Episode 17. Overtraining and Lifestyle, Reading Biofeedback, and Physique After 50
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Scott received a few excellent questions over email about one of his training programs, as well as the Cycle Diet, with respect to fitness over the age of 50, lifestyle, and more. Since they were so good, and because they were fairly representative, Scott cut and pasted a few of them and sent them to Mike, and together they turned that into an episode.
The questions were specifically about Hardgainer Solution and Scott’s Cycle Diet, but they are by no means specific only to those things.
Notes for Hardgainer Training, Overtraining, and Physique After 50
Hardgainer Solution doesn’t need to be tweaked necessarily just because you are over 50, but being over 50 might very well make you a “hardgainer,” and that is very much a consideration when prescribing training protocol.
With any program, it’s important to “condition into” the program. So for example, HGS contains 80 different workouts, but to get acclimated to the program, yeah, you can just do the first workout over and over (since it’s whole body, you can get away with this).
Mike mentioned the five-part training model: Effort, Training Strategy, Workload Capacity, Recovery Capacity, Internal Hormonal and Biochemical Environment.
The trick with hardgainers, and also with anyone over 50, is avoiding overtraining. It is absolutely better to UNDER train than to over train. You can make progress while undertraining. When you hit overtraining, you burn out.
No, HIIT is not a good fit with a hardgainer-specific training program, since HIIT is a) not very muscle building, and b) is a form of cardio that more easily invites overtraining.
At the end of a workout you should feel invigorated, not exhausted. In the words of Lee Haney, stimulate, don’t annihilate.
Sleep and work stress will absolutely sap your vitality and energy. It can be harder to read your biofeedback as this happens.
It isn’t necessarily “harder” to read biofeedback because you are over 50, but as more and more factors “might” be affecting you, yes, that can complicate things. Also, not “knowing” if you’re eating or training optimally can make things more difficult (and this is the advantage of having a coach).
Cycle Diet and Biofeedback
Reaching supercompensation mode is hard to read if you have mindset issues, and — as above — it can be harder to read if you’re also experiencing work stress, lack of sleep, etc., again, that makes things difficult.
Here is an example: one of the key indicators of supercompensation is increased hunger.But lack of sleep can increase hunger by as much as 30%. So: are you in supercompensation, or are you lacking sleep? You need to be real. Try seeing if you a “catch up” day of sleep takes care of hunger.
Supercompensation mode *can* be tricky over 50 just because of hormonal changes. It can be a great fit, but not always.
Regarding the compatibility of the Cycle Diet and HGS: yes, they are compatible, but as with all training and nutrition, BOTH should be individualized. It might be the case that neither of them is right for someone, or just one, or both.