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View Full Version : Why lie? I'm a mess.... I REALLY need help


Jarod Barker
08-13-2010, 10:35 PM
Hey guys, I know I haven't been on here in forever. I haven't had time to use the computer for anything but work in forever as well. In any case, now I'm going to have lots of time to catch up.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. I thought it would be easier to get it all out at once instead just telling a piece at a time.

So, before I begin, I've already spent the past few hours reading through all 12 pages of the recovery threads. I have sifted through and found a few pieces here and there that may apply, but I've got sort of a perfect storm of problems.

I'm 26 years old, and I've been training consistently for 7 years.

I was following a program of training 5 days a week. Most of the workouts took an hour to complete, are generally a Crossfit style design, but have an emphasis on running, swimming, longer duration. An example might be, Run 2 miles, then 10 rounds of 5 deadlifts, 10 pullups, and 15 thrusters, then swim 1000 yards. I followed the program to the letter and made great progress. I started the program last September 2009.

Then in January 2010, I got the flu. In February, I got the flu again. In March, I fractured my tibia. Also in March, my doc sent me for bloodwork to make sure something wasn't wrong that made my tibia fracture so easily. Instead, they became concerned about my low T level (427 ng/dl) and my high cortisol levels. I was sent for all kinds of tests including a cosyntropin stimulation test which was extremely unpleasant. In any case, the endocrinologist decided that I had just overtrained myself to the point where my cortisol levels were actually becoming detrimental. Natually, with a fractured tibia, I had some down time. It was a minor fracture, so by April I was back to training. In June, I fractured my metatarsals, tore the lisfranc, and strained the ATF.

It has been 6 weeks, the foot isn't healed yet.... I decided to go to a massage therapist, the same one the Pittsburgh Steelers use. I was hoping that since I've got the cast off, he could get some tissue work started and hopefully my muscles in my leg would recover faster. He started with my back and shoulders. He pointed out that I had torqued ribs, tears in my rhomboids, lats, and traps, as well as substantial fibrosis in my erectors and I've forgotten the name, but the little muscles that attach to the spinus processes. It's quite bad between my shoulder blades. In fact, we spent 3 hours just working on my back and never even made it to my legs, we're going to start there next time.

So.... there's the skinny on things. Part of me is wondering if it's possible to have somehow "demineralized" myself or something from the overtraining?

Is there a way to get back on track? The muscle issues really worry me because if my back is that bad, my legs are going to be even worse. I don't want any more injuries. I just want to get back into training and moving forward.

I'm already taking a multi, calcium, super cissus, vitamin D, and a joint complex with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM in it.

Naturally, rest is my primary activity right now. I sit around on my butt all day waiting for my foot to heal, take hot baths, and sleep as much as I can.

I spoke with all of my doctors about my injuries and how to approach recovery, I was shocked (but maybe because I live with my head in the sand) how my doctors actually suggested that I use growth hormone or anabolic steroids. In fact, the endocrinologist wanted to put me on testosterone, and the ortho thought that HGH locally injected into the fracture site would cut the recovery time in half. I didn't hint at either, they just flat out suggested it like they were suggesting a multi vitamin or something. Like I said though, maybe I live with my head in the sand.

Well, thank you very much if you read all of that, I know it was long, but I wanted to create a clear picture. I would greatly appreciate all and any advice, guidance, or insight anyone can share with me. Thanks so much!

glennpendlay
08-13-2010, 11:44 PM
I will admit that I am not a huge fan of how you were training... But, it seems far fetched that it would cause the problems you describe. How were you eating?

Steven Low
08-14-2010, 08:11 AM
Basically, you have to take time off to let yourself recover fully and do A LOT of mobility work and rehab/prehab stuff during that time.

WIth vitamin d I recommend taking both a calcium, as well as magnesium and zinc with it... I know for sure it works synergistcally with both Ca/Mg. And most people are deficient in Zn anyway.

Jarod Barker
08-14-2010, 08:55 AM
Hey Glenn, I had been training from September to December with no problems at all. I thought I was doing great on the program. My run and swim times were coming down steadily, and then suddenly everything just started going wrong in January.

Do you think that maybe there was something else that caused the problems? I've been tested for just about everything by the endocrinologist and all he kept coming back with is that my T level is 427 and I'm only 26. He seemed quite concerned about that, but I do believe 427 falls into the "normal" range.

I think I was eating pretty well. I follow a paleo diet with sort of "zone" parameters in that I typically have a protein, carb, and fat with every meal.

Here's a typical day.

3 eggs, 2 cups of spinach, 1 apple, and a tbsp of almond butter

3oz steak, 1 cup of pineapple, and a small handful of macademia nuts

5oz ground beef, 1 cup of strawberries, and a small handful of almonds

3oz chicken breast, 1 orange, and a handful of walnuts

5oz pork rib, 1 cup grapes

4oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup onion, 2 cups spinach, 1 orange

6oz salmon, romaine salad, 2 tbsp dressing, 1 apple

I know it's simple and repetitive, but it's hard to get large meals in at work, so I just grab a small bite to eat as often as I can.

I don't know if you guys are familiar with the Full Mission Profiles, but I did at least one of these a week.
http://www.brassringfitness.com/category/full-mission-profile/

And many of the daily workouts in general were structured similarly to the FMPs, but usually not quite as hard.

Jarod Barker
08-14-2010, 08:57 AM
Basically, you have to take time off to let yourself recover fully and do A LOT of mobility work and rehab/prehab stuff during that time.

WIth vitamin d I recommend taking both a calcium, as well as magnesium and zinc with it... I know for sure it works synergistcally with both Ca/Mg. And most people are deficient in Zn anyway.

Hi Steven, I forgot to list that. I take Natural Calm before bed with NOW Foods ZMA. I'm getting 5000iu of Vitamin D a day, and I'm taking 1g of calcium a day, spread out into 4 doses.

Garrett Smith
08-14-2010, 09:30 AM
You have the CrossFit disease. I've seen it before, and it won't be the last time.

Full Mission Profiles ruin people. It's not a matter of if, only when. Already seen it happen.

Other than lots of baths with Epsom salts and even good sea salts added, I would hesitate to make more comments or recommendations until I saw your whole case. Feel free to contact me over PM if you'd like to arrange a consult. Contrast hydro to the foot would be good too.

More CF will not be your way out of the hole you dug. That will only dig it deeper.

You might look into cold laser therapy, great for bone healing. See the "Research" link at my site www.LaserTherapeutics.com for more on that.

I'd guess that your total cholesterol and LDL were likely really high as well, that goes along with this pattern.

Garrett Smith
08-14-2010, 05:07 PM
Also, your diet is WAY too low in fat.

Blood cortisol levels for your situation are next to useless unless you have a true adrenal disease. An Adrenal Salivary Index and some basic bloodwork looked at through a proper perspective (ie. tighter functional ranges, not the ones on the bloodwork as "lab ranges") would be necessary and extremely useful here. If you were actually high for the lab range, then you have a significant issue, yet maybe not an "adrenal disease" like Cushing's.

Something to consider if you did have high cortisol levels in the blood in relation to your fracture (cortisol is equivalent to cortisone for all intents and purposes here):
Acta Orthop Scand. 1975 Apr;46(1):25-30.
Effect of cortisone and an anabolic steroid upon plasma hydroxyproline during fracture healing in rabbits.

Lyritis G, Papadopoulou Z, Nikiforidis P, Batrinos M, Varonos D.
Abstract

The effect of cortisone and an anabolic steroid on plasma hydroxyproline (HOP) was investigated in young male rabbits, following operative fracture of the radius. The action of these hormones was studied in three groups of animals, a cortisone (hydrocortisone sodium succinate 5mg/kg every day), an anabolic (norandronolone-19-phenylpropionate 5 mg/kg every other day) and a cortisone plus anabolic treated group. A fourth group of animals served as controls. Plasma HOP was found to increase during the fracture healing in control animals, particularly in the first week and during callus remodelling. Cortisone produced elevation of HOP level during the first two weeks followed by a decrease to low normal values. Animals treated with the anabolic did not present the initial rise but a sustained increase during callus remodelling. When both the anabolic and cortisone were administered, a curve similar to that of cortisone-treated animals was obtained. The initial increase of HOP is attributed to bone destruction and to a lesser degree to synchronous bone formation at the site of the fracture. This catabolic process seems to be enhanced by cortisone and inhibited by the anabolic. When, however, the two hormones are given together the protective anticatabolic effect of the anabolic is almost abolished.

And yes, your testosterone level should be considered low (and that's not even considering what your free test value is, the actual "useful" stuff!). If you were to ignore the deeper issue and get testosterone injections, as soon as you stopped the injections the underlying problem (which likely would be forgotten about until it reared up again) would return.

