T Nation

Big Effort = Get Sick

Hello,

I have been suffering from this issue for the last months. If I do a big effort when squatting or deadlifting, I will fall sick within hours. It’s like a cold, not strong enough to force me to take days off from work or to stay all day in bed, but annoying enough to stop me from going to the gym during this period.

I’m almost 30 years old, been lifting seriously for a year, I’m eating enough (on a bulk that is going quite well), I take my sleep very seriously (although deadlifting and squatting cause me bad sleep for 1-3 nights) and I don’t have any important health problems. I got my blood checked in January and everything was perfect except something about my liver, that was “a bit out of the charts”.

I’ve gotten sick three times in the last 3-4 months and each time it meant a downtime of almost two weeks. The first time was in December and I knew something was wrong when I was not hungry or even in mood for eating.
Two days ago I squatted a bit more than usual (I want to reach my goals before April) and it felt great. But at mid evening I started to have a very bad headache, felt very tired and eventually got a runny nose. Yesterday I woke up sick. Again, not strong enough to be bad, but annoying enough.

So, does this happen during the first years? Or is it just something I’m doing wrong with my diet? During Winter people tend to get sick more often due to the lack of Vitamin D from the Sun, so maybe that’s an important point about this.

Some additional information :

-I’m on a generous calorie surplus, but I have to admit that I’m not eating vegetables often. About fruits, I eat oranges and bananas almost daily.
-I’m taking a multivitamin supplement (includes Vitamin D), a magnesium/calcium supplement (includes Vitamin D) and fish oil.

Any ideas or suggestions?

others will have a better answer than me probably. my suggestion would be to add some extra glutamine and vitimin c powder to your post w/o drink. these 2 substances can get depleted during a heavy workout so its good to replace them, and they have a strong effect on immune system.

good luck

^ Was thinking the same thing. Also try to up your mineral intake as these can also be depleted with ehavy exercise.

It seems that Glutamine may be exactly what I’m looking for. I’ve been reading about it now and it’s always remarked that it helps with recovery and to prevent illness.

I’ll give it a try because I’m starting to be afraid to give my best when deadlifting because I don’t want to get ill.

Thanks!

How much water are you drinking? Dehydration may be hindering you. Also, eat more vegetables. This is always a good idea.

When was your last deload? My best guess is that your body is ready for a break. Take a week off from the hevy lifting, do some extra stretching and foam rolling, sleep an extra hour each night, and come back next week ready to go.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
How much water are you drinking? Dehydration may be hindering you. Also, eat more vegetables. This is always a good idea.

When was your last deload? My best guess is that your body is ready for a break. Take a week off from the hevy lifting, do some extra stretching and foam rolling, sleep an extra hour each night, and come back next week ready to go.[/quote]

Water is not an issue, I drink a lot.

I haven’t had any deloading weeks since being sick already forces me to take 7-15 days off.
Since December I haven’t able to get regular.

What sort of weights are you pushing and how many reps are you doing?

How do you end up physically after squats: do you burst blood vessels in your eyes, for example?

This might ultimately just be a correlation=/=causation issue.

Don’t know what a ‘big effort’ is comprised of or what your routine is, but if you are having trouble sleeping and getting sick regularly you are probably just going too far… If you are doing multiple sets to failure, for example, try leaving a rep or two in the tank. Or cut to one top set. And avoid getting overly psyched up.

If you described your typical session and maybe your overall split other suggestions might be possible?

Is non-workout stress high?

One workout doesn’t make you sick. If you have accumulation from several workouts in a row it might be possible but are you sure squatting isn’t just the easiest pattern in your life to recognize. Maybe your just around too many sick people, or possibly breathing in air that causes allergies. It can also be mental stop looking forward to it.

[quote]The3Commandments wrote:
What sort of weights are you pushing and how many reps are you doing?

How do you end up physically after squats: do you burst blood vessels in your eyes, for example?

This might ultimately just be a correlation=/=causation issue.[/quote]

[quote]thogue wrote:
Don’t know what a ‘big effort’ is comprised of or what your routine is, but if you are having trouble sleeping and getting sick regularly you are probably just going too far… If you are doing multiple sets to failure, for example, try leaving a rep or two in the tank. Or cut to one top set. And avoid getting overly psyched up.

If you described your typical session and maybe your overall split other suggestions might be possible?

Is non-workout stress high?[/quote]

To answer to both, both times I got sick after doing deadlifts was after breaking my PR. That was around 1.6 times my BW. I got there doing sets of 2-4 reps until I was just doing 2 reps.

I don’t do sets until failure unless it’s things like curls, where I usually do one set until 8-10 with good form, then until failure and cheat a bit at the end if required.

After squats my heart rate is quite fast, but besides that, nothing strange.

Just in example, this is what I did the other day that got me sick :

Squats : One set after another increasing the load by 5-10lb. 6-8 reps per set until I got to my current working weight, then I did 5. Then I increased the load and did 4 reps. I could have done more, but with new weights I don’t risk it.

Smith machine calf raises : 4 sets of 10 slow reps (holding two seconds at the top).

Prone leg gurl : 3 sets of 10-15 reps, one until 10 reps, the other two until failure with higher weight than usual.

Leg extensions : 3 sets following the same idea as with prone leg curls.

I have a 3 day split, that would be legs, then I have :
Back/biceps (deadlifts, bent over row with dead reps, very heavy dumbbell rows, bicep curls and variations)
Shoulder/chest/tri (overhead press, bench press, tricep kickback, tricep pushdown, lateral raises, inclined DB press)
All follow the same logic. For big lifts I increase weight at a “relaxed” speed. For the others I try to go until failure while keepin the form stable until the last reps.

I want to add something that may be important. Sometimes I work in the morning, sometimes in the evening. Each time I’ve gotten sick has been after training before work. If I train and then go to work, I feel quite sloppy and tired for hours. If I workout after job, I feel bit tired, but in much better mood. I wonder if the difference is the amount of food I have taken pre-workout.

I also feel that I could give much more after those sessions, I usually have energy for more sets, but since I got sick after those deadlifts, I’m really not in mood to press too hard.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
One workout doesn’t make you sick. If you have accumulation from several workouts in a row it might be possible but are you sure squatting isn’t just the easiest pattern in your life to recognize. Maybe your just around too many sick people, or possibly breathing in air that causes allergies. It can also be mental stop looking forward to it.[/quote]

I am surrounded by sick people all the time (big office, shared computers) so I assume that my immume system is taking a big hit when I train hard and that leaves me vulnerable.

But I hope that I can find a way so I’m not SO vulnerable. I’ll give glutamine a try.