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When I had a really intensive training session (weights), the day after I'm so exhausted that I can't do anything the whole day. I can't even concentrate, so my work performance (desk job) degrades to such a level that I am thinking about avoiding those sessions during the week.

The problem is that I don't see any improvement at all in that matter. I train for about a year now and although I definitely made progress in my workout, I'm still exhausted on the following day as on day one.

As other people don't seem to suffer from this as much as I do, I wonder if I do something wrong with my after-workout nutrition.

Normally I go for high protein food, and if I did cardio, something isotonic.

Am I doing something wrong? Or do I just need to increase the amount or duration I take supplements (protein/isotonic/etc.) afterwards?

Food: I don't have a strict nutrition plan, but post-workout I mostly eat chicken, salmon, steak, vegetables + supplements (protein shake/bar, isotonic)

Exercises: Basically everything strength related (back, arms, chest, neck, legs...)

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In order to answer your question appropriately we will need more information. Please provide details about your diet and workouts. –  Jordan Carroll Jan 23 at 17:13
    
I'm not sure what exactly you need to know. Specific exercises/foods? Targeted body areas? –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 17:22
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How long do you workout? Are you getting enough rest that evening after your workout? This happens to me sometimes, specifically if I push really hard on days that I do squats. –  Soylent Green Jan 23 at 18:47
    
Around 1.5 hours, sometimes 2h. For each exercise 3 sets with 8 to 15 reps, 30 to 60 second pause inbetween. I work out mostly around 7pm, so afterwards I eat and go to bed. –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 19:49
    
How heavy are you lifting? –  Lego Stormtroopr Jan 24 at 2:00
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Managing fatigue can be challenging at times, but the following three items may be contributing factors:

  • Insufficient Carbs. Carbohydrates are part of the fuel needed to replenish and repair muscle. This is with the assumption that your protein and fat intake is high enough.
  • Insufficient Calories. You might not be eating enough calories to fuel muscle growth, and on very high volume days where your body is depleted of its energy it's even more important.
  • Insufficient Sleep. Sleep is where most of the work of rebuilding and getting stronger really happens. It is the time when your testosterone and IGF-1 levels are naturally higher, which is why 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is even more important.

I personally struggle with the last item on the list, and when sleep isn't restful I have problems with concentration the next day. It's on the same level as the fatigue fog you are describing in your question.

Without knowledge of the training plan you have, you may just be doing too much in one session. For example, if you have several variations of working the same muscle groups you may want to consolidate to just one of those variations in any given training session. If you have one very heavy volume day and one low volume day, you might consider a more even distribution of work.

There's a wide variety of nutrient breakdowns that work for different people, but some basic understanding of the recommendations will give you something to work with:

  • Calories should be close to maintenance, even when bulking or cutting. Ballpark recommendations would be 12-13 Calories per pound for cutting, 15-16 Calories per pound for bulking.
  • Protein should be at least 1 gram per pound lean body mass. You can go with total body weight because it's easier figure out.
  • Carbohydrates replenish the lost glycogen in your muscles, and are most directly transformed into the blood sugar your brain needs to function properly.
  • Fat should be at least .35 grams per pound lean body mass. This helps your normal metabolic functions work optimally--and provides the raw materials to manufacture more testosterone.

It's best to use carb sources that are relatively high in fiber both for satiety, and to slow down digestion enough to absorb more nutrients from your food.

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Very comprehensive. Thanks! –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 20:46
    
+1 for insufficient carbs. –  Soylent Green Jan 23 at 22:09
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I would focus on tracking your nutrition for a week, determining what your input should be and seeing what the differences are and adjusting as needed. I've had the same issue and have adjusted my overall intake and while trying to maintain my protein intake to 1gram per lb of body weight - also increased my carbs. I've taken creatine with a lot of benefit in regards to strength gain and energy improvements. Try myFitnessPal (its free) and see what nutritional issues you have (we all have them).

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Thanks, will give it a try. –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 19:42
    
PS: I've tried creatine a few times. I thought creatine is only used to improve performance DURING the training (at least that's what I used it for)? –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 19:54
    
About the 1g/lb body weight. Per day? For me that would be 260 grams/day, as I'm pretty tall (196cm). –  Erik Aigner Jan 23 at 19:57
    
@ErikAigner - 1g per body weight per day (so if you're 200 lbs, it's 200 grams) - sounds like a lot AND it is. I use creatine pre workout only. –  Meade Rubenstein Jan 26 at 14:03
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