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How to Build Strong Immune System to Keep Going Heavy Lifting?


I've been working out since a year. Recently, the program that I'm following is Starting Strength. My bodyweight: 58 kg. Now, the problem that I'm facing is whenever I go heavy, i.e squat: 66 kg, deadlift: 66 kg, bench: 51 kg, I fall sick.
I start suffering from sore throat, fatigue, strength reduction, viral infection, low motivation to workout, lastly, I don't feel like doing anything else since I'm so tired. I can tolerate muscle aches, but not CNS breakdown.

About my nutrition, I'm not following GOMAD, but LOMAD( litre of milk a day). I eat all veggies. Take in 1 g of protein per pound, through diet and protein shakes. I also take PostJYM as preworkout and postworkout.

How can I keep my immunity strong while lifting heavy? Your help would be really appreciated.


How is your sleep?

Do you take any medications?


Support your immune system through your gut health. Take a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast every day, eat three non-cooked tablespoons of fermented sauerkraut everyday, make sure you get enough sleep and are getting enough rest ie include additional off days.

I would also try dropping the milk to see if that helps as well.


Usually, I sleep near about 7 hours a day. But, currently, I'm unable to sleep at night. I take cod liver oil 600 mg, Ashwagandha 400 mg. No other medications. However, for recovery, today I've started taking holy basil syrup, Ashwashila( Ashwagandha 200mg, Shilajit 200 mg).


Thanks @Hostile!! I'll try it out. BTW, Would Glutamine, ZMA and vitamin d3 be helpful in strengthening the immune system? Few months back, I had found out that I was deficient in vitamin d, 17 ng/mL. I had taken 50,000 IU each week for 8 weeks. Now, I'm not taking vitamin d3. Should I start taking it at a lesser dose? @Evolv


I would still take the D3, at 5000IU at least.

Why can't you sleep at night? Do you work third shift?


No, I don't work at night. However, I'm just unable to sleep.


Glutamine helps reduce inflammation in the digestive system, ZMA can't hurt, especially for sleeping. I would drop the vit d3 to 5,000 ius now. 50,000 ius long term is overkill.

You need to get your sleep sorted. You'll have immune issues the rest of your life if you don't. I like high dose fish oil, magnesium and zinc before bed to help me sleep.


Thanks a lot for the help. I've already ordered for vit d3, ZMA and
glutamine. I'll definitely figure out a way to get good sleep.


If you can't sleep well, you have to figure out how to get that under control. Without good quality sleep, you are just fighting an uphill battle.


Drop the VitD. If you take VitD you also need to take Vit K2.
Did you start taking the ashwaganda because you started feeling bad? Or did this start after you started taking it?


I know @Evolv, I got to fix my sleep. @ChickenLittle I've been taking Ashwagandha for quite long, even when I was not sick. I've got good results earlier with it. I've felt very energetic. However, recently I was hoping for a quick recovery by taking it. But in vain. Last night, i took Ashwagandha together with shilajit, each 200mg. I still could not sleep and my head feels heavy right now.


Might try taking a break from the ashwaganda and the shilajit. Too much of a good thing is still too much.

  1. Youre training on the nerve, people often hit a wall on starting strength like this. -Move on to Texas method or Madcow 5x5

  2. You're only getting 127 g of protein -Up your protein to say 150 grams a day, 1 day a week go up to 180 even.

  3. you weigh 127lbs after a year of lifting which means your'e doing something fundamentally wrong/ probably need to eat waaay more (recovery will naturally go up).
    Also that supplement you mentioned is very expensive for what it is, I would take half the dose and use the money to get quality fresh meat and eggs



Again agreed. Also make sure you get as much carbs as protein if not more. I'd say minimum 175 grams daily, up to 250 would be fine.

Unfortunately true. You should probably be getting 2300 to 2600 calories per day. If you eat enough good food your immune system should probably take care of itself.

Most supplements are overpriced and not overly useful compared to a good diet. If you do want to spend money on supplements:

  • a good multivitamin
  • creatine monohydrate
  • BCAAs

are plenty.

If your budget will accommodate it, Plazma is pretty awesome. I finally got some a few weeks ago and I'm glad I did.

Diet trumps supplements.


@ChickenLittle I took Ashwagandha and Shilajit in the morning today and had really a bad day. Was down with fever. So, I'm definitely going to take a break from it.

@RampantBadger @MarkKO thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at Texas method and Madcow 5x5. I'm also skimming through a book, 'Superimmunity' by Joel Furhman, and looking forward to stumble upon important nuggets. What I've learnt is zinc and vitamin d play an important role in recovering from colds and flu. They also play an important role in strengthening the immune system.


@MarkKO @RampantBadger I've still not recovered completely. It's been almost 20 days since my last workout. My appetite has also been affected due to bad stomach. However, I've been able to improve my sleep with glutamine and ZMA at night. I'm also taking cod liver oil 600mg.

I was wondering if I can take MetRX active man multivitamin for recovery? What do you suggest?


Yeah multi is fine, I would say a greens/Superfood type supp is better tho


Thanks for the advice.


Are you eating fermented veggies yet? If you neglect your gut health, you're neglecting ~75% of your immune systems foundation. Read these below. Other micronutrients like vitamins and minerals need to be secondary to this.