I don’t know what I plan to accomplish by posting this but I need to rant a bit and get some stuff off my mind. Feedback, support and comments are I guess what I’m looking for here.
For a little background info, I'm 23 y/o, 5'-10 1/2" and weight 150lbs. I figure I'm around 10% BF because I can see a little bit of abs, about a 4 pack and when I flex I can see a whole 6-pack. Of course that was as of Thursday when I started to type this, since then I went to one of my family’s huge get together Ukrainian dinners where everyone eats to the point that they hate food, then we have desert and tell tall tales. It was great. This morning I weighed in at 155lbs and that 6-pack has decided to hide away but I’m sure it’ll come back and I'll drop a few pounds over the next couple days.
For the past week or so I have been feeling really stretched thin (like butter, scraped over too much bread :wink:), crabby, unmotivated and a lot of the time I feel nothing, I'm impartial and rather uncaring. I wouldn't go as far to say I'm lethargic but I don't have the jump I used to. About a month ago I would honestly be pumped up when I finished the WOD and would get excited after reading the next day's WOD but for the past bit I haven't had that same jump and all I really feel like doing is just going home and doing nothing. This has obviously affected my WOD performance and just general feeling of well being.
My snatch work has been just terrible and the weight for everything has seemed like a ton. Yesterday’s WOD called for benching 135lbs, something I should have had real no problems with but that was not the case and I had to scale it back 20lbs. My body has been feeling creaky and sore the last week too. Right now my legs are killing me and just trying to do some pull-ups seems like a lot.
I’ve also felt very poor in regards to extra/GTG work. I haven’t felt so much over trained as simply not fresh and that can be said for any of my workouts. I don’t know if I set my standards too high but I seem to be going down hill as of this week. I’m posting my Extra/GTG work below and any comments on it would be great because I’m a bit confused and frustrated with it. There’s so much I want to be good at and increase my numbers on.
I started up on the Zone about a month ago and had pretty good results at first. I lost a few pounds, dropped a little BF and even had some really amazing workouts. I had no major problems starting up on the Zone because my diet was pretty much along the same principles (fibrous carbs, lean meats, good fat) but not in the Zone proportions. Also when I first started I was a bit hungry between meals but now I never get hungry between meals. I've been keeping things zone compliant about 95% of the time. I might not be super lean but I refuse to believe that losing any more weight is going to help my performance and, in fact I can only see it doing harm.
I don’t know if my diet is the main reason things have been going down hill but I’m sure it’s part of it. I’m going to increase my fat intake, have a little bread now and then, some chocolate here and there, seconds on veggies if I’m munching out and most importantly, not feel super guilty about it afterwards which has been a problem. I seem to go from feast to famine, when it comes to diet, where I’m usually a well disciplined machine but when I have a break down, it’s really really bad and I lose all control. I’m hoping that allowing myself those few nibbles here and there that I won’t fall into the complete breakdowns that I’m susceptible to.
Well that’s that. If you’ve managed to read to this point thanks and any input or support would be great. I’ve also included what my daily regimen was looking like and I realize now that it’s probably too much and that I’ll have to scale it back or reassess this whole GTG thing.
I've been there before, many times. Trust me, it is time for a week off, completely from organized exercise. Take walks outside, listen to music, read interesting books, but no WOD's and no GTG. You'll be amazed how much stronger you are when you come back to it, plus you'll actually be looking forward to the workouts again. Also, 150 at 5'10.5 is pretty light, considering I'm 160 at 5'9.5 and I'm fairly thin myself. Maybe it's time to gain some lean mass. However, regarding your diet, that's definitely not something I'm qualified to give you advice on, so I will defer to the Zone gurus.
Hang in there. Like Ross said, take a break. Larry might chime in with his workout cycle of twelve weeks which might help. Basically he takes a rest week every 12th week.
Also, when Nicole is back from NY, check with her about getting fine tuned into the zone if the rest doesn't help. I saw your other post and you might have some fine tuning to do.
One question - have you felt this way only since your big family dinner? or before?
I've been starting to feel this way since for about a month or so now and this last week it's gotten to the point where it's climaxed and enough is enough. My family dinner was just yesterday and it was just an excuse to cut loose, relapse, simply not care and enjoy myself.
Actually I have been cycling the WOD intensity a little. Oddly enough, since the last time I did a half intensity WOD week, I've been having problems getting back my jump, it was also the same week that I switched over to a true zone.
Your workout program is not outrageous by any means, and by that I mean that it is reasonable and not some sort of Bataan Death Workout. You are young and certainly built in such a way that you are not overdoing simply by being hideously out of shape for such things. You mentioned nothing about sleep, so may I assume you are getting at least 8 hours per night?
By the way, your post included two great lines...the one about everyone eating until they hate food and then being stretched thin like spreading butter over too much bread. Poetic. Beautiful writing. Music to mine eyes.
Anyway, back to your lethargy. what has happened is that you have overworked your system or perhaps under rested your system...or maybe a little of both. The term overtranined is one I am not particularly comfortable with and would rather it deal with insufficient rest rather than excessive work. We are supposed to work hard, it is the very soul of CrossFit. But if you work hard you need to rest enough to recover properly. You have not done that and as a result your various physiological systems have gone on strike and are forcing you to take some time off for recovery.
Start taking your waking pulse every morning to establish a baseline. It will be a bit high now and that is an indication of overtraining/under resting. When your resting pulse starts going high (six or more beats higher than usual) you have not rested enough, back off for a day or so. Go to bed earlier. Sleep before midnight is more valuable than sleep after midnight.
Your new Zone ways may or may not be a factor in your fatigue, depending upon how far out of the zone you were before you made the change. Your body really likes homeostasis...a balance. Big changes are not well received and require some time for you body to accomodate itself to.
