T Nation

Recovery from Stressful Period

Hey Coach,

you said you have more stressful weeks when giving seminars and that you lower training impact on the CNS through changing exercises.
How do you recover from those weeks?

I got the problem, that my last week was very stressful, not enough sleep, work and free time were stuffed and then there came extra stuff I couldn’t have planned. Now I’m exhausted, even the Sunday didn’t get me back to normal. I got off today.
How can I recover? I think my adrenergic receptors might be desensitized.

Have a good week, sir

Anything that leads to chronically elevated cortisol can desensitize the beta adrenergic receptors via and overproduction of adrenaline.

The key is thus to lower cortisol as much as possible. Now, any training variable that can affect cortisol can be used to deload. You can even use a combination of 2-3 variables to decrease adrenaline even more.

You can…

  1. Lower volume (doing less sets)… normally we decrease this by 40-50% or you can decrease it by 30% and decrease another variable.

  2. Lower “intensiveness” (lower the RPE) … for example instead of doing 3 sets of 6 at 225, do 3 sets of 4 at 225.

  3. Lower psychological stress (in most cases this means decreasing the weight or taking out exercices that intimidate you or that you hate doing)

  4. Lower neurological demands … use simpler exercises (e.g. hack squat machine instead of squat, chest press machine instead of bench press), stop using exercises combinations (A1/A2), switch to exercise variations you master more, etc.

  5. Increase rest intervals (a faster pace increases adrenaline)

The more of these strategies you apply, the lower cortisol and adrenaline will be, the faster you can recover adrenergic sensitivity.

You can also use magnesium post training/end of PM and 30 min before bed at 250-500mg, glycine post-workout and evening (3-5g) and I would recommend increase carbs (amount and frequency) for a week.

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Thank you very much!

Magnesium glycinate is really good, thank you for that tip.

Out of curiosity, do you meditate?
Poliquin was a big proponent of that.

I personally do not. Charles was a 1A. 1A have low methylation and slow COMT meaning that their adrenaline is always high. That’s gives them their super confident (borderline arrogant) personality, the need to be the boss, their impatience, their need for action, etc. And their serotonin is low, making it very hard for them to calm down and chill.

I can see why meditation would have been effective for him.

But me, I have fast COMT; my adrenaline stays low most of the time but because of that I’m super sensitive to it. I really don’t need meditation because I’m naturally chill/relax, even lazy, most of the time. I sleep VERY easily and deeply. I can take naps whenever I want. For me, meditation would not offer much.

Is this a “2A”-thing or a “you”-thing?

I’m guessing 2A? I’m also super chill and patient. And not I’m not sressed I can nap easily, sleep is very rarely an issue

Interesting. I couldn’t take a nap to save my life. Even when sick, napping is rarely accessible to me. Winding down for bed is a big portion of my leisure time. I am however, quite patient, with others and things (technology). I’ve tested as a 2A in the past, but I didn’t have an easier time napping back then than I do now.

Regardless, ever since starting TRT I’ve noticed that my traits that probably resulted in the 2A result have become less pronounced (social) and that I’m exhibiting more Type 1 behaviour as in thrill seeking more, and caring less about what others think - but still attentive to how they feel.

Testosterone has dopaminergic activities.

That’s me. Can’t nap to save my life haha. Winding down is difficult too. I’m a 2A. Trying to establish a circadian rhythm right now

I’d be very interested in a short elaboration on this.
I know T raises dopamine and serotonin levels. What does estrogen do?

Since we know sleep deprivation one night lowers T by more than 20% and raises cortisol, there must be an effect on the neurotransmitters and they should influence each other. (Just a thought)

Sleep deprivation also down regulates dopaminergic receptors. It’s your body’s way of saying ‘take it easy, and recover properly’. Clearly a whole cascade of bad stuff happens when you’re being sleep deprived. As a 2A I take tyrosine and rhodiola daily. Since I have high dopamine levels and am not very sensitive to it, it acts on my adrenaline levels. Which gets me fired up. When after a bad night, I probably double the dose on the supplements.

But I have to mention… I can’t go too far with pumping out adrenalin, because then my adrenergic receptors won’t react that well any more. So on the other end of the spectrum getting into the parasympathetic mode in the evening is really important.

Cant take Rhodiola, I get bad erectile dysfunction from it. I don’t know if anybody else has that issue