T Nation

Tough Workout, Sick the Next Day?


Well after heeding everyone's advice on here in another thread on how I'd over-indulged on a "cutting" diet, I've gotten back up to maintenance calories and worked on cleaning up my diet over the past week and a half. I've been eating 1g of protein, or as close to it as I can get to 250g, every day and trying to get 10 X my bodyweight in quality calories to reboot my metabolism.

When I went to lift yesterday, I found that this had made a huge difference. I wasn't feeling all that strong, but for whatever reason I was psyched. Yesterday, after I did my workout, I went for 1RM on bench, squat, and standing military press (in that order) and got 210/245/140 respectively.

Those bench and military numbers beat my old HS football personal bests from 13 years ago (I believe my true squat 1RM may be higher... max came on my 20th working rep and 35th overall--I was gassed!), and I've only been training again for about 10 weeks! I felt great!

However, when I was getting ready for bed last night, I started feeling sick. Almost as if I had the flu. I was sore and feeling tired/run down, which was expected after such an ass kicking workout... but I've also got a sore throat and a runny nose. When I woke up today I felt like I'd been hit by a truck!

Is this normal? Any advice on what to do? My current workout program has me scheduled for 30 minutes of cardio today and another full body workout on Wed. but I don't know if I can handle it. Should I just rest for a couple of days and go back on Thurs. or Fri.?

I know I've really got to resist the temptation to jump in and go for 1RMs this often, but it just feels so good!


I too have experienced this and it blows.

The last time I got sick (which put me out the gym for months) turned out to be full blown MONO. However, I have experienced the less severe cold like symptoms after great work outs.

I have been feeling those bizzard symptoms comming back on since I've started working out again 3 weeks ago but this time I am actually eating healthy and I am positive that this is making it less of an issue regarding 'do I feel good enough for the next work out'.


if you decide to go for 3 1-rep maxes in one session after a cut, then what do you expect? did you eat like a pig afterwards? i would have ingested something like half my allocated calories for the day after that.


2500 Cals is still not high enough to be a starting point for you, Max. Jump it up to ~3200 (assuming an LBM of 180) and subtract 200Cals/day every week or every other week until you start losing fat again.

Did you start doing the barbell complexes I suggested?


You didn't mention if you work our at a gym or at home in your post, but I once had the same experience happen to me after working out at my gym. I chalked it up to either the water fountain (people seem to be giving head to those things at my gym... it's gross) or germs on the weights.

Bringing your own water and keeping your hands away from your face (and washing them, of course) will eliminate two potential ways harmful germs and viruses will enter your body while working out at the gym.


Thanks guys.

Jay, I'm going to try to bump things up to around 3200 now. I feel like I'm eating like a pig just to get to 2500 quality calories a day in. All those meat, eggs, and veggies are so filling but relatively low in calories, and it turns out that the green tea extract I'm taking also has hoodia in it, which I guess is further destroying my appetite.

Now that I see I'm not gaining mountains of fat on 2500 calories like I was afraid of, I'm going to try to get up to 3200 a day for a couple of weeks and maybe not start cutting again until 9/1. Thanks so much for pointing out what was wrong. Just 2500 calories left me feeling much better than I had in forever.

I did eat like a hog right after the workout, or at least it felt like it to me. I hit the gym, then I did a scoop of whey w/a pint of skim milk before I went home, where I immediately and ate 2 chicken breasts and a big bowl full of steamed brocolli. Since I was still only around 1900 calories for the day at that point, I ate a leftover grilled cheeseburger from a family cookout before bed and downed another 12 oz glass of milk with it.

Today I thought maybe some glucose would help me feel better, so I cheated and grabbed a meatball sandwich from the deli while I was out running errands this evening. That, a double dose of advil, and a couple of diet sodas for caffeine helped me feel much, much better. That still just puts me around 1950 calories and 145 g of protein for the day, though. Steak for dinner tonight...

BTW, Jay, how do you figure I should shoot for 3200 calories? Most of the BMR formulas I've seen average out to around 2200 for me, with a multiplier of around 1.2-1.3 because I have a pretty sedentary life aside from my three weight training sessions a week, with maybe 30 min of aerobic cardio on my off days now (I cut out walking). That would put me around 2650-2900 a day for maintenance.

I really appreciate your help and I'm not arguing with you at all, I just want to know how you came up with that figure.


2500 to 3200 is too big of a jump. Take it 200-300 calories at a time. And stick with it for a few days. Then increase if you arent gaining weight how youd like.

