You work either 9-5 or unsociable hours, 5 or even 7 days per week.
There’s the other half to consider too who’s most probably on your case all the time.
On top of that you may have kids, and the quality and quantity of your sleep isn’t great.
So a potential triple…no quadruple whammy which isn’t going to help stress levels!
All of the above are more than enough to leave anyone feeling tired and run down.
One of my jobs as a coach is to manage this where possible, especially through programming and food tracking. For instance, let’s take the individual working 5 days per week 9-5, with one teenager and a nine year old, and not much time to themselves.
Giving this person 2 intense sessions per week, with lots of volume and high intensity, in addition to expecting them to closely track food intake all week round is hardly going to help manage their stress levels.
Now I understand that going to the gym is a form of stress relief for many, it used to be for me too.
However, when you’re going through long periods of stress, your cortisol levels will be raised which will slow down muscle gain and fat loss.
Training is a huge stress on the body, so when you’re experiencing external stressors, there’s no need to go all guns blazing at the gym. In fact, holding back would be of more benefit to you in the long term.
Here are a few changes you could make to your training if/when you’re going through periods of stress:
Reduce your training volume for some time, perhaps a few weeks. You can do this by either reducing your total number of sets or reps you perform, you could even do both. This would benefit you by allowing you to recover more efficiently, without compromising your strength.
Reduce your training frequency, so if you’re training 4 times per week, drop down to twice per week. It may seem counterproductive to you, however think long term. You’ll do yourself no favours by running yourself down.
Focus on other things such as spending more time with family and friends, as well doing other things you enjoy. Stress and bad eating tend to go hand-in-hand.
Takeaway message for this week, training is important, however having a life and good well-being are way more important…no contest there!