T Nation

How Do You/Should You Feel After a Workout?

I posted this in the conditioning section as im mostly talking about conditioning.

How does everyone feel after a workout? Lifting and conditioning and their sport?? and also, how ‘should’ you feel??
I know people shouldnt be throwing up or shaky/fainting etc but what i mean is how does your body feel?

i have basically been trying to get alot leaner since summer with only dropping a small amount of weight. I have noticed that after a workout (more so when doing cardio,conditioning or playing football) i feel fat, heavier and bloated.

My stomach seems to distend and my love handles almost swell. I train better on an empty stomach or just have a protein shake before, i drink enough but not excessively during my workouts but i sweat ALOT!
As im struggling so much to lose fat im beginning to think that my workouts are detremental to my fat loss, as crazy as it sounds.

im currently on low carbs and only really having them after my workout (occassionally before), i have also been suffering from reactive hypoglycemia after workouts (hence another reason for the post workout carbs) which i sorta have under control.

is my body going into survival mode after training? should i feel leaner and lighter?? whats your experiences?

this is driving me insane, im struggling so bad to lose fat but it just aint shifting.

It really depends on how hard your conditioning/lifting route is.

If it’s moderate, then I actually feel better afterwards, because my blood flowing everywhere and my muscles are warm. I recover very quickly and feel great. This generally applies for both lifting and conditioning to me.

If it’s an incredibly intense conditioning route, then I feel like I’m going to pass out afterwards. My legs do not respond well, and every step I take takes genuine effort.

I do feel light as a feather within 48hr though, and have more than enough strength to do the same exact routine on the day after next.

In short- Conditioning will ALWAYS suck. It’s supposed to, or else it wouldn’t be proper conditioning. So, if it’s a mental thing where you think it’s wrong to feel like absolute shit afterwards, then don’t be. Grin and bear it so long as you don’t feel anything actually wrong with the body.

However, if you are not close to fully recovered within 24hr, and 100% by 48hr, then you should look at the routine you’re doing and consider whether it’s too hard on your body. And if you’re having genuine physical symptoms like your stomach bloating out after conditioning, then I’d think you should find out more about that.

What exact routine are you following?

One last thing - Conditioning won’t make you lose weight/become leaner in the normal sense. It really can’t. You need to be eating above your daily calorie requirements if you want to recover properly from hard conditioning. What proper conditioning instead does is strengthen and develop your body to the point that the fat isn’t as readily apparent if you’re not overweight.

If you’re overweight/obese, then conditioning will naturally reduce your bf % down to a certain point where it’ll just stick there. I think it’s around 12-15%, depending on your particular body. Which I do not think falls in the definition lean on a forum like this.

depends on how strong your base is, and what kinda workout you’re doing… kinda hard to answer this question. when i ran, one worrkout we would do is warm up for a few ez miles, then run 10 quarters in 55 seconds, ez super slow 400 jog for recovery, then a cool down of two miles afterwards…i was toast. on a 6.2 mile run, over a 5k crosscountry course done twice at a moderate pace , i was fine.another workout…a two mile warm up ,then 15 hill repeats of a 200 meter hill, all out up, and recover down, then an hour fartlek afterwards is deadly. toast again. now cycling, every scheduled hard workout,i’m dead all day. ez hour or 2 hour recovery rides, i’m fine. depends how hard you do your “hard workouts”…

I dont follow an exact routine. I cant due to my shift work. I train approx 4 times a week and do a power and strength movement then some conditionng, either running ,cycling, kettlebell circuit etc.
Im trying to get back into football (soccer) and need to drop some fat. As far as the average person goes im not fat but i hold my fat around my stomach and love handle area and it will not shift.

What im really asking if my workouts could be making me hold onto fat cos i just dont seem to be using it for energy. And after workouts i feel ‘fatter’. I know it sounds stupid but i have cut carbs really low, cycled them, fasted intermittently, replaced carbs with good fats, replaced them with any fat, not replaced them at all and No matter what i do i cant seem to get much lower than i am at the moment.

Also, if i have a cheat meal or snack, which isnt that common, it seems to soo drastically affect my body. Like my hard work has been undone in an instant.

Well that question is not precise enough.
First your profile should be filled so we might offer proper input. 150, 250, 350 pounds ?
How old ?
What we read is informative sometimes. Some is just filler(books/articles).
I might feel tired/older after a WO. First i am lean waist line under 29 inches. But a few minutes later that changes. If i train short rests/light weights i might feel energized. There is not 1 single answer.

First to be lean(loose weight) buy real foods(not processed) put 3 together you have a meal. Eat 3-4 times daily. It is that simple. Drink water and/or green tea. Focus on quality in 10 weeks you will at least loose 20 pounds. Walk a lot(fast). Put your TV in a box for 3 months. Develop new habits.

It is that simple.
Stop telling lies like being active is fattening. Cycling, swimming, it all adds up.
Rebuilding muscles happens real fast. Stop focussing on muscles.
Being overweight is about excess. Some is water retention from salt, so no salt = leaner, some fat.
All the best !

it sounds like your trying to chase to related, but not completely similar goals, of 1) losing weight, and 2) improving conditioning. and possibly 3) strength/hypertrophy.

If you are having reactive hypoglycemia after a workout, then i would say your conditioning is to intense for low carb diet, and too intense for fat loss protocol.

Your body has a limited recovery ability, and if you push the intensity on all three things (diet, cardio, strength) something is going to give. For me its usually diet first, and then training intensity if i don’t heed the warning signs.

If you have very high intensity conditioning or strength training workouts, then your body is going to be DEMANDING calories, and it will make your diet almost impossible to follow, this is normal its a survival mechanism. Basically you need to be in a small caloric deficit without triggering that “i’m starving” survival mechanism. The way to do this is with lots of light or very moderate cardio, and a good diet.

