How to prevent overtraining of lower leg muscles?

Original question: How many times a week are we supposed to blast the legs in order to prevent "overtraining"? My answer: All muscles are alike. Leg muscles are not different from any other muscle group, so I advice to avoid overtraining at any cost if it is related to bodybuilding and weight training. To begin with, I would like to make a statement and that is “undertraining is always better than overtraining” because with undertraining, you can still make some progress in any sport but with overtraining, no progress will be possible. And our legs are the mostly trained muscle group as we do cardio and walk generally with our legs only. See, muscles would never know whether it is Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday or Friday or so on. All they know is that they are subjected under increased stress and stimulation. They know that they have been lifting something and to recover, they demand fuel (good diet); otherwise, they stop everything and sit on a strike to not work and produce no results. So you need to deal with them tactfully and using the biological science, the way its meant to be by nature. No one can change that even any bodybuilding superman.

Legs are also just like other muscle groups and need proper training and not overtraining or undertraining.
Legs are also just like other muscle groups and need proper training and not overtraining or undertraining.
Result of properly trained legs
Result of properly trained legs

How muscle formation takes place in case of overtraining?

Now, you must understand that how does muscle formation takes place in case of overtraining. Well, it happens like this. You subject muscle under stress, stimulate it by moving a certain weight in a set way, avoiding a muscle pull or strain, then cells and tissues break down, and when they recover having sufficient rest and diet (even massage and meditation), they form muscle. Each time you lift heavy, more cells/tissues break down and a bigger muscle forms next. If you work them, again before they have recovered, that would amount to overtraining and instead, they will shrink and only shrink, making you weak and depressive. Everyday is a kidney, liver, pancreas day no matter what muscle you blast. They have to filter the waste of the byproducts the muscles throw out. Cells and tissues are broken because of muscle fibre recruitment during a set. When they are completely recruited and stimulated, they are exhausted. Its then that you can claim I have worked out my muscles, so the heavier you lift, the more rest you need. There are innumerable methods to grow muscle through the periodization method. If you wish to follow the safest and simplest method without following any periodization knowledge, then I suggest a heavy workout from a single muscle group, lasting not more than 30 to 35 minutes a day including warmup and stretching plus abs. Take a day off, go again the third day, another muscle group and a day off again.

Lower leg muscle group anatomy
Lower leg muscle group anatomy
Leg curls on machine
Leg curls on machine

Ideally, I can tell you to do a sample workout split like below:

For week 1:

Day 1 (Monday): Legs plus lower abs

Day 2 (Thursday): Chest and Back

For week 2:

DAY 1 (MONDAY): Shoulders/traps plus upper abs (place weights on your chest)

DAY 2 (THURSDAY): Arms (triceps and biceps)

Points to be remembered:

  1. Get involved in brief but intense cardio before the workout.
  2. Abs are just like any other muscle made up of amino acids and have fibers and cells and tissues; therefore, work out heavy with weights as suggested.
  3. As suggested, there are innumerable methods to build muscles and they all work including this one.
  4. The sample split routine is for “heavy weightlifting” and if you lift light, a muscle group can be worked out twice a week and if moderate, then once a week.

All the best and all izz well.

Bodybuilding Exercises : Great whole leg workouts

Leg workout - Sample exercises
Leg workout - Sample exercises

More by this Author


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

Very good information.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 7 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thank you so much Veronica.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

Dropped by to look for leg exercise. Very informative hub.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 7 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thank you so much Lita.

Steroids UK 6 years ago

simple rule of thumb is to flex a muscle hard if it still hurts you're not ready to train it again, even better wait two days after the pain is gone and you're sure to be 100% recovered.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Thanks for your incredible expert advice steroids UK.

scott4444pop profile image

scott4444pop 6 years ago from sheboygan

It usually takes 48 hrs for a muscle to heal. If the muscle is still sore wait until it is mostly gone. It does take a little bit more to stimulate legs since you walk around on them all the time and the have a built up tolerance. It's best to hit them hard with a good 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with heavy weight and good form. Just make sure you get in good post workout nutrition and 8 hrs of sleep for maximum recovery.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 6 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Excellent advice on preventing over training of legs Scott. I think this is your practical experience you have in the gym. Are you a coach or something bro?

joecseko profile image

joecseko 6 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

Soni, I love the addition of the endocrine system. Most people don't understand how our glands help us recover.

Really, how many people understand the hypothalamic- testicular- pituitary axis, the metabolism of growth hormone into IGF-1 by the liver (muscles cannot mature without IGF-1) and the full array of endocrine responses to exercise?

As usual, a pleasure to read your work...

bojanglesk8 profile image

bojanglesk8 6 years ago

Solid info.

F&P 6 years ago

Legs have the most biggest muscles in the body so it's hard to overtrain them.I would not put much stress in preventing overtraining in the legs.

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

@joecseko, bojangleskh8, and F&P, thanks for your valuable comments and feedback.

joecseko profile image

joecseko 5 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

Soni, you know that I NEVER spam my hubs, but this will shed some light on the plethora of things that transpire after training.

Also, abs and calves can be trained more often, because they're comprised of a balance if fast, intermediate (most people don't know about this one), and slow twitch muscle.

CyclingFitness profile image

CyclingFitness 5 years ago from Nottingham UK

I'm afraid that 'undertraining' will lead to loss in fitness and your sessions will be in fact wasted.

The key is to ensure overcompensation occurs. Your method above will prevent overtraining of leg muscles however will likely NOT lead to muscle and strength gains due to insufficient stimulus.

For a little more info on overcompensation please see

soni2006 profile image

soni2006 5 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

@joecseko and CyclingFitness, different people have different approach to achieving certain results and same is the case with exercise and fitness. @CyclingFitness, a few techniques that are working well for you might not be possible to work for joecseko or me and a few exercises that provide desired results for me might not give you the same results. This is the reason why I always say that a person needs to go through different techniques people have described on the Internet and test and see which works for them. Thanks to both of you for sharing those links and letting us to know more about these.

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