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Old 08-10-2013, 11:42 PM   #1
Chris Ross
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persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Hi everyone, so here's the situation. This has been an ongoing issue for me ever since I started Oly Lifting and heavier strength work approx 1 year ago. I have spoken to a GP about it and been told I have everything from adult on-set asthma to depression!

I thought I would try the good folk here for an opinion and to see if anyone else has had the same issue.

Basically I am getting colds on a regular basis and it is almost certainly being triggered by lifting. These bouts of illness usually last anywhere from 1 week to 6 weeks for the most recent occurence.

This always seems to occur after or coincide with heavy compound lifting such as squats, DLs, and C&Js 85% + of 1RM. Basically the morning after a heavy lifting session (& sometimes within 6 hours) I will start getting a sore throat, mild fever and feeling of coming down with cold or flu. If I continue to train with these symptoms the next day I am almost guaranteed to go to full-blown cold with sore throat, fever, sinus infection, pleghm, the whole shebang-a-lang.

Funnily enough, too much sex or sex on the same day as heavy lifting will also be enough to tip me over into being sick.

Some details:
Male 35 years
94kg
6 foot
Max DL: 185kg
Max BS: 140kg
Max Press: 80kg
Max Bench: 120kg
Max Snatch: 70kg
Max C&J: 97.5kg

Trainging week =:
2x Oly sessions approx 1 hour in length
1-2x strength sessions at home (was most recently doing 5-3-1, sometimes just ascending sets of 5 for squat and bench + core work
1-3 cardio sessions such as running (aerobic intervals or steady state runs)

Sleep: 8-8.5 hrs
Stress: Low to moderate.
Occupation: Investigating and enforcing laws related to environmental offences plus neighbourhood dispute resolution related to environmental pollution eg. noise/air/water pollution. Not particularly physical job, some moderate walks in the bush etc to find illegal dumping locations, use of computer to compile evidence, writing reports etc .Hardest part is dealing with alleged offenders, and angry complainants

Typical Diet:
B'Fast
1 banana + blueberries + almonds + milk + oats (as a shake) + one piece wholemeal toast with peanut butter

Snack: chicken skewers

Lunch: bolognaise plus veggies plus rice or bread roll

Dinner: steak or chicken plus veges plus rice or grilled flat bread

snacks: milk, almonds, rice crackers, fruit

I'm getting to point where I'm ready to give up on heavy lifting because it's just running me down too often. This stuff is supposed to make me healthier right?

I don't understand how other people at my box can do hard metcons week after week plus strenght sessions and whilst they get sore and tired they don't get ill.

My lifing coach (the CF box operator who runs Oly sessions twice a week) programs for me and I just keep getting ill.

Has anyone had any experience with this before?

I don't know whether I'm simply constantly on a knifes edge immunity wise, or I have a perpetual virus that flares up from time to time, or maybe something else.

Please help. It's very hard to explain all this to a GP without them just writing it off as general cold and flu going round. The fact that sex is enough to make me get ill (coinciding with heavy lifting) makes me think it relates to a depressed immune system?

Cheers for reading all this!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
Mike Kelley
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Any chance it could be diet related? Do you know if you have any food sensitivities or gluten allergy?
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:18 AM   #3
Michael Pollak
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

If you docs can't find anything concrete.... I too say its something in your diet

Probably gluten sensitivity or could be triggering autoimmune ( eggs,nights hades etc).

I was having inflamitory problems.... Arthritis. Raising BP and I went 100% strict Paleo .... actually did a whole30 challenge( extreamly strict , no dairy,grains,soy,additives,chemicals,preservatives ). It took more than 30 days because I had some gut issues but I had a 100% reversal and I'm thriving.... Just from changing diet...no meds

Worth a shot.... Message me if your interested in W30 ( I am in no way affiliated with them.... Lots of boxes do a group W30 challenge and that's how I found it)
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

I will put the third vote in for diet/food sensitivity. My guess is the heavy lifting might be "the last straw" that tips your immune system low enough to allow a cold to take hold. You have many of the suspect foods in your diet.

I would get and follow the one who shale not be named book "The Paleo Solution". I would try 30 to 45 days of strict Paleo then test reintroduction of foods 1 at a time to see if you can pin it down.

The other option would be an allergen where you lift. Do you do non lifting workouts in the same location?
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
Mara Rozitis
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Another vote for diet here, but in addition to going Paleo for at least 30 days, I am going to suggest you are WAY under eating, especially protein and fat. Every meal and snack should contain protein. Your body simply can't recover from anything if you aren't eating enough quality food. Protein provides the building blocks for a lot of critical repairs in the body, including the immune system.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
Chris Ross
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I should qualify a few things. Doing 85% + of 1rm alone is not enough to make me ill, but for example if I'm doing 5x5, or similar then the last 1-2 sets with 85%+ will be what tips me over. You know when you r grinding out the last few reps and you know that "your done." This would typically occur if I was doing 5x5 on say squat and bench on the same day.

With diet, I do find that I am often mildly hungry and often go to bed this way. When I have tried to eat more in the past I ended up putting on lots of weight and got up to 24% body fat and felt very unhealthy.

I am from a Mediterranean background so gluten and dairy have always been part of my diet since childhood. I don't think they are an issue for me.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #7
Chris Mason
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Everyone has a different ability to recover from intense strength training. What you are describing sounds like someone who is chronically overtrained to me. Cut your volume in half (do half as many sets of everything) and let me know how you get on.

I don't think the other issues noted here are the problem other than some possible underlying health issue (so I DO think you should get a complete physical). +
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
Namir Yedid
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Re: persistent health problem w/ heavy lifting

Have you had a full round of blood tests? I'd be interested in your hormone levels, thyroid levels, whether you show any low-grade infection, etc. Chris Mason's suggestion to get a physical is a good one, and hopefully your physician will order the blood work. You may have to push for all this but getting information on your body through blood work is invaluable. There may be a clue in there.
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