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Jared Brame 08-27-2007 10:49 AM

Post-workout malaise?
Hello, all--

Anyone ever have this problem? Specifically, after a workout--even a moderate one, after having rested a couple of days--a general feeling of achiness/fatigue, and not the good "ah, my muscles feel good and tired" kind?

I've had this happen in the past, when I was training too hard, but come on, I just had my first workout today in about a week, which went like this (hope this is not too much/too little info):

One week of mostly on-my-butt vacationing and so-so (but not terrible) eating. For a week I've been over the mild cold I had for a few days.

Bed last night at 9:30. Up this morning at 4:30. 8 ounce fruit smoothie, prepared lovingly by my wife.

Workout at the "Y", from 5 AM until 5:45 AM:

- 12 minutes warmup on the elliptical, easy pace
- Variety of weight machines and pullups/chinups - 25 minutes or so. Easy effort, no maxing out--wanted to start easy.
- Breakfast of cereal w/milk and fruit, dry toast, OJ, coffee.

I did this routine for several months, 4 - 5 days a week, at much harder exercise levels. If I pushed too much, I'd get the yucky feeling which I assumed was from overtraining, and I'd back off, and be fine.

But what's wrong with me now? One easy workout after a full week off, and I feel like crud again? Please help!


Cal Jones 08-27-2007 12:29 PM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Sounds like overtraining. The respitory infection is the dead giveaway. The fact you still feel crappy suggests you haven't quite recovered. Try doing some half intensity training for a bit or just work out every other day. The classic CF 3 on 1 off is pretty tough for a lot of people.

Craig Brown 08-27-2007 12:56 PM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Your breakfast would do in a number of us here, being almost all carbs. Also, the OJ and the milk would definately gunk me me up. Just a thought would be to play with the diet, try to get more protein and fat in there...


Ben Kaminski 08-27-2007 01:17 PM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Vacation does the same thing to me. Relaxation, long sleeps, little activity, lots of food, all combine to make me slow after a week off. I get back into the groove after a couple days usually.

Hope this helps!

David Wood 08-27-2007 08:04 PM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Merged responses from "Fitness" version of this thread here, deleted that one.

I'm thinking diet . . . too many carbs, not enough coffee . . .

Kevin King 08-27-2007 08:40 PM

Re: Post-workout malaise?

Originally Posted by David Wood (Post 182170)
Merged responses from "Fitness" version of this thread here, deleted that one.

I'm thinking diet . . . too many carbs, not enough coffee . . .

David, not only is that funny, but it may have a tinge of truth.... I saw in a journal a few weeks ago that there is some emerging research that moderate caffeine may help the quality of work out sessions... but I digress.

Jared: is this problem something that has cropped up in the past several months/year or so? Are you pursuing work outs that used to not bother you in the least but now seem to cause the problems you describe? If so, you MAY have a metabolic problem such as hypothyroidism. There are a whole variety of things on the medical side that can cause this such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, etc... some easily treatable, some not. So if this is an unusual phenomenon in your experience, I'd probably visit my doc and see if there is something other than "over training."

-- Kevin

Jared Brame 08-28-2007 06:30 AM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Thanks, all, for your suggestions.

David: thanks for merging the thread.

Ben: I don't know--I was only inactive for a week or so, and yesterday's workout was not taxing. I didn't expect it to be hard, and it wasn't. The post-workout "yuck" factor is what concerned me.

David/Craig: I'm willing to try something different for breakfast; do you think substituting 1-2 eggs would help? Or natural peanut butter?

Cal: I tend to agree, but I'd had a week off - and my workouts are not WOD-level workouts. Just cardio (elliptical) and weight machines.

I thought last night that maybe it was a sleep thing. Friday and Saturday I went to bed late, around 12AM, then got up around 6:30 AM (darn kids!). I figured going to bed on time on Sunday night (9:30) would make up for it, and make my Monday at 4:30 wake up time do-able. I felt fine Monday AM when I woke up. And I went to bed at 9:30 last night and feel rested this AM, although still a bit "yucky"--that feeling you get if you've had way too little sleep and then tried to run a 10K.

Kevin: I only first noticed this a few months ago, when I was really pushing the workouts. I was doing 60 minutes of elliptical Monday through Friday, with 20-30 minutes of weights on M/W/F. It worked OK for awhile, then I started feeling crappy afterwards and was backing off, doing only 3-4 days per week. After two weeks off (for vacation and a cold), I started light (that was yesterday) and felt bad. God, I hope it's not something serious. That would suck. I'll go a while longer and gather more data before I go to a doctor, I think.

Thanks again, everybody!

Cal Jones 08-29-2007 07:50 AM

Re: Post-workout malaise?
Hi Mark

First up, you can't make up a sleep debt by sleeping longer on weekends - unfortunately the body doesn't really work like that. The main key is consitancy - difficult if you have kids who wake you up before you're ready! - but something you should strive for.

What I do notice is that you are doing a lot of cardio. I don't know if you saw the posting a couple of days ago but you should probably take a look at this: (safe)

It's interesting reading and makes a lot of sense to me. Shorter, more intense (WOD-style) workouts coupled with regular low intensity exercise (ie long walks, long slow swims and bike rides) seem to be the way to go.

There's also a lot of good diet advice on that site as well.

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