Tag Archives: fatigue

DNA, going beyond your excuses

Last night sported a rather good conversation among some of my fellow training partners.
The subject drifted to nutrition and the classic ‘find what works for you.’.
Did you know you don’t have to find out via trial and error, you can take a test based on your DNA and find out exactly what your body best responds to and depending how much you’re willing to invest potentially sensitivities and a whole dos too other information as well.
We live in a truly amazing world.
When in history has someone literally starting out of a journey of health improvement had access to such information?
Never is the answer.
Before people bitch about cost, it will be between £90-250.
People waste that kind of money on Skinny Tea, C9, and a lot of other bullshit, so investing it in a DNA/genetics related test for your health is well worth it.
The funny thing is while discussing it I could already hear all the responses people would have.
By responses I mean childish moaning and excuses.
Let me expand for a second.
Say you take said genetic test to know your optimal nutrition protocol (you’d also work with someone to really dial it in), one of the results says that you’re not very tolerant to one of your favourite foods and realistically you might want to curb your enthusiasm for indulging in it as you do.
“But…. But… I can’t live without it. Blah Blah Blah.”
*Face Palm.
The point is you can literally have something written on paper for a specific individual that is 99% what works for them and if it goes against what they WANT to hear/be told they will oppose it, make excuses and act like a child.
So these days I just sit and think –
“Do you know what, fuck it. You’re not going to listen so I’m not going to waste my time with you because I’m just too tired for the bullshit now.”
You see no matter what you can prove to people or how good your intentions are to help them, unless it fits what they want they won’t listen or be willing to make a change.
Such madness.
Yet that is something that you’re 100% entitled to.
So my good people who stick out and read my ramblings (I really do appreciate it you know), if you could have every answer for the questions you want to ask would you really want them?
Your clients and people you work with will only want the answers they want (of the most part), just keep this in mind.
Anyway I’m off rolling.
***If you want to delve in to the DNA stuff look up these guys: https://www.dnafit.com
^^What you get is very eye opening and actually spot on, even if you don’t want it to be, it really is.
(I speak from experience on this one as I did it just to see and by jove it was all correct – years of medicals and hospital trips to back it up so I can confirm the info is solid).

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How to make progress: Part 3 – Fatigue Management

Okay, we’ve covered Specificity & Overload, the bases of the pyramid of progress. The next layer is a little more interesting and not always easy for people to achieve the right balance in.
As you know, training causes a stimulus via training stress, it is this stress that will cause the body to enter the alarm stage, then on to the resilience aspect, followed by fatigue – this is the point where you will need to take a logical step back (deload in training volume/intensity) so that your body can adapt – build new muscle and recover. Then you start the process again.
Why is this so hard?
It doesn’t sound hard, it sounds quite sensible really.
The reason is it hard for most is because they don’t track overall volume, well they don’t track anything to be fair and as a result they have no idea what stage of training their body is in or if they are training within their maximal recoverable volume (bulk volume), just over it (planned overreaching) or spinning their wheels (overtraining).
I can speak from experience that when you’re in the latter you don’t always know and when this happens you get frustrated, instead of backing up and taking your foot off the gas you floor it. You add more sessions, harder training, basically drive yourself in to the ground until something snaps, meaning said injury forces you to stop training.
Many great coaches suggest that three week loading patterns of intensity (pushing hard or even planned overreaching) followed by one week deload in volume/intensity is optimal for long term training as this allows accumulated fatigue to dissipate, then back to three weeks hard-ish again and repeat.
^^ I personally agree with this, 3 weeks hard, 1 week easy, repeat for as long as sustainable then take a week off, simples.
Managing fatigue isn’t easy.
You’ll get people like muggins here who just keep pushing, then you’ll have those who train once and scream that their adrenals are fatigued (these people train under their minimum effective dose for progress, as such they never progress at all).
There are several ways to know how your body is coping:
– Tracking your progress in sessions/food/performance, a decline in any means you’re possibly ready for a deload or total rest.
– Internal feeling; you’ve got to be careful with this one because you can over/underestimate your place in the scale depending on your personality.
– Have someone else track all the details for you and using experience to make an educated decision as to what you need.
Apart from the above you need to also make sure you have the following in your training routine:
– Sleep
– Avoiding excessive processed foods
– Reduce/avoid stressful event where possible
– Eat appropriately for your goal
– limiting training to 3-5 days per week can also help
As you can see this is a much scientific as it is holistic.
Use the advice above, track what you’re doing and keep t his simple rule in mind: If you’re still progressing, you’re recovering, if progress slows or stops completely then take a deload, a few days out of a rest week.

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Fatigue Fatigue Fatigue

When you’re training accordingly and pushing your limits as you should (working close to and eventually slightly over your maximal recoverable volume), fatigue amasses quickly if your volume/training goes unchecked or not tracked.

It’s true some people don’t track and simply go by feel but these are also the people who end up burning out and often times getting injured. On the other side of that scale there are people who go by feel and never train hard enough to create a significant enough metabolic disturbance to induce adaptation.

However, if you’ve trained hard enough in the past you will know that feeling when you’ve been making steady progress and all of a sudden ‘wham!’ you take a step backwards (this is you bodies way of telling you that you’ve reached or are dam close to your limit. For now). This is then the ideal time to deload the volume and intensity a touch to allow some of that much needed recovery.

There are several reasons for fatigue amassing as quickly as it does, volume is the main factor, however sleep, nutrition, training protocols and stress levels also play a part too. It’s worth noting that in terms of people who seem to keep going and break the rules, now they are either genetic freak beasts or on PEDS. You will also get the other extreme where some will train perhaps twice per week for 2 weeks and become incredibly fatigued because they are the unlucky ones who got the dregs of the gene-pool. Remember that for the rest of us mere mortals we often fall in the middle of the bell-curve and not each end of the extremes.

Now there are certain guidelines that people recommend to optimise recovery and manage fatigue, here is a brief list:

– 6-8 hours quality sleep (in bed and asleep by 10pm in a perfect world)
– Higher carbs, sometimes as high as 50% for some people.
– Multivitamin supplementation to help any deficiencies.
– Pre-workout meal 1-1 protein to carb ratio. Intra-workout 1-1or2 protein to carb ratio. Post-workout 1-3or4 protein to carb ratio.
– Meditation – 60 min each day (6x10min slots, 3×20 min etc). This will help manage the testosterone to cortisol ratio.
– Volume Management – 3 week accumulation of volume, 1 week deload.
– Lift variation cycling – the stress imposed fomr each lift individually.
– Load (intensity – potentiation/peaking) cycling – heavy, medium,light days.


^^ This will make an interesting read for those who want to know more behind it all (I just hopped on google and found somthing that basically backed up my points, as everyone does, lol).

In short you will want to keep your calories at maintenance or in a surplus ideally (if you’re on a cut then you need to be even more mindful of total volume, intensity, T-C ratio etc), while monitoring the progressively increasing volume/intensity, exercise choice and planning in ‘light’ days and full deloads.

Are you keeping an eye on what you’re doing?

If you are and you’re still fatigued what part of that small list above is missing, or perhaps it’s something else…

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