I have utilized a training approach that has worked well in returning people to feeling well in several months, and it will not involve any medium-to-long metcons at all. Why?
"You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it." -- Albert Einstein
Ice water baths for your foot, 20 minutes, several times a day, would do you much better than hot "plain" baths (which may be causing you to sweat out even more minerals).

Lastly, has anyone bothered to do a vitamin D test on you?

Jarod Barker
08-14-2010, 05:51 PM
Thank you Garrett, you're spot on with your assessment. My cholesterol was screwed up, and I thought that was unusual. My total was 222, triglycerides were 109, HDL was 44, and LDL was 156. I've never had bad cholesterol levels in my life, so I just thought it was a fluke.

My free testosterone was 10.0, but the doc kept repeating the 427 number as his reasoning for wanting me to use testosterone. I can't help being skeptical though, because if I sign on for a lifetime of testosterone injections, that's money in his bank account, so no offense to any doctors, but I kind second guess whether or not his advice is in my best interest. Like I said, I'm 26, so I'm not exactly eager to start down a path of TRT as it would really interfere with my personal goals for my life.

My baseline cortisol level was 24.010 ug/dL which they said was high. However, they were unable to diagnose anything like Cushing's or Addison's. So, maybe that did have some role to play in my recent fractures. I don't know if that level ever came back down.

What's strange to me is everything was going great and I was progressing from September to December, and then everything just seemed so abrupt. With the back to back flus, the fractured tibia, the bloodwork issues with cortisol, and then the fractured metatarsals and ligament tears, I've barely been able to get any sustained training in. Shouldn't the time off from the flus and then the time off from the fractured tibia been enough time for my body to have recovered?

Forgive for whining "why me" but I can't understand how it could be that other guys are still following the programming, and somehow I became overtrained. What is the difference that allowed them to continue training while I'm muddling through problems?

I'm seeing another doc with the Steelers on Monday, but I may contact you for a consult. I'm not particularly pleased with the recommendations and advice I'm getting from these doctors.

Jarod Barker
08-14-2010, 05:55 PM
Hey, just a quick thought. I also had an EKG because they were concerned about my heart, it came back fine, but they said I had developed early repolarization which is considered normal because my heart rate is so slow.

Additionally, I've been fighting with some chronic epididymytis for the past few months. I take antibiotics, it goes away, as soon as I stop the antibis it comes right back, and then I have to start on antibiotics again. I've done doxycycline for up to 30 days, and I just finished 30 days of bactrim.

Your mention of the messed up cholesterol levels just jolted my mind, and I thought maybe although those things seem completely unrelated to me, perhaps they are part of the bigger picture like the cholesterol levels.

Garrett Smith
08-14-2010, 06:10 PM
Your immune system is likely suppressed due to excessive training. It would be pretty obvious to me on a simple CBC with platelets and differential.

The cholesterol, in my own theory, is a result of the body attempting to raise (although unsuccessfully) your low test levels.

Nothing I haven't seen before. Simple (not easy) to correct with a compliant trainee.

Jarod Barker
08-14-2010, 09:09 PM
I have no idea if these numbers are good or bad, but

WBC: 4.5
Platelets: 146
MPV: 11.6

I think those are the CBC numbers? I have a ton of paperwork and bloodwork here, and admittedly, I don't really know what I should be looking for.

Garrett Smith
08-15-2010, 07:57 AM
WBC are definitely low for my ranges, if I recall off the top of my head (I'm at home right now), your platelets are low as well. Note I mean functional (some would say "optimal") ranges, NOT the lab ranges.

As I mentioned before, if you want my help in working on this, PM me or contact my office, the necessary info is in my sig.

Garrett Smith
08-15-2010, 08:09 AM
Sorry, I missed seeing this post.
Thank you Garrett, you're spot on with your assessment. My cholesterol was screwed up, and I thought that was unusual. My total was 222, triglycerides were 109, HDL was 44, and LDL was 156. I've never had bad cholesterol levels in my life, so I just thought it was a fluke.
Not a fluke. It fits the pattern. It will rectify with proper approaches. If I were you, I would NOT go on a statin for this.

My free testosterone was 10.0, but the doc kept repeating the 427 number as his reasoning for wanting me to use testosterone. I can't help being skeptical though, because if I sign on for a lifetime of testosterone injections, that's money in his bank account, so no offense to any doctors, but I kind second guess whether or not his advice is in my best interest. Like I said, I'm 26, so I'm not exactly eager to start down a path of TRT as it would really interfere with my personal goals for my life.
You are young and doing (mostly) healthy things for yourself, other than your excessive exercise. IMO, testosterone should be last on your list right now.
My baseline cortisol level was 24.010 ug/dL which they said was high. However, they were unable to diagnose anything like Cushing's or Addison's. So, maybe that did have some role to play in my recent fractures. I don't know if that level ever came back down.
This high cortisol level means that your training is over-the-top for you at this time.
What's strange to me is everything was going great and I was progressing from September to December, and then everything just seemed so abrupt. With the back to back flus, the fractured tibia, the bloodwork issues with cortisol, and then the fractured metatarsals and ligament tears, I've barely been able to get any sustained training in. Shouldn't the time off from the flus and then the time off from the fractured tibia been enough time for my body to have recovered?
What you experienced was the "calm before the storm". Progress for four months followed by a major crash means that what you were doing is not sustainable for you right now, maybe not ever. Hour-long CF workouts done one or more times a week will ruin nearly anyone who has any other types of responsibilities (job, family, post-grad studies, etc.). The flus were a sign that you needed a lot more time off and easier training, not just the time you took off for feeling sick. You ignored the signs your body was trying to give you.
Forgive for whining "why me" but I can't understand how it could be that other guys are still following the programming, and somehow I became overtrained. What is the difference that allowed them to continue training while I'm muddling through problems?
People's stress levels and ability to deal with stress is both built by nature and nurture. I can't sprint as fast as Tyson Gay, I realize this, and I deal with what I was dealt. I don't tolerate much training stress well. I used to get a cold like clockwork if I trained 5 weeks straight. I don't get sick anymore now that I follow 5/3/1 and actually take the deload week more like a week "off". This is a learning experience for you.
I'm seeing another doc with the Steelers on Monday, but I may contact you for a consult. I'm not particularly pleased with the recommendations and advice I'm getting from these doctors.
I'm not surprised. Don't expect much.

Jarod Barker
08-15-2010, 08:51 AM
Hey Garrett, thanks for the info, I'm not going to bother waiting till Monday to start this ball rolling. PM inbound, thanks!

Robb Wolf
08-18-2010, 03:52 PM
lack of periodization, lack of Down-time, too much volume, too much intensity....

I do 5-10 consults per week on this. if we can a correlation between my client list and CF games competitors (past & present) folks would find it interesting.

People need to wise-the-fuck-up on this topic.

Steve Shafley
08-18-2010, 08:11 PM
Heard today that in shitty boxes, injury rates are ~70% and in good boxes they are around 30%.

How do those numbers look? There seems to be a big issue with sweeping injury rates under the table.

I do know that in a local Crossfit based bootcamp business, the idiot has untrained, overweight women running distances (1-2 miles) on concrete and asphalt and that many of the develop, at the minimum, shin splints. One developed stress fractures. In my mind, this is almost a criminal prescription, not to mention a lazy way (for the trainer) to program activity.

Allen Yeh
08-19-2010, 04:10 AM
Heard today that in shitty boxes, injury rates are ~70% and in good boxes they are around 30%.

How do those numbers look? There seems to be a big issue with sweeping injury rates under the table.

I do know that in a local Crossfit based bootcamp business, the idiot has untrained, overweight women running distances (1-2 miles) on concrete and asphalt and that many of the develop, at the minimum, shin splints. One developed stress fractures. In my mind, this is almost a criminal prescription, not to mention a lazy way (for the trainer) to program activity.

Awesomeness.....

Geoffrey Thompson
08-19-2010, 07:02 AM
Heard today that in shitty boxes, injury rates are ~70% and in good boxes they are around 30%.

How do those numbers look? There seems to be a big issue with sweeping injury rates under the table.Well... it's hard to tell how those injury rates look. I've heard stats bandied about concerning the injury rates for recreational runners that are also around 70%. I agree that they're high, especially of the species "stupid injuries you shouldn't get", but it's really hard to get a good baseline. I think we'd all agree, though, that if it's 70% when it could be 30%, there's some malpractice going on. The boot camp example is egregious. But it's hard to tell if 30% is good or bad. I'm pretty much always on the brink of tendinitis in some joint or other, it might flare up to an actual case of it every year or two. That sounds like an injury rate of 50%. I suspect a lot of lifters are the same, if not worse, though I consider myself fairly "injury free".

