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zer0netgain
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23 Mar 2014, 9:33 am

In my current job (perhaps not much longer) the work pace is "frantic" for 8 hours straight. We get three breaks of 10, 15 and 10 minutes (respectively). It's basically enough time to get something to drink or snack on and go back to work.

Admittedly, most can't handle the job...turnover is high.

However, it got me thinking. I have NEVER been a "high intensity" person when it comes to activity. I'm relatively strong compared to others. I can get on a cross-trainer at the gym and go 20-60 minutes with little problem...even at a decent level of intensity.

However, working hard or fast for any length of time just doesn't work.

I get dizzy, light headed, disorientated...just about ready to fall down in no time at all. Digging a grave for a dog that we had to put down, I repeatedly had to stop and rest...even though I only moved the shovel a few times.

I do have the following common symptoms....

1. Frequently disorientated (room spinning, momentary blurred/lost vision) when getting up quickly from a squat or seated on the floor position.

2. Easily dizzy from either turning about (360 degrees) a couple times or even just walking in a tight circle (like having to wrap something around a large object).

3. Although I can work out with significant weights at a decent pace (move from machine to machine...not just rest between sets) and do cardio at a decent pace, sustained fast activity burns me out quickly. I normally work as fast as I can manage for the time I'm expected to work....just as a marathon runner focuses on first being able to finish the marathon and then tries to get a better time instead of trying to go as fast as he can only to find he can't make it across the finish line.

Other factors....

I know my blood pressure is normally on the low side, but I've never been formally diagnosed with hypo-tension or anything like that.

I try to eat healthy and get plenty of fluids. If there's a dietary issue, I'm not sure what it would be. Loosing weight gave me more energy than being overweight, and I'm not overweight anymore. I take a multivitamin and mineral pill every day in addition to other supplements.

I try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. I schedule for it. Often, I wake up after 7 or 7.5 hours without prompting. Often, I'm okay. Other times, I could feel like I need to go right back to sleep for no obvious reason even though I slept through the night.

While I'd expect that the days I go to the gym would make me tired for working, it's not always the case. Some of my worst days trying to cope with work are on days I didn't go to the gym.

***

I know of Orthostatic Hypotension as a possible cause, but I'm not just concerned about easily being dizzy when standing. I'm also concerned about how easily I'm disorientated by turning around/walking in tight circles and lack of energy for prolonged high-intensity activity.

Anyone into medicine have an idea of what other causes are behind this or if they are all interrelated. That most people cannot do the job I'm in makes me feel better that it's not just a medical issue with me, but that I've never been capable of prolonged high-intensity activity (even though I have and can "work hard") is of concern to me.



BirdInFlight
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23 Mar 2014, 10:03 am

While reading your post, low blood pressure was what came into my mind, but then I saw that you are already wondering about this yourself.

That, and possibly low blood volume from not enough fluids, but that also was dismissable when you said your intake of fluid was fairly good.

Just had another thought -- a mild case of anemia?

.



Robdemanc
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24 Mar 2014, 3:40 pm

You may need to eat more carbohydrates. And more to the point, eat the right ones. I found that potatoes were not giving me the same energy levels that pasta and rice do. So I cut out potatoes and eat mainly pasta or rice. I found that my energy levels increased.

Keep yourself hydrated with water. Cut back on caffeine because that is a stimulant and too much will leave you feeling restless and tired.



TheWildMan
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20 Apr 2014, 2:41 pm

Like Rob said, carbohydrates were the first thing that came to my mind. Also make sure your healthy eating includes a lot of variety. There are other things it could be too. Low testosterone and "over-training" came to my mind and are both related to each other. I'm going to explain it in bodybuilding terms. If your working out with high-intensity for 5 days a week you would want to do something like (Workout, workout, workout, REST, workout, workout, REST, + extra optional rest). If you give it 100% intensity Monday you might only be able to give 85% Tuesday, 70% Wednesday, take a rest Thursday, and maybe back to 90% Friday. Working out can really drain your body's resources as it is and if your giving it everything you've got in the gym your not going to be able to put as much into your daily living, in this case, the job. I'd imagine the job alone would put enough stress on your body to really drain you; add an intense workout session 2 or 3 times a week and your heading for a serious case of over training syndrome. There are a lot of signs and warnings of over-training with the biggest being fatigue and a lack of motivation. Others are lowered sex drive, irritability, changes in appetite, anxiety, and depression off the top of my head. Over-training is usually caused by training too often and/or intensely or caused from not recovering well enough from the activities your doing. It sounds like your recovery itself is good just not the amount of time that your actually recovering. Over-training also causes a significant drop in testosterone. When you say you can handle your job better on your workout days what came to my mind was the temporary testosterone boost and increased feeling of well-being that you get afterwards from doing your workout. Back to a bodybuilding example here, this one of me. My first time with full blown over-training was awful. I was depressed, anxious, had no energy, was losing muscle mass, and every little stressor was too much to deal with. It didn't happen at once but slowly built up and just became too much until I knew something was wrong. During the time the over-training was building up I wasn't quite sure what was going on so my approach to it was to workout as hard as I possibly could. I would really struggle to get through my workouts but it would make me feel better for a while after. I found out I was giving my body more than it was able to shake off with the amount of recovery I was giving it. I still workout the same amount of days but carefully watch how I feel and throw in extra rest days if something doesn't feel right.

Even working out 3-5 days a week alone with top of the line recovery is enough to put you in over-training mode if your not careful. The same situation applies for endurance runners or in your case an endurance job worker with workouts on top of things. I would slow down or even cut off on the workouts for a week or two and see how that makes you feel. Lousy advice to hear, I know! Over-training isn't for sure the answer here but it definitely stands out and I would be surprised if that isn't what's going on. There's a lot of things you can do to speed up recovery and reduce the chance of over-training. Stretching after your workout can help to speed up recovery and actually increase your potential for muscle growth by lengthening the muscle and giving it more room to grow. The next biggest help to recovery is proper diet. You want a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Also make sure to include fruits and veggies along with or in replacement of a vitamin pill. There are nutrients in fruits and veggies that haven't been able to be recreated and some that have not been discovered yet! Meditating in any form is also good for preventing over-training. Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol add to lower testosterone levels. Anyway take some much needed rest days and see how that goes for you. Improve recovery where you can. Hope this helped and wasn't too long to read.

Upcoming certified trainer, WildMan!