all posts post new thread

Other/Mixed CNS issues, Cortisol ect

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
I am looking into the concept of CNS issues and Cortisol.
I have a very stressful day and when I go to the gym at my lunch break I usually go balls to the walls every time as I train for mass as well as calithstenics.
Am I at risk for CNS overload or too much cortisol from the constant stress I am under?
On one hand because I train for mass its hard for me not to train for "burn''....on the otherhand I dont want to screw up my CNS...
Im noticing that I always feel slighly tired the whole day after I work out and I dont sleep well anymore.
I want to know if anyone has any experience with these issues and warning signs that you are pushing too hard...
As well as what is the minimum amount of work (reps,sets ) to do to add mass without messing up your CNS or to do on days when you want to go easy...
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
If I'm hitting the intensity too hard and my cortisol is too high, I feel strung out and wired, unable to sleep, like I'm on uppers.

And my resting heart rate will be notably higher than baseline.

Of course, back in the day, I was also doing ECA stack (ephedrine, caffeine, aspirin) as pre-workout intensity enhancer.

And then Steve Bechler died from ephedrine, so that sort of ended that.
 
Last edited:

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
Not sleeping well is a warning sign. How often do you train? Do you often goes balls to the walls? I suffered from this mentality for years too. It just does not work from the long term. I think slowing down for a few weeks is what you need. You will not grow when you turn yourself into cortisol reservoir. As Pavel said, you can go hard at most two weeks out of every four weeks. Even less if you have stressful job/school/whatever. And if you do not sleep well, forget stimulants. They can have pretty much the opposite effect of what you would expect.
 

Hung

Level 7 Valued Member
If I'm hitting the intensity too hard and my cortisol is too high, I feel strung out and wired, unable to sleep, like I'm on uppers.

And my resting heart rate will be notably higher than baseline.
I get the same feeling when thinking about a heavy lift. Just thinking. It really messes up with my health.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
CNS burnout is an overused term.

Cortisol levels can be a concern, an inability to increase load or volume, or a backslide are good indicators of overtraining.

Regular exercise tends to mediate stress related cortisol spikes, but for sure environmental stress will mess up your sleep. Make sure your nutrition is spot on, lack of fuel will manifest as additional stress.

Breath meditation, a hobby, Ashwagandha supplement, all proven to lower resting cortisol.
 

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
I usually go balls to the walls every time
Ineffective Training

Going all out every workout ensures that your long term results will be less than what the could be and should be.

Ironically, this is a characteristic of many indiduals.

The key to esuring long term progress is...

Periodization Training

This is the foudation of a well written, excuted training program that is emplemented by athletes.

It also works for everyone else, as well

Periodization Training involves a training program that start off easy, with the intensity increasing each week.

In the final week of a Periodization Training Cycle, the exercises are push to failure or near failure. Doing so triggers...

OverReaching

This is a mild form of OverTraining in which recover occurs faster.

Recovery is where strength and increases take place.

Thus, once OverReaching is achieved in a Periodization Training Cycle, a new Periodization Training Cycle is started.

The New Periodization Training Cycle means starting over with a light load in the exercise you have been performing or performing different execises with a light load and progressively increasing the intensity each week, and pushing it in the final week.

This approach promotes...

Active Recovery

Active Recovery by start over with a light load increase blood flow to the muscle, which increases recovery.

Nutrent are delived to the muscle and Metablolites (garbage) produce from hard training is disposed of.

OverTraining

This happen when individual constantly train hard every session.

Pushing past OverReaching lead to OverTraining.

"Wound Healing"

This means the more trauma/stressed place on the body, the longer it take to recover.

Thus, the farther you push past OverReaching, the farther you go into OverTraining and the longer it take you to recover.

Length of Periodization Training Cycles

The general rule of the Length of a Training Cycle has to do with a lifter...

Training Age

This means how long you have been training in years.

a) Novice Lifters adapt slowly. That meanining they can make progress with a longer Training Program before needing to change it. Routhly, they need to change their program up about every 8-12 weeks.

b) Advance Lifters adapt quickly. They need to change their program up about every 3-4 weeks.

Im noticing that I always feel slighly tired the whole day after I work out and I dont sleep well anymore.

Classic Signs

These are classic signs they you need to back off and start a New Periodization Training Program.

Blunty speaking, constantly pushing it hard each training session means an individual has more ball than brains.

Summary

The key to long term progress is a well written, executed Periodization Training Plan.
 
Last edited:

Kenny Croxdale

Level 7 Valued Member
This is quite common among men between 15 and 25 years of age.
True

Definitely with this age group.

However, not exclusive to this age group.

Psychographics

Rather than classificifying individuals into age groups, it classifies them in regard to "Their attitudes, aspirations, and other phycological critera. ''

Many individual on this message board, in gyms, etc., regardless of their age have the same metality and approach to training of "Go Heavy or Go Home."

Redlining

Training is similar to Redling a gear in a car, pushing the RPM on the Tachometer into the Redline Zone.

Redling the Tachometer for a very brief moment is usually okay. This amount to OverReaching in Training.

Maintaining the Redline of a Tachometer will blow the engine. This amount to Redlinging your Training by pushing it from OverReaching into OverTraining and contiuing keep it in the "OverTraining Redline Zone" until something blow.
 
Last edited:

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
@Abishai
Go and watch some interviews with veteran calisthenics guys. Many of them burned themselves out and/or injured themselves when they were younger and don’t train that way anymore.

I don’t know what your training frequency is, but training too hard, too often is definitely a calisthenics mistake. One needs to train strength, not test it. Testing strength every session is a recipe for burnout as well. Simonster recommends something like 2-3 days a week for a muscle group, and Domink Sky recommends two. Yaad Mohammed from labcoat fitness uses periodization and I think only trains muscle groups 2-3 days a week. He’s crazy strong. There is something to be said for higher frequency training, but (speaking from experience) you can’t go all out, basically ever.

As intensity goes up, frequency typically has to go down. The exceptions are peaking phases, and very low volume training. Only after a peaking phase you drop the intensity and volume to allow your body to recover. The latter is like PTTP: high frequency but very minimal sessions.

Training for mass is similar. There has to be recovery happening. If you don’t feel recovered…well, you’re probably not.

You say “mass and calisthenics.” Can you be more specific about your weekly training? As in which exercises, sets, reps, etc? Or do you have a log here? Perhaps we can help you adjust things so you don’t get burnt out.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
@Abishai
Go and watch some interviews with veteran calisthenics guys. Many of them burned themselves out and/or injured themselves when they were younger and don’t train that way anymore.

I don’t know what your training frequency is, but training too hard, too often is definitely a calisthenics mistake. One needs to train strength, not test it. Testing strength every session is a recipe for burnout as well. Simonster recommends something like 2-3 days a week for a muscle group, and Domink Sky recommends two. Yaad Mohammed from labcoat fitness uses periodization and I think only trains muscle groups 2-3 days a week. He’s crazy strong. There is something to be said for higher frequency training, but (speaking from experience) you can’t go all out, basically ever.

As intensity goes up, frequency typically has to go down. The exceptions are peaking phases, and very low volume training. Only after a peaking phase you drop the intensity and volume to allow your body to recover. The latter is like PTTP: high frequency but very minimal sessions.

Training for mass is similar. There has to be recovery happening. If you don’t feel recovered…well, you’re probably not.

You say “mass and calisthenics.” Can you be more specific about your weekly training? As in which exercises, sets, reps, etc? Or do you have a log here? Perhaps we can help you adjust things so you don’t get burnt out.
Yes I have a log....My LOG
I dont know for sure if I am overtraining.I train hard 4 days a week but I only train each muscle group twice a week....So I dont think its how often I am doing it rather how hard I go on each session.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
Ineffective Training

Going all out every workout ensures that your long term results will be less than what the could be and should be.

Ironically, this is a characteristic of many indiduals.

The key to esuring long term progress is...

Periodization Training

This is the foudation of a well written, excuted training program that is emplemented by athletes.

It also works for everyone else, as well

Periodization Training involves a training program that start off easy, with the intensity increasing each week.

In the final week of a Periodization Training Cycle, the exercises are push to failure or near failure. Doing so triggers...

OverReaching

This is a mild form of OverTraining in which recover occurs faster.

Recovery is where strength and increases take place.

Thus, once OverReaching is achieved in a Periodization Training Cycle, a new Periodization Training Cycle is started.

The New Periodization Training Cycle means starting over with a light load in the exercise you have been performing or performing different execises with a light load and progressively increasing the intensity each week, and pushing it in the final week.

This approach promotes...

Active Recovery

Active Recovery by start over with a light load increase blood flow to the muscle, which increases recovery.

Nutrent are delived to the muscle and Metablolites (garbage) produce from hard training is disposed of.

OverTraining

This happen when individual constantly train hard every session.

Pushing past OverReaching lead to OverTraining.

