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Old 11-12-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
Jordan Derksen
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Winnipeg  MB Canada
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Re: Any experience with recovery from deep overtraining syndrome? Help...

I'll refrain from calling any of this 'advice' as I'm not a medical professional, what follows is just my experience through my own training journey.

Point #1: EAT SOME FOOD!!!!!
First thing that hits me is that you dieted down to 173? You must be nuts, at 6'4 healthy for you is 200-215. You had a good thing going with the weight you had. I'm 6'2, I've fought for every pound; what I can say is as my bodyweight (and yes far levels) have gone up I have balanced out more mentally and I recover better from workouts. For the love of all that's holy quit the paleo nonsense and eat some freaking food. You're not overtrained, you're under recovered. For you to diet down would mean some intense changes in your food macros. I bet if you add 2-4 cups of rice, some more red fatty meats, and pounded a bit more nuts or oils to your daily intake your problem would begin to disappear very quickly. A good friend of mine is the same height as me, he was around 210-215. One year before regionals he dieted down to 190 or so because he thought being lighter would make him faster. He had his worst regionals ever. He was totally wasted. The next year he bounced back up to a healthy weight and he took second.

Likely you have done metabolic damage and it's going to take time to bounce back.

Point #2: Stop working out to failure on everything, ESPECIALLY functional movements with barbell weight. This is my experience so before ya'll jump in with some study I'm not even saying this is exercise fact, I'm just saying it's worked for me. The only thing you should go to failure on is isolated single joint light weight bodybuilder style movements. When you fail regularly on heavy barbell movements regularly you leave your CNS in the toaster way too long and turn it up to 10. From my experience following cf style programming RM doesn't ever freaking mean RM if you want to make progress. I spent a long time going 100% hitting maxes all the time and never got anywhere. It was until I backed it up and found a real strength program (it doesn't have to be complicated, simple is better) and progressed naturally by using training to elicit a response not as a constant test of my fitness. 5x5 Back squats does not mean 5 sets of 5 with every set to failure I'm gonna go balls out because crossfit rocks yaaa! It's volume work. Stick around 80-90%. Currently I'm doing my 5x5 days at a weight that's 10lb heavier than a weight I've back squatted 20 times in one set. Know what? It's working. Remember that in the gym you are training. Your training today for tomorrow. For next week. For next year. That means if you feel like crap you take a light week even if your max is still going up. In a recent olympic lifting cycle I did I hit over my 1RM Snatch on the last week of a 3 week heavy training cycle. It makes no sense but it happened. Fortunately I learned from my mistakes and I took my 4th week as light anyways because I know that I'm training to elicit a response and then backing off to bounce back. Hit some PR's? Great! Back off, recover, and go higher. Don't just keep going.

I'll leave you with 2 examples, and this is my understanding of his training so I could be wrong, but I've listened to every barbell shrugged episode with him. Rich Froning probably has the highest bodyfat out of the male competitors, at 5'9 he's at least 20lb heavier than you. Go eat some food. Also, from my understanding Rich almost never goes to failure. All of the work I've seen him do on video he gets in for overall volume, not for highest intensity. Snatches? Ya he'll do 15 minutes EMOTM at 185lb for power snatches (at the time that was 65% of his max) and wave up and down depending on feel. Power Cleans? Same thing. Weighted Pull-ups, Bench Press? Ya 5x5 at a reasonable weight. Everything he does is moderated based on feel and I would guess he spends all his time in the 70-90% range. The percentages don't really matter, he never sits around with a calculator, he just knows what medium and heavy feel like.

Rant over.

Edit: forgot to answer this. I've heard from a guy who went through something similar that it can take a full year to really bounce back. I would suggest still doing movements but put the barbell away, do only bodyweight for a few months. And for the love of all that's holy don't go to failure every time on every set. Also, time off is not bad. Top Olympic Weightlifters (Ilya Ilyin) will take a full year off training to recover after an Olympics. And that's an Olympic athlete. Average Joe can take time off, you won't waste away.

Last edited by Jordan Derksen : 11-12-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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