How to manage and train in times of high stress

In my experience one of the biggest pitfalls for fitness and overall health is stress. Wether it be financial, work or home life most of us go through some testing times that’s just a fact of life. High stress will elevate cortisol and lead to overproduction

The signs of elevated cortisol are:

  • Difficulty falling asleep despite feeling tired.
  • Anxiety.
  • Endurance/stamina has reduced during training.
  • You seem to pick up more niggles and injuries.
  • Increased belly fat.
  • Feeling ill or run down frequently.
  • Craving for sugary foods.
  • Taking longer than usual to recover from workouts.

If this sounds all to familiar follow these guidelines to make the best of it till your life settles back down.
 First of all take a week off training to focus on recovery. 
Make sure you catch up on sleep.

  • Before bed have a warm bath with magnesium flakes.
  • Have a couple of blocks of (80%+ cocoa) dark chocolate 1 to half hour before bed.
  • Listen to some meditation/relaxation as you lie in bed there are plenty of apps on your phone.
  • Try not to have ANY caffeine during times of high stress as this also elevates cortisol.

These 4 tips should quite your mind, and relax your muscles making it easier to reach the land of nod.
 Now you should be ready to resume training, when picking a training protocol avoid high volume and long workouts as again this will further elevate cortisol and you will be unable to recover from these workouts sufficiently. Adopt a training program with heavier weights, lower reps and greater rest time. Aim for workout time of around 45 mins at 3-4 times per week.
A1 Squat 4-6 reps
A2 Bench press 4-6 reps
2 minutes rest x5
B1 Military press
B2 Chin ups (weighted if needed)
2 minutes rest x5
C treadmill sprint 30 seconds 3 minutes rest x5
Remember to do warm up sets on all barbell exercises first to avoid injury.
 once or twice a week try and get yourself down to a park or nature reserve for a walk.
 You will find this bedtime routine and training style makes you feel less run down and gets results back on track. As always I’m keen to hear any feedback on this I hope you found this months article useful.


About the Author David Roebuck

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