Drink more water. Your urine should be clear and copious...lots of pee.
You said you are in the Zone so you are not likely taking in too many carbs. High carb diets can cause the lethargy you describe.
Don't go hammer you next workout as if possesed by some demon. Spend a couple workouts going only twice as hard as most people train not the CF standard of 5x as hard. Don't dog it, no jogging or step aerobics for God's sake...just scale your training down a notch.
Hopefully you don't have a mineral imbalance or not enough lead in your pencil...though at your age that last on is not likely.
Proper diet, proper rest, proper exercise. If you mess up the exercise part you just don't improve as quickly. But if you mess up diet and/or rest you will feel like you do now.
A month? Are you really feeling drained after a month off? If that is the case you might have some other issues...assuming again that during that period of lesser workouts you rested and ate properly.
The smart people like Robb Wolff and Nicole will likely chime in. They are much better at this stuff than me. I just wanted to cover the somewhat basic stuff.
Another vote here for taking a week off. My coach always gave us a week off after big competitions. I always thought it was too much, I just took 1-3 days. But sometimes you do need more time to let your body recover. Our competition cycles were usually about 12 weeks, so a break every 12 as was mentioned is a good guide.
good luck to you!
Like everyone has said, definitely take a week off and "play" at your training. Do it like Eugene said, about 2x most people.
As to the Zone, you and I are almost the same size (5'11" and 157-160 here). I stay at 15-16 blocks.
I felt as you do when I first started the Zone.
Make sure you are eating enough, especially your fruits and veggies. It can be tough to eat your 4 blocks of carbs.
3 cups of broccoli, for example, is 1 block. So a 1 pound bag of frozen broccoli contains around 20 grams of carbs. You eat that and still need another 16 or so grams to get to 4 blocks (an orange, an apple, a pear, a couple of peaches, more veggies ...).
Once I began to closely monitor my carb intake, I quickly felt much better. I have also added fish oil supplements with excellent results.
This is probably way off base here, but I experienced the same symptoms when I had mono. Most of the time I would have rather taken a nap than worked out. But I forced myself, and it felt like I was doing the WODs under water. Slow, lethargic, weak.
Since you're 23, it's probably a stretch, but who knows. It might be worth the bloodwork. Just a suggestion; I'm probably wrong but it's what came to mind when I read your post.
Good luck! I hope you get your mojo back soon.
Ok here I go. I do this every 4-5 months because there are always new people who come down with the exact same symptoms. You are not alone. This is my cycle:
1. Three weeks of all out WOD. Try to set PR's, push as hard as you can.
2. Every 4th week, take a half volume week. Cut the volume in half any way it makes sense: For today's workout you would run 5k. For timed workouts cut the time in half. For weighted workouts either cut the weight or the reps in half.
3. Every 12th week take a week off of organized training. Work gymnastics, rock climb, play with a new sport, etc. This would be a good week to loosen up your nutrition.
This thing ain't a race. I plan to be training until I die...plan some rest, you'll come back stronger and this gives you somthing to look forward to.
Just had a turkey dinner with my family so this weekend has been a bit of a gong show. What I had of a bit of a 4-pack is pretty much gone, now replaced by a nice big carbohydrate filled gut and you know what? I don’t regret it at all. I feel much better and I know with a lot of hard work that It’ll come back.
To answer a few questions that were asked, I get about 7.5-8 hours a night, which is actually more than what I was getting. As for water, there are days that I'll drink up to 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of water/tea so I don't think that's a problem. Mono? Highly, highly unlikely.
I’ll just elaborate a bit more, about a little over a month ago I was going hard and felt great. I wasn’t following the Zone at that time but then there was a mass exodus of people going to the ways of the Zone, so I figured what have I got to lose, tweaked my diet a bit and bang, I was in the Zone. That week I also scaled back my intensity. Since then I’ve been having a hard time getting back into things and it’s just slowly accumulated to this. I’ve also been working like a mad man and have been averaging about 55 hours a week since the New Year. I took this entire long weekend off and simply unwound.
Below is my Zone menu, I think it's solid and the only worry that I have with it is that my last meal of the day is a 4-block meal that's about an hour before I go to bed but I’m thinking about having it at lunchtime instead.
A few things have changed to my diet since going over to the Zone. For starters before I loosely followed a “Mass Eating” plan where I wouldn’t mix carbs and fats and I would rotate meals between a fat and a carb meal. Fats were my largest macro calorie, then protein with carbs being the lowest. Now it’s pretty much switched right around. The foods are still the same though. I plan to increase my fat intake this week, as I'm getting sick of being blown over in the wind.
I did manage to lose weight and BF over the past month but I feel too light, small and weak now, which I think is the main problem. Here’s my theory thus far; we all know that CrossFit says to get down to a low weight and lower level of BF so that your overall athletic performance will increase. Now I figure I lost about 5 pounds since starting the zone and that wasn’t water weight or anything like that since the foods haven’t changed. I realize now that when you’re 155lbs, start to lose weight, continue to go as hard on your main workouts, add in some more extra work, you’re not going to have much of a performance increase, and in my case it has had a detrimental effect on my performance.
It’s good to know that my extra work isn’t over the top or completely out to lunch. Regardless I’m going to take it easy and simply with the extra stuff. I took today’s WOD off and plan to start up tomorrow at half the intensity, work my way through it and just take it easy for the next couple days “playing” with the WOD.
Thanks again all for the input. Just getting this out and hearing some other people’s perspectives has got my mind really cleared up. I’m thinking, and hoping, that my theory is correct and I’ll just have tweak my intake a bit, monitor the way I feel more and not let things become a train wreak like they have.
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