How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth (PART III)

June 11, 2009

How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth
By Vince DelMonte

How Can I Prevent Over-training?

In order to avoid over-training, you need to take a multi-facited approach. Determining the correct training volume and intensity, eating the right foods, and getting the right amount of rest and recovery must all be taken in to consideration. Now let’s take a look at each of those factors in more detail.

Correct Training Volume

Determining the correct training volume can be difficult, especially when you are first starting out. You have to determine how much weight to lift, how many repetitions and set to perform for every single workout.

You need to use your own judgment in this case, based on your recovery ability and your recovery methods. Remember that the goal is that you improve every single workout, and if this isn’t happening, you have to decrease the intensity of your workouts.

This is where many people go wrong though. You begin your workout and realize that you have not fully recovered. You can either continue to train at a lower intensity than the previous workout, or skip the workout entirely.

As hard as it may be, skipping the workout is the right way to go. Just turn around and go home! Your body is telling you that it needs more rest, and you must listen to it!

There is no point in training at a lower intensity, further breaking down the muscle tissue. By doing this you will increase your risk of injury, and make it harder for your body to fully recovery for your next training session.

Proper Nutrition

Your diet plays a huge role in your muscle building program. It helps regulate hormone levels, provides energy, and provides the raw building blocks that are used to create new tissue.

Here are some dietary recommendations that will limit the chance of over-training:

Do not skip breakfast. This is one of the most important meals of the day. Skipping breakfast is very catabolic, and can promote muscle loss.
Never let yourself get hungry. If you’re trying to build muscle mass, you have to constantly feed your body quality foods so that it never has the chance catabolize muscle tissue.
Unless you are trying to build muscle and lose fat, make sure you have eaten prior to your training session and are not hungry.
Have the largest meal of the day within an hour after your workout. Do this every single workout!
Consider taking proven supplements like creatine, and antioxidants to increase performance and fight free radicals.
Eat every 2-3 hours to ensure that your body remains in an anabolic state.
Keep glycogen levels at full capacity to inhibit muscle tissue breakdown.
Rest & Recovery


Rest and recovery is essential when it comes to avoiding over-training. Make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and that you are on a consistent schedule. As for recovery time, it’s important that you have days off between weight training workouts. Try to have one rest day between weight training workouts, and never train the same muscle groups on consecutive days.

About the Author:

Vince Delmonteis a competitive fitness model and personal trainer, as well as the author of No-Nonsense Muscle Building, a complete guide to building muscle for the hardgainer.

Vince’s program includes extensive diet plans, complete weight training regimens, video tutorials, and full email personal training support.


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