Author Topic: Stress  (Read 334 times)

Online induced_drag

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3558
  • Height: 69
  • Weight: 195
Stress
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:51:40 PM »
Posted this on the other place but wanted to share here.   I did not get into specifics of my stresses over there but most of you guys know what the last year was like for me.

I would have never believed that stress and stress alone could rob so much......

-------------------------------------------

Been while.   Hope you all had a great Christmas and Happy New year.   It has been seven years since I have been back in the gym.   My progress is something that has all but stopped for sometime now, but I am comfortable with where I am.    My progress the last few years is subtle, but still there.

You have many people who will tell you all about nutrition, or programs or even supplements (or other "supplements" ;) ) are important to progress.   I too would have mentioned these.  BUT I just realized that there is a BIG player which also has an impact.  I found out the hard way.   I would have never believed that it could be as powerful as it is....but I have just found out.

STRESS

Yep..... I'll cut to the chase and then expand.   This past year has been the busiest I have been in many years.   I took pride that I despite this, I never missed a workout.   My diet was not stellar, but I still tracked protein and averaged 220g/day.   I did not count any othrer macros.   I would not say my workouts were always great, but I can say up untill 3 months ago, I would still see progress.   A new cut or striation...etc.   I was eating by feel and active enough to still continue to lean out despite eating lots of junk food.   My weight stayed the same and I would continue to my slow leaning as I have been doing almost a year and a half.

Then about 10-12 weeks ago, things got very hard.   Stress ramp-ed up to an almost unsustainable level.  At times, I was barely staying sane.  I can not understate how hard I was was being pushed mentally.   STILL....I did not miss a workout.   The gym was not my priority, but I committed to stay in regardless.

Now here is the crazy part.  Sometime over the last 2-3 months, I have actually lost weight AND gotten fatter.   (larger abdominal skinfolds specifically).  NOTHING has changed about workouts or diet.    Yes I was eating like crap...but I had all year long and progressed as well.   Also dont miss the part where I lost weight while getting fatter.

I have in some ways "wasted" precious LBM while at the same time adding belly fat.   Only thing I can think is it sounds like cortisol at work.   I would have never believed it could be this strong.   I am thinking I lost between 5-7lbs lean mass in that short time.   The fat gain is all midsection.   Weird that my arms and dealts somewhat leaned during this time.

Very strange....but just goes to show just how much stress can affect gains.   In my case, I went backwards.   For me 5-7 lbs is the last 3 years of progress.   

I am through most of the big stress event and ready to get back to 'normal'.   I am not worried if I can get the lbm back.   I am sure that like any other muscle memory event, it will come back quickly when I get my lifestyle back in order.   But just wanted to share some food for thought on something we dont think of a lot....>AND just how powerful it can be.

Offline sakustoms

  • Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 6340
  • FEELING "LESS" FATCKED!!!!
  • Height: 5'-6"
  • Weight: 157
Re: Stress
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 07:10:58 AM »
Great post ID. Stress is a HUGE limiting factor for a lot of folks who sometimes don't even know how much they 'are' stressed.

I know personally that when I started going through this crap with blood pressure meds they were messing me up and that was causing stress and anxiety, which caused my BP to rise above normal, while on the meds. This stressed me more. I actually missed almost the whole last 3 months of 2017 in the gym. This did not help my cause in any way.

Now that the latest med 'seems' to be working I am committing to getting back in the gym and in the very least getting back to where I was pre blood pressure mess.

Glad to hear your pretty much past the real stress part. I still can't wait to see that house all done.   ;D
Eric


Squat - 255 :(
DL - 375
OHP - 130
Bench - 275

Online FLEX

  • Administrator
  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 20432
  • B. M. O. C.
  • Height: 5' 10.5"
  • Weight: 270+
Re: Stress
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 09:50:05 AM »
I think there is more of a mental game in this life than most people realize.

