success and Longevity

11/02/2014 11:37 GMT | Updated 11/04/2014 10:59 BST

I've had the honor of working with some great athletic Champions at all levels but I can't remember such spectacular results as those I achieved back in 1995 with a guy called Warren Treasure. Warren was a mesamorph, a genetic freak. A huge man with the strength of a bull but even so, he was vastly over trained and so by definition nowhere near his true potential as a Bodybuilder. He had came to me through finding out about my work with Mr. and Ms Olympia competitors including multi-Olympia Winner Dorian Yates whom I had trained with for several Olympia's.

I went through Warren's current workout schedule and found it staggering. It was also staggering how Warren was struggling to identify why he felt exhausted all the time. I told him that with all the overlapping sets he did for multiple body parts there was no room for recovery. For his chest alone he was doing between 15 to 20 sets-a non-scientific, volume approach of arbitrary bemusement for me as if 15 sets may be enough to stimulate a result who the heck wants to do 20? In any case, he was literally performing more sets in a week than I was in a year!! The main difference being that I and my entire group of regular training clients were making continuous and uninterrupted progress.

I cut Warrens workouts down by an incredible 70% and he stayed with me for 10 weeks. Throughout that time he lifted more weight or did the same weight for more reps on every set of every exercise every week! During which time his bodyfat steadily decreased. You can judge for yourself the difference it made from the pictures but also from the fact that unlike usual when he was on a pre-contest diet he didn't lose masses of strength-in fact he was hitting new records on his bench press which had been stagnant for a long time.

With new personal bests in Deadlift, Squats, Leg press and Bench we worked out that Warren had made more gains with me in those 10 weeks than he had in the previous two years! (See pictures below) These principles can be equally applied to endurance training and aerobic conditioning-quality over quantity! I had the good fortune later on to do the same kind of thing for the training regimes of Boxers Nigel Benn, Ricky Hatton and one Mike Tyson.

Remember though that you must train hard and never miss a scheduled workout if you can avoid it and above all have faith that you will develop an admirable physique-believe and you'll achieve! Weight lifting or resistance training is the best and most efficient method for improving muscular development and strength.

Educated or informed professional athletes from almost every sport you can think of all use resistance training to enhance their performance, protect against injury and postpone retirement or extend sporting longevity. Not just the more obvious sportsmen like boxers but golf Pro's, Racing car drivers and horse riders for example.

If you already regularly practise a sport but your new goal is a more muscular and larger physique, then you are best to curtail or even abstain from other sports for the time being. Partaking in another sport as well as your weight lifting will merely exhaust your mental and physical energies and not fully allow your muscles to rest and recover for maximum strength and size gains. Remember overtraining is training to the point where it will actually militate directly against your progress.

Rob Blakeman's latest book Whatever It Takesis available now as an eBook download

2014-02-10-WARRENBEFOREANDAFTER.jpg