T Nation

Stress and Lifting


I am taking 18 hours at my university, training, and playing the guitar several hours a day. I have very little downtime. I am very stressed. I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I do not consume caffeine because I am straight edge. I am in a constant phased out state of mind. I am not unhappy, but training is becoming difficult. I feel I burn out after 2-3 exercises at low reps. I have dropped my powerlifting routine and am going to go bodybuilding under a standard 10x3 template (haven't done this in almost a year), and hopefully the change will help me to cope and increase my volume slightly. When I can lose the stress, I will go back to powerlifting, but I feel I am on the verge of overtraining even with relatively low volume.

My question: is there any supplement I can take to help with recovery and give me some zest again, barring AAs? Any advice is appreciated.


At a guess - Spike.

Dude, in all seriousness, 18 hours of uni a week and playing the guitar for several hours sounds like paradise. It was a piece of cake. Why are you so stressed?

Take a week off the gym. Get more sleep. Look at your diet, especially the fresh fruit and vege. Stop stressing. Easy.


I think you need to learn how to relax. I recommend this CD as a great way to relax and get a refreshing break.



No caffeine but you'll take a supplement for energy? What's the difference?


Well, not if he's a music major. A lot of people make comments like "Oh you're lucky, you're a musician." As if I woke up one day and knew how to play my trombone and compose! It's damn hard work, and can be very mentally draining. Playing the guitar may sound relaxing, but not if you're actually studying guitar! It's like me telling a medical student to go relax and read a biochem book. "Oh, you're so lucky, you're a lawyer! That sounds like fun!" No, it's a lot of damn work. The fun comes later, in the studio or the courtroom, as the case may be.

end soapbox


Stop stressing. Take it easy. Relax

Did we hit a sore spot, did we? Anything worthwhile is hard work. Many people work fulltime and then study for the length of time this kid plays guitar for. For him to seriously have no down time, he would have to play guitar about 8 hours a day, which would give him RSI and blisters.

I'll say it again, 18 hours of work a week and a few hours a day of guitar gives you plenty of time to chill the fuck out, and sounds like my idea of a goodtime.

Once again, stop stressing. Take it easy. Relax.


He probably means 18 credit hours as opposed to 18 hours/week.

Could be a ton of work...


Power Drive usually helps me with this sort of thing.


I can back this up. The girl I've been seeing is a music major. Even though she's only taking 12 hours this semester, that doesn't account for all the hours spent practicing her instrument, voice lessons and choir practice. Not to mention all the reading involved for some of her classes. On top of that, she works 30 hours a week.

It amazes me how much music majors have to do and how much time commitment it takes. I respect them much more now.


Yeah, I had semesters like that in undergrad. Usually in my last couple of years I could only get away with taking at most 14 credit hours, because I often had more than 40 hours of work per week from ONLY ONE Computer Sciense class. Keep in mind that I had 3 or 4 other classes at the same time. I could easily have 80, 90, even 100 hour work weeks. And this was aside from any jobs I may have had.

To the original poster: Maybe try moving to a 2-day per week lifting program? If you stick with low reps and high weight at only 2 days per week, you ought to be able to maintain strength. Make sure to get plenty to eat and sleep whenever you can. Good luck!