I also think your current physique is most guys' 'end game, so stop crying.  :D

Once the house is done you'll be right as rain and back to your old self I am sure.
Powerlifting Meet Bests:

2017.04.29:  610 Squat, 325 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1535 Total
2016.04.22:  600 Squat, 330 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1530 Total
2015.08.09:  600 Squat, 320 Bench, 600 Dead   |  1520 Total

Join the Ranks!  http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/yearly-rankings

Online Bando

  • Global Moderator
  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 21169
  • Strong Fat Guy
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Weight: 177
Re: Stress
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 09:59:10 AM »
Comes into play for me a lot for me when test is down. Last Tuesday was my pin day so at my lowest level. Was anxious about a long trip, so did not eat, drove 3 hours with anxiety, stress, low test and no food. Pretty much a recipe for muscle wasting.
Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 50-55, Squat, Deadlift, Total

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 45-49, Squat, Deadlift, Total

State Record Holder, Raw Pro, 45-49 & 50-55 Squat, Bench, Dead, Total, 45-49 Amateur Squat, Bench, Dead & Total

DIEL?

Online induced_drag

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3558
  • Height: 69
  • Weight: 195
Re: Stress
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 10:19:59 AM »
Im with you Flex.   The mental part is just something I always took for granted.   I have given out tons of advice, but rarely do I talk about the mental part of all of this.   It is that desire and that alone that got me off my a$$ after my accident.   It is that same desire that made me grind out every rep and set ect.    That was all but gone and about the only thing I can say is "I made it in the gym".   But what was crazy was that was fine most of the year and I actually think I made a small amount of progress in the first 3/4 of 2017.    The last 3 months all but erased that.

@ Bando, it was not a drop in test.   I was on the same 125mg I always was.   I had thought about raising it up as a precaution, but I actually feel better at lower doses (energy wise).   I did not want to feel bogged down.   Might sound weird, but I have never been one to feel "better" with higher doses.  For trt, 100-125 is great for me.   If I go up to higher, especially into the physiological range, it might be good for working out, but not quality of life.    Since for me even at 500-600, I am not going to progress significantly, I dont think it is worth it to feel sluggish.    Looking back though, I do wonder if it would have helped.   But I think the power of cortisol would have negated any amount of androgens and still had the same end result.

I need a month or two to just get things slowly back on track and then I think 2018 may be the year I bring back some heavier training if my body agrees.   Not sure I want to bench heavy again, but I have been itching to feel the bar on my back and deadlift something for a while.   I resisted this past year as I could not afford even a pulled muscle as it would have sidelined me from what I had to do.

Just wanted to share the experience.   I think we all experience stress in many ways.   I for one am going to try to be more aware of it.   I dont think I could have prevented it, but possibly even getting in some good relaxation or mind focusing exercises each day would have helped.    I used to do these all the time (meditations of sorts).  Both of my growing and the function of the joints and my muscles lifting weights.    I can tell the difference when my body is in sync and working as a whole compared to when it is not communicating well and acts as separate levers.    I am not the biggest guy in the world by any means, but I believe a lot of my strength comes from my ability to get my entire body to lift something with a singular focus.   I can very much tell when it is there and it is not.   

Flipping that switch is like the old turbo button on an old PC.   :D   It turns my 286 into a 286 TURBO with a math co-processor...and a ega monitor! (ok who are the geeks who get that? ;) )

Good to be back.....I should be doing some more regular posting.   Thanks for being around this past year.   Watching a lot of your progress always help light what little spark there was.   

Online Bando

  • Global Moderator
  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 21169
  • Strong Fat Guy
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Weight: 177
Re: Stress
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:21:49 AM »

@ Bando, it was not a drop in test.   I was on the same 125mg I always was.   I had thought about raising it up as a precaution, but I actually feel better at lower doses (energy wise).   I did not want to feel bogged down.   Might sound weird, but I have never been one to feel "better" with higher doses.  For trt, 100-125 is great for me.   If I go up to higher, especially into the physiological range, it might be good for working out, but not quality of life.    Since for me even at 500-600, I am not going to progress significantly, I dont think it is worth it to feel sluggish.    Looking back though, I do wonder if it would have helped.   But I think the power of cortisol would have negated any amount of androgens and still had the same end result.

I'm thinking of splitting my dose and injecting 2X a week, it's a pain in the ass (literally) but currently day 6&7 I can really feel the drop.
Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 50-55, Squat, Deadlift, Total

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 45-49, Squat, Deadlift, Total

State Record Holder, Raw Pro, 45-49 & 50-55 Squat, Bench, Dead, Total, 45-49 Amateur Squat, Bench, Dead & Total

DIEL?

