I'm in a bulk phase, and found myself with more time in the mornings for workouts.

I isolate and work specific muscle groups hard (high weight, moderate reps), 6 days a week and rest for one day. The pattern goes something like this:

chest, arms, back, core, legs, chest, rest, arms, ...

I'm following my protein and calorie requirements, and I am top-heavy and not lethargic nor drained everyday, yet my question is:

If I workout a muscle group, and let it rest for a few days while working on different groups, is this effective training?

  • what is your goal? – Eric Jun 6 '15 at 6:06
  • Continued lean mass gain for vanity – Drakes Jun 6 '15 at 7:02
  • At least you're honest! – Eric Jun 6 '15 at 16:12
  • VTC as opinion based. As Dave says, it's entirely dependent on you and how you react to the training. – JohnP Jun 11 '15 at 18:57

Some people can train the same muscle group three times a day, every day, for months on end and see significant hypertrophy. Yet others may train a muscle group with such intensity that days are needed for recovery. As Dave says, it's very subjective.

That said, I'd say it's incredibly unlikely you're overtraining, especially with your simple 6-day bodybuilding split. I wouldn't be wary of overtraining markers at all, I would just be physically measuring your muscle circumferences and body fat (weekly) to ensure you're still making progress. If anything you'll probably have to up the volume eventually.

  • Thanks for the response. Oh the volume goes up, and I'm ripping dress shirts. I check the data from one of those body composition analyzers regularly. Basically I go for broke every session, even split sessions. I was worried globally I was taxing my body too much even though individual muscles get days of rest. – Drakes Jun 12 '15 at 15:24

"Is This Overtraining?"

There is no general answer to this question. Overtraining is not dependent on a program, but rather on the relationship between the trainee, their program, their recovery ability, and outside stressors.

For some people, walking an hour each day for two weeks would induce overtraining. Other people can log hundreds of miles a week for months on end.

For some people, going from three lifting sessions a week (using a given program, with given weights, and so on) is the edge of their capability. Others are not challenged by less than six days a week of two trainings per day.

The only answer to "is this program overtraining me" is to monitor the markers of overtraining, which are numerous and complex. They vary from resting heart rate, sleep patterns, and degree of lethargy all the way to blood analysis and bar-speed tracking.

  • Thank you for the feedback. I feel like I can keep going and going, split sessions 6 days a week, and I'm getting bigger. Only one morning after a 3-hour heavy-set workout did I have flu-like symptoms. It must be person-dependent. – Drakes Jun 12 '15 at 15:16

First off, I'm running a P/P/L routine. So when do I know I overtrain? It is when I am unable to do progress in my training or whenever I am unable to do the same weight / reps / sets. To me, this means that my CNS is fatigue. With that said, whenever it ends up fatigue, I will feel very tired the whole day, emotional and sometimes have trouble sleeping.

Also, I recommend having a light and heavy session, so that you do not overtrain.

  • Nice info. I didn't know what PPL was - so many acronyms - I just hit every muscle in cycles and gain. My light session is abs day. I've never had trouble sleeping after an intense workout, but once in a while I feel like I have the flu and can't move for a few hours. That's my signal, right? Thanks again. – Drakes Jun 12 '15 at 15:20
  • P/P/L means push,pull,legs. Its similar to your bodybuilding splits with some minor differences. For example, in push day, I will probably do my Bench / OHP / Both and do my triceps as well. As for your question, yes, that is your signal. Signal to rest. – Aizul Jun 12 '15 at 15:24

Is this overtraining

Nobody will be able to answer this as we don't know what your actual routine is. Trying to do max effort lifts every workout is very different from doing 75% of your current max. Likewise doing barbell complexes for two hours during each workout is very different from doing barbell complexes for 15 minutes each workout.

If I workout a muscle group, and let it rest for a few days while working on different groups, is this effective training?

This is the definition of effective training. Now go plan your strategy for progress whether it be for hypertrophy or strength.


The body gets used to things. I think it's not overtraining. I train 6 days a week as well.


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