Jarod Barker
08-19-2010, 09:38 AM
I think I read in a book on running injuries that 90% of recreational runners will suffer an injury in any given year. Now, to keep that in perspective, I imagine to get a number that high they're taking every little injury from a mild sprain to a herniated disc, but in any case, running definitely "causes" many injuries.

Perhaps, the POSE community has the right idea in teaching running as a skill. I've had years of coaching on proper bench press and squatting technique, and I have not sustained an injury from bench pressing or squatting. Even when working with weights beyond my 1 rep max, I've learned how to safely miss a lift. However, I've had but one weekend of running instruction.

Robb, we've talked about this multiple times. I think as an athlete, especially a highly motivated athlete working towards a goal, there is a certain unexplainable willingness to follow a coach's programming. I realize that training for health and fitness is something that needs to be adjusted carefully, shorter met cons, more focus on strength work, more recovery time.

But how should one prepare for "endurance" type training schools like SFAS, Ranger School, RIP, Q course, BUD/S, etc.? Is there a certain level of overtraining that would provide sort of a "hormesis" to protect the body during those courses? Is it even possible to avoid overtraining while going through such a course?

I know Poliquin has spoken about what he calls "super accumulation" where you overtrain purposely and then when you take time off your body over compensates and you supposedly gain more strength, endurance, etc than you could on a linear training plan, but I've never witnessed nor experienced that.

Garrett Smith
08-19-2010, 12:40 PM
Chad,
There is a key difference between CF's approach to training and *everyone* else's.

Everyone else does the same types of training over and over again, with small & gradual changes, allowing the body to adapt.

CF's intention is to not let the body adapt. Thus every workout is seen by the body as a new, different stressor...and the body is always off balance...this is perceived as a much greater stressor and is potentially not able to adapt over time past a certain point. Not allowing for adaptation means that the body's stress machinery also never adapts (see below).

This is why no one else in the world does "random" programming. It is too hard on the body over time.

Here are some examples from a recently linked site on CF.com on stress, which I find humorous as it would seem to explain why the stress response to CF isn't like that of other programs. Note the part about stress and digestion--you would be amazed how many CFers eat "perfect Paleo" and yet are still dealing with stress-induced IBS that goes away when they start training in a more sensible manner.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/07/ff_stress_cure/all/1
One of the most tragic aspects of the stress response is the way it gets hardwired at a young age — an early setback can permanently alter the way we deal with future stressors. The biological logic of this system is impeccable: If the world is a rough and scary place, then the brain assumes it should invest more in our stress machinery, which will make us extremely wary and alert. There’s also a positive feedback loop at work, so that chronic stress actually makes us more sensitive to the effects of stress.

--

Stress is a chemistry problem. When people feel stressed, a tiny circuit in the base of their brain triggers the release of glucocorticoids, a family of stress hormones that puts the body in a heightened state of alert. The molecules are named after their ability to rapidly increase levels of glucose in the blood, thus providing muscles with a burst of energy. They also shut down all nonessential bodily processes, such as digestion and the immune response. “This is just the body being efficient,” Sapolsky says. “When you’re being chased by a lion, you don’t want to waste resources on the small intestine. You’ll ovulate some other time. You need every ounce of energy just to get away.”

--

Confront your fears

When paratroopers are first learning to parachute, they experience a massive stress response. In fact, one study of Norwegian airmen found that this response started before the jump and lasted for hours afterward. But something interesting happened when the soldiers kept jumping out of planes. Instead of being stressed for hours at a time, they showed elevated levels of stress hormone only while in midair, which is precisely when they needed it. The chronic stress response that causes long-term harm had all but disappeared.

--

Don’t force yourself to exercise

While exercise is remarkably effective at blunting the stress response, at least for a few hours, this effect exists only if you want to exercise in the first place. After all, a big reason working out relieves stress is that it elevates your mood; when mice are forced to run in the lab, their levels of stress hormones spike. So when you force yourself to go to the gym and then suffer through 30 minutes on the treadmill (lamenting the experience the entire time), you don’t reduce your stress levels. In fact, you might be making things worse.

Robb Wolf
08-19-2010, 02:21 PM
[Robb, we've talked about this multiple times. I think as an athlete, especially a highly motivated athlete working towards a goal, there is a certain unexplainable willingness to follow a coach's programming. I realize that training for health and fitness is something that needs to be adjusted carefully, shorter met cons, more focus on strength work, more recovery time.

But how should one prepare for "endurance" type training schools like SFAS, Ranger School, RIP, Q course, BUD/S, etc.? Is there a certain level of overtraining that would provide sort of a "hormesis" to protect the body during those courses? Is it even possible to avoid overtraining while going through such a course?

I know Poliquin has spoken about what he calls "super accumulation" where you overtrain purposely and then when you take time off your body over compensates and you supposedly gain more strength, endurance, etc than you could on a linear training plan, but I've never witnessed nor experienced that.[/QUOTE]

One trains in such a way as to make it TO the desired event (BUDS?) then COMPLETE it. Not end up sidelined due to injury and China-Syndrome type systemic failure. Chad, in your description above you described something like this: "Sept-November I did great! Then in December I blew up all of a sudden...WTF?"

Your Accumulation block never ended! Did you incrementally increase mileage and loading? In that accumulation block did you wave load that stimulus over the course of time or was it a balls to the wall emulation of 4-5 different websites of training?

Here is a nice real-world example: We started working with Glen Cordoza 4+ years go. We could not get Glen INTO the ring for almost a year because he shit the bed on recovery, did not sleep and would sneak in training when I told him to go home and rest. I finally kicked him out of the gym and only allowed him back with the understanding that if he did not do it 100% my way he was done. The bulk of his training was simply fight prep with power variants of the OL's, some gymnastics and a few odds and ends. When his sleep suffered to it was particularly hard to warm him up all he did that day was an EASY (2:00-2:10 500M pace) 2-5K row, foam roll mobility then go home. the result was not only did Glen show up for game day, he actually won! He generated some pretty impressive gym numbers (130kg PC+Jerk) 105kg PS) and a 435 Fight Gone Bad with PERFECT form. No 20% slop there!

When CrossFit first hit the BUDS community the O-course and PT scores improved. Medical outs decreased. That's a fact and no matter my feelings about the Despotic Turds who run that show it helps people when applied properly. But people were tackling things in a much different way than they are now. people are shitting the bed, and in an epic fashion. That's just on the task completion side of this, we are nto even talkign about the damage they are doing to their endocrine systems.

Patrick Donnelly
08-19-2010, 03:09 PM
I think we'd all agree, though, that if it's 70% when it could be 30%, there's some malpractice going on. The boot camp example is egregious. But it's hard to tell if 30% is good or bad.
Wait, you mean I could be injuring nearly a third of my clients and still be considered a good trainer? Damn, I'm trying waaaaaay too hard then.

Jarod Barker
08-19-2010, 06:26 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the responses, I really appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me.

Garrett, thanks for the study. I'm a stress ball by nature, so I guess I have the deck stacked against me in the first place. I can understand how a protocol like CF with its constantly changing stressors is probably only exacerbating the issue.

Robb, after we talked in March, I stopped training, took time off to recover, waited till I started sleeping normal again, and then when I resumed training I scaled everything way back. One long run or swim a week, kept metcons under 10 minutes, and changed my focus more towards steady PT like sets of pushups, situps, and pullups with rest between sets. I even stayed away from my usual pitfalls like multiple workouts per day. I'm not sure what constitutes as wave loading, but I tried to increase the reps or the distance just a little every other week.

I guess the thing that is bothering me and I can't seem to wrap my head around is that I never got back to full bore training after December. I developed the stress fracture in my tibia running a whopping 3 miles a week in March, took off till the last week of April, got the clear from the doc, and then a month later broke my foot running a grand total of 2 miles per week. I'm just, for lack of better phrasing, blown away at the very fact that I could get injured doing relatively little training. Could I have set my body back that far from the training Sept to Dec that I'm still not recovered this far out? Could I have broken down my bones and tissue to such a point as to have created long term damage?

What you've told me you've done with Glen is just one of the many reasons I'm dying to come out and train with you. CA needs to get their damned budget together so CSU can start accepting out of state grad students. I'm starting to think maybe I'm not capable of coaching myself. I can see it in the athletes I coach when they're starting to wear down, but I've developed a bad habit of blocking out what my body is telling me, and clearly it's not working in my favor. But I swear, I'm trying like hell to pull it all together. I know I'm failing, but it's not for lack of effort.

