If the programming is too conservative and there is infrequent or insufficient stimulus, supercompensation willbe kept at a minimum or won’t occur at all. This is what eventually causes stagnation. At this time, morefrequent loading, higher volumes, or higher intensities need to be implemented tocontinueto provide stimulus.
Overreaching and systematic use to your advantage
First to define overreaching, I will discuss some things in reference to overtraining. This is the thing that manypeople are always avoiding like AIDS. Overtraining is a long-term imbalance between stress and the ability of an organism to adapt. This is chronic and occurs after extended periods of loading that is in excess of whatthe body can cope with. Overreaching, on the other hand, is acute, meaning that it is a short-term period of loading that is above the current level of adaptability. What is the difference in time, you might be wondering? Ican’t necessarily throw out any certain number of days, weeks, months, years, etc. However, I will say that if you decrease your loading for one to three weeks and experience a return to pre-load levels or an increaseover these levels, you were overreaching and not overtraining. Overtraining is a long-term process but manypeople equate any drop in performance to this. This is problematic because this is where we have those thatcontinue to use similar volumes and train with similar frequencies year in and year out only to continue toremain stagnant. If anything, they will think they are of all things overtrained.Overreaching can be useful in breaking through plateaus that have been experienced. However, this is only if itis done systematically with a set plan. Many people will talk of the programs like Smolov and these massivegains that they saw in their squat and be in awe. I can’t understand why this would come as a surprise, sincethe program is a concentrated loading of squatting over a set number of weeks. Granted other stressors areaccounted for outside of this, how could squatting with high frequency, volume, and intensity do anything butaccount for gains in the squat?If one is to look at the premise of block periodization, it is in essence a systematic use of overreaching. Witheach concentrated block, a drop in performance is observed before loading is decreased to allow recovery.The key here is that this is planned, and volumes, intensities, frequencies, and means of training are carefullyselected. The idea is to tear down for a period, decrease the loading, and experience the supercompensatoryeffects.