T Nation

Weightlifting and Cortisol

Was wondering if anyone had any insight on training when you have alot of excess cortisol and stress on the body… I am currently doing the 5/3/1 workout 4 times a week but lately I have noticed more and more definition and muscle loss… Which f****ing sucks… I am not sure If I should give it a break from the gym till my cortisol lowers and If I am doing more harm then good by going to the gym I don’t feel any real pumps right now and just seem really catabolic in general like muscle is being broken down but no repairs are made…

My diet is very very strong, I have it dialed in and try to get as much rest as possible… I usually consume about 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, push the carbs high sometimes 600g a day, I am on Indigo and am using the anaconda protocol, I also eat a decent amount of fat to sustain and currently trying to bulk…

The issue is that my cortisol and stress may directly be related from weening off an SSRI I used for anxiety… I can’t stop withdrawals only accept them for what they are till it passes but I am wondering what I should do in terms of lifting in the mean time? Is it best to just take time off or is there something I can do to still make gains or preserve muscle mass? Any insight and advice much appreciated!

How do you know you’re losing muscle and definition? Not doubting you; just wondering what objective measures you’re using to determine your progress.

declining strength numbers, lost weight, and definition… I use a tape measure as well as a standard scale, using pics and mirror as reference as well, Basically look like shit compared to usual self… Another big thing is that my immune system sucks… I can’t seem to stop getting sick… Not a biggie cause I will gain the size and strength back relatively quick through muscle memory but definitely disheartening to be such a gym fanatic and to steadily look less and less like you workout… I can also feel cortisol rise to extreme high levels after I am done exercising even though I supplement a ton of quick digesting carbs around my workouts.

Should also note I already have implemented preventive measures to my diet to lower my cortisol and bring back up my Test scores if they were effected… My main concern now is do I take time off from the gym to allow recuperation or can I continue to use the program only working out under 60 minutes at the gym each day four at least for days a week? Obviously I know my body best and will get some stuff checked at the doctor tomorrow just wanted insight from anyone that may have had similar experience and what they might have done to work with it… So fricken frustrating dude haha

whens the last time you had a deload my friend?

Sounds like you’re doing all the right things; definitely worth mentioning this to your doctor. I think most people have periods of abnormal stress in their lives where their lifts/physique are affected. I know it’s happened to me. Obviously, coming off SSRIs is only going to make things more difficult. Might be best to take a few days off from training, relax and sleep as much as you can, and come back to the gym in a more rested frame of mind. I know that’s what I’d do/have done. I’m sure any changes in your lifts/physique are only temporary and will be swiftly rectified when you’re feeling better. Good luck - I hope you feel better soon.

I was sick for a few weeks as I mentioned so I went back to the gym ad kept it relatively light for two weeks, using that time as a deload… Yeah I guess I’m going to just have to take it easy for a bit of time and maybe implement some light exercise that will help reduce stress production without burn out… Hate taking time off especially since it’s not like I am actually physically sick or have any injuries. I don’t see any results right now and it just seems to be doing harm… Probably will take it easy for a bit and start the 5/3/1 soon again and drop down to working with 70% of my 1RM