Online induced_drag

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3558
  • Height: 69
  • Weight: 195
Re: Stress
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 12:02:34 PM »


I'm thinking of splitting my dose and injecting 2X a week, it's a pain in the ass (literally) but currently day 6&7 I can really feel the drop.

That is all I do.  wed/sun.   I only used regular needles for about 6 months.   Now I just back load 1/2" 29g insulin syringes.   You cant even feel it and I generally pin my quads or even delts are painless and easy.   Thinking of switching to sub q at some point, but if it aint broke......   

Offline tooth

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 559
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Weight: ???
Re: Stress
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 01:05:13 PM »
Stress can be a real bitch.  Something we definitely take for granted.  Half way through the read I was thinking cortisol. 
420/285/450 181 Masters I
515/335/550 198 Masters I
520 squat      198 Masters I

Offline Gnomusmaximus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Height: short
  • Weight: more than I should
Re: Stress
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2018, 11:11:38 AM »
This year my stress has been nuts.  Work, and family stressors have been the worst I have experienced as an adult.  Also had 2 strength sport friends take their own lives.  I tend to deal with things by getting quiet, rolling up the sleeves and working insane hours....and not sleeping...ya I don't sleep much anymore.  All the work, cuts into workout time and I wind up eating even worse than normal.  Was all excited that i had gotten under 200lbs last year...now pushing 215. 

Thank God for strength sports and my idiot friends.  This is like the only fun thing right now.

Offline Gnomusmaximus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Height: short
  • Weight: more than I should
Re: Stress
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2018, 11:18:10 AM »

I'm thinking of splitting my dose and injecting 2X a week, it's a pain in the ass (literally) but currently day 6&7 I can really feel the drop.

Probably a dumb ass question but how do you guys go about getting the Rx/tested?  My wife is like all up in arms at even the suggestion of me trying to get tested but I am thinking about it more and more.  Probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the guys I throw/lift with are using some form of HRT and I know like 0 about it.  Been playing with some supplements with mixed results.  If this is off topic just clue me in on the appropriate thread.

Online Bando

  • Global Moderator
  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 21169
  • Strong Fat Guy
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Weight: 177
Re: Stress
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 11:26:42 AM »

I'm thinking of splitting my dose and injecting 2X a week, it's a pain in the ass (literally) but currently day 6&7 I can really feel the drop.

Probably a dumb ass question but how do you guys go about getting the Rx/tested?  My wife is like all up in arms at even the suggestion of me trying to get tested but I am thinking about it more and more.  Probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the guys I throw/lift with are using some form of HRT and I know like 0 about it.  Been playing with some supplements with mixed results.  If this is off topic just clue me in on the appropriate thread.

Just ask for it as part of your regular bloodwork. If it's low discuss with your doc.

Low T is a medical condition, it made me fall asleep at work and have severe anxiety. If my wife said I could not use T because of whatever reason that would be like me forbidding her to take hypertension meds or something.
Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 50-55, Squat, Deadlift, Total

World Record Holder, Raw Pro Classic, 45-49, Squat, Deadlift, Total

State Record Holder, Raw Pro, 45-49 & 50-55 Squat, Bench, Dead, Total, 45-49 Amateur Squat, Bench, Dead & Total

DIEL?

Offline Gnomusmaximus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Height: short
  • Weight: more than I should
Re: Stress
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 02:36:52 PM »
I have been more anxious lately, i just thought it was because of all the stress.  Maybe I will ask my Dr. about it.

Offline piperdown

  • Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 6196
  • Hey Guys! Wait for me!
  • Height: 5' 11"
  • Weight: 189
Re: Stress
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 02:52:44 PM »

I'm thinking of splitting my dose and injecting 2X a week, it's a pain in the ass (literally) but currently day 6&7 I can really feel the drop.

Probably a dumb ass question but how do you guys go about getting the Rx/tested?  My wife is like all up in arms at even the suggestion of me trying to get tested but I am thinking about it more and more.  Probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the guys I throw/lift with are using some form of HRT and I know like 0 about it.  Been playing with some supplements with mixed results.  If this is off topic just clue me in on the appropriate thread.

Just ask for it as part of your regular bloodwork. If it's low discuss with your doc.

Low T is a medical condition, it made me fall asleep at work and have severe anxiety. If my wife said I could not use T because of whatever reason that would be like me forbidding her to take hypertension meds or something.

