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View Full Version : Adrenal Fatigue or Just Bad Training?


Mike ODonnell
03-11-2010, 09:47 AM
Came across this gem in-between rants from Lyle....although technically it is a rant...

Wanna know what I think about ‘adrenal fatigue’? I think that in 99% of cases, it’s simply overtraining being brought on by people following the idiotic training advice being currently given. If these people would simply stop training in such a retarded fashion, the current fad of ‘adrenal fatigue’ would simply go away in most cases.

Thought it would be both amusing and thought provoking for many....

.....of course add in a crash diet too and you have disaster waiting to happen.

Greg Battaglia
03-11-2010, 01:19 PM
I couldn't agree more with that, although I think it's obvious ANY excessive stressor (work, lack of sleep, etc.) will do someone in, it doesn't have to just be training.

I know it's become fashionable to knock crossfit these days, but I've honestly felt this way for a while about the 3 on 1 off mainsite schedule. Any time I ever tried to follow that schedule I BURNED OUT, despite good nutrition and quality sleep.

I now usually do 3 days a week and sometimes 4 days, on off days i just walk or hike and play with my girlfriends dog.

I think there needs to be more effort put forth to delineate health/fitness from sport. Health/fitness is about feeling good, having energy, improving quality of life, living long, and having a functional body. Sport is about pushing the limits of genetic potential to improve performance at all costs, even is that means a lower quality of life and less health.

Kevin Perry
03-11-2010, 03:32 PM
I couldn't agree more with that, although I think it's obvious ANY excessive stressor (work, lack of sleep, etc.) will do someone in, it doesn't have to just be training.

I know it's become fashionable to knock crossfit these days, but I've honestly felt this way for a while about the 3 on 1 off mainsite schedule. Any time I ever tried to follow that schedule I BURNED OUT, despite good nutrition and quality sleep.

I now usually do 3 days a week and sometimes 4 days, on off days i just walk or hike and play with my girlfriends dog.

I think there needs to be more effort put forth to delineate health/fitness from sport. Health/fitness is about feeling good, having energy, improving quality of life, living long, and having a functional body. Sport is about pushing the limits of genetic potential to improve performance at all costs, even is that means a lower quality of life and less health.

Exactly, for the vast majority of people all they need are to follow the methods to improve quality of life and longevity. Last I checked, doing ring handstand pushups for time doesn't do too well for that.

Robb Wolf
03-12-2010, 09:54 AM
Yea...that is a bit narrow in scope, but generally agree with the stoopid programming/lack of planning. Although as time goes on my respect for Lyle wanes...

James Evans
03-12-2010, 10:06 AM
Yea...that is a bit narrow in scope, but generally agree with the stoopid programming/lack of planning. Although as time goes on my respect for Lyle wanes...

Why aren't you working on your book???!!!

Kevin Perry
03-12-2010, 10:09 AM
speaking of which.. what is your time frame for publishing Robb?

Mike ODonnell
03-12-2010, 11:02 AM
Although as time goes on my respect for Lyle wanes...

Never said I had any respect for the guy.....in fact I like to not respect anyone and just find bits of wisdom in anyone's words whenever they appear...even if they may be rare and far inbetween.

Robb Wolf
03-12-2010, 04:46 PM
just popped my head up for air! Looking like all material in to the publisher by April 4, then we are likely releasing the book sep1...will have final details on that soon.

I'm going to be drunk for a week once it's done!

I used to like Lyle's stuff but i have not seen anything original or helpful from the guy in years. Seems to enjoy thinking everyone else is a liar, cheat, brigand and generally inferior to his vast intellect.

Reminds me of some "other" fitness celeb.

Pat McElhone
03-12-2010, 06:22 PM
Is "overtrained" a synonym for adrenal fatigue they same way having a "cold" is the same as having a respiratory infection?

Steven Low
03-12-2010, 07:14 PM
Is "overtrained" a synonym for adrenal fatigue they same way having a "cold" is the same as having a respiratory infection?
I'd say overtrained is too much sympathetic nervous system dominanace beyond which the body cannot correctly activate the parasympathetic nervous system to properly output hormones for recovery.

Joe Hart
03-12-2010, 07:17 PM
Why aren't you working on your book???!!!

He was pooping. I hear he has killer wifi on the can:D

Pat McElhone
03-13-2010, 04:23 AM
I'd say overtrained is too much sympathetic nervous system dominanace beyond which the body cannot correctly activate the parasympathetic nervous system to properly output hormones for recovery.


What do you mean too much sympathetic nervous system dominance? Is that because of sustained elevated heart rates? Go as deep physiologically as you would like.

Scott Kustes
03-13-2010, 06:55 AM
.in fact I like to not respect anyone

http://wizbangblog.com/images/respect.jpg

Mike ODonnell
03-13-2010, 10:36 AM
What do you mean too much sympathetic nervous system dominance? Is that because of sustained elevated heart rates? Go as deep physiologically as you would like.

