T Nation

Depression Effect Strength/Muscle?


It seems cliched but alot of the big natural guys you see in life (talking muscle not fat) seem to be relatively low stressed individuals.. . so much so that despite their bulk and strength many people consider them to be "big teddy bears"

Depression would be considered a significant stressor would it not? Im just interested on how much a factor like that could impact onto someone training for physique and strength enhancement?


Depression supresses T-levels,serotonin levels,fucks with your glucose tolerance,increases cortisol...Add the following lack of energy,motivation and the will to live and you've got yourself a nice recipe for either getting obese or concentration camp skinny.

Imagine a lion.Now imagine a cheeta.Imagine a Bunny.Notice how as the animals get smaller they get more jumpy?

Same general principle operates in humans.You will of course have really calm,confident skinny guys and jumpy jolly big guys but generally it seems to be true.


Yes, depression does effect everything.

The worst thing is that depression makes you fat, and being fat makes you depressed (physiologically speaking, not emotionally). It's a vicious cycle. Being depressed lowers T, being fat lowers T. Low T causes depression. Low T causes fatness.

Enough of my jabbering though, I am on an anti-depressant and have been for a couple of years but I didn't really start to make any progress with fat loss or strengh until I started on Androgel to bring my T up.

Go to the doctor and have your T, Cortisol, and TSH checked. They can all be affected by depression.


lifting weights = good for depression

It may not work the other way around for the above mentioned reasons but this isnt something you should be thinking about. Go to the gym and make some progress, don't worry about whats effecting you. Yes you want to limit external stress to get the most out of the gym, but don't let external stress limit what you acomplish in the gym.

I've been battling with depression for many years but try not to let it effect me , and I don't think it has effected me much at all in the gym.


It hasn't affected me as long as I'm well enough to get in there and lift. Basically, at my worst, I couldn't be bothered to physically care for myself beyond the most accessible 'nutrition.' When I have stuck to a routine - both in terms of exercise and diet - it has been salutory in helping to fight depression. Of course, if it's real depression you wanna see the doctor and get some cheap, effective antidepressants . . . prozac has worked for me but a lot of folks swear by other types, lots out there . . .


Is there any way to reduce cortisol levels? I know that causes fat storage on the abs, and that of course makes me stressed, so it's a vicious cycle...


cool guys thanks.. . yeah Im aware that stress is pretty bad for people trying to attain physique and strength goals and I think Id be further along if I had some stress management skills.. . as for lowering T and depression thats one good reason for giving up booze.. . I find that my depression is worse when I drink and of course both the depression and booze will effect T levels.. . now I have a crazy high sex drive but Im sure thats got nothing to do with how much free T Im likely to have.. . but it could mean my bodys trying to produce more without much luck.. . who knows. ..


in my own experience,Lifting helps,but aerobic training helps more.Im talkin anything...a brisk walk.



Doing just that will fix everything.


having suffered most of my life from depression off and on, I can tell you it can wreak havoc on your strength if you let it. On the other hand if you use your workouts as a weapon to fight it and redirect your mental energy against the weights then the workouts can be a big step in the healing process. When i get severely depressed i usually also have anxiety issues, a painful squat workout has a majical way of grounding me and once i accomplish the goal i also feel better about myself.


Like the second poster, it releases endorphins I heard. It can make you feel less depressed after working out. I can attest to this being true for myself. My mentality can be in the dumps some days but pounding out some reps can take my mind off of things. Weight lifting gets my mind focused on something else other than my worries. I can put my shoulder into lifting and not worry about hurting someone except me (and possibly relationships if I worship lifting, yet I dont).

Its funny because I know so many guys on here lift because they wanna look good nekkid. Well, that's pretty far down on the list for me. I just enjoy doing it and the results I get (physically but more so mentally).


yes you'll make much better gains if you are not depressed.


As of late, moving iron is the only thing that motivates me...that inspires me...that energizes me.

It's the moments in between that are a bitch.