My wife was the one that pushed me to get tested. I dragged my feet for a couple of years before getting tested and when I did, and the GP didn't think anything about it, she pushed me to go to a specialist. The specialist looked at my numbers and went "that's not right".

I had zero energy, no motivation, nothing. Didn't sleep very well either. I remember it was about 3 weeks after the first time using androgel that I (and my wife) noticed an uptick in energy and that I was sleeping straight through the night instead of waking up all the time. I've since switched to injections but I'll never go back to the way I was. I was only surviving, not living.....
Eric

Pork belly body......

Bench 305 pr
OHP 165 pr
Squat 315 pr
Deadlift 385 pr

Online induced_drag

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3558
  • Height: 69
  • Weight: 195
Re: Stress
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 03:27:17 PM »

Probably a dumb ass question but how do you guys go about getting the Rx/tested?  My wife is like all up in arms at even the suggestion of me trying to get tested but I am thinking about it more and more.  Probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the guys I throw/lift with are using some form of HRT and I know like 0 about it.  Been playing with some supplements with mixed results.  If this is off topic just clue me in on the appropriate thread.

Accurate testing is done in the am.  (test is highest in the morning).   Getting HRT is pretty easy it seems with the right docs.  Getting insurance to cover is a different thing all together.   My insurance required you about be dead...or a woman.  You have to be below 200 or free test below 6 I think.   The good news (or bad depending on how you look at it) is I actually met the requirements.   

To meet insurance requirements you have to have the right tests done.  Generally it is a method called equilibrium dialysis.   There are other serum tests that can be used to get ideas of your profiles which are not as accurate but sometimes tell better pictures in the diagnosis.

My advice is this.....I would NOT advise going on HRT if you really dont "need" it.    If you feel like sh!t this past year with lots of stress, and little sleep, TRT is not going to change that.   You may even test low-is with the additional stresses and lack of sleep.   To me that is not a reason to commit to a lifelong thing.   It is not magic....unless you truly are suffering from a deficiency.   

Dont forget that nature is a bell curve.  Some guys feel great and are jacked at 400 levels.   Going to 1200 wont make much difference.   I have cut my TRT dose in almost half to what my script say simply because I feel better.   Jacking up to the top makes me feel sluggish.

I would first fix lifestyle and make sure you dont have diet deficiencies (vit d for example).     I just went through a tough year, and having 'optimal' levels of test did not change that I still felt like crap, was run down all the time, and made no progress in the gym.

I would advise running a real cycle if you want 'real' benefits.   That way you are not committed to it for life for something that arguably wont really do much for you if you were not truly deficient.

Symptoms can be different, but low t symptoms are VERY similar to low thyroid.  (something much easier to correct and NOT a life long commitment as recovery is easy if you want to stop.)

For me, despite eating the best I had in 3 years, being the strongest and leanest I had been in a decade, and getting 10-11 hours sleep a night, I was CONSTANTLY fatigued.   On weekends, I would lay in bed until 1pm.   I could remember hearing my kids downstairs laughing, having breakfast and I could not get myself out of bed.   When I did get up, I would be napping by 430.   It was really bad.   The only thing I forced myself to do was workout.  Which I did arguably well.

 Coming back to the gym and within a couple years benching 225x30 (I did not max at the time), deadlifting 565 (never hit that 6 plates back then and was stalled with form issues) and squatting 495 (but probably not with proper depth because I had not worked my hips open yet back then).   I was doing all that with the test levels of a 12y.o. girl.

The other thing I did not realize at the time was that I was losing body hair.  My legs became shiny and patchy.  (and I am a pretty hairy Italian guy).  I never noticed it because it happened over about a 3 year period.

I never had any sexual issues and likewise, I cant say I feel any more drive since going on TRT.

Its a personal choice, but it wont fix any of the issues you mention if you still have stress and lack of sleep.   I'd work on those things.   If you can get them under control, see how you feel.   If it is right to you and you want a boost, run a mild cycle if you want. 400mg.   See how that treats you, but have your diet in order as well as recovery.  It is not magic.   At those levels, plenty of science that show almost zero negative effects.  Studies have shown up to 600 gave no negative indications.  (except rising hemocrit levels if you stay there forever)   This of course is if you do not have underlying prostate issues.