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Why Does Conditioning/Cardio Make Me Cranky?

Starting to wonder if I have some sort of medical condition. I should explain a little - I can do easy conditioning like walking/easy bike ride without many problems. I strength train 3 times a week and generally have no problems if I just stick to that, but the moment I add some conditioning (whether its like circuit based or long distance cardio that gets the heart elevated) - I just become very irritable an hour or two after being done with it. I might be able to add like one day a week and not have it affect me too badly (still somewhat the day I do it), but multiple times a week even moderate cardio makes it unbearable. Even when I add a lot of extra food/carbs, it tend to help but not fix it completely. I don’t really want to give up strength training to try conditioning only but could doing both of them possibly be the problem? I should also add my strength training is not just some curls and crunches - I squat, deadlift, hip thrust, bench, row , etc that does get the heart pumping, just not continuously obviously like cardio does

Ever consider your issue could be psychological, not physiological?

Maybe different energy systems. Strength training is anaerobic and endurance is aerobic.

If you have some weakness or deficiency in your aerobic energy system it could be causing you some distress that comes out as “cranky”.

Because neurotype cortisol, dopaminergic undulating wave clusters, boron.

But seriously, I bet CT would have a legitimate answer for this.

My GUESS is that it is related to producing a lot of lactate during conditioning. Too much lactate has been shown to reduce the epinephrine response to hypoglycemia in both diabetics and not diabetics.

It’s possible you are experiencing hypoglycemia from exercise. This would explain why eating more helps.

You could try walking for 20-30 minutes after your conditioning to try and clear the accumulated lactate and get your body burning glucose again and see if that helps.

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Interesting suggestion. I actually pegged it for some kind of blood sugar problem simply because, like you said, eating more seems to help. I’ve had my blood sugar tested for my yearly bio metrics for my insurance and my blood sugar is not diabetes level and it seems like most blood sugar/exercise advice on the web is catered to diabetics. Do you think HIIT or sprint-like conditioning would have this same effect if given proper cooldowns inbetween each bout? Like sprint 20 secs and walk for 2-3 mins? Interval/circuit without much a rest period seems to have the same effect as steady state cardio for this problem

It’s not psychological. At least, not unless it’s a deeply subconscious level I’ll never be able to fix. I actually enjoy and want to be able to run on a regular basis. I love getting outdoors and hate the fact that I’m regulated to my basement for my barbell training. I appreciate the suggestion, but cardio isn’t one of those things I dread doing. I mean, its not as fun as playing an actual sport but I do find fresh air invigorating

I was coming more from the idea that you feel poorly recovered after cardio because you’ve convinced yourself you will be.

I’ve heard about an app involving tapping your phone screen as fast as possible to measure central fatigue (@duketheslaya what was it called?). You may be able to use this to check if you are actually that crushed post-cardio

Don’t know the name of the app but Dan John did the same thing with a pencil, paper, and a clock. Not quite as convenient but works if needed.

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