Overtraining And Recovery


The concepts of overtraining and recovery are the topic of a lot of debate in bodybuilding. You have those who believe the less you work out, the better. On the other hand, there are those who do not believe it’s possible to overtrain. This article will break these ideas down and look at Rich Piana’s recovery techniques. Of course, we’ll also present the best 5% Nutrition supplements for recovery.

Are You Overtraining?

One of the most common bodybuilding concepts is the idea of overtraining. The thinking is if you train too long and too often, you will “overtrain”. Since overtraining is ultimately catabolic, this concept, in theory, controls how long and how often you train. But how accurate is this idea of over-training? Rich Piana was a big believer that overtraining is overrated. 

Now, assuming you have reasonable training experience, you can’t really overtrain, according to Rich. This is especially true if you’re using moderate weights and higher reps. However, there are a few things that will bring your workout to an end. Once you’ve depleted glycogen stores, your muscles’ ability to contract becomes compromised. Also, you can overtax your CNS (central nervous system), which leads to chronic fatigue. This is the real definition of overtraining. 

Avoid CNS Overstimulation

So, how do you avoid overstimulating your CNS? The answer is through a combination of nutrition and the right 5% supplements. First, you have to be aware of the symptoms of true overtraining. 

Here’s what to look for:

  • An elevated resting heart rate which is evidence of high levels of adrenaline levels.
  • Dehydration - This compromises performance.
  • Insomnia - Being unable to sleep is a common symptom of overtraining. This is because the nervous system is overstimulated. 
  • Depression - High cortisol levels lead to less testosterone and serotonin production. Testosterone greatly affects well-being. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s responsible for feelings of happiness.
  • Anxiety - Cortisol causes the body to enter its “fight or flight” mode. That’s because overtraining causes an excessively aroused state which may cause anxiety.
  • Irritable - High levels of cortisol may cause negative mood swings. As a point of reference, this is why people can become irritable when they go a long time without eating a meal.
  • Illness - This is a sign of a compromised immune system.

What happens if overtraining becomes severe, and the person doesn’t stop working out? It can eventually result in a weakened immune system.

Second, the time you have in-between workouts should optimize recovery. If you’re training 5-6 days a week, you have 1-2 rest days, plus your post-workout timeframe. Here’s how to make the most of that time.

Rich’s Solution To Faster Recovery - Feeder Workouts

One of Rich’s tricks for faster recovery was his unique Feeder Workouts. These workouts were done at night before bed. They consist of 2 exercises performed as a superset with reps in the 50-100 range…per exercise! The idea is to flood the muscles with nutrients and blood. Also, keep the weights light - we’re not trying to lift heavy!

Rich did this every night, often working shoulders or biceps. You can do it for any body part. He would do 3 supersets and use 15lb dumbbells. Go down to 10 lbs if need be. For example, when he did shoulders, he would do 100 reps of side laterals superset with 100 reps of rear laterals. That’s one set, and he would do 3 supersets. Rich suggested drinking some All Day You May, and then getting some sleep. Speaking of sleep, for complete recovery you should be looking at 8-10 hours every night. 

Your 5% Supplement Stack For Recovery

5% Nutrition has not one, but two innovative products to help you get a great night’s sleep. The first is Knocked The F*ck Out. This powerful sleep aid consists of 12 herbs, amino acids, and natural ingredients including melatonin, GABA, passionflower, chamomile, and 5-HTP. This legendary product helps you stay asleep all night.

Our other sleep aid is the leucine-saturated Drink Sleep Grow. This ultra-advanced nighttime amino powder stands out with its timed-release leucine. There’s also a GH Recovery Blend, a Joint Support Blend, and an EAA Blend. 

Other supplements for recovery include All Day You May. While it should be your go-to intra-workout, it’s also essential for recovery because of its high BCAA/EAA content. Additionally, there’s Rich’s go-to product - Real Carbs. Following his example, add Egg White Crystals and you have an amazing post-workout shake. Jump on recovery by drinking your post-workout shake right after your last set. Of course, you can also add one of our newer supplements for recovery: Core L- Glutamine.

Plus, you have the option of using Shake Time or Real Carbs + Protein. Finally, ensure optimal utilization by adding in Digestive Defender. After all, you have to be able to digest your supplements to take full advantage of them. Since many of our powders are whole food based, this is even more important. 


Between Rich’s use of post-workout shakes right after the last set and feeder workouts along with some amazing 5% Nutrition supplements, you can see 5% Nutrition takes recovery seriously!

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