Steven Low
08-19-2010, 10:27 PM
It's pretty hard to push yourself into significant detrimental effects from overtraining, but it seems like you could have done it.

MOst chronic overtrainers go to the gym for like 2-3 hours at a time.. maybe 6-7 days a week.

That's not as heavy a burden as you would get if you did multiple workouts a day though. It's much more taxing doing that because you can "refresh" then come back harder. Single sessions are quite self limiting to some extent.

In fact, that's pretty impressive that you could beat yourself way far down in <4 months like that. You must have had some preexisting conditions or likely a combo of multiple workouts a day plus some poor nutrition and/or poor sleep and overstressing from other stuff.

Seriously though you need to take off for like 4-5 months like I did.

Geoffrey Thompson
08-20-2010, 05:31 AM
Wait, you mean I could be injuring nearly a third of my clients and still be considered a good trainer? Damn, I'm trying waaaaaay too hard then.

Well, it really depends on what's being counted. I just don't know. How many of your clients get a case of tendinitis or other minor dings related to chronic overuse every year? 1/3 might be a little high, depending on the sport and type of training. If you're training recreational runners, I do think 1/3 would be a good injury rate. Anything else, I just don't know. IME, as somebody who does strength training, one case of tendinitis or other minor injury every three years would be good, but that's just in my training, I don't have clients and I don't know how that looks as a rate to the rest of you, but I think it's not so bad.

Steve Shafley
08-20-2010, 05:36 AM
The POSE folks get injured after the study finished.

Garrett Smith
08-20-2010, 06:29 AM
It's pretty hard to push yourself into significant detrimental effects from overtraining, but it seems like you could have done it.

MOst chronic overtrainers go to the gym for like 2-3 hours at a time.. maybe 6-7 days a week.

That's not as heavy a burden as you would get if you did multiple workouts a day though. It's much more taxing doing that because you can "refresh" then come back harder. Single sessions are quite self limiting to some extent.

In fact, that's pretty impressive that you could beat yourself way far down in <4 months like that. You must have had some preexisting conditions or likely a combo of multiple workouts a day plus some poor nutrition and/or poor sleep and overstressing from other stuff.

Seriously though you need to take off for like 4-5 months like I did.
My guess is, and Chad please confirm/deny this, that you probably had quite a history of CF or some other type of intense-enough training before these 4 months...

Jarod Barker
08-20-2010, 08:23 AM
It's pretty hard to push yourself into significant detrimental effects from overtraining, but it seems like you could have done it.

MOst chronic overtrainers go to the gym for like 2-3 hours at a time.. maybe 6-7 days a week.

That's not as heavy a burden as you would get if you did multiple workouts a day though. It's much more taxing doing that because you can "refresh" then come back harder. Single sessions are quite self limiting to some extent.

In fact, that's pretty impressive that you could beat yourself way far down in <4 months like that. You must have had some preexisting conditions or likely a combo of multiple workouts a day plus some poor nutrition and/or poor sleep and overstressing from other stuff.

Seriously though you need to take off for like 4-5 months like I did.

Garrett is spot on with the CF. I had been following CF since 2007. And the first time I contacted Robb, it was because of my overly ambitious pursuit of CF. At that time, I was doing CF main page, CFE, and the SEAL fit WODs everyday. After talking to Robb, I took a month off, and when I came back, I PR'd on everything I did. My CFT went up something ridiculous like 200 pounds, and my o lifts jumped about 30 pounds each.

Recently though, I was following a program of 5 workouts per week, 2 days off, with a bias towards endurance with no strength specific workouts. The mistake I made though is that I threw myself into every workout at 100% effort and intensity. I'm talking balls to the wall maximum effort every time.

And when I talked to Robb in March, I understood that even if I was working out less time than I had previously, the 100% intensity all the time was just stupid. In my defense, I was trying to stand out for my performance against the other guys in the program, but that was dumb because look where it got me in the long term. So, when I tried to get back into training, I was going about 80% effort, keeping the workouts under 10 minutes, and one long endurance workout a week, and when I say long it's probably short by most standards, 2-3 mile run or 1000 to 2000 yard swim.

In any case, nutrition has consistently been tight. I don't like bread and pasta anyways, so it was easy for me to go full on Paleo. Sleep has always been an issue, but after in March I started actually scheduling "sleep time." I quite literally have a date with my bed. I've always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, even as a child, but I now have a scheduled 9 hour block with no other interruptions to try and get the most sleep I can. Stress on the other hand.... is and probably always will be an issue. My job has been about as stressful as they come. I'm sure it didn't help things at all.

Steven, what did you do for 4-5 months? No workouts at all? Did you do any recuperative therapies or anything? I just started rehab for my foot, but as you know, PT isn't exactly demanding at most offices. Electrostim, wrap it in a hot towel, turn your ankle up and down for 5 minutes, put ice on it, and then they bill you. Supposedly we're going to work up to walking on the treadmill for a mile. I was thinking about taking my own approach though and trying some massage therapy and acupuncture.

Steven Low
08-20-2010, 08:54 AM
Mostly mobility work... flexibility sometimes. Work on those types of weaknesses.

Robb Wolf
08-21-2010, 06:57 PM
Steven- I respectfully disagree. I see people as highly proficient of dismantling themselves from excessive volume and intensity.

Chad-
Brother, you have had multiple forays into this OR/OT land and the effects are not just cumulative but similar to heat exhaustion, they come back hard and fast without planned avoidance. It can literally take MONTHS to get one;s shit squared away and that is to just get healthy, it does not then open the door to more 100% training! Just because you feel better it's not a sign you are back to "normal".

Garrett Smith
08-22-2010, 03:44 PM
Steven- I respectfully disagree. I see people as highly proficient of dismantling themselves from excessive volume and intensity.

Chad-
Brother, you have had multiple forays into this OR/OT land and the effects are not just cumulative but similar to heat exhaustion, they come back hard and fast without planned avoidance. It can literally take MONTHS to get one;s shit squared away and that is to just get healthy, it does not then open the door to more 100% training! Just because you feel better it's not a sign you are back to "normal".
This is completely true, all of it.

Feeling "better" after beginning to address a situation like this only means that one is STARTING to rebuild the "savings account" that long-term excessive training had completely depleted. Basically, Chad was working out on the equivalent of credit cards and racking up a huge debt, which sometimes simple rest cannot repay all by itself.

Also, just like heat exhaustion, once that door has been opened, it is all too easy to slip back into a hairy situation. Sometimes it is as if one has broken a sort of "stress thermostat" that may never be the same again.

CF is like a strong pharmaceutical (I hesitate to call it "medicine" anymore). It has to be dosed intelligently, properly, and individually. There are given side effects that have to be managed early on, or they turn into short-term problems, and eventually into long-term problems.

Robb and I both know this because we've both been there. I'm thankful that I had some sense (and excessive stress in other places to a large extent) to realize early that the path I was going down was leading to a bad place...and I jumped off that train.

Steve Shafley
08-22-2010, 05:16 PM
I think your diet is an issue here. Not everyone can adapt to the workload with that diet. If Robb didn't recommend it, I'd recommend upping your complex carbs via "Hungry Like The Wolf Orthorexia, LLC" guidelines, i.e. sweet potatoes, yams, or whatever Loren Cordain say won't poison you.

Robb Wolf
08-23-2010, 03:00 PM
Shaf-
More carbs could certainly help. Pre-post WO. Things like training fasted and LC need to wait till the basic structure is rebuilt and as Garrett alluded, it may still be too much stress.

Scotty Hagnas
08-23-2010, 03:21 PM
I'd definitely consider dropping your fructose consumption - perhaps replacing with sweet potatoes. That's a lot of fruit (http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/diabetes-from-fruit.html)!

I'd also like to add that I've seen the same thing as Garrett and Robb numerous times. CF is great if used carefully, but it's strong medicine and coupled with high stress can really dig a deep hole.

Garrett Smith
08-23-2010, 08:13 PM
More carbs and fat, definitely. The better the source, the better your recovery.

One cannot recover from excessive stress on low carb and IF...that I feel I know for sure now.

Jarod Barker
08-23-2010, 09:04 PM
Hey thanks guys, sorry I disappeared for a few days, I was building a log cabin in a remote location and didn't have any internet or 3G signal.

I can understand the analogy of heat exhaustion to overtraining. And I now get that "feeling" normal is not the same as being fully recovered.

After talking with Robb around the same time the tibia started to stress fracture, I seriously cut down the training volume, but I think it may have been too little too late. As well as I never fully recovered from overtraining in the first place, so even with reduced training volume, I was probably still causing enough damage to delay my recovery.

