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Hormonal Problems from Overtraining?

Hey CT,

I read your articles and thread answers about overtraining, but still arent sure if I really reached that state. 21y old, low LH, low total and free test tested and having problems building muscle.

Total training volume per week: around 20 hours
Of that around 6hours are “intense” CNS training (lifting,sprinting,jumping etc.)
The other 14 hours are low intense conditioning, core training, recovery pump training and skill practice

Can you wreck your hormonal system with that volume or is it too low damage anything?

Thanks for reading

Best Regards

I mentioned on another thread I used to train 15 hours a week plus a few runs when I got ready for a Muay Thai fight. In that 15 hours 1 was lifting, about 30-40 mins was sprints, about 2.5-3.5 was running, and the rest was the added up duration of the Muay Thai sessions which included warm up, stretching, bunch of skill practice and sparring and about an hour total of core and/or conditioning each week. And in the 13 week full blown prep I recovered pretty well, although I had low point about 3 weeks out, the coach said take 4 says off, I did and came back feeling great the rest of the prep went good. That was me with about 7 years gym background and even more experience in various sports from childhood, so my body wasn’t new to it all.

Compared to this, you train intense 6 hours, which is already very demanding even for a type 1b like myself, and you throw 14 hours of conditioning, pump, and skill practice, which even if you train slow with humongous rest periods is way too much for a pro longed period of time. I don’t know your training background, what skill your practicing or your neurotype, but to me the quantity of training you do is way more than anyone needs or is able to sustain for more than a handful of weeks before seeing adverse effects from it.

Now I don’t feel qualified to give you any recommendations other than definitely lower the volume of each type of work your doing and decide if you want to condition or get big or strong because it seems your trying to be everything at once which never leads to anywhere.

I’m sure if CT sees the thread he will be able to help you more than me regarding what you should do, but I’m 99% sure what your doing is way too much

Good luck

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Hey Bert,
thanks for your response and sharing your experience with it. Im a Type 1B same as you. The thing is I dont feel “bad” or “exhausted”. I love training (I know stimulus addict but still never having workout hangovers) and have this training regimen for a long time now so my body should be used to it. And I said the other 14 hours is more “light” and skill/body focused so it shouldnt hurt that much (definetly not as intense as muay thai practice)

Still the lack of progress in olympic lifts, sprint times etc for years combined with the bad hormonal levels made me worry too so I already reduced the “light training” to 5-7 hours per week since 5 weeks but I slowly see my resting heart rate go up because of the lack of conditioning but at the same time Im not more athletic or feel more libido.

Thats the reason Im asking, can the training volume even be the reason for all of this and if yes how long does the body need to recover from it?

I don’t know if you read CT’s article about overtraining and different training variables that need to be balanced to avoid overtraining, for the hell of it I can’t remember the title, it’s quite a new article as well.
For a type 1, even a type 1b, volume should be capped at around 1 hour max per workout as well as around 12-16 work sets, lactic acid work should only be introduced if your sport requires lactic acid tolerance and even then only in very small amounts and very gradually because type 1b doesn’t recover well from lactic acid training.

Excessive volume raises cortisol which in turn loweres testosterone as they are both produced from the same base or ‘mother’ hormone, while also increasing adrenaline and therefore desensitizing your adrenergic receptors. Lack of progress is a clear sign something is not right, and me being 24 if I had any problems with my libido I would definitely be concerned.

I don’t know what you consider high resting heart rate, mine is in the high 60s low 70s when I’m strength focused and not in top shape. But all it takes is a couple of runs a week and it’s low 60s high 50s in a matter of weeks, especially if I also add a sprint session a week, that being short bursts of sprints 6-10 times. Coupled with no more than 3 heavy sessions that’s more than ample to maintain size and strength while getting in better shape without messing with recovery or skyrocketing cortisol as long as my food is in check too.

I mean just look at westside, them dudes smash 2 max efforts, 2 speed days, and anywhere from 1 to 6, sometimes even more mini workouts for just accessorys or low intensity sled dragging, and even then their total training time is probably no more than 10 hours a week, likely a few hours less.
If you ever heard or read CT talk about athletes he trains, 3 heavy sessions, 1 light bodybuilding session, 3 sports practice sessions, usually on the same day as lifting to give a few full recovery days. And they are athletes.

You need a lot less than you think to get in shape and stay in shape. Your body may be somewhat used to what your doing but ‘being used to’ it in that case can mean desensitised adrenergic receptors, overproduction of cortisol to cope with the constant stress, therefore poor recovery. Although if you are feeling good and not exhausted I don’t think you have adrenaline or dopamine issues, but again most of the things I can say are personal experience or what I learnt from people like CT.

As of how to fix it, I’d say lower the volume, again depends what your training for, but if you really need to be athletic or just want to be, sprints once a week, short bursts x6-10 with 60-90 sec rest, and run once a week, slow steady running for 3-5 miles, nothing better than running if you want to build stamina. On top of that, keep your jumps, throws and heavy lifts in 3 days a week with minimal accessorys, I’d probably train for balance instead of accessory if I had to couple heavy work with regular conditioning. So if you press, do some upperback work, if you squat, do some hypers and/or leg curls, if you deadlift do some abs and leg curls or hypers whatever you didn’t on squat day, you get the idea. And maybe one extra workout where you can do some bodybuilding work for neglected muscles and weak points but keep it brief to about 30-45 mins and not so intense. Also, keep your cortisol in check, I thankfully didn’t really have cortisol issues yet, but I see a lot of people liking ashwanghanda, as well as some magnesium glycinate post workout.
For how long it will take, not sure, but even when it gets better if you return to your current regime you’ll end up this way again.
And remember, this advice is from personal experience and from my interpretation of things that I read / heard in podcasts from people I give credit to, like CT, Wendler, or Louie Simmons, so I don’t consider myself an expert by any means.