Basically you have to chose which goal is most important to you at this point, having killer conditioning, or losing fat? If you chase the fat loss goal your conditioning will improve, but not nearly as fast as you’d like it to. If you chase the conditioning goal, your body comp will improve, but not nearly as fast as you’d like it to.

If your goal is fat loss, with conditioning secondary i suggest a parameter like this:
Diet: Strict low carb, with 1 cheat evening a week.
Conditioning: light x2-4 a week, moderate x1 or 2 week
Strength: light-moderate intensity 2-3 times a week.
never doing a moderate strength, or moderate conditioning day, on the same day.

If your goal is conditioning, with fat loss secondary, i suggest something like this:
Diet: Moderate carb cycling (high carbs on intense days, moderate carbs on strength days, low carbs on off days)
Conditioning: intense 2 or 3 times a week, moderate 1 or 2 times a week
Strength: light - mod intensity 2-3 times a week. never on the same days as intense conditioning.

If you don’t like either of those plans i laid out, remember, you basically have 3 parameters you can modulate: diet, conditioning and strength. one of them will have to be on the back burner (light maintenance only), one can be in the slow cooker (moderate intensity, long term progress), and one will be your focus (strict or intense). Anything more, for more than about 4-6 weeks at a time, and something eventually is going to crap out.

Here’s some good article:

I pushed a large but fit guy through a fairly tough workout once, ( 2min stairmill hrd, 20 goblet squats, 20 asisted chins, 20 asisted dips, 1min rest x 5) after he showered and he was leaving aprox 1\2 hour latter, he told me he was cold and hot and shakey all at once, LOL, I wonder if this is how your feeling, anyway he stuck to it and droped 80 pounds in 9mths,

and if your a drinker, cut it out - or drastically cut it down. Their is a reason for the term ‘beer belly’.

You can achieve your goals with some alcohol consumption, but it makes it a hell of a lot harder.

zenontheterrible - thanks for your advice. Sounds right. I like to train hard. I have been reading so much about fasting, eating nothing but meat etc etc and when i try i just feel wrecked. But when i eat carbs i just dont lose weight. I need to keep my strength up due to my job but also need to improve my conditioning so yeah, i am trying to do everything at once i suppose. I think i may opt for the fat loss primary and conditioning secondry goal for the next month or 2. I play football (soccer) occassionally so i when i do i will have some carbs but maybe only then.
Oh, and i am not a drinker hardly at all. Im not tee-total but i generally dont like drinking and only occassionally do it. I volunteer to drive as an excuse not to drink so that isnt an issue.
Thanks mate

i’ll try and get round to replying to the others shortly, bit busy at the moment but cheers guys

  • Whey protein has been known to cause bloating, particularly if you have lactose intolerance.

  • The digestive tract shuts down during intense exercise. The blood/oxygen is rerouted to fuel the muscles instead of digestion. Eating too soon before working out will have undigested stuff siting in your inactive stomach. I’d switch to simple carbs pre-workout and save the protein shake for post workout.

  • The adrenal gland secretes cortisol during peak activity. One of it’s properties is that it’s an anti-inflammatory in that it represses the body from releasing inflammatory substances while active. Once the cortisol is expended the body is free to release stored up toxins. I’ve read this produces a swelling effect can last for a couple hours post workout.

  • Remember that athletes typically want 12-15% body fat. Not sure where you’re sitting but it might not be productive to get too caught up on the numbers. I always found mine sat a little high during the winter then went down naturally during the pre-season. I’ve always considered dieting to be bad for an athlete since it causes the body to cannibalize itself. I think you’d be better off focusing on conditioning… with the proper stimulus the body will naturally adjust it’s composition to suit the tasks you’re giving it (provided you’re not eating a dozen Twinkie’s every day).

Na im not eating a dozen quinkies a day lol i think my diet is fairly healthy. Whether im cutting carbs or not im always conscious about my food choices but i really struggle with fat loss.
I wouldnt consider myself as an athlete. Although i would love to be an athlete i dont play sports enough but train as much as i can (normally 3-4 times a week) so im gonna try and train so im not wrecked, lowering the intensity and trying to feel better after my workouts alongside a low carb diet.

My main goal at present is fatloss. I want to train intensely but i just never seem to loose fat and i need to get lean. Loads of articles i have read and many people say “fatloss is not rocket science” but it just doesnt work for me and im getting really frustrated. I constantly restrict myself with food choices and im not getting results.

I went to the gym this morning and on an empty stomach i did

30 min walk on treadmill @ 3% incline
10 min crosstrainer (cos i got bored!)
Some curls and tri pushdowns.

This is very low intensity for me but after i still felt ‘chubbier’ if its a good way to put it.

So im totally confused as to what wouold be beneficial to me and if that workout was. I suppose only time will tell

Fat loss isn’t “rocket science”, but for some people it is easier than others. A mesomorph will loose fat with very little effort relative to an endomorph.

The thing that always worked the best for was riding a (real) bike. Riding to/from work, riding to the store, riding to my friends houses. Riding in traffic is basically interval training. Using a bike to get everywhere forces you to exercise several times a day and is nowhere near as boring as a treadmill.

its funny you say about the bike. I bought one last January and said i would ride more but i need a shower after everywhere i go lol i wanted to ride to work (8 miles there, 8 miles back) but im waiting for work to help me out with a locker (they are hard to come by. But i may just get back on it and make more use of it.

Depends what I’m doing and for how long. After running, distance or sprints, I feel breathless and my legs are tired and pumped. After (or during lol) sprints I usually puke. And after distance running I’m usually just breathless. After my hour long workouts of total body endurance, I feel drained and tired and like I need a nap. Usually sick as well. I hate cardio.