T Nation

Changing Workout to CNS Needs

Wanted to run a quick question from some experienced people on here, for a period of time prior to now I was under an incredible amount of distress that wrecked havoc for my physique and gains, I had not been sure if the general exhaustion and symptoms I had been feeling were from mental fatigue or physical…

I had been on the Indigo program with full protocol for the past two years and was very successful; gaining 20 pounds of muscle and got stronger on all my lifts, however at the time of the burn out from all the stress I found my gains went flat and I got progressively thinner over a short period of time, various pains and stuff would be in my tendons and felt weak as well…

I took time off from the gym to focus on recovery and eventually felt better, worked out light few times a week and got cold like symptoms that would show up so backed off, again came back worked light and again cold like symptoms would hit… I eventually just started a program with less volume and still kept it light and seemed to make gained a lot of lost muscle and feel much more energetic and healthy, however at the time now it seems things seem to still be kind of stagnant and doesn’t feel quite right…

I am wondering what the best course of option would be either to A. Take some more rested time off the gym at a possible time line of 6 weeks. Or B. Keep working out at very moderate level of volume and intensity using 60% of my Max weight for each exercise a few times a week…

I am really leaning towards option B and seems to be a safe and okay choice I am just not one to take too much time off since it feels not 100% necessary. I was not eating as much while on the program and really want to try and bulk to at least 205 in the following 6 months as well.

I have also recently gotten a physical and different blood tests done and came out with a clean bill of health with normal ranges of function, including cortisol.

I say neither.

What I would do if I were you is try to take a step back and look at my job and all other things that are causing me this amount of stress.

Getting stronger and a better physique aside, having that much stress is not good for your heart or brain. There are some things you can not change, but try to change the way you feel about those things.
For instance, maybe work is hard, stop worrying about it. When you leave work do not think about it until you go back.
Maybe there are family strains, try to either fix things for yourself or distance yourself.
If you have negative friends, either stop listening to them or just stop talking to them all together.
There are of course lots of things for de-stressing, oils and all of that crap, find out what works for you.
Assess your sleep and diet, could you get more of both.

I would say take another week off while you really nail all of this in and lower your stress levels then slowly start working yourself up to more volume or higher intensity.

Thanks man, Yeah the thing is the strain and stress was from recovering from an anxiety disorder while simultaneously weaning off medications for it. I have since fully recovered from any type of mental conflict anxiety included using acceptance and moving straight through whatever challenges had arisen, the issues were just the high levels of cortisol and stress that happen from sensitization and breaking out of any vicious cycles.

Now I know I will never fall into any trap of mental strain or stress created through ego but the dissociation and some other effects from it all still linger, it is just hard to gauge things sometimes when mental fatigue is there from De Personalization and it is hard to pinpoint certain things. However having the blood tests done and a physical it shows that my body is in good health and no systematic effects remain in terms of physiology.

Some good advice, the best thing to do is to leave your “stress” at home, dont bother with it… We can only fix the problem while we are there, I use to worry a lot about the “what can and could happen” and as soon as I stopped htis, it really did reduce the amount of stress I had which did LEAD to fat loss, I think stress raises cortisol to a ridiculous degree.

[quote]Therealtabby wrote:
Some good advice, the best thing to do is to leave your “stress” at home, dont bother with it… We can only fix the problem while we are there, I use to worry a lot about the “what can and could happen” and as soon as I stopped htis, it really did reduce the amount of stress I had which did LEAD to fat loss, I think stress raises cortisol to a ridiculous degree.[/quote]

x2 and especially on the last part. I was getting killed at work a year ago with many projects that were basically designed to fail from the get go, but still had to do what needed to be done. After all that I finally decided if things get done, they get done. I’ve also distanced myself from a certain family member who can get me from 0 to 60 in an instant and I’ll tell you from my experience, its the best thing I could’ve done. It may be selfish but if I’m happier and healthier, then so be it.