The Art of Heavy Lifting Without Overtraining

The Art of Heavy Lifting Without Overtraining: A Guide To Strength Training For Beginners

By John “Jed” Haines


I have been lifting weights since I was 12 years old. My first experience with weight training was when my dad took me to the local YMCA and let me use their free weight room.

I remember being so excited that I had finally found something where I could lift heavy things without worrying about hurting myself or getting hurt.

My first time using the YMCA’s free weight room was probably around age 15. At that point, it didn’t occur to me that there would ever be anything else like it except maybe going to a gym.

In high school, I started working out at the same place that my father did, but instead of just lifting dumbbells and barbells, I was doing Olympic lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench presses) and power cleans (clean & jerks). I was pretty much the only guy in my class who lifted weights.

That’s how bad it was back then!

Nowadays there are many more people in high school who lift weights. In fact, I think it’s a little strange if you DON’T!

After high school, I joined my Dad at his gym which was a little bigger than the YMCA. It had more free weights and some machine weights as well as boxing bags and a area with mattresses you could fall on if you were doing martial arts like karate or tae kwon do…

The more I learned about lifting weights and working out in general, the more that I learned how to apply it to my martial arts. Not only did working out make me stronger physically, it made me mentally tougher as well.

The Art of Heavy Lifting Without Overtraining - Image

It didn’t take long before I started winning all of my tournaments…

I’ve always loved to work out and lift weights. Now I’m sharing some of my knowledge with you.

My hope is that if I can help just one person become a better athlete or stronger, then it was all worthwhile.

Muscle Fibers

There are three types of muscle fibers: slow twitch (Type I), fast twitch (Type IIA), and super fast twitch (Type IIB). Each has something different to offer, yet each has its own limitations as well.

In reality, most people are a combination of all three types of muscle fibers.

Slow Twitch (Type I): These muscle fibers are best suited for activities that require endurance. They fire slowly, resulting in less strength but allowing you to stay active for long periods of time.

These are the muscles that you want to develop if you’re training for a marathon or something similar. These muscles tend to have a lot of mitochondria and myoglobin (oxygen retaining proteins) within their cells. This allows them to utilize oxygen to create more ATP, which is one reason why they are able to perform aerobically for long periods of time.

Fast Twitch (Type IIA): These fast twitch fibers are well suited for short, quick activities. They are not as powerful as the Type IIB fibers, but they can still maintain activity for quite some time.

These are the muscles that you want to develop if you’re training for a 100-yard dash or a boxing match.

Sources & references used in this article:

ABC of Sports Medicine The overtraining syndrome by R Budgett – Bmj, 1994 –

Overtraining the rectus abdominis can make you less efficient in weightlifting by EM Robinson – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2010 –

How to Maximize Performance without Overtraining by J Randazzo –

Squat Every Day: Thoughts on overtraining and recovery in strength training by M Perryman – 2013 –

Overtraining-Can You Spot It? by P Taylor –

The De-Load–Guide to Recovery by J Mallon –

Overtraining Syndrome by J Saran –