I have been very active ever since I was in middle school, and have always had extra fat around my waist that seems to never disappear. I'm beginning to think I have hormonal problems or something along the lines of adrenal fatigue.
When I was 12 until I was 16, I played about 30 hours of basketball a week on multiple teams. I was definitely over training and felt tired and weak all the time. I would basically play basketball then come home and sleep, every day. I have a feeling this could have impacted my hormonal balance in some way.
For the last 4 months, I have been eating paleo and following the 5x5 strength training program. My lifts shot up very fast when I began training, but have stalled the last month and a half. My legs haven't been recovering fast enough to squat 3 times a week and I feel tired all the time. My hunger levels have also dropped and I rarely feel hungry but I eat anyways because I know my body needs fuel to recover from my workouts.
Im 18 years old at 6'2" and 180 lbs. I usually have a big breakfast of eggs and a little fruit in the morning and a big dinner of some meat and vegetables. After workouts, I add some potatoes to my dinners.
I'm wondering if I have cortisol issues or an imbalance of estrogen and testosterone. I have also have had a slight case of Gyno (man boobs) since I was in junior high, even though my body fat is not too high(14-15%).
My question is, do my stalls in my weight training and inability to lose my extra body fat have to do with some hormonal imbalances? If so, how do I balance my hormones back out to normal?
(Sorry for all the information, thought it was necessary to know for this issue)
I finally got tested and I do have high cortisol. Now that I know why my weight training was stalling, how do I keep my cortisol levels down and my testosterone levels up? And can I still lift weights or will that give me cortisol problems? I've learned that training fasted and waiting a few hours to eat after my training is a BIG no-no for high cortisol people, but what else could help me?
You should talk to your Dr. tell them your problem and ask for a full blood test which includes Test, estrogen, LH, cortisol, Vit D levels, B, estradiol, and all the normal tests.
As your muscles get bigger, they need longer to recover (there's more to repair). If you don't have time to recover, then take more time. You can go with just one intense workout a week and not need to worry about losing strength. Even take a week off from time to time.
The thing you don't mention specifically is your fat intake. You need fat to keep your testosterone up, besides needing the energy to recover. There's all kinds of things that could be out of whack, it's not crazy to say it's always all down to hormones. Best way to balance them is take a break, make sure you're eating clean (and eating enough nutrients), keep up some (very) light activity and make sure you're sleeping well. You've got plenty of time to play with weights - besides you're still growing!
First off, squat is a very intense move when done right, same with deadlift. I would drop it to no more then 2 times a week as far apart as possible. Most people i train increase their lifts after a stall like yours with more rest in between the days they lift.
Your case sounds actually very similar to mine as i always have had an issue with chest and waist fat that would be persistent even into low body fat numbers. Adrenal fatigue is def a possibilty which can only really be helped by allowing your body to realize it doesnt need cortisol constantly to run. Shorten the length of your workouts to no more then 45 min and take at least some time everyday to just relax and destress. Cortisol is a bitch about causing you to store abdominal fat even when your total drops. Its partner in crime that you may also be suffering from is poor insulin sensitivity. I would cut out fruit for a while and only consume starches after lift days to teach your body to shuttle the available sugars to your muscles and liver and not into fat cells.
I think you can drive yourself crazy with guessing. I would get tested so you know with certainty what it is you're dealing with and can plan to tweak your diet and exercise accordingly. As an added benefit, if/when you find something that works for you, you'll know how it actually worked (levels of this or that went up or down) rather than presuming what it was. That is important if things change again (and they likely will) as you age.
Have you thought about doing a higher carb, low fat paleo? Might help if you think you have E issues as long as insulin sensitivity is good. Do you sprint? What about long walks? Hows your libido?
Your testosterone is probably peaking (in terms of lifetime), barring any issues or impediments. Is there a reason you are concerned about T/E "imbalance"?
Around midlife, the issue is often that T gets converted into E. Not a good scenario.
Get back to us 35-50, in terms of that issue. :)
But if you are seriously concerned about hormonal balance, you can always get blood tests that measure hormone levels. No real risk in getting those tests, but I wouldn't go to the expense myself at your age unless I started showing marked symptoms (like sudden, extreme fatigue; notable gain/loss of weight).
Nutshell: the variations you describe strike me as being well in the middle range of normal expectations for your age and activity level.
fwiw, ages 12-16 cant really qualify as a period of 'overtraining'... you were a growing kid(arguably youre still a kid) playing sports.... unless you were consciously dieting, youre probably fine. dont overthink things its your worst enemy to do so. work on pushups and dips to get rid of manboobs
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