T Nation

Effects of Long Burnout/Stress

I’ve just picked up my training and eating again after a very long period of stress and burnouts. Strength is almost back, shape is a bit off. I’ve gained some flab and lost a lot of mass, and work capacity is severly down. Sometimes i feel like my body is “hung over” from stress, so I’m trying to eat and supplement as far as I can to bring my hormonal profile back.

I eat well, 6 meals a day (including shakes), medium on the carbs except after training, a lot of vegetables, fruit, lean meat, milk, nuts.

I supplement with
ZMA (50 mg zink, 600 mg magnesium)
multivitamin (Super One, british, insane amounts of vitamin B (3000% of RDI)
Fish oils,
vitamin C, 1000mgs
and a combined amino acid product.

I feel I have overtrainingsymptoms in my training, allthough I’ve taken a lot of time of and eased back into it. By symptoms i mean: Failure to achive pump, low energy levels, slow recovery, high pulse after training, fatigue.

As I said, the major stressors in my life are gone but I do feel “hung over” even though it’s been a several weeks now.

Training is 5*5 full body splits 2 times a week: day 1 squat bench row + core work, day two deads presses chins arms.

Finally, my question: Is there anything else I can do, nutritionally, to revigorate my system? (Or am I totally off track)

I’m not expert in this field but in addition to balanced diet my suggestion is that avoid dieting. Long-term energy deficit increases the risk of overtraining/burnout and if you have already suffered one, you are very prone to suffer it again. In general, I would suggest to take it easy and listen very carefully to your body. Take extra days off if necessary. Recovering from burnout may take a lot of time, sometimes years.

Welcome to my world. I maintain a lifestyle that keeps me very active, very busy, and little free time. I’m usually malnourished, over trained, stressed out, and don’t get enough sleep. I have slowly adapted to this over the years though so it’s not the ass kicker it used to be.

My best advice is to eat clean as much as possible. Undereating when you are consuming fruits, veggies, and lean protein is a million times better than undereating and your diet is crap.

Do whatever you can to maximize quality and quantity of sleep. Z-12 and ZMA are pretty sweet, give them a try. There are lots of good posts and articles around here about sleep itself that are insightful and informative on how to get the most out of your Zzz’s as well.

Best of luck to you.