It also probably doesn't help that as I head into spring and summer, I become increasingly busy with work since I do roofing and construction, so even though it's not terribly demanding physical work, it is added work load which I should probably be more careful to adjust for.

I certainly won't argue with you guys on diet. I know from talking with Robb that shifting carbs to post workout and adding tubers is a wise decision. I guess I just stuck with my diet because it felt like it was working for me as far as hunger and body composition. I tend to stay lean, I've never had my BF calculated but I can't imagine I've ever been anything over 10% bf, and rounding my meals out with just protein, carb, and fat seems to control hunger for me pretty well, especially since I eat relatively frequently.

And Scotty, I appreciate the link. I believe Robb had a blog post once that linked to Mat Lalonde talking about the negatives of fructose. The thing, and sure you guys can probably clear this up, but I've seen articles on both sides. I've read people saying that fructose is preferable to any other sugar and that it digests slowly so it's ok to eat, and then I've read articles that say that fructose is downright dangerous and cause diseases. The thing is, I stay lean even if I eat fruit with every meal, so it's kind of hard for me to imagine that I'm going to develop diabetes or something from fructose. I'll try switching out the fruit for tubers just for experiment's sake, but is fruit really that much of a problem? I'm starting to feel like if I kept removing "bad" foods from my diet, I'd be down to nothing but beef, chicken, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli. I'm already trying to cut the nuts out and replace it with more olive oil. I've limited my egg consumption to 2 a day. Sometimes I just feel like just about everything is bad for you.

On a side note, I spent the weekend swinging an axe and carrying heavy, and I mean really heavy, logs short distances and lifting them into place. Thing is, I'm not tired or sore at all. In fact, I feel great. So, this got me thinking, is it just the intensity of the workouts that is so damaging? I've experienced this before doing solar panel installations where I spent 12-14 hours a day working for a few days in a row, and I wasn't tired or sore the whole time despite it being physically demanding work. Yet, if I hit a workout like Diane, Fran, or Grace (all between 2-4 minutes for me), I can be sore for days. It almost seems like you could put in long hours of low intensity but heavy work easier than you can do moderate weight at high intensity for short duration.

Garrett Smith
08-23-2010, 09:22 PM
It almost seems like you could put in long hours of low intensity but heavy work easier than you can do moderate weight at high intensity for short duration.
This is the way it is, especially when you are referring to "intensity" as a % of effort. Regardless of "scaling", CF workouts are supposed to be done at max intensity, which is why they can burn out anyone with nearly any scaling parameters (except maybe when done extra heavy and thus forcing enough rest to recover to do another rep).

Most everyone else refers to intensity as a % of their 1 rep maximum...because they know that max is not something they can train to every day, so they use percents.

CF says go to 100% every training day, 5-6 days/week. This is not sustainable in any endeavor, random or otherwise. Never has been, never will be. If we could be "perfect" and "our best" every day, I think the universe might implode. ;)

Also, your work stress is too significant to ignore, it would have to be counted and figured into the whole equation.

Honestly, and maybe Robb will agree since you guys have obviously been talking on this for a while...I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did.

Steve Shafley
08-24-2010, 07:16 AM
Ironically, HIT and Crossfit describe intensity the same way, as a subjective value of intensity of effort.

This was a major mistake for HIT, and it's a major mistake for Crossfit.

Geoffrey Thompson
08-24-2010, 08:51 AM
This is not a coincidence. I think CrossFit is the Nautilus of our generation. Long, sciencey-sounding articles that are really just ad-copy, impressing people by utterly blasting "well-conditioned" athletes on their first workout, mindless adherents spouting the Gospel, barely-trained trainers putting people on a circuit with little regard for where people came from... The list goes on and on. Not that Glassman and Jones didn't have some great ideas, they're infinitely smarter than me in this arena. They're also pretty good businessmen, entrepeneurs, and marketers.

Jarod Barker
08-24-2010, 10:48 AM
This is the way it is, especially when you are referring to "intensity" as a % of effort. Regardless of "scaling", CF workouts are supposed to be done at max intensity, which is why they can burn out anyone with nearly any scaling parameters (except maybe when done extra heavy and thus forcing enough rest to recover to do another rep).

Most everyone else refers to intensity as a % of their 1 rep maximum...because they know that max is not something they can train to every day, so they use percents.

CF says go to 100% every training day, 5-6 days/week. This is not sustainable in any endeavor, random or otherwise. Never has been, never will be. If we could be "perfect" and "our best" every day, I think the universe might implode. ;)

Also, your work stress is too significant to ignore, it would have to be counted and figured into the whole equation.

Honestly, and maybe Robb will agree since you guys have obviously been talking on this for a while...I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did.

Well, from what people have told me, I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did. My first year doing Crossfit, I followed the CF main page and then did the NavySEALs.com workout everyday. Before that, I spent about 6 months following the Gym Jones workouts that he listed on the calendar, and I did all of the workouts listed. Somedays this meant up to 4 workouts a day, not realizing the Twight was just listing all the workouts that various athletes did. The crazy thing of it is, I lasted about a solid year doing that on my own. Perhaps the intensity was lacking which may have allowed me to do for so long.

In any case, I should apologize to Robb for fucking up his advice. Every time I've spoken with Robb about overtraining, I've drastically reduced my training volume, tweaked my diet, and tried to make alterations to match Robb's recommendations, but I think perhaps I never scaled back quite enough. You can clearly see in my training logs over the past years, I have reduced training volume drastically, but I think as I train less volume, I've simply compensated by increasing intensity. So, instead of doing 3 workouts a day at 75%, I ended up doing 1 workout a day at 100% intensity. And as I'm starting realize the intensity may be the factor that is mucking everything up.

For example, I didn't start having problems until I started going to a CF affiliate. Once there, I was quickly overtrained and then injured. My first CF WOD at an affiliate was a Painstorm, and just about every workout following that was equally long and heavy. Everything was performed as Rx'd with no scaling, and the intensity was really pushed. I think before this, doing workouts on my own, my intensity was just to the point where I kept moving the whole time. Once I went to an affiliate, everything was rushed. While I can say that that intensity improved my fitness short term, I do believe that it led to my initial overtraining and injuries.

In any case, I've been seriously trying to plan my return to training in light of recent issues. Would it be unwise to try to focus on single modalities per workout? For instance, Monday work on front levers and planches, Tuesday have a moderate run (maybe about a 5K), and then do some weight training on Wednesday (cleans, deadlifts, squats, etc.)? I don't mean to be overly simplistic, but it seems like if the intensity of multi-modality workouts like CF seems to be the issue in overtraining, why not train modalities individually with less intensity? Am I missing the point?

Jae Chung
08-24-2010, 12:21 PM
Well, from what people have told me, I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did. My first year doing Crossfit, I followed the CF main page and then did the NavySEALs.com workout everyday. Before that, I spent about 6 months following the Gym Jones workouts that he listed on the calendar, and I did all of the workouts listed. Somedays this meant up to 4 workouts a day,

WTF!!!

I didn't read all the responses in this thread carefully, so I dunno exactly what your plans are, but dude. That is some craziness.

My non-expert reaction to this is,


1. eat more, sleep more
2. do some serious rehab and prehab and get healthy, without focusing on "making progress" on anything
3. and then start easing back into things as Robb suggested,
4. and for God's sake, hire a coach.

Garrett Smith
08-24-2010, 12:57 PM
In any case, I've been seriously trying to plan my return to training in light of recent issues.
No offense intended here...you are the last person who should be planning your own training without at the very least, hard and fast guidelines as to the parameters to train around...basically, what to watch for to know if you are screwing up or doing it right. This is what I give to people in this situation. I don't know what Robb gave you previously, however, you seem to have the "overexerciser" in you creep back every time when you are in charge of your own stuff.
I don't mean to be overly simplistic, but it seems like if the intensity of multi-modality workouts like CF seems to be the issue in overtraining, why not train modalities individually with less intensity? Am I missing the point?
You are not missing the point. This is exactly the point. Modulate volume, frequency, intensity (as a % of max), watch rest and recovery as markers of improvement. Rinse, repeat. Err on the side of TOO MUCH RECOVERY and NOT ENOUGH INTENSITY until well out of this phase of your life.

Ryan Secor
08-24-2010, 09:23 PM
Somedays this meant up to 4 workouts a day

Bad, bad decision. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWui-wZ8ENk) - unless you're Mark Bell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r-1HLI8L1c&feature=related). :)

In any case, I've been seriously trying to plan my return to training in light of recent issues.

Seriously though you need to take off for like 4-5 months like I did.

Err on the side of TOO MUCH RECOVERY and NOT ENOUGH INTENSITY until well out of this phase of your life.

