Now, some people out there seem to be completely immune to stress. These guys are just blessed with invincibility.
I’m talking about the ones who…
-Build muscle by looking at weights
-Don’t need to sleep more than 4 hours per night
-Stay ripped and jacked while eating Cinnamon Buns and Bagel Bites
-Work 18 hours per day and stay more relaxed than the Dalai Lama
-Never read about training on the internet
-You aren’t one of those guys. I’m not either.
We’re the ones with…
- Stress prone tendencies- constantly over thinking, staying indecisive, getting worked up about nothing
- Tons of life stressors like a job, a family, debt, a nagging mom, a dog that sh*ts on the carpet.
- Low sleep
- A relentless desire to train hard, despite all of this.
When you put all of those together, you create an environment that taxes your adrenal system to the point of potential problems.
You, my delicate flower, need to always take into consideration the tips below. That is, if you want to make gains and avoid the burnout that comes from letting stress levels get out of hand.
To start, you need to remember this one concept.
All stress takes a toll on your system, not just physical stress like hard training.
2. A stressful relationship
3. Getting worried about a deadline
4. Freaking out about traffic
6. Low calories
They will all call on your adrenals and ask them to work. If you add too many stressors to the mix, your body starts to break down and some of the symptoms of “adrenal fatigue” start to show up..
Before we move on, let’s all get on the same page about what “adrenal fatigue” actually is.
The term adrenal fatigue may be a bit of misnomer. Your adrenals may not actually “get tired” and stop working.
Ultimately, we can better label it as “adrenal dysfunction.” Or, if you want to get really specific, “dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid-adrenal-gonadal axis.”
The name doesn’t matter much, though. The end result is the same.
You wind up with a big spectrum of symptoms that can occur because you tax your stress response system for too long. It can manifest in a variety of ways.
- Fatigue in the morning
- Feeling wired at night despite being tired all day
- Fatigue all day
- Brain fog
- Horrible recovery. The kind where you feel crushed for multiple days after a hard workout.
- Waking up in the middle of the night, feeling wide awake, and struggling to go back to sleep
- Intense, constant cravings for sugar, salt, and other calorie dense foods.
- Headaches with mental or physical exertion
Any of those are a sign of things going wrong.
If you experience many of these, you are likely on the spectrum of having some sort of dysregulation in your body’s system that responds to and handles stress.
In other words, your cumulative stress load is too big.
What causes these problems? Here are a couple culprits:
1. Your lifestyle makes you secrete a ton of cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline on a consistent basis for a long period of time.
Eventually, the receptors that respond to these hormones desensitize.
Your body is an adapting machine. It always strives to maintain homeostasis, and one way it does this is by down regulating receptor number when you flood your body with stress hormones.
These people have symptoms of poor adrenal function and tend to have elevated stress hormone levels.
2. Eventually, your body can stop secreting sufficient amounts of stress hormones.
This can cause dysfunction in your whole hormonal system, including testosterone and thyroid levels.
If we simplify this whole problem down to a root cause we see it can all stem from over activation of the stress response.
What does this all mean for you?
It means an over abundance of stressors in your life can contribute to problems along your hormonal axis. Stress hormones, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, etc.
As you know, these hormones play a critical role in your athletic performance, as well as your overall well-being.
So, over time, you wind up with poor health and body composition, mood and energy issues, and a general decrease in your quality of life.
Now, remember that everyone sits somewhere on a spectrum of stress tolerance. Depending on where you sit, you have to take more care in managing your total stress load.
And the harder you train, the harder you need to chill. That’s a rule.
So incorporate stress reducing activities into your life
- Petting a dog
- Deep Breathing techniques
- Sitting outside for 30 minutes and just chilling
- Listening to mellow music or playing it.
- Having sex
- Getting outside for a long walk first thing in the morning
- Sleeping in a pitch black room for 8+ hours per night
- Having a routine that lets you wind down at night
- Turning off the news
- Not comparing yourself to other people on social media
- Painting, pottery, or any other type of art
- Staring at the ocean or stars
- Lying in the grass for 15 minutes
- Making time to laugh every single day
Myself and many other people I know report that these have made more a difference in their life than any supplement around.
So get on top of your game and manage stress on your way to more muscle and a better life.
– Jack Penner
Hey guys, Jay here…
Figuring out how to really dial down your stress levels can be incredibly difficult. I know because it’s taken me years to figure it out.
But, along the way, I’ve gained a ton of insight on this topic. And I’ve brought the soon to be Doctor Jack Penner on board to Team Renegade because this is such a problem for the guys I work with. You can hear more from Jack and ask him any questions you want in the Renegade Strength Club.