Its also too big of a jump for the psychological reason. You are not powering through 2500 cals it seems. 700 more is not going to make that feeling any better. Eat your necessary calories but dont burn yourself out trying to make such a huge jump. You dont want to go crazy one day then have no appetite at all the next and barely get 1000 down


Thanks Bonez.

The thing is that I don't want to gain weight. I'm 249 lbs (113kg) with around 25% bodyfat. My long term goal is to cut down to 10% bodyfat.

I'm trying to eat more now because I'd accidentally crashed my metabolism by cutting calories too hard over the past few months. That left me stuck at the same weight for weeks, even though I was eating well under 2000 calories a day. It sucked, I was making no gains of any kind, and I felt awful!

On Jay's and a few others' advice, the plan is to eat at maintenance for a couple of weeks, then start cutting again for a 6-8 week cycle in Sept. and Oct. I'm really enjoying the strength gains I've already made on 2500 calories, and I've not gained any weight yet.

Long term, I think I'll be happy around 200-220lbs (95-100kg) with 10% bodyfat. I don't want to be a competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter. I just want a decent physique with ok strength to match.


Lol that advice I gave you was for cutting even though it was more calories than you were consuming when you were crash dieting. But I would take Bonez advice increasing your calories slowly to bring your metabolism back to normal than cut with the advice I gave you. I see you are doing 3 workouts per week, I would at least do a 4 day split(bodybuilding if for physique or 5/3/1(5/3/1 has both a 4 day or 3 day split if i am not mistaken) for strength goals.). Any updates man?


Thanks JSOZ and Jay. Whether your advice was for cutting or maintenance, it's worked! LOL

The overtraining sickness is done, though I've had a nagging sore throat for the past couple of weeks (probably due to allergies). After I did my 3 ill-advised 1RM on that day, I took the rest of the week off to rest and research a better plan of attack. Since I felt like my routine was too much work, I looked for something with less volume.

Diet is a lot cleaner. Goal is to get 240+ g of protein with fewer than 125 carbs a day. I do give myself Sat. as a "carb cheat/refeed" day, mostly for social reasons.

Typical day:

Breakfast: 4 fried eggs w/cheese + toast/buttermilk biscuit and piece of fruit for carbs + glass of milk

Whey shake (26 g)

Glass of milk post-workout

Whey shake (26 g)

Dinner: 1lb of lean meat (grilled chicken breast, steak, etc.) + cruciferous steamed vegetables

Whey shake (26 g)

Supplimented w/multivitamins, B-complex, Fish Oil, Vit. E., Magnesium/Zinc, St. John's Wort.

To avoid overtrainings, I cut my volume way back. I looked at 5/3/1, bodybuilding splits, and Rippetoe's SS. I've switched to is inspired by Starting Strength and the 5/3/1 Triumvirite Program. I figure I still have some big beginner squat gains to make and I hope this gets me there faster than 5/3/1 would have.

Workout is simple:


3-4 warmup sets per exercise

3 X 5 Squat (starting at 70% of 1RM and adding 5-10lbs a week)
3 X 5 Bench/Standing Overhead Press (alternate)
3 X 5 Rows to Chest/Lat Pulldown (alternate--Lat Pulldown because I'm still too heavy for chinups)
1 X 5 Deadlift (70% of 1RM and add 5-10lbs a week)

I chose this over the 5/3/1 but I find it to get too intense I'll swith to 5/3/1 (either 3 day Triumvirite or 4 day Strength or BBB Template) until I hit my target weight (210lbs).

After a week, I can already see some gains in my thighs from the squatting. I think it's boosted my metabolism, too, as I've shed another 4 lbs but feel good and I've noticed no lack of strength in the weightroom. I'm hoping this is the mythical "Body Recomposition" stuff I've read about. I'm also getting in and out of the gym in under an hour, finally, where my workouts were taking 1.5-2+ hrs.

So far it's only been a week, but I like it. I am worried that I might not be getting enough upper body work in by alternating the movements and doing no assistance exercises, though.

What do you think?


Glad to hear you're feeling better and performing better in the gym.

This would be another step in the right direction for you:

Breakfast: 4 fried eggs w/cheese + toast/buttermilk biscuit and piece of fruit for carbs + glass of milk

Whey shake (26 g) + some form of fast carbs (waxy maize or maltodextrin)

Whey shake (52 g) immediately post-workout

Big meal about 45-60min post-workout (plenty of meat and some complex carbs)

Dinner: 1lb of lean meat (grilled chicken breast, steak, etc.) + cruciferous steamed vegetables

Whey shake (26 g)

Supplimented w/multivitamins, B-complex, Fish Oil, Vit. E., Magnesium/Zinc, St. John's Wort.