I agree with Steven and Dr G about this. Based on everything you've been saying on the severity of this, I would probably treat this like an injury and REST. Like Robb and many others have pointed out there's a time to train hard and a time to back off in training... and you missed that back off portion for so long your body is essentially injured as a result. Get extra sleep - seriously 9-10+ hours a night if you can manage it. Eat how Robb and the others have been suggesting (quality + a lot!). IF you workout and don't have someone designing your workouts for you, you probably want to limit how much you tax your body right now.

Would it be unwise to try to focus on single modalities per workout? For instance, Monday work on front levers and planches, Tuesday have a moderate run (maybe about a 5K), and then do some weight training on Wednesday (cleans, deadlifts, squats, etc.)? I don't mean to be overly simplistic, but it seems like if the intensity of multi-modality workouts like CF seems to be the issue in overtraining, why not train modalities individually with less intensity? Am I missing the point?

If your goal is to be proficient over multiple modalities then that plan sounds a lot smarter. It all depends on your goals though... When you do come back fully healed (probably going to be a long process), remember to train hard but smart and recover even harder. You also mentioned you lead a pretty stressful life, etc - I would also suggest training around that stressful lifestyle. For example, I typically work a 16-18 hour day when all is said and done (I also will have work an overnight shift for 6+ months) and I used to work out before work almost every single day. That was just too much for me though - I had worry about working, doing basic living stuff (i.e. eating, relationships, etc), sleeping, AND then getting my workout in. I knocked that off and started training around my schedule. I'm much happier and actually getting better results working out on my days off and trying to make my work days as painless as possible. All that being said - you're getting some great advice on here from some extremely knowledgeable and outstanding people. I hope you take it, learn something good from this whole experience, RECOVER, and come out on the other end as a better person and athlete. Good luck.

Jarod Barker
08-24-2010, 10:10 PM
First off, thank you to everyone for your input on this. I never thought I'd get such a response, and I'm truly thankful for all of you taking the time to share your knowledge.

Thanks Ryan, I can really appreciate the long hours. When we get a contract, it's not unusual for me to put in consecutive 16 hour days for a week. Then trying to fit a workout in on those days just turns into a futile battle. Thankfully, it's not always the case that I have to work that much, but it does happen with enough frequency that I do believe it has had an overall impact on my overtraining.

I know I've done alot of the wrong things in the past as far as excessively training thinking that more volume would equal more progress, and I have made changes, but apparently not enough changes. My current issue though is that since January of this year, I've just never gotten back to "normal." I got sick in January and didn't train the whole month, I might have got 3 workouts in in February before I got sick again. Then in March, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture, and that's when I had all the bloodwork with the cortisol levels. I took time off for both the fracture and trying to get my cortisol to come down, only to break my foot in June running a grand total of 2 miles a week. The doc said 4-6 weeks to heal, and here I am at 8 weeks still unable to use it fully without substantial taping.

I'm just trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong which is why I've basically lost January through August, or if I just dug myself a hole that deep in the first place. And if I have dug myself a hole, how can I get out quickly? And quite frankly, I'm kind of freaked out that the docs I've seen about my bloodwork have suggested AndroGel, testosterone shots, cortisone shots, even anabolic steroids. When the endocrinologist told me he thought I needed to start TRT, I felt like someone had told me I had diabetes and needed insulin for the rest of my life. I just hope I haven't screwed my body up so much that I've done permanent damage to my nervous system or anything.

In any case, Jae and Garrett, I know I need a coach, but I swear to you, I have contacted people and looked all over the place for a good coach, I cannot find one in Pittsburgh, PA. This is why I'm seriously considering relocating to Chico if my girlfriend gets into grad school there. I've tried remote coaching as well, but I think I need a coach who can actually observe me and tell me when I'm going too hard. I really am a coachable athlete, I do exactly as I'm told, but that can also be dangerous because I've had bad coaches who over programmed with too much weight too often, and I just kept trying to perform till I got injured.

Additionally, I'm thinking about quitting my job. It's not the career I want for my life, and I think that it is just complicating my life with the travel and hours, so in the interest of moving towards my real goals, I think I need to reevaluate my job situation.

Garrett Smith
08-25-2010, 06:18 AM
Chad,
Whenever we get the chance to talk, I have my guidelines for exercise with rules for when someone is doing too much.

Jarod Barker
08-25-2010, 07:13 AM
Thanks Garrett, I'm looking forward to it!

Jarod Barker
08-26-2010, 08:58 AM
Hey guys, I thought I'd update after talking with Dr. G.

If anyone else is having problems with overtraining, I highly recommend taking advantage of his knowledge. Talking with him was infinitely more beneficial than the hours I've spent with my endocrinologist and the multitude of tests I've had done. We went over my blood work, and he knew more about it than my endocrinologist. Whereas I had my doctors here telling me I need to start TRT and that my cholesterol was too high and my blood sugar was pre-diabetic, Dr. G was able to explain each issue and put it into context. I think it is very clear that my cortisol level was elevated from overtraining, but as Dr. G pointed out, it has caused sort of a cascade of other related effects.

We also went over my training, and I've realized that my willingness and desire to surpass my coaches' expectations is actually a detriment to me because I'm just throwing myself into things 100% with disregard for own health. Dr. G helped me set up a plan to focus on recovery while still maintaining strength and a level of endurance, but keeping the workload below a level where it would tax my nervous system.

It gave me a new perspective that was far more specific to my lifestyle and training than any of the doctors I've been working with, and it was a relief to understand that many of my blood markers are simply skewed as a result of overtraining and not some pathological disease. Hopefully I'll be feeling better shortly, but for now I'm really looking forward to the next few months.

And Dr. G, I took a tablespoon of creamed honey last night before bed, and I fell asleep so fast, I don't even remember getting into bed.

Garrett Smith
08-26-2010, 11:08 AM
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HofoK_QQxGc)

Your previously high cortisol, plus your positive reaction to the honey pre-bed (which would tend to indicate low cortisol at night), means we really need to get the salivary Adrenal Stress Index done to look at your circadian cortisol rhythms.

Jarod Barker
08-27-2010, 09:31 AM
Hahaha, dammit I wish I could get some bionic muscles! Then I could just drink cans of WD40 instead of all this paleo junk.

I came across something semi-interesting. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7591395

It states that recurrent muscle injury causes hypogonadism. Now, in the study they used tamoxifen to cure this, which if I understand it correctly is an estrogen blocker.

So, this of course got me thinking, Poliquin and biosig modulation. If your T level was low, then your estrogen would be comparatively high which if I understand correctly, your hamstrings would have a higher fat storage. I'm not trained in biosig so I'm definitely not an expert, but would an AI like Novedex XT create a similar benefit because you'd be blocking the conversion of testosterone into estrogen hence lowering your estrogen levels and balancing out hormone levels?

In any case, I guess the real question I'm asking is, is hypogonadism as a result of overtraining/recurrent injury a reversible condition or are you permanently damaged from the stress on your body?

Ben Moskowitz
08-27-2010, 10:08 AM
In any case, I guess the real question I'm asking is, is hypogonadism as a result of overtraining/recurrent injury a reversible condition or are you permanently damaged from the stress on your body?

either way, don't worry about it! ok bad joke. I've just read through the thread and I really wish you all the best in your recovery.

Garrett Smith
08-27-2010, 10:22 AM
That is a great case study to learn from.

Tamoxifen is an estrogen receptor antagonist, which is different than an aromatase inhibitor.

In any case, I guess the real question I'm asking is, is hypogonadism as a result of overtraining/recurrent injury a reversible condition or are you permanently damaged from the stress on your body?
I believe there is a degree of both.

Jarod Barker
08-27-2010, 11:40 AM
Hahaha, thanks Ben, I suppose stressing about whether or not stress induced hypogonadism is permanent is rather counterproductive.

Dr. G, I guess I don't really understand the difference so much then, but I thought that an estrogen blocker reduced the amount of estrogen in your body, so I figured that inhibiting the aromatization of testosterone into estrogen would reduce the amount of estrogen in your body, hence, same end result. Perhaps I am oversimplifying this though.

Garrett Smith
08-27-2010, 02:18 PM
Differences Between the Antiestrogens, Anti-aromatases versus Estrogen Antagonists (http://www.mesomorphosis.com/articles/pharmacology/anti-aromatases-versus-estrogen-antagonists.htm)
Anti-estrogens are drugs which act to reduce estrogenic activity in the body. This can be done either by reducing the amount of estrogen, or by reducing the activity of whatever estrogen is present.

