Adrenal fatigue - training / lifestyle suggestions?

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by kiwipete, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Hi Team,

    There is a part of my brain that is slow to learn... I've had a history of burning myself out and while I haven't had an official diagnosis, the signs strongly indicate that I have adrenal fatigue issues.

    I love moving and training but I have a very limited capacity for recovery even at the best of times.

    I'm curious to know if anyone else has found a way to manage that challenge and remain healthy, strong and fit?

    I appreciate the wisdom of your experiences! Thank you
    william bad butt likes this.
  2. mprevost

    mprevost More than 500 posts

    More sleep. Most people don't get enough. I though I was getting enough with 8 1/2 hours per night but upon retiring I realized that I needed just a bit over 9 if I am training even moderately. I've averaged 9:12 per night over the last year. It really helps.
  3. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Wow - that's really interesting. I normally get 8-8 1/2 hrs. I'll give it a go
  4. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Im no expert, but I would experiment with training less and see if you continue improving.
    kiwipete likes this.
  5. william bad butt

    william bad butt More than 300 posts

    I do not believe I have adrenal fatigue, but I seem to take longer than most to recover. For example, doing a daily deadlift program would grind me down fairly quickly, unless I used weights that were ultra light. Here is what I do to mitigate:

    -Sleep was mentioned. I make sure I get enough. Whenever I decide to go to bed, I also set my alarm clock for 8 hrs later. Fortunately I know have a job that is flexible enough to allow this.

    -Nutrition, I normally eat fairly healthy and dont eliminate macros or food groups. I eat carbs.

    - Mitigate any unnecessary stress outside of the gym.

    -I typically use minimalist training programs (volume and intensity are minimized).

    -I deload often, about 50% of capability, every few weeks.

    - When training I rarely, very rarely (only maybe twice per year) push myself to the limit in terms of a max rep or conditioning challenge. I rarely even go above 85%.

    - Virtually all of my training sets are followed by long breaks, I fully recover before the next set.
    kiwipete likes this.
  6. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    See exercise as a stress. It may take a while to shift your mindset.
    Along the way learn to judge your level of intensity that you can recover from and still make progress. In fact, you'll probably progress more.....and learn right there that you don't 'need' to do more.
    And then choosing or needing to add intensity will have less negative impact and thus be positive.
    kiwipete likes this.
  7. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    If your training log is accurate, I do not think it's case of too much training. And "adrenal fatigue" is a made-up diagnosis; it doesn't really exist.

    You said, "the signs strongly indicate that I have adrenal fatigue issues"... I would suggest writing down the actual symptoms you have and talking to your doctor. Might be a good time to get some basic blood work done, etc...
    DrFierce and Billy59 like this.
  8. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    That's a good point, last time I felt like this I had my blood work assessed and there were no obvious issues.

    And I completely agree - for the amount of movement I log I don't think it's the reason I am 'in the hole'. That said I have never been able to train that much volume or that often without a humungous amount of 'system fatigue'.

    Regardless of the name I'm experiencing ongoing muscular soreness, deep fatigue, difficultly concentrating, very reactive (prone to anger/ aggression at slightest trigger).

    I'm not fishing for a diagnosis over the net but just to give a little context.
  9. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Perhaps your doctor can look at the whole picture and get an idea if there's a problem to solve.

    Your training looks fairly productive from day to day in the short term, but perhaps lacks some progression and consistency over time. Have you considered following a program, like doing S&S by the book? Sometimes a more regular training schedule can help you detect when things are "off" and better identify the causes.
    mprevost and Oscar like this.
  10. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Very good points - especially these three.
    william bad butt likes this.
  11. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Re: Dr, good point - I'll set that up.

    Same for training - you're right
  12. Karen Smith

    Karen Smith More than 300 posts Master Certified Instructor Iron Maiden

    I was Diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue by my doctor after blood work, saliva test and a few other test. I had to de stress and slow my training drastically.
    Add more walks and more sleep. It took a few months the Next I began to feel like myself again. If you would like to discuss further.. email me.
    Steve Freides, fractal and ShawnM like this.
  13. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    Being overstressed and under-slept can cause many problems. That is absolutely real!

    I heard a mind-blower on a podcast this morning with Menno Henselmans. I'm paraphrasing, but basically he was saying that sleep and stress have WAY more influence on our state of being, our health and happiness, than other things that we obsess about such as one more rep/set or a few grams of carbohydrates. And that our mood and happiness has WAY more influence on our training and nutrution than our training and nutrition has on our mood and happiness, at least directly.

    As far as limited recovery, he also mentioned a study that showed that it takes up to twice as long for college students to recover from workouts during exams. One example of how mental stress affects recovery.

    So, as general advice to most people: fix sleep and stress. You will be happier. And then your training and nutrition will go much better. Then you get results from those, and will be happier still. :)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  14. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Couldn't agree more. Amen to that.
  15. justkel_

    justkel_ Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    So I’m pretty sure doctors tend to not recognise “adrenal fatigue” as something to officially diagnose. But I mean you’ll wanna support your adrenal glands anway - so I think avoiding stinulants & maybe using adaptogen herbs like I think Ashwaghanda has been recommended to support adrenal issues. (Maybe double check that) - but yeah, the general aim is to limit stress as much as possible. Definitely just try and get good quality sleep and dont overtrain. Learn how to breathe properly through your diaphram & focus on a healthy diet. Lack of energy could be related to possible deficiencies, eg. iron. Try downloading cronometer and tracking your micronutrients to get a rough idea of how much of your RDA’s you’re meeting on average.
  16. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Thank you for all of your suggestions and comments - I'll be planning and acting a little more wisely moving forward (y)
    Steve Freides likes this.

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