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Overtrained, What Can I do to Recover?

by Eric

Overtrained, What Can I do to Recover?

Hello Mark,

I've been reading your site for a few months now and following much of your advice.

A little background info: I'm 24, 6'3", 175lbs (yes very much an ectomorph).

Strong sex drive until two years ago I suddenly started feeling tired, depressed, and just plain out of it...lots of brain fog.

I attributed it to drinking and smoking cigarettes and decided to cut back on both, and started going to the gym last November.

Alas, in my failure to research proper training I was working out heavily 5-6 nights a week, lifting to failure every set, and not eating NEARLY enough calories to compensate.

I soon developed bad insomnia, a warning sign of over training as I have learned. I figured it was just a phase and for the most part have kept up the same lifting routine since then.

I now have many more symptoms of over training syndrome including anxiety, weakness/fatigue, and of course, still no sex drive.

I never connected the dots that my insomnia could be caused by my horrible workout and diet plan.

I completely stopped working out about 2 weeks ago in an effort to rest and recover from the damage I've done and hopefully get rid of my symptoms.

I also completely quit smoking months ago and drinking a few weeks ago.

My question is, aside from the stereotypical "the best way to recover is not over train in the first place" advice that most give, do you have any suggestions what I can do to speed up the recovery process?

What I wouldn't give to be able to sleep 8 hours straight like I did before all this.

Overtrained, What Can I do to Recover?

Hello Eric,

Scroll down toward the bottom of the page below, and read the section under the headline..."Workouts and Testosterone"

Hormonal Issues Circadian Rhythm and Sleep

It sounds to me like you need to reset your clock, get your circadian timer back into rhythm.

You've already handled the overtraining part, so now it's all about sleep, and cortisol production, which are closely linked to light exposure.

In essence, you need too be very strict about when and how you expose yourself to light.

During the day, your goal should be to maximize exposure to the sun.

And when that sun goes down, turn off those artificial incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, and prepare your body for a full nights sleep.


It's during those deep nocturnal sleep sessions that your body releases growth hormone into your system.

If you fail to sleep deeply or to tweak light exposure, and cortisol remains high in your system, that growth hormone release is not going to happen.


Because cortisol is catabolic, while HGH and testosterone are anabolic, and your body can't operate in both realms at the same time.

So if cortisol is high, testosterone and HGH are going to remain low, plain and simple.

To sum up...

Until you get a grip on this problem, you need to be very diligent about artificial light exposure before bed.

So do the following...

-Cut the lights early, and supplement with ZMA before you hit the sack.

-Keep your exercise routines short, intense, and random to maximize HGH release.

-Make it a point to expose your entire body to the sun whenever possible.

Do all this, and you should be back to normal in no time.

Good luck!

Overtrained What Can I do to Recover
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more on cortisol and overtraining -balancing intensive strength training/muscle building with martial arts
by: Anonymous

Mark this and other threads on overtraining and low T/high cortisol are so relevant to me. I realize that my body-type (tho I'm 31 I don't think it's just my age, as this has happened from before...) that I'm really not a "high volume" kind of guy. I don't seem to do well on high-volume weight routines (which I often try to lower my bodyfat, but to no avail...)

My question for you is though, I really want to effectively balance intensive strength training, atrength and conditioning and muscle building (I deliberately do not say merely "bodybuilding" because I don't mean trying to get "ripped" or the "ideal" physique, especially not using some marathon training sessions -just being big and bad, but HEALTHY), with martial arts training (not MMA necessarily, but "traditional" martial art).

Any way in your opinion these can be balanced without going into overtraining??

Thanks alot bro! Need more info on cortisol control! KEEP IT UP!!


Hi Bling,

Definitely, just find that sweet spot where exercise invigorates and does not detract from energy, mood and vitality.

Everyone responds differently, so you'll just have to pay attention to your mood and energy levels after you exercise.

One thing I've learned is that men who enter the cortisol zone easily seem to do real well with fasted walking, which is a good fat burner if you do it consistently.

These walks burn calories and lower cortisol, so they deliver a solid one two punch.

Find a nice place in nature to do your walks, and make it a point to enter a meditative state while walking, and you'll drop weight and lower stress hormones at the same time.

Good luck!

High T and prostate cancer?
by: Anonymous

A good friend just had his prostate removed and was told that beside being hereditary it was brought on by high T levels....

I figured if anybody could answer this it would be you, youre very good at answering questions, I commend you for that!

Any truth to this line of thinking?


Hello JB,

You'll find my take on the prostate / testosterone connection on This Page

The bottom line message is...if testosterone caused prostate cancer, 20 year olds would be dropping like flies. But they're not, it's the old men with low testosterone and elevated estrogen who are coming down with the disease.


Hormone Supplements and Vitamin D
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info Mark!

I've lowered my workouts to 1-2 days a week and taken steps to black out my room at night, I'll let you know how it goes.

One more problem though, I've noticed that when I cycle the Testosterone Boosters, I start to sleep much better within a day or two (which is great), but I also start to notice a slight ache in my pelvis (prostate area). Is this a known side effect of the supplements?

I also had a hormone test at the doctor:
Total T: 321 ng/dL (332-896)
Free T: 10.9 pg/mL (5-40)
Estrone: 29 pg/mL(<80)
Estradiol: 29 pg/mL (0-56)
Total Estrogen: 58 pg/mL (<136)
DHEA: 6.060 ng/mL (1.330-7.780)

Not great for a 25 year old...

Also to note slight vitamin D insufficiency (25 on a normal range of 30-100) and slightly elevated alkaline phosphate levels

Any ideas? Thanks for taking the time to listen

Hi There,

I've never come across the pelvic ache issue before. If it were happening to me, I definitely wouldn't tolerate it, as I don't do side effects, ever.

My suggestion would be, pay close attention to when it happens, and take note of which supplement you used that day.

Once isolated, drop it from your rotation entirely in order to fix the problem.

If this issue occurs with several different supplements, try going on an every other day cycle.

If that doesn't do the trick, I'd stop taking all supplements entirely.

It's always better to play it safe than sorry.

Regarding vitamin D....you can bring your levels back up to the normal range easily, but exposing your body to the sun, and supplementing with Cholecalciferol or vitamin D3.


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