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I know which article you are referring to, read all stuff of him I could find of that. And I agree with the first assumption that its not cortisol or dopamine problem because I react very strongly to caffeine and get huge pleasure out of good tasting whey shakes hahaha

Its 4xtimes 90min of hard training. I think that should be okay. Also never did any lactate work, never liked it and after reading into neurotypes I knew why.

Resting heart rate was around 40 and went up to 46 by now still rising. I agree with most of your points and your suggestion, but its all based on cortisol overproduction. In that case shouldnt I have more problems with getting into the “zone” and being hype because I can do that just fine?

Also I dont care if youre a expert or not. Your answers are well written and explained, you know enough to give adcice IMO. Very thankful for your input.

Btw already taking most “proven” supplements like omega 3, magnesium, curcumin etc

4x90 mins to me is a little much if it’s neural based, meaning heavy and/or explosive predominantly. Now including say a 10 min warmup drill it’s just fine to stretch to 70 mins if you are making progress, so I’d stick to 60 min max after warmup/jumps and activation.

The reason I’m assuming it being a cortisol issue is because of your low T. But again, I never had cortisol issues or if I had it wasn’t long/severe enough for me to pay it extra time or attention, so a few days off usually solved the issue if I felt off or been losing strength.

That resting heart rate to me is pretty exceptional, you are still pretty safe in the 50s.

And no problem at all, I don’t mind helping if I feel I can actually contribute and help.

What are your goals?
What’s your bodyweight?
How long have you been training for in this regime or similar amount of volume?
How long have you had issues with your libido?
How is your sleep and nutrition?

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Okay will cut out some off the accessory stuff then to keep the overall time down.

And forget to mention something in the last post. If it really was a cortisol issue I shouldve felt much better after decreasing the overall volume so much in the last 5 weeks.

  1. Being fast
  2. 82kg (11-13%bf)
  3. 11 years overall training time. Nore than 10 hours per week since 8 years and training everyday overall more than 15 hours per week since 4-6 years(slow transition).
  4. Arent sure, had a late puberty and first started to have a libido with 13 and at the end of my school time I started losing it.(cant name a exact date)
  5. Tracking calories and eating clean since 11 years too. Sleep always a minimum of 8 hours more like 8,5 hours.

And regarding testo and lh. Both values were under thr minimum of the hralthy range so extremly low for my age and lifestyle.

If you want to be fast all you really need is jumps, throws, sprints, some explosive exercises and some heavy lifts to build strength. You can top it with some easier cardio like running, but it might be just my bias because of my Muay Thai background.

Regarding your sleep that shouldn’t be a problem then. If your calories are on point, maybe some vitamin d3, maybe more good fats like nutts and Extra virgin olive oil, steak, it can help with testosterone. Or so I read a few years ago in a study.

I’m not sure about the late puberty but if your libido decreased after you were out of the high point of your puberty, it could even be a testosterone issue as in you are under producing in general. Now volume probably makes that worse but if that’s the issue you may need more than dropping volume.
As I said, good fats, vitamin d3, both pretty important for testosterone production, along with good sleep, some ZMA before sleep. If that doesn’t do it then you could look at natural test boosters and see if they help.

Regarding your training, being a type 1, 531 type workouts may not resonate fully with you, but in a time of my life when I already had a bunch of work and variation in my everyday life, it came really handy to have my training pre planned for months so I dug more into it, and while mostly its a little too repetitive for me, Jim Wendler has a lot of good points, and he has a workout on his website that he uses with his football players. Basically it’s 3 days a week lifting, starting with jumps and throws, then main lift, then doing 3-5 sets of 3-10 reps of the main lift with a lighter weight, in a circuit fashion with 2 other accessories, usually a push and a pull, or one of those and a lower body /core movement. Now that’s not high volume, actually it takes under an hour to complete, and his athelets are strong and fast. Also they run, sprint, and obviously train football. You don’t have to do exactly that, Im just trying to show you, if your looking to be faster, you don’t need to do that much. A well programmed mix of jumps, throws, heavy lifting, maybe 1 accessory to build muscle around the trained body part or bring up a weakness, and 1 other exercise for balance 3 times a week, 1 accessory day for weakness and/or neglected muscles, lus sprints on separate times than weight workouts maybe 2-3 times a week. Regarding sprint workouts I never been a competitive sprinter, but I’d do something like 2 days a week, short sessions, no more than 10 short sprints with 60-90 sec rest, and if you want to maintain speed for longer durations, or just build stamina, do a 3-5 mile run each week. This leaves you at under 4 hours of gym training, around 3 hours heavy and the rest is easy work, and about an hour, maybe an hour and half of total sprint and run time. Coupled with the right supplements and nutrition it should help you towards your goal while letting you recover, and if your test still doesn’t improve, try natural test supplements, DAA gets a lot of positive reviews lately, but Biotest have their own thing too called Alpha Male that seems to be getting positive feedback.