"Wound Healing"

This means the more trauma/stressed place on the body, the longer it take to recover.

Thus, the farther you push past OverReaching, the farther you go into OverTraining and the longer it take you to recover.

Length of Periodization Training Cycles

The general rule of the Length of a Training Cycle has to do with a lifter...

Training Age

This means how long you have been training in years.

a) Novice Lifters adapt slowly. That meanining they can make progress with a longer Training Program before needing to change it. Routhly, they need to change their program up about every 8-12 weeks.

b) Advance Lifters adapt quickly. They need to change their program up about every 3-4 weeks.



Classic Signs

These are classic signs they you need to back off and start a New Periodization Training Program.

Blunty speaking, constantly pushing it hard each training session means an individual has more ball than brains.

Summary

The key to long term progress is a well written, executed Periodization Training Plan.
Pretty hard to periodize a hybrid workout that has alot of calithstenics and weightlifting.....I have not seen anyone that does that really
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
Not sleeping well is a warning sign. How often do you train? Do you often goes balls to the walls? I suffered from this mentality for years too. It just does not work from the long term. I think slowing down for a few weeks is what you need. You will not grow when you turn yourself into cortisol reservoir. As Pavel said, you can go hard at most two weeks out of every four weeks. Even less if you have stressful job/school/whatever. And if you do not sleep well, forget stimulants. They can have pretty much the opposite effect of what you would expect.
Balls to the walls 4 times a week but I train eacch muscle group 2 times a week
 

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
Balls to the walls 4 times a week but I train eacch muscle group 2 times a week
Your muscles can regenerate this, but then there is a recovery ability of your body (and mind) as a whole. For example, let's imagine you had a super bad day in work and then slept for only 4 hours in night. Your leg training next day will suck for sure, although you did not train legs three days before.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
Your muscles can regenerate this, but then there is a recovery ability of your body (and mind) as a whole. For example, let's imagine you had a super bad day in work and then slept for only 4 hours in night. Your leg training next day will suck for sure, although you did not train legs three days before.
true that....But if i wouldnt train everytime i would have a stressful day I would never train
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Not sure if you'd prefer feedback here or in your log, but I'll give two cents here since this is where you asked your question.

Reading your log, you are capable of very high volume. If memory serves correctly, it's been shown that high volume has a harder effect on the nervous system than high intensity and lower reps. Some suggestions:

- (I) divide your weekly sessions into a strength-oriented day (A) and a hypertrophy-oriented day (B). For each day I would either do more sets/reps of TWO movements per muscle, or less sets/reps for THREE movements per muscle group. On the (B) day, you can do a third, supplementary exercise, at a supplementary intensity (leave a decent amount of gas in the tank).
-For (A): lowish reps/sets (3-5 sets of 3-5 reps). Get a weight vest for your HSPU/dips, etc, or use heavy weights for military press and stay in the range of strength, training at 2-3 reps lower than your 5-8 RM.
-For (B): 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

-(II) Three days a week, splitting into a power day, strength day, and hypertrophy day. For this you will have to reduce the amount of exercises you do. That is, just focus on one or two and skip the extra MPs and lateral raises and stuff.
-power day- lighter instensity, longer rests (minimum of 3min rest. 5 is better), sets lasting no longer than 10-15 seconds, but using maximum power ("go airborne" with pushups, for example)
-strength day- same as in (I) but do one less set or use lower reps
-hypertrophy day- same as above, but slightly less volume

-general thoughts-
If you are feeling stressed, not sleeping well, etc, you are likely doing too much. As I stated above, you can likely increase your loads but reduce your volume and see gains with less stress. Generally speaking, volume and intensity best share an inverse relationship. If volume goes up, intensity should (usually) go down. It's okay to occassionally go high with both, but imo it should be a once per month max sort of thing.

I like Ivan Djuric's metaphor of "recovery points." You only get so many recovery points, and every stressor uses some of them up. If you're feeling less stressed, you might be able to train harder. If the day is stressful, you can still train, but that stress is already going to take up some of your recovery points, so you have to guage how many you have left to use to recover from training. You might not be able to recover from a 110%-intensity session if you've already had a hard day. Instead, you'll just start going into debt. The more debt you accrue, the harder it is to get out.

You're still young so while your body may not be suffering, if you are seeing signs of nervous system fatigue, it's only going to get harder to recover as you get older. Something to keep in mind. Read around the forum enough, and you'll see that there are plenty of dudes here in their 50's who trained super hard when they were young and have the injuries and limitations to show for it.

