19y/o lifter with 6 years experience. Love lifting and workout intensely every day, taking maybe 1 rest day every 2-3 weeks. I messed around w PEDs age 16-18 and wound up on TRT, fixed many symptoms I had and feel much healthier now, still having problems and I think it could be due to overtraining.
I’d remembered reading this article
a while back and considering I might need to deload. I’ve lifted intensely nearly everyday of the year for the past 4-5 years taking days-off only when I can’t get to the gym or feel like I absolutely need one. In the past, I leaned pretty heavily on steady stimulant usage to maintain workout intensity during this time period, taking PWOs before every training session in excess of 600mg caffeine +other stims in the past. I’ve gotten stimulant usage down to 200mg caffeine for the past year.
EDIT: In case this is relevant to the discussion, I follow a Push/Pull/Legs split, each workout is 3-4 each of 1-2 compounds and then 2-3 super sets of isolation exercises. Core intermittently, very infrequent cardio. Diet is not too strict, but I don’t eat like crap. Very conscious of protein/carb/fat composition of meals and steer towards nutrient dense foods over caloric dense foods. 6’5, 243lbs, ~15-20% BF.
I’ve been experiencing things mentioned in this article, mainly brain fog and fatigue. I noticed a decreased motivation in the gym and raising estrogen as well. My muscles look really flat and empty outside the gym, but I’m not noticing any major decrease in strength or size (when pumped). I feel down after training, whereas I used to feel confident and energized after a good session (this was even after decreasing caffeine, to say that I wasn’t just riding out the stims after a good workout). I spoke to my doc about this, got a blood test for cortisol and its in the dumps. 3.0ug/dL range 6-18.4 in the AM.
I find it hard to believe that only 200mg of caffeine daily could cause such poor adrenal function… My life is not too stressful and alcohol consumption is not too frequent, maybe 5 nights a month. Sleep is mostly good, 7+ hours a night. I don’t know what else could be dragging my adrenal function down… My questions are:
Could I be overtraining? If so, am I right to believe that chronic stress from training everyday burnt out my adrenals, and now my cortisol output is suboptimal? Do I need to take time away from the gym and just not train for some time? Do I need to cut out all stimulants? How can I go about this while maintaining the progress I’ve made?