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Energy Levels Crashing - Programming or Nutrition?


Hey guys, I'm hoping y'all could give me some insight into where my problem is.

I've lately had problems where it seems that my energy levels start to crash every four weeks and I have to take off a full week to deload and recover. I'll become lethargic, I'll want to nap excessively and just become lazy. When I'm in the gym I'll run fine for the first 15-20 minutes, but I'll hit the wall 25-30 minutes.

== Programming ==
I am working out on the Stronglifts program, for about six-seven months now. I lift 3 sessions/week. I also workout with my trainer 3 sessions/week doing balls-to-the-walls level effort (I rarely leave without having to lean against the elevator walls on the way down from the gym) . We superset one-three sets of exercises, two minutes on the rowing machine and 2 minutes break for a full hour.

== Nutrition ==
One of my objectives is to lose fat, so I'm probably eating enough to account for 1# loss/week. This is primarily proteins, animal fats.

Background: I'm 29 y/o, about a year into lifting seriously for the first time in my life. Before that I was your average sedentary fatass, couldn't do three pushups in November 2010.

So... what are your thoughts? Suggestions? Do I accept doing a complete deload every four weeks, or is there some way to structure this better? I'm thinking nutrition might be a quick fix if I bump myself up to a maintenance amount.


You made no mention of how much you rest. Do you sleep 8 or more hours every night?

So... How many times a week do you train? 6? 3? I'm confused.

You're gonna have to give us more than that. Quoting Mr. Chris Colucci, post exactly what you ate yesterday.

Congrats on being on track for the past year. Hope you can pushup more than three times now :wink: Stronglifts is a good program, I gave it a go a couple of months ago. Keep at it. What progress have you made so far?


Thanks for the response!

Sleep: I've been challenged getting more than six hours of sleep a night. I'm working on a more structured approach to going to bed. Routines and all.
Training: 6X a week, plus usually a seventh lighter session where I do only pull-ups and chin-ups.
Breakfast - Sausage Omelette - 1137 cal
Snack - Muscle Milk Shake 417 cal
Lunch - Muscle Milk Shake 417 cal
Dinner - 4 chicken spring rolls and 3 subway cookies (I was weak!)
Post-Bed - Muscle Milk Shake 417 ca

I think all told, probably about 3000 or so. I weigh 280#, 29% BF, 5'11.5"

I've seen significant gains, I went from a 225x2 DL to 345x5 DL, Squats were 0/not performed to 325x5. I've been held back on my bench due to shoulder issues, I've been considering rotating it out for something else.


That looks like a problem

Another potential problem.


Aye - I didn't expect it to have this significant an effect though.

Overtraining, you think?


Your doing starting strength while trying to lose weight, and your also adding 4 additional workouts to the load, including 3 "balls to the wall" sessions.

Read that slowly ten times and you will see why you are so burned out.


He is not doing SS, but SL 5X5. Add his trainer sessions, thats two workouts a week.

Eat more, lots more, take ZMA to sleep better and consider Neural Charge workout only for the 7th day or an active rest day. But, damn, you need to eat.

No such thing as over-training, just under-eating.



The funny thing is that I've been doing this for several months now, it's only recently that it became a problem. But I did start cutting back on the calories in the last two months so that could be a culprit.

Oh well, guess I gotta eat more. I am not displeased at this news, I didn't get to 280# by eating salad :slight_smile: