The Truth About Adrenal Fatigue
Q: Is adrenal fatigue real?
A: Probably not, but there are real issues that can cause the symptoms people associate with.
Like many coaches, I once believed in adrenal fatigue. The theory was as follows:
If you are under constant stress, your adrenal glands work overtime and are forced to produce more stress hormones than they should. Over time, they become tired or can no longer produce stress hormone. This theory makes the body ill when it is confronted with stressful situations and leads to a condition in which you become chronically tired.
The problem? It is pseudo-scientific, has never been proven and is unlikely.
That does not mean people are lying about their symptoms. These are real and can be caused by excessive stress, abuse of stimulants, and other lifestyle issues that increase the production of stress hormones. However, they are not due to "fatigue" of the adrenal glands.
What are the symptoms anyway? In general, when people suspect that they have adrenal fatigue, people experience: [1
What can cause these problems?
The most likely causes are:
- dopamine depletion
- desensitization of dopaminergic receptors
- desensitization of adrenoreceptors
- norepinephrine depletion
Each of these situations leads to the symptoms that we associate with adrenal fatigue associate. And all of this can happen if you are chronically under stress or overwhelmed by your nervous system.
Depending on brain chemistry, some are likely to pass more than others. For example, a person who is very sensitive to dopamine has a dopamine depletion or desensitization of dopaminergic receptors. Why? Because it is naturally very sensitive but does not produce high dopamine.
Someone more sensitive to epinephrine has an increased risk of adrenergic resistance and norepinephrine depletion. This is more common. About 14-20% of the population is dopamine dominant.
Still confused? The following must be understood: Adrenaline and dopamine are neurotransmitters – chemicals that control your brain. They work by attaching to and activating receptors. The receptors can be more or less sensitive. The more sensitive they are, the more they react to the neurotransmitter.
Dopamine and adrenaline activate neurotransmitters. They activate the nervous system and increase motivation, willpower, drive, competitiveness as well as physical and mental performance. They also have their own effect, depending on the part of the brain they are working on. For example, dopamine is the neurotransmitter of "pleasure."
Both are closely related because adrenaline is ultimately made from dopamine. Dopamine can be converted to norepinephrine, which in turn can be converted into adrenaline.
The more adrenaline you have to produce, the more dopamine you consume. If you do not produce much dopamine and produce a lot of adrenaline, you run the risk of depleting your dopamine supplies. Let's talk about it.
People with low dopamine production run the risk of consuming their dopamine by asking their body to pump out too much adrenaline by putting themselves in stressful situations. Several training variables increase adrenaline:
- Speed: Faster training provides the highest levels of adrenaline.
- Volume: More volume means more adrenaline.
- Mental Stress: A max lift (or cheer up) can also increase adrenaline.
When someone naturally suffers from low dopamine and trains quickly with high volumes and constantly fails, the risk of a decrease in dopamine is real.
Densitization of the dopaminergic receptor
Another possibility is to make the dopaminergic receptors less sensitive. In this case, the effect is similar to dopamine degradation: you have a lot of dopamine, but the receptors just do not respond.
This is far less common. It's unlikely that a normal Joe will lead a normal life and train hard. This is more likely to be the case with people who abuse substances / drugs that are directed directly against the dopamine receptors.
Which drugs can make your dopaminergic receptors less sensitive? These are the most common ones:
The use of these drugs can trigger a strong allure on the dopaminergic receptors. The receptors adapt by being less responsive, so as not to be constantly overstimulated. If someone uses these medications on a regular basis, they can easily become resistant to their own dopamine and show the symptoms we have seen before.
Note: As we saw in Question of Strength 50, some anabolic steroids also stimulate the dopaminergic receptors, which may be the cause of depression associated with the use of steroids.
The other option, and much more common, is either desensitization of the adrenoceptor or norepinephrine depletion.
Adrenergic receptor desensitization “/>
19659019] The adrenergic receptors are the most desensitised. Ask a bodybuilder who has taken Clenbuterol in the past. On the first day or two days he will be super excited, jitter, monster energy, etc. As if he had speed.
After 2-3 days, the effects become very subtle. And after a week he does not feel it anymore. This is because his receptors have been "down-regulated" or desensitized.
The problem is, when your own adrenergic receptors become desensitized, you stop responding to your own adrenaline. And that causes little energy, no motivation, no discipline, a loss of self-esteem, poor performance, etc.
You do not need clenbuterol to desensitize your adrenergic receptors. These receptors are like the NO2 in your race car: they are supposed to give you a short burst of time in a do-or-die situation. They should not stay activated all the time.
If you are constantly under stress and are pumping out adrenaline, you can easily make your receptors resistant. This is the most common cause of what we falsely call "adrenal fatigue."
One last option is the depletion of norepinephrine. This can be caused by a chronic and excessive cortisol increase. Cortisol is an enemy of muscle growth and increases the conversion of noradrenaline to adrenaline. The more cortisol you produce, the more you convert norepinephrine to adrenaline.
Symptoms of a norepinephrine decrease include:
- Low energy
- Lack of focus
- Concentration problems
- Low blood sugar
- 19659036] The deadweight message? Excessive chronic cortisol levels can lead to "adrenal fatigue" by either norepinephrine (easier to repair) or desensitization of adrenergic receptors (harder to repair) to be considered depleted.
How do you know which of the two is?  In addition to blood tests, you must rely primarily on behavioral observations. But there is a test that can restrict him.