Lastly, see if you can address the non-training stress in your life. I'm not saying you do this, but some people "blow off steam" in the gym by training super hard, which, if you think about it, is just throwing more fuel on the fire. Insread of relieving stress they are simply exhausting themselves. Of course you'll feel "more relaxed" when you're exhausted, but being exhausted all the time is a recipe for high cortisol and stress burnout.

Anyway, I hope something in there helps. I think you can still achieve your goals, but I don't think you need to go pedal-to-the-metal to make them happen.
 

jozko

Level 5 Valued Member
true that....But if i wouldnt train everytime i would have a stressful day I would never train
I am not saying not to train. But you can go lighter if the situation requires so. Balancing stressful job and training is an art and science. And it's not about pushing harder and harder. In such cases, injuries comes faster than progress ;) Or you can deliberately go heavy - light - medium. As for you calisthenics vs. weightlifting periodization, I'd recommend to use block periodization - focus on calisthenics for few weeks, maintain weightlifting part. Then focus on weightlifting part, maintain your calisthenics skills. Your choice.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
Not sure if you'd prefer feedback here or in your log, but I'll give two cents here since this is where you asked your question.

Reading your log, you are capable of very high volume. If memory serves correctly, it's been shown that high volume has a harder effect on the nervous system than high intensity and lower reps. Some suggestions:

- (I) divide your weekly sessions into a strength-oriented day (A) and a hypertrophy-oriented day (B). For each day I would either do more sets/reps of TWO movements per muscle, or less sets/reps for THREE movements per muscle group. On the (B) day, you can do a third, supplementary exercise, at a supplementary intensity (leave a decent amount of gas in the tank).
-For (A): lowish reps/sets (3-5 sets of 3-5 reps). Get a weight vest for your HSPU/dips, etc, or use heavy weights for military press and stay in the range of strength, training at 2-3 reps lower than your 5-8 RM.
-For (B): 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps.

-(II) Three days a week, splitting into a power day, strength day, and hypertrophy day. For this you will have to reduce the amount of exercises you do. That is, just focus on one or two and skip the extra MPs and lateral raises and stuff.
-power day- lighter instensity, longer rests (minimum of 3min rest. 5 is better), sets lasting no longer than 10-15 seconds, but using maximum power ("go airborne" with pushups, for example)
-strength day- same as in (I) but do one less set or use lower reps
-hypertrophy day- same as above, but slightly less volume

-general thoughts-
If you are feeling stressed, not sleeping well, etc, you are likely doing too much. As I stated above, you can likely increase your loads but reduce your volume and see gains with less stress. Generally speaking, volume and intensity best share an inverse relationship. If volume goes up, intensity should (usually) go down. It's okay to occassionally go high with both, but imo it should be a once per month max sort of thing.

I like Ivan Djuric's metaphor of "recovery points." You only get so many recovery points, and every stressor uses some of them up. If you're feeling less stressed, you might be able to train harder. If the day is stressful, you can still train, but that stress is already going to take up some of your recovery points, so you have to guage how many you have left to use to recover from training. You might not be able to recover from a 110%-intensity session if you've already had a hard day. Instead, you'll just start going into debt. The more debt you accrue, the harder it is to get out.

You're still young so while your body may not be suffering, if you are seeing signs of nervous system fatigue, it's only going to get harder to recover as you get older. Something to keep in mind. Read around the forum enough, and you'll see that there are plenty of dudes here in their 50's who trained super hard when they were young and have the injuries and limitations to show for it.

Lastly, see if you can address the non-training stress in your life. I'm not saying you do this, but some people "blow off steam" in the gym by training super hard, which, if you think about it, is just throwing more fuel on the fire. Insread of relieving stress they are simply exhausting themselves. Of course you'll feel "more relaxed" when you're exhausted, but being exhausted all the time is a recipe for high cortisol and stress burnout.

Anyway, I hope something in there helps. I think you can still achieve your goals, but I don't think you need to go pedal-to-the-metal to make them happen.
Thanks for the detailed reply...I really appreciate it
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
Or you can deliberately go heavy - light - medium. As for you calisthenics vs. weightlifting periodization, I'd recommend to use block periodization - focus on calisthenics for few weeks, maintain weightlifting part. Then focus on weightlifting part, maintain your calisthenics skills. Your choice.

I think he's actually lifting weights not weightlifting.

JK.

Not really. ;)

Signed:

Your friendly neighborhood weightlifter. ;)
 
Top Bottom