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How Cardio, Stress, and Over-training Almost Ruined me…

The year was 2017 in October. Previously, I had lost 45 pounds. I had been working out 6 days a week religiously for the past several months.

I remember waking up one day, feeling extremely worn out. I went to the gym and walked out within 10 minutes. I had no desire to lift weights. The following day, I went to my muay thai kickboxing workout. I lacked energy, motivation, and passion. I just went through the motions.  I was also craving carbohydrates all day like crazy!

I thought I was just getting older. 😛  I felt like this for weeks. It took months to recover. The energy was sucked right out of me. I was surprised.  Isn’t exercise and weight loss supposed to make you feel better? I thought I was the healthiest I had been in years…

I went to my physician and had some blood work done. I was diagnosed with ‘burn out’. I had adrenal fatigue.  My body had undergone a transformation and it needed to rest. It was begging me to rest.

Adrenal fatigue can occur with over-training, too much cardio, and stress.

I couldn’t sleep through the night. I’d frequently be wide awake at 2am, which is an indication that my cortisol levels were elevated. This also explained my massive cravings for carbohydrates.

Have you noticed when you’re stressed out, your body craves carbs? It’s a natural mechanism of your body to crave carbs, as your cortisol levels are elevated when stressed. Yes, desserts is stressed spelled backwards! Carbs lower cortisol levels leaving us to feel more relaxed…

Truthfully, I was stressed dealing with loss and grief and owning two growing businesses. My body was also stressed from training consistently for the past several months. My body was begging for recovery.

I contacted my coach to let her know about my diagnosis.  I still work with a personal trainer and nutrition coach to this day. She cut out all cardio. My resistance training workouts were cut to 3 days a week with recovery weeks of doing no exercise at all! I was also banned from doing cardio for months! But cardio feels so good! However, cardio can also aggravate your adrenal glands and do more damage than good…

I also had to increase my daily calorie intake, in order to feed my body and repair it. Up my calories? WHAT!? Long story short, I did as I was told. I had no desire to workout anyways. After a few months, my body started to heal…I definitely feel much better today!

5 Lessons I Learned and How It Can Help You:

  1. Listen to your body. Recovery is key. Assess your bio feedback. What’s the quality of your sleep? Stress levels? Sex drive? Energy levels?
  2. If you’ve been training 0 days a week for the last 5 years, start with 2 to 3. Slowly ramp up
  3. If you’ve been working out 6 days a week for the past several months, take a week off. After your recovery week, you’ll realize how much energy you have. Your performance will be greater. You’ll feel better!
  4. You can’t out exercise your nutrition. It’s a battle not worth fighting…😊
  5. Cardio sucks. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good for the heart and stamina. We like cardio cause it feels good once completed. The sweat feels amazing! I think there’s a purpose for cardio. However, too much cardio can also aggravate your adrenals causing more damaging affects on your body. Too much cardio can also lead to weight gain, which I’ll get into another time.  To put this into perspective, if you only had 2 hours a week for exercise, you’d get more return for your time and far better results with weight training and focusing on your nutrition, compared to doing 2 hours of cardio. If you’re kickboxing, cycling, running, or doing any sort of high intensity training 5 days a week, ensure you have time for your body to recover. If you’re only doing cardio, please message me! I encourage you to add resistance training.

If you’re wanting how to kick start or tune up your fitness and nutrition, registration for our 6 Week Personal Training and Nutrition Coaching Program ends this Thursday. This program gives you the opportunity to work with a personal trainer and a nutrition coach. This is the exact program that has helped me with my transformation. Instead of getting a cookie cutter meal plan, you’ll also actually get to work with a nutrition coach to find a plan that works for you!

Learn more here:

Have a great rest of your week!

-Sammy Noh