Take 7 grams of tyrosine on an empty stomach in the morning, wait 30 minutes, and assess how you feel. Compare it to how you feel normal most mornings.
- If you feel awesome after 30 minutes of taking tyrosine, is much better and more energetic than normal, the problem is probably that dopamine deficiency (tyrosine is used to make dopamine).
- If you're feeling well, but not to the point of finding the magic bullet, it's probably the removal of norepinephrine. In that case, it may take 45 minutes to feel better. This is because tyrosine forms dopamine, which then increases norepinephrine.
- If you still feel like crap after 30-45 minutes, and there is no difference, then this is probably an adrenergic desensitization.
The first two cases Use the same basic solution: increase dopamine levels. I recommend Brain Candy®, which has the most bioactive form of tyrosine, and the bioavailable form of B6, which is needed to make dopamine, in combination with Rhodiola Rosea, which prolongs the life of dopamine.
If norepinephrine is your problem If you are exhausted, you may also want to lower cortisol levels by taking 3-5 grams of glycine and a small dose of magnesium (500 grams) after your workout and in the evening. Glycine is a neurological inhibitor that reduces cortisol production due to overactivation, and magnesium can displace adrenaline from the adrenergic receptors.
If your problem is adrenergic desensitization, take small doses of magnesium (500 mg) one gram 3-4 times daily to prevent excessive binding of adrenaline to the receptors. Increases meal frequency and carbohydrate intake.
Increased food frequency and increased carbohydrate intake reduce both adrenaline production directly and by reducing cortisol, which reduces the conversion of norepinephrine into epinephrine.
phobe you might think, "Yes, but I'm getting fat!" You might add one or two pounds of fat. But that's nothing compared to the long term damage if your receptors remain resistant.
In all of these situations, you need to reduce volume by about 40-50% and reduce the frequency (just three or four weekly workouts). increase the rest intervals and stay away from intensity techniques until the problem is solved.
I consulted an international CrossFit athlete who had just that problem. He made these adjustments for three weeks and was back in full shape. Settling down for a few weeks (even up to five) is nothing in the training life.
Training When Sick
Q: Should you go to the gym for illness?
A: Funny you should ask …
Mind-Muscle Connection Vs. More Weight
Q: If you can increase your weight in an exercise, but no longer feel how the target muscle works with that strain, it's better to increase your weight or have the same weight and feel this connection between mind and muscle? My main goal is hypertrophy.
A: That's a great question. And it really depends on the practice and purpose of this exercise.
Your main goal is hypertrophy. Therefore, maintaining a proper connection between mind and muscle with the target muscle is more important than exercising on strength and for which the main goal is to shift more weight from point A to point B.
Training for Strength
Even if someone performs strength training, feeling in the right muscle may be a sign of compensation and not the right muscles to use the work.
When I train someone for strength, I usually tolerate (and make them feel a little less) on the main lift of the session BUT if the lift feels it more in the joints than in the muscles I reduce the weight.
In the relief work I will not increase the weight if the feeling is lost, because the help work is to remedy a weakness. The feeling of losing is usually a sign of compensation, which means that the exercise can not optimally address the weakness I want to fix.
Training for Size
When you train for hypertrophy, feeling in the right muscle is even more important. A study by the authors of T Nation, dr. Brad Schoenfeld and dr. Bret Contreras, has recently shown that the hypertrophic response is stronger when the connection between mind and muscle is better. (1)
However, I would like to mention a restriction. Dr. Nick Winkelman, head of the Athletic Performance & Science department of the Irish Rugby Football Union and one of the world's best cueing experts, has shown that external cues and focusing are better in terms of performance and complex movements than internal cues and focus.
This means that in a multi-joint lift (bench press, squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, military press, pull-ups, etc.), an external focus is best. Outer focus is when you place your body in relation to the environment so that the whole body does the right thing. For example …
For the Romanian deadlift
- Do not remember to load the thigh muscles (internal focus).
- Think of bringing your buttock muscles to the wall behind you (outer focus)
For the Power Clean
- Do not remember to contract your calves and traps (internal focus).
- Think Imagine forcing the floor to explode (external focus) Or think about hitting the ceiling with your head
For the Bench Press
- Do not remember to squeeze your shoulder blades (internal focus).
- Consider spreading the pole apart or pushing it into the bank (external centroids).
- Do not remember to push out the knees (internal focus).
- Think to screw your feet into the ground (external focus).
You should have an internal focus on isolation movements and machine exercises, remember to squeeze the target muscle. However, you should have an external focus on exercises with free weights.
If you feel right in a squat, bench, or RDL, the feeling that the exercise is right is due to the optimal lifting mechanics – perfect technique. If you stop feeling the big buoyancy properly (you start to feel it in your joints or feel unstable), the weight is too heavy for your technical mastery.
"Feeling" is not an isolation exercise or machine movement like "feeling" of a multi-joint free dumbbell. An isolation exercise is about maximizing the connection between mind and muscle with a single muscle.
Multi-joint movement is about distributing the load on the muscles as well as possible. You may not feel the same direct tension in a muscle, but the lift just feels "good."
- In isolation and machine exercises, when you lose the connection between mind and muscle, you reduce the weight.
- Reduce weight in multi-joint exercises when the technique does not feel right or when you feel the weight more in the joints than in the muscles.
Question of Strength 51
Mind-Muscle Connection: Fact or BS?
Schoenfeld, Attention Focus on Maximizing Muscle Development. Kraft & Kondition Journal 38 (01): 1, February 2016