T Nation

"Training Burnout: How to Spot It and Defeat It"

Damn good article Coach. I am starting to take some tyrosine in the morning now to see if that helps me out. Yesterday was 5 grams and it helped for a little while and this morning was 7 grams and just started kicking in a bit. I am taking some b12, rhodiola, and ashwaganda (Doc mentioned this stuff as well as I have read a few good studies on it I read on ConsumerLabs) as well as fish oil, zma, curcumin and alpha male. Test levels were ok but cortisol levels were through the roof way above the high levels (I kind of figured). How much tyrosine do you recommend I should be taking and do you recommend taking it every day until I get a better grasp on cortisol? The doc said unfortunately that cortisol levels take a long time to get under control.

The Doc liked your articles too. Good stuff as usual.

Coach, you are way too generous in the amount of information you give away for free! That’s a monster of an article you published. Big thanks!

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LOL, and it’s edited… the original was 21 pages long!

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Taking tyrosine everyday will, in fact, increase cortisol levels by increasing adrenaline too as well as decreasing serotonin. As I explained in the article, it’s best to use tyrosine 3-4 times per week, and a serotonin-boosting supplement on the evening of the other days.


Ah, so we just have to wait for the book The Untold Tales Of Christian Thibaudeau to read the rest of it haha! :wink:

What’s Your opinion of usefullness of apps that measure HRV in this context. Welltory for example.

I agree…fantastic article!

Great article! So taking Power Drive everyday is not a good option, only on workout days?

Thanks for the continued amazing content Coach Thibs! In terms of “stimulants” how do the principles you discussed apply to standard caffeine or pre-workout drinks? Or was it just for the ones you mentioned like clem and ephedrine?

If you are prone to burning out or have signs of low serotonin, I’d keep it only for workout days.

Hi Coach,
I have a question regarding injury and cortisol. I reinjured the right side of my lower back for about the 5th time, so right now I’m walking kind of bent over and I’m in quite some pain. When in an injured state like this, Im assuming it keeps cortisol high because of the constant stress on the body. Would that be right?
If so, I will pay more attention to cortisol regulation while recovering.
Also, would it be OK to go in and do some floor presses and stuff that doesn’t aggregate it, if the cortisol is high in general because of the injury?
I’m type 1b so my cortisol is generally low.

Thank you so much

It applies to any stimulants. Caffeine does increase cortisol levels and the activity of adrenaline and too much of it can lead to negative drawbacks associated with a higher activity of this.

Caffeine also masks the downing effect of adenosine. Basically when adenosine binds to it’s receptors in the brain, you feel fatigued and need to rest. You will start to have high level of adenosine when you used a lot of energy during your day. Basically it tells your body “hey, we did a lot of work today, we need to rest”. By blocking the effect adenosine, caffeine basically gives your energy… but mostly by blocking the fatigue signal. When you don’t have that signal it is quite easy to do too much and hit the wall.

Is it bad to take caffeine once in a while? Absolutely not. But becoming dependant on it, or using it before every workout can hurt in the long term.

I’ve also seen some study showing that caffeine anhydrous (the one used in supplements) could have a greater impact on cortisol than coffee.

That is absolutely correct. In fact, even a simple bad posture can impact cortisol production because your body has to work harder to create compensatory mechanisms.

Yeah that’s fine: you need to be aware of what could potentially lead to too much cortisol. But you don’t have to be an extremist either: you can still train when under high cortisol levels, just be more careful to sings of fatigue.

That’s perfect Coach, thank you so much.

You are wayyyyy too productive of a human being :joy:

Most people say that I’m a mix between excessive an boring, but yeah… “productive”


coach CT,

Really want to thank you for this great article and all the details you have provide I have been through some of these symptoms and I think I went through there phases and still recovering from some of the issues but the process really takes sometime for me and you have to be sane since it’s really a thin redline when you are Burned out and think you can push yourself through for progress but the problem your digging the whole Deeper .

Wanted to ask you Coach if I developed most of these burned out state how much time I could get out of this issue I feel I am getting better but very slowly since implementing the way I should be training through the Neurotype test since I am a 2B the process is getting better but the workout Anxiety is pretty high sometimes is that a signal that I should
Lower the stress of the workout like in the chart you provided ?

And does L Tyrosine can help to increase dopamine levels since I am using Glycine Magnesium Taurate & PS to lower cortisol which is my main enemy & Adrenaline