T Nation

Advice for Metabolic Recovery


In another thread, Chris sent me to this article about metabolic damage. About 9 months, I started wondering if some of my disparate symptoms were Low T but the bloodwork (and assistance from the good people of the TRT board) says that isn’t likely the case based on the numbers. Lo and behold, that metabolic damage hit on the more noticeable symptoms that had been pointing me towards Low T, so lets see if this strategy doesn’t do me some good? At worst, I figure I give my joints a rest for 2-3 weeks.

The symptoms of most interest at current are that I’m not losing weight, gaining appreciable amounts of strength, or gaining any visible muscle. All 3 of those have been stalled for a fair while, minus strength gains when I leave/come back to an exercise (back spasm last year, after 3 months rehab/light work I blew out my old squat and deadlift PR’s by ~30 lbs, for example), and it does not compute that I would not be getting SOME benefit from weight work.

Typical Diet:

Breakfast - 1 cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp PB2 (weekend is usually about the same cals, maybe more protein)
Lunch - ~600 cals 50/50 protein/carb plus veggies (weekend lunch is more similar to normal dinner)
Dinner - 500 cals, 200 cal carb (rice, quinoa, wheat pasta, whatever), 300 cal lean protein

Between meals, and after dinner, is usually a 150-200 cal snack. Jerky or protein shake is common during the day, popcorn is common at night (stove popped with coconut oil, not bagged) or nuts.

Target is about 2,200 calls each day, plus workout nutrition.

Typical workout:

For the last 4-5 weeks, I’ve been focusing on medium-volume work to start my workouts (lots of 4x8’s) mainly focusing on upper body, because my finisher of choice has been sprint intervals followed by high-incline walking. Every now and then I’ve added in one exercise of low rep work, pyramiding up to a 2-3 rep set to start it off.

Because of my work schedule, my workouts are first thing in the morning. Wake up at 4:30am, take a Hot Rox, sip a scoop of Mag-10, and drink 2 scoops of Plazma during my workout.


According to about a year of Fitbit data, my average daily calorie expenditure is 3,000-3,200 depending on how busy work is. BMR calcs say close enough to that, plus I do a fair amount of walking at my job, so I’m okay calling that accurate enough. And, okay, yeah, now looking at it maybe I was dropping my calories too low for too long.

The smart man in the article suggests I need to take 3-ish weeks off from the gym and “eat less, exercise less” and work on de-stressing. After that, 1-3 months of “eat more, exercise more” and another article claims that high-rep (15-20 per set) work is a good plan for resetting metabolic damage.

So for these first 3 weeks, am I aiming for a caloric deficit but without the training? Or more like maintenance, plus nothing more strenuous than walking? After that, how much is “eat more, exercise more”?

Any advice, comment, or question is welcome and appreciated. Let me know, particularly, if I left something out.