Overtraining and Undertraining

Q: Don’t know if you can offer any advice, but I’ve been trying to develop a better exercise routine for myself. I’ve been going to the gym for quite a few years, and though I see little results, I find that I’m still quite weak.

I’m 33 years old, 5’6″ 147 lbs. I guess my body type would be ectomorph, though skinny I do have a little fat around the mid section. I’ve been working with mostly split routines.

Monday- Chest and Biceps
Wednesday- Shoulders and Legs
Friday- Back and Triceps

I do 3 different exercises with 3 sets for each body part (also do some cardio once or twice a week). I’m probably overtraining. Not looking for a bodybuilder body, but I do want muscle, tone and strength. I’ve read your article on the bodybuilding forum Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph.

I know it’s geared towards more of a beginner routine, [but I] just didn’t know if I should switch to that routine or do something completely different. You seem quite experienced with this, and I had no idea who else to ask. I’m guessing you’re quite busy, so if you can’t reply no worries and if you can it’s much appreciated.

Hope all is well James.

-J. Campbell


My Answer: Yes I think the Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph will help you out. Not just the program itself, but the principles outlined in the article itself. You’re training each body part once a week, so in a sense you are both overtraining AND undertraining.

You’re overtraining, because you’re devoting an entire workout to just 2 body parts. You’re also undertraining, because your training frequency for each muscle group is too low. Hit each body part with 4 sets 3 times per week, and you will make better progress in size, strength and tone.


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