Going 110% with workouts till you puke everyday is not going to help recovery efforts....unless you got some good drugs.

http://wizbangblog.com/images/respect.jpg

Aren't you the kid who clogged up our toilet the other day?

Pat McElhone
03-13-2010, 10:53 AM
Going 110% with workouts till you puke everyday is not going to help recovery efforts....unless you got some good drugs.



Aren't you the kid who clogged up our toilet the other day?


Isn't puking a parasympathetic activity mediated by vagal (cholinergic, parasympathic tone)? There are several different tracks to stimulate vomitting. There is visceral and neurogenic (stimulation of the chemo-recepitive trigger zones). ACh receptors are present in both tracks. I believe vestibular input is into the CRTZ.

Seriously, how is overtraining too much sympathetic dominance? Is it catecholamine depletion from depletion of the adrenal gland? Is it loss of neurotransmitter from the pre-synaptic vesicles? What did Steven mean?

I do not want to sound like a d!ck, but too many people throw around adrenaline or sympathetic. Steven know some stuff, I would like to hear how he thinks overtraining is caused by sympathetic dominance and how the parasympathetic nervous system helps the sympathetic recover.

Steven Low
03-13-2010, 02:34 PM
Isn't puking a parasympathetic activity mediated by vagal (cholinergic, parasympathic tone)? There are several different tracks to stimulate vomitting. There is visceral and neurogenic (stimulation of the chemo-recepitive trigger zones). ACh receptors are present in both tracks. I believe vestibular input is into the CRTZ.

Seriously, how is overtraining too much sympathetic dominance? Is it catecholamine depletion from depletion of the adrenal gland? Is it loss of neurotransmitter from the pre-synaptic vesicles? What did Steven mean?

I do not want to sound like a d!ck, but too many people throw around adrenaline or sympathetic. Steven know some stuff, I would like to hear how he thinks overtraining is caused by sympathetic dominance and how the parasympathetic nervous system helps the sympathetic recover.

What do you mean too much sympathetic nervous system dominance? Is that because of sustained elevated heart rates? Go as deep physiologically as you would like.

Our lives are balanced between sympathetic activity (during waking hours, exercise, etc.) as fight/flight and for food aquisition. Parasympathetic activity, commonly known as "rest and digest" counters this.

When we activate the sympathetic nervous system too much and/or too strongly we actually SHIFT our homeostasis towards a new state.

For example, take our weight. Generally, if we eat unregulated clean food we tend to stay at a certain weight. If we suddenly increase the cals or decrease the cals we will drop weight -- but when we start to eat unregulated again we tend to go back to the same weight. However, if we continually sustain the calories or lack of calories after a certain timeframe, our bodies will "adapt" that as a new weight.

This is similar to exercise in that if we use our sympathetic nervous system too much our bodies are going to get used to turning it on too much. Sympathetic nervous system dominance.

Altering this homeostasis is problematic in that it's two fold. Since we run a balance between the two systems, sympathetic nervous system dominance is associated with decreased parasympathetic "rest and digest" factors as well as chronic problems associated with high cortisol levels.

Check out the common symptoms of overtraining:

* Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
* Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
* Pain in muscles and joints
* Sudden drop in performance
* Insomnia
* Headaches
* Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
* Decrease in training capacity / intensity
* Moodiness and irritability
* Depression
* Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
* Decreased appetite
* Increased incidence of injuries.
* A compulsive need to exercise

See the correlation? Almost all of these traits are reductions in parasympathetic activity because our bodies have "shifted" to a state of sympathetic dominance.

We can reduce this state by increased sympathetic activity through increased sleep, increased food intake, massages, meditation, various supplements, etc. focused on restoring proper parasympathetic activity. Unfortunately, sympathetic dominanace has the opposite effect whereby it decreases the aspects of PNS that we need namely having trouble sleeping or insomnia and such things like that.

Once we get to a point where our sympathetic dominance (too much volume, intensity, etc.) outstrips our recovery (through the parasympathetic nervous system) we start delving into an overreaching and possibly chronic "overtraining" state.

Hope that makes sense. :)


edit:

"I do not want to sound like a d!ck, but too many people throw around adrenaline or sympathetic. Steven know some stuff, I would like to hear how he thinks overtraining is caused by sympathetic dominance and how the parasympathetic nervous system helps the sympathetic recover."

So in effect I would say overtraining is too much sympathetic dominance, and lack of proper parasympathetic activation for recovery. You worded it a bit weird... I wouldn't necessarily agree with what you said.. PNS doesn't help the SNS recover really.. it allows the body to heal better from deactivation of SNS. Obviously, after proper recovery occurs it allows the SNS to work better from fully healed CNS/muscle tissue/etc.

Brandon Oto
03-13-2010, 05:01 PM
Isn't puking a parasympathetic activity mediated by vagal (cholinergic, parasympathic tone)? There are several different tracks to stimulate vomitting. There is visceral and neurogenic (stimulation of the chemo-recepitive trigger zones). ACh receptors are present in both tracks. I believe vestibular input is into the CRTZ.