Competitive aromatase inhibitors, such as Cytadren, Arimidex, and probably Proviron, bind to the same binding site on the aromatase enzyme that testosterone does. By doing this, they allow less testosterone to bind to aromatase. So, less testosterone is converted to estradiol (estrogen).

The other general approach is estrogen receptor antagonism. If a molecule binds strongly to a hormone receptor, but does not activate that receptor and makes it unresponsive to the normal hormone, then it is a receptor antagonist. Clomid (clomiphene) and Nolvadex (tamoxifen) follow this approach. These drugs are very similar structurally. They are both what are called triphenylethylenes, and are not steroids. The differences are relatively minor, but seem to affect an important characteristic of these compounds: drug metabolism.
Also, just because someone is "low" in testosterone does not mean that their estrogen is "high". If test production is low, then there wouldn't necessarily be more estrogen, if only mostly due to the fact that there isn't as much test to convert to estrogen.

Joe Hlasnik
08-28-2010, 06:34 AM
In any case, Jae and Garrett, I know I need a coach, but I swear to you, I have contacted people and looked all over the place for a good coach, I cannot find one in Pittsburgh, PA. This is why I'm seriously considering relocating to Chico if my girlfriend gets into grad school there. I've tried remote coaching as well, but I think I need a coach who can actually observe me and tell me when I'm going too hard. I really am a coachable athlete, I do exactly as I'm told, but that can also be dangerous because I've had bad coaches who over programmed with too much weight too often, and I just kept trying to perform till I got injured.

Chad -

Where do you live in Pittsburgh?


I know of a few places that have been recommend to me before that may be worthwhile for you to look at. I workout in the robinson area if you're also just looking for someone to tell you to scale back when you need to.

Jarod Barker
08-28-2010, 09:35 AM
Differences Between the Antiestrogens, Anti-aromatases versus Estrogen Antagonists (http://www.mesomorphosis.com/articles/pharmacology/anti-aromatases-versus-estrogen-antagonists.htm)

Also, just because someone is "low" in testosterone does not mean that their estrogen is "high". If test production is low, then there wouldn't necessarily be more estrogen, if only mostly due to the fact that there isn't as much test to convert to estrogen.

Makes sense to me, I don't know how accurate biosig is, but I definitely store most of my body fat in my low back and my hamstrings which I thought was a marker of elevated estrogen levels. But I see what you mean, if T output is low to begin with, there isn't much available to be converted to estrogen anyways.

Jarod Barker
08-28-2010, 09:41 AM
Chad -

Where do you live in Pittsburgh?


I know of a few places that have been recommend to me before that may be worthwhile for you to look at. I workout in the robinson area if you're also just looking for someone to tell you to scale back when you need to.

I live near Cranberry Twp. Economy Borough to be exact, but nobody knows where that is. I know there's a great weightlifting gym in Bridgeville, but I've tried all the CF affiliates out here. They aren't bad, just not the level I'm looking for. What gym do you train at in Robinson? I know there's Finish First and Pittsburgh Fight Club, but I'm sure there are more. I've been trying to get an invite to The Lab though. I know a few of the guys there and I've trained with them, but they're very private and rarely invite new members since it's not a public gym. I think they have a grand total of 5 members right now, I'm not sure how much it costs either, but I think they're all splitting the mortgage.

Joe Hlasnik
08-28-2010, 01:13 PM
I live near Cranberry Twp. Economy Borough to be exact, but nobody knows where that is. I know there's a great weightlifting gym in Bridgeville, but I've tried all the CF affiliates out here. They aren't bad, just not the level I'm looking for. What gym do you train at in Robinson? I know there's Finish First and Pittsburgh Fight Club, but I'm sure there are more. I've been trying to get an invite to The Lab though. I know a few of the guys there and I've trained with them, but they're very private and rarely invite new members since it's not a public gym. I think they have a grand total of 5 members right now, I'm not sure how much it costs either, but I think they're all splitting the mortgage.

I generally work out at the Y in Robinson, unless I'm around my parents house so then I may goto the one in Wexford. They're nothing special, but they let me do what I need to do and not usually that crowded when I go. I do agree there aren't many gyms around that are worth it which I why I've stuck to the YMCA,

I've been telling Jamie Skibicki (guessing you know him if you ever went on the CF boards) I'd go down the Pittsburgh Barbell in Bridgeville on Saturdays when he goes down, I'm guessing that's the place you're referring to. If I was a little close I'd probably go there more but it's a bit out of the way.

If I remember right Economy is over near Baden, I don't know that area that well so I'm not sure of anything to closer to you.

Cranberry doesn't have anything decent out there?

Garrett Smith
08-28-2010, 03:13 PM
Makes sense to me, I don't know how accurate biosig is, but I definitely store most of my body fat in my low back and my hamstrings which I thought was a marker of elevated estrogen levels. But I see what you mean, if T output is low to begin with, there isn't much available to be converted to estrogen anyways.
One absolutely could have high estrogen and low test at the same time. I simply wanted to add that there is not a strict inverse relationship between the two hormones.

Jarod Barker
08-28-2010, 08:04 PM
One absolutely could have high estrogen and low test at the same time. I simply wanted to add that there is not a strict inverse relationship between the two hormones.

Roger that, I understand they aren't necessarily indirectly proportionate. I don't know how much faith I put in biosig though because if my cortisol is high, why is most of my fat in my back and hamstrings? I'm not convinced that fat storage is an accurate indicator of hormonal imbalances.

Jarod Barker
08-28-2010, 08:18 PM
I generally work out at the Y in Robinson, unless I'm around my parents house so then I may goto the one in Wexford. They're nothing special, but they let me do what I need to do and not usually that crowded when I go. I do agree there aren't many gyms around that are worth it which I why I've stuck to the YMCA,

I've been telling Jamie Skibicki (guessing you know him if you ever went on the CF boards) I'd go down the Pittsburgh Barbell in Bridgeville on Saturdays when he goes down, I'm guessing that's the place you're referring to. If I was a little close I'd probably go there more but it's a bit out of the way.

If I remember right Economy is over near Baden, I don't know that area that well so I'm not sure of anything to closer to you.

Cranberry doesn't have anything decent out there?

I've heard Jamie's name tossed around a bit but I've never met him. The Pittsburgh Barbell Club in Bridgeville is absolutely incredible. Rege Becker is a phenomenal coach, probably one of the best kept secrets in Western PA. Becker has a great eye for movement, and he's very good at addressing lifters' weak points. He's like the Coach B of the East Coast, only no one's heard of him.

I keep getting kicked out of the Y in Cranberry. I got kicked out for wearing fivefingers the first time (they said they would damage the floor), then I got kicked out for wearing weightlifting shoes (again said they would damage the floor), then I got kicked out for deadlifting (not allowed to take the bar out of the squat rack), and then I got kicked out for squatting without a spotter (mind you, I'm in a squat rack). They're really touchy there.... I've never even attempted to do a CF WOD there.

Finish First in Robinson is absolutely ridiculous. Go in sometime just for a laugh. When I went in, he told me it was $375 a month, and you have to follow one of his programs. What's funniest though is his list of athletes. They're all beauty pageant competitors.

Pittsburgh Fight Club in Robinson used to be really bad. Just meatheads everywhere doing dumb shit to impress each other. Lots of screaming, slamming things, just trying to attract attention. I've heard it has gotten better lately though, and I've heard it's not too bad, but I can't get past my initial impression.

Economy and Baden are like wasteland. There's just nothing out here except a few little bodybuilding specific gyms with no free weights, just machines.

The only good place in/near Cranberry is MAC Fitness, but I can't find a coach there. It's all boxing, which the boxing coaches are really good at boxing, and the jits guy I was working with is awesome as well, but no S&C coaches.

I've tried contacting every single POSE coach listed for the area, and not one has ever returned my calls or emails. I think I just need to relocate. It's the next logical step. I think I need to get serious, relocate, and move forward.

Joe Hlasnik
08-29-2010, 06:38 AM
Wow man, that's terrible.

When I eventually move to Cranberry I'm going to have to avoid the Y out there for my work outs.

They honestly kicked you out for deadlifting? And you were in a power rack with safety bars and had the nerve to kick you out for squatting without a spotter?

I do whatever I want at the Y in Robinson for the most part, I generally go in before work too and the place is empty. They have a tennis court area next to the weight room where I can get some 50ish meter sprints in, and have a heavy tire I can flip. I've never had anyone say anything to me for bringing in my stuff either so in the morning I'll have my rings from the power rack and no one has said anything whether I wore my chucks or squated in socks. I think the one in Wexford wouldn't be bad either, but I've only gone there a dozen times. Have you thought about buying you're own equipment for at home?

