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Nutrition & Dieting/drop of power - overreaching?

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I have huge problem that is haunting me since I started to work out more seriously and I don't know what to do! I have always been really active, there was a time when I ran up to 50kilometers a week or jumped the trampoline and went to dance and tumbling class. This was very imbalanced, sometimes I went 4 times a week, then just once.

Now I train 2 times a week at a gym class (gymnastics) for 2 hours each and do strength 3 times a week at home for about 1 hour. Then I add some tumbling and stretching at home whenever I feel like it to not lose my tumbling skills, usually 4 times a week for 1 hour or so.

When I am in training, I always feel super energized. On some days I feel like I could tumble for 10 hours constantly! I also feel really strong. This great feeling stays for 2 weeks or so. I eat healthy during this time (mostly whole grain bread, chicken, low fat curd cheese, fruit, nuts...) and drink plenty of water. Although I am not really hungry, I could easily skip eating and I bet I am under my recommended calorie intake those days. But after a tough tumbling day, I always take a day off and eat a lot. The rest of the day I am sitting, because I am a student and sleep 7-9 hours at night. When I have this "high", I sleep well but wake up very early without setting an alarm and sometimes wake up during night.

But then, when I have a day off or the weekend comes, it starts. I feel weak and tired. My whole body feels like it is a little shivering from the inside and I feel like I couldn't hold a pen. Everything is wobbly. And I crave for sweets, crisps, food in general although I am not hungry. My digestion speeds up. And I always get kind of a burn in my stomach and then I need to eat to stop it. I usually eat then, because I think maybe my body needs it, but it doesn't get any better.

I have to say that I have no pain at all, just sometimes my throat gets sore and my lunges hurt a bit when I am jumping the trampoline outdoors!

No matter what I do or what I try, it's not getting any better. I tried working out, jumping the trampoline, going for a relaxed walk to keep myself woken up...nothing help! After a week or so, everything is ok.Then I feel energized again, but after 2 weeks the process starts again. But it's so annoying and it is happening more often than in the past and is really hindering my progress!

I am currently in the same situation. I already had sort of a food and sweet attack last Saturday. Then I rested the whole weekend. During the week it was quiet fine, I didn't felt super energized but it was ok. But since 3 days I feel so weak I couldn't do a single pull up!

I tried jumping the trampoline in the morning. But I just didn't get into it really and wanted to stop immediately. Afterwards I feel extra weak. I then tried to at least stretch a little, but even this is sooo exhausting! When I wanted to do a bridge, which I normally do constantly, I got dizzy and everything went black.

My blood test is fine as well as my hormons. I have a little lack of iron and Vit D, but I am taking pills for it (although I haven't for the past weeks) but the doctor said than it would be a constant "depression" and no ups+downs!

Yesterday I took a nap for 2 hours! And today in the morning I could have stayed in bed forever. I felt like if someone gave me sleeping pills - not tired from the body, but just a forced sleepiness. I also yawn a lot today.

I was thinking about overtraining, but I haven't increased the number of training sessions! And also, some of my friends who are also studying sports do a lot more than I do (they run, play soccer, do gymnastics..) but I am far more in shape than they are!

What do you think?

I normally eat really healthy (nuts, whole grain, oat meal...)and sometimes sweets or hot chocolate. But when I am in tumbling I usually don't eat that much.

But can this really be a factor?

Do you have any ideas why this happens to me?

Is there a shake or something I can drink prior and post workout to avoid it?

Answer
Hi Katharina

I think you are very energetic but your body is telling you to slow it down a bit.  I see you are doing a lot of things right but you should adjust your programming. Although it is great to train you must also remember to give your body to recouperate. Your body needs to repair after resistance training.  One thing I would recommend if you are feeling tired is count all the activity you do in the week and then see where you can decrease it by a little and see if that has an effect.

so one thing we can do is decrease the amount of volume your doing in an strength session. how many exercises are you doing, is it 9-10, and how many sets and repititions? Are most of the exercises whole body type exercises?
Lets assume for example you are doing 10 exercises at 3 sets per exercise of 12 repititions. If you feel at the end of the week your getting tired you could either take off a session and do another activity or you could do 9 exercises, or 2 sets instead of the 3 sets in the three times a week your doing a strength session.. see what would happen  and how would you feel. If you have more energy and your not tired then thats what we want. Exercise is supposed to make you able to make you more active and feel better about yourself so try to take everything as a whole.

also, eating 2-4 hours before activity is a good idea but try to limit fiber intake because it limits the amount of glucose(energy) your body can readily use during exercise.

let me know if you have further questions.  

Nutrition & Dieting

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