My understanding is the theory on exercise-induced vomiting was it's a sympathetic response -- an attempt to remove dead weight and jettison food matter that's not going to get digested while you're pulling power from the GI tract anyway.

Obviously that's not the only way to vomit, as you say, but it seems peculiar to call the act of emesis a parasympathetic activity in pretty much any instance.

Steven Low
03-13-2010, 05:13 PM
My understanding is the theory on exercise-induced vomiting was it's a sympathetic response -- an attempt to remove dead weight and jettison food matter that's not going to get digested while you're pulling power from the GI tract anyway.

Obviously that's not the only way to vomit, as you say, but it seems peculiar to call the act of emesis a parasympathetic activity in pretty much any instance.
Strong sympathetic activation induces loss of control of parasympathetic nervous system in some cases.... aka giving loss of bladder or rectal control leading to the "I peed and/or shit my pants" scared / excited / whatever syndrome present in all animals.

Similar thing likely happens with exercise induced vomiting.

Blood shunting away from the digestive tract to the muscles from deactivation of PNS and strong activation of SNS cause it to contract / shrivel up strongly and thus inducing vomiting because the stomach becomes "too full" relative to the food it contains (can also be induced by overeating). Couple that with some variety of loss of control like which happens above with very strong SNS activation, and you get some vomiting...

I wouldn't rule out neurotransmitter or other hormonal effects either. But these fall under SNS/PNS neuroendorcrine output. Not sure if the ones Pat is mentioned are involved though. I'd have to look it up.

Pat McElhone
03-14-2010, 09:36 AM
Interesting points, however the whole system seems way to complicated to simply come down to too much sympathetic vs too little parasympathetic. However, this explaination is simply and since many people understand the ideal fight/flight vs feed/breed, it can be used to convince lay people and sell products (from herbal supplements to treatments like massage, etc.).

I think the body is so complex and the more I learn, the less I truely know. Another possible cause of overtraining could be too much production of Norepi, not enough dopamine production, too little dopamine...bad things...depression, loss of sleep, pain, whatever. In this case the cholinergic system is sitting on the sidelines.

Same with exercise induced nausea. Certainly gut ischemia could be a cause, or as big muscles move they get most of the cardiac output, brain gets less, cerebral ischemia (headaches, nausea) occur. Or, it could be a vestibular thing/motion sickness thing. Rapid up down movements (thrusters, burpees, 20 rep max squats) tend to cause N/V much more then time on the exercise bike (no up/down/side to side motion component).

Both overtraining and nausea are no doubt ways of our body telling us to slow down. That is take home message. We can continue to speculate the why, but both are not seen in smart programming and appropriate exercise prescription.

Steven Low
03-14-2010, 09:59 AM
Interesting points, however the whole system seems way to complicated to simply come down to too much sympathetic vs too little parasympathetic. However, this explaination is simply and since many people understand the ideal fight/flight vs feed/breed, it can be used to convince lay people and sell products (from herbal supplements to treatments like massage, etc.).

I think the body is so complex and the more I learn, the less I truely know. Another possible cause of overtraining could be too much production of Norepi, not enough dopamine production, too little dopamine...bad things...depression, loss of sleep, pain, whatever. In this case the cholinergic system is sitting on the sidelines.

Same with exercise induced nausea. Certainly gut ischemia could be a cause, or as big muscles move they get most of the cardiac output, brain gets less, cerebral ischemia (headaches, nausea) occur. Or, it could be a vestibular thing/motion sickness thing. Rapid up down movements (thrusters, burpees, 20 rep max squats) tend to cause N/V much more then time on the exercise bike (no up/down/side to side motion component).

Both overtraining and nausea are no doubt ways of our body telling us to slow down. That is take home message. We can continue to speculate the why, but both are not seen in smart programming and appropriate exercise prescription.

I agree and disagree.

There are certain fundamental truths about the body. A bunch of the examples you list in the second paragraph here can be attributed to too little parasympathetic stimulation (dopamine -- and serotonin, GABA derivaties, etc. for that matter) and overproduction of norepi can be from too much sympathetic stimulation. Pain, for what it's worth, is a sympathetic stimulus. I am going to be writing something on injuries on this in the future.

At the same time, everyone is individually different in their characteristics. If I put someone on high volume squats some people are going to have back issues, some people are going to have hip issues, some people are going to have knee issues.. or tendon/connective tissue issues. Basically, our bodies have individual variants in them. With "overtraining / overusing" our bodies systems it may be different in which things are actually the first to break down from one person to another.

With that said, encourage proper recovery and backing off from exercise if overstimulated is certainly the right path to take. Sleep and diet are obviously mainstays. The rest is variable depending on the particulars of the individual. If sleep and diet and reduction in training volume/intensity aren't solving the problem, then other avenues of exploration may be needed.

I'm gonna post something similar on the site soon enough.. and I'm not really one to sell products so I guess that's OK. :p Simplified is best in most cases via the KISS principle. There's no reason to make things unnecessarily complicated unless the person is interested in learning.

That's one of the reasons I like SS -- simple program, easy to understand, and it works.