I know how you feel thought I love Pittsburgh but the idea of living somewhere else is appealing. If you want come down to the Y in Robinson some time let me know, not sure if you work out that way at all.

Jarod Barker
08-29-2010, 08:39 AM
Cranberry's Y is attempting to make it into a country club. That's why they won't accept anyone who is a member at another Y, and the facility is probably the nicest Y anywhere. I chose it simply because it's the nicest pool I've ever seen, and it's on my way to work. It's all old people though, I mean, senior citizens old, so they're really uppity and you can get in trouble for anything, and I mean, anything at all. One time I was told I had to slow my treadmill down because I was sweating all over the belt. The worst one though is still the five fingers incident. I was jogging on the indoor track to warm up, when I noticed one of the employees staring at me. He walked away and came back with a buddy. Then they walked away and came back with a manager. I was stopped and told that I couldn't wear those kind of shoes in here. When I asked why, they told me that they would damage the floor, and that because of my insistence on breaking the rules, I would have to leave. I swear I was totally calm and not a jerk about it.

In any case, I still wear my fivefingers, but you just have to pay attention to which employees are there. Most of them are ok with just about anything, but there are a few who take their job a little too seriously. e.g. one of the lifeguards lets me take my kettlebell into the pool, yet in the gym area one of the attendants says I'm not allowed to move the dumbbells more than 10 ft from the DB rack.

I'm sure you already know this, but alot of the people in Cranberry can be very snobbish and high and mighty. I think that's why the Y there is so overly serious.

I'm in the process of finishing my home gym, I've got kettlebells, kegs, 2x Pendlay bars, about 600lbs of bumper plates, stud pull up bar, but back to the original problem, no coach. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. Clearly, a bad coach is worse than no coach at all, but I'd really like to have a good coach to work with one of these days. I think I'd make alot more progress.

I'm not in Robinson much, but when you move to Cranberry, give me a shout, I'm just across the border on Freedom Rd.

Yael Grauer
08-29-2010, 08:44 AM
LOL at your gym experience. I got in trouble for wearing sandals to a gym once (so much for barefoot deadlifting) so I wore my holiest Nike Frees the next day. But really if I somehow manage to drop a barbell on my foot, I don't think any shoes would really protect me.

Allen Yeh
08-29-2010, 09:39 AM
LOL at your gym experience. I got in trouble for wearing sandals to a gym once (so much for barefoot deadlifting) so I wore my holiest Nike Frees the next day. But really if I somehow manage to drop a barbell on my foot, I don't think any shoes would really protect me.

I've never understood that at all, they have issues with my vibrams....its like if I had sneakers and dropped something hard enough on my foot to sever my toe...the sneakers won't magically keep my toe attached...

Jarod Barker
08-29-2010, 10:13 AM
I've never understood that at all, they have issues with my vibrams....its like if I had sneakers and dropped something hard enough on my foot to sever my toe...the sneakers won't magically keep my toe attached...

Hahaha, exactly. My uncle works with oxen. He actually prefers to work with them barefoot. I asked him why once, and he explained to me that even if you were wearing steel toe boots, it wouldn't save your toes. I guess the moral of the story is at some point the weight exceeds a point where anything could protect you.

Jamie J. Skibicki
08-29-2010, 08:08 PM
As far as gyms, I'll talk to Lronezo. He used to work at CF threee rivers before schnieder went to Iraq (used to be a decent affliate on freedom crier road in the sports complex). THere used to be a half decent gym in Seven feilds right off the high way (Well not quite RIGHT, just past the chick filet).

Not sure where you work, but in town there is the JCC (bumpers and a decent crew at the right times, it's also where I train). THere is Champions, which is where John Dennis trains (Strong man competitor) though hes going to be heading up to breidgeville more often. Hibler shut down PFC after a pretty bad flood, not sure when it's going to re open. If you are going out there, you can go over to Wrights gym in carnegie (about 1.5 miles closer to town than PFC). Rowers, racks, mostly BB meatheads, but the old guy behind the counter deadlifted 405 for reps at 70 year old and he can't weight more than 180.

If you want fighting, the muay thau and BJJ school that was at south hills judo moved to Wrights, so you can do that there as well. THere is also South Hills Judo, THere is a kick ass judo school int he soccer/sports center on freedom crier road (Eugene is REALLY good) and theres another BJJ school out on library road whose name always eludes me. Also very top notch.

THere's another couple of powerlifting gyms in the area, mostly in town and a bit south. SO yeah, what are you looking to train for?

Jarod Barker
08-30-2010, 09:09 AM
Hey Jamie, I've been talking to Lorenzo on facebook. I used to coach at 3 Rivers CF. I was there when it first opened, and left one month before it closed. It's about 2 miles from my house. I know Eugene Kim very well too. Are you thinking of Fitness Factory in Seven Fields?

All I'm looking for is a good coach. I've got more bumpers than I could even clean, kettlebells, tires, punching bags, etc all in my garage. But what I'm lacking is a coach to help me bring it all together.

Dr. G recommended I follow Wendler 531, so I'm going to do that for a few months while I give my CNS a chance to recover, but I think I need to find a quality coach or else I'm going to end up back in the same rut again.

Jamie J. Skibicki
08-30-2010, 12:15 PM
I did train out there once, not sure if you were there. We did 5 round 15 95lb over squats and 500 meter rows. Tall bald guy.

Jarod Barker
08-30-2010, 03:25 PM
Hmmm, not sure, was there a short guy with a huge mohawk yelling at everyone? I'm hard to miss.

Jarod Barker
08-30-2010, 03:35 PM
I just needed a few moments for my brain to catch up. I do remember you! And I remember that workout.... That was our substitute for Nancy because we weren't allowed to run. The guy that owned the property wasn't very accommodating.

Jamie J. Skibicki
08-31-2010, 03:44 PM
How could I forget the mohhawk and the board shorts.

Jarod Barker
08-31-2010, 09:33 PM
How could I forget the mohhawk and the board shorts.

Hahaha, yup, that's me! Board shorts are year round attire. I finally cut the mohawk though. I think it helped me to intimidate Mike into working harder. Not sure if you met him, but he was our 6'8" 315 pound monster who squatted 500 lbs for reps sending the bar airborne everytime. He's off at IUP now, but this kid snatched 225 lbs on his very first attempt ever. He was just like, "you mean I pick the bar up like this?" You need mohawk power when working with guys who could use you for a toothpick.

Jarod Barker
09-02-2010, 10:17 AM
Just thought I'd update with the latest and greatest.

Saw the ortho yesterday, it's been 9 weeks with minimal healing in the fractures, but I am starting to callus excessively on the opposite side of the bone and the edema has actually increased, so he said while those are markers of healing, it shouldn't be taking this long to heal. He said initially he had expected it to take about 4 weeks to heal which is why I was in a cast and on crutches for 6 weeks. At this point, he says if it continues to heal this slow, it'll take 3 more months to heal.

They want to do more bloodwork, but considering all the bloodwork I've had, I'll be shocked if they find something new. Should I even waste the money having more tests done?

Anyone ever had an experience with a bone that just wouldn't heal? Apparently it is a union fracture since it is healing, but it's just going slower than Rosie O'donnell in a 400lbs weight limit elevator.

I guess I'm just pissed off and frustrated that it's not healing the way I had anticipated.

Ben Moskowitz
09-03-2010, 03:19 AM
Anyone ever had an experience with a bone that just wouldn't heal?

Yeah, a scaphoid fracture. Consider asking the doc for a bone stimulator or the like.

Garrett Smith
09-03-2010, 06:03 AM
Chad,
We can talk more about this offline.

Low-level (cold) laser therapy and bone healing (http://healinglightseminars.com/listing/Bone%20Healing%20-%20Formation%20-%20Resorption.pdf).

Comfrey, taken internally and/or applied as a poultice, would likely help.

Jarod Barker
09-04-2010, 08:34 AM
Yeah, a scaphoid fracture. Consider asking the doc for a bone stimulator or the like.

I actually did ask about possibly using a bone stimulator, he said it was too late for that be of any benefit at this point. What he did offer me though was a cortisone shot, which I happily declined. Needles and feet should not mix.

Chad,
We can talk more about this offline.

Low-level (cold) laser therapy and bone healing (http://healinglightseminars.com/listing/Bone%20Healing%20-%20Formation%20-%20Resorption.pdf).

Comfrey, taken internally and/or applied as a poultice, would likely help.

Thanks Dr. G, I'll look into that. I've never been to anyone who does cold laser around here, but I'm sure I can find one with a little research. I've tried some ultrasound on it, but it REALLY hurt, which surprised me because I had ultrasound on my tibial fracture and that felt fine.