Oh boy, I just checked my calender and saw that it’s only three weeks from this saturday untill the EGSA Ireland Long Cycle competition in Kilkenny!
I’d better refocus and get my head down for some serious work!
The problem though is that I’m still shot from last weeks charity kettlebell challenge (we’re still open for donations untill the end of march, please click here to support: http://www.mycharity.ie/event/1-mile-kettlebell-swing/)
I’ve very little muscle soreness but I have a deep feeling of tiredness and weights that are usually moderate are feeling heavy. This means that my nervous system is a little fried and should I push myself hard I’ll very quickly wind up over training and burning out.
Some careful programming is needed!
But this does give me opportunity to talk about over training and adrenal fatigue.
This isn’t the kind of thing I usually blog about as it can get technical and scientific (which I enjoy reading but hate writing) and I usually prefer trying to dole out some motivation. But as it’s in my head, it’s going into yours, hopefully without the jargon….
A heavy dose of stress be it from work, the gym, too much coffee and biscuits or the mother in law all stimulate the adrenaline glands. Over stimulated adrenal glands get tired and become unable to work efficiently. And when the adrenals are not on song, cortisol comes out to play and cortisol is the hormone that tells the body to canabalise its muscles for fuel while storing calories as fat. By redirecting the fuel to the fat cells as opposed to the muscle cells we end up low on blood sugar and before you know it, you’re reaching for the coffee and doughnuts again..
So we end up with a whole range of issues, fatigue being the most obvious but also the inability to properly regulate blood sugar which leaves you unfocused and skittish as well as predisposes you to storing fat.
So essentially, right now my waistline is in danger of expanding as my attention span and muscle mass is in danger of decreasing.
If that last line sounds familiar, take heed. This doesn’t just happen to people who train, it’s rife in the office world (how many fat people can you see who are constantly snacking on sweet snacks to be able to concentrate?”
How do we get out of this funk?
We have to redress several issues. The first is rest.
Sleep is the time the body and mind get to recuperate, reset and prepare for the next challenge. Deep sleep is the when your body redresses the hormone balance, you release a huge amount of growth hormone, which if allowed will kick cortisol straight into touch.
Next is that blood sugar problem. You need to eat plenty of calories to allow the body to recover, but they have to be from the right sources. We’re talking protein, fat and complex carbohydrates, stay clear of anything sugary. Try to eat as much fruit and veg as possible, the fibre will help you feel full and satiated while providing you with calories and micronutrients. Get a load of fats into the diet, this is very important right now.
Fats are not the enemy, Avocado’s, nuts, fish, even red meat, it’s all good. Fat contains 9kcal/g as opposed to protein and carbohydrates 4kcal/g, but are difficult to break down, so you’re getting calories released steadily into the body helping maintain a steady blood sugar level. Alcohol and coffee ought to be avoided untill you’re back on track.
I personally prefer two meals per day, both high in protein and fat, I then keep fruit and nuts handy during the day for snacking on.
This type of diet has kept me working full-bore for the last couple of years only taking time off at christmas. Since adopting this kind of eating style I’ve gotten stronger than ever while working longer and harder to get my business ticking over.
It works, I recommend you read Ori Hofmekler (http://www.warriordiet.com/), Mark Sisson (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/) and Brad Pilon (authored Eat stop Eat, but his website is a pure sales page so I’ll not provide a link).
All these guys talk about long gaps between meals and a diet heavy on vegetation. Each man has a different way of applying the same principles and achieving the same result, a steady blood sugar level.
If you apply all these principles, within a week you should notice a difference, pretty soon after you’ll be better than ever before, leaner, stronger and more focused.
You’ll be like the mythical phoenix rising from the flames of burn out.
Getting into adrenal fatigue is easy, I’ll bet you know more people who have it than don’t. Getting out of it takes some discipline, but it is well worth it.
Next week I will be hitting the Kettles hard, I’ve got two full weeks to finish training and i need to be on form for the competition the week after.
I also have a Boot Camp, morning, lunch and evening fitness classes and a couple of Self Defence courses to run, a 2yr old boy and a 12 week old labrador to play with. I owe it to every one who relies on me to be firing on all cylinders.
So do you.
Next Boot camp starts on Monday, if you haven’t confirmed, you’ve missed out. You’ll have to wait untill April.