11

votes

If constant training causes cortisol/stress issues, why are professional athletes so lean?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 01, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I posted a question earlier today (titled Why isnt this working?) and someone said my Crossfit training could be causing too much stress, hindering fat loss...but if thats the case, then why are athletes so lean? Conventionally speaking, I can understand how it makes sense (calories in/calories out, raising metabolism, etc.) but from a Paleo view, it doesnt make sense to me why so many athletes are so lean if cortisol/stress levels are always heightened through hard training...especially because I train hard and eat well (better than almost all the student athletes I know) and have a significantly higher BF than they do.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Excellent response, the general drift of which applies to a growing number of questions asked here at PH. The whole "I do X in order to experience Y, but instead I invariably end up with Z. Why oh why oh why?" When seeking to attain some external goal measured solely by external measures, interesting how happiness continues to fade away.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:50 PM

This is the standard cop-out for all the fatties out there.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:40 PM

GMTA, Cameron. ;-)

645be4f772c65ed78832224d35222893

(364)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Most NFL linemen are terrific athletes, but they're far from lean.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I agree, in fact I question the premise that all professional athletes are lean.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 03, 2011
at 08:34 AM

Varies a great deal from sport to sport. For example: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=214717 With the example of cyclists, you have people who may or may not have a natural tendency toward longevity who do certain things that are likely to shorten life (overtraining) while abstaining from others that do shorten life (smoking, obesity for most of life)...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 03, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I think that's an excellent question. I personally don't buy the overtraining -> cortisol -> fat gain argument. If you are very fit, you can probably handle more intense exercise without having chronically high cortisol levels. If you aren't so fit and are straining yourself into exhaustion, then maybe it's a problem. I'm not saying overtraining isn't a common problem, but I think the cortisol angle is a simplification that is over-invoked.

4cef3e34563d751268a800eb9c110594

(273)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Ouch, I can imagine that would get to be pretty tough! I forgot to consider that as being a possible factor for you.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Better change your user-name--you're definitely not a chump! Great answer.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I have looked into leangains...and followed it for 2 weeks, but it became difficult w/ my work schedule to get in a meal when id start my feeding window. my work starts at 2 and would go to 830, my workouts could only happen at 12-1 after classes and in that hour id have to go home let the dog out then head straight out...so eating a meal became a once a day thing and i felt like straight crap during the fasting hours.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Cool info! Thanks.

71e078b9000a360364fd039bae64dabf

(125)

on December 02, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Sanchis-Gomar et al (2011) Increased average longevity among the "Tour de France" cyclists. International J Sports Med, 32, 644-47. "We found a very significant increase in average longevity (17%) of the cyclists when compared with the general population. The age at which 50% of the general population died was 73.5 vs. 81.5 years in Tour de France participants."

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 02, 2011
at 03:50 AM

Cortisol and other catabolic steroids do promote fat gain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prednisone but context is important.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I hear what you're saying, but I don't think we said that overtraining or stress would cause weight gain; rather, we said it might impede fat loss. Michelle wishes to achieve a very lean profile for competitive purposes.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I agree with serega. I think genetics help but good genes certainly are not required to be a strong and lean athlete on a level that is less than elite. I don't think it's accurate to state that everyone who trains hard will have cortisol issues and thus not be lean. There are many factors in play for each individual, and hormones are a very complicated factor. If you are training hard and eating cleanly but not seeing the results you want physically, maybe you should consider dialing back training and see if you get leaner. I like to train. I don't have a 6-pack. I'm good with it.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Hey, I'm all for you doing as much as you can do and be safe and healthy. :-)) My brother permanently damaged his health when he was a jockey and he was of course extremely lean. He suffers a lot now, as do many former athletes.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Nance...i love how you have answers for every one of my questions haha im not necessarily trying to emulate their training/lifestyle (or maybe i am...as id eventually like to compete in the crossfit games) but either way it was just a question sparked from someones comment about constant training affecting fat loss

8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on December 02, 2011
at 02:58 AM

So many upvotes for quite misleading answer. Elite athletes are strong and lean because of their athletics, and not because of their genetics. Those who win Olympic games and championships perhaps are genetically gifted. You don't need any genetic mutations in order to be strong and lean average competitive athlete.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 02:20 AM

In my 40s I found I had better endurance than many in their 20s and I did not have the "ripped" look they did but I was truly fit. I did everything at my own pace and (in addition to weeknight 20 mi rides) rode 78 miles every Saturday. When I started riding with others I found I performed better than many who worked much harder. Failure to allow recovery is a very common mistake by amateur athletes.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on December 02, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Totally agree....

Medium avatar

(19479)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Genetics are a huge factor.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:52 AM

....im 19 and am stronger than most of the female athletes i go to school with/ work with (Im an athletic trainer) and after 6 months of Crossfit am keeping up with the ladies who have been doing it for 2/3 years it just throws me off how even people i know who hop on the elliptical for an hour 4/5 days a week lean out in 2 seconds and im sitting at 28% BF despite all my efforts to lean out...im more muscular than ive ever been BUT you would never know.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:50 AM

ive always been an athelete...ballet dancer from 3-15 and played lacrosse, soccer, swam, rode horses, figured skated and a million other things along with it...even when i decided to quit ballet i was still riding horses 6 days a week and running/lifting 5 days a week so ive never been out of training...while it never turned into college athletics for me (lets face it...i hated lacrosse which was where i couldve shone and horses in college REALLY?!) ive always trained hard and now crossfit is my next competitive goal (hoping to compete within the month and try to do the games in 2-3 years)....

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:49 AM

This. .

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on December 01, 2011
at 10:37 PM

I agree with you fitnessconsultant. My boyfriend swims for the swim team at college and they literally shock his muscles so that he can relax and fall to sleep. Yet he can still eat a whole pie of pizza at 11pm at night, and lose weight or get stronger.

A0c5c2476efb58a1dd43c47a0e39e7d8

on December 01, 2011
at 10:20 PM

There is a lot of pharmaceutical use in elite level athletes.Helps them recover faster, grow stronger, and get leaner.

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15 Answers

17
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:20 AM

Elite athletes being thin because of their athletics is like an elite basketball players is tall because of playing basketball.

In other words, it isn't. There is a confounding factor you might be missing. They are probably already genetically disposed to being thin. Their cortisol levels are likely spiked, but it affects them differently than it does you.

At least that is how I'd explain it.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Genetics are a huge factor.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:49 AM

This. .

8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on December 02, 2011
at 02:58 AM

So many upvotes for quite misleading answer. Elite athletes are strong and lean because of their athletics, and not because of their genetics. Those who win Olympic games and championships perhaps are genetically gifted. You don't need any genetic mutations in order to be strong and lean average competitive athlete.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:11 AM

I agree with serega. I think genetics help but good genes certainly are not required to be a strong and lean athlete on a level that is less than elite. I don't think it's accurate to state that everyone who trains hard will have cortisol issues and thus not be lean. There are many factors in play for each individual, and hormones are a very complicated factor. If you are training hard and eating cleanly but not seeing the results you want physically, maybe you should consider dialing back training and see if you get leaner. I like to train. I don't have a 6-pack. I'm good with it.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:50 PM

This is the standard cop-out for all the fatties out there.

16
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:36 AM

Here's what I've noticed with my involvement in the ancestral-nutrition realm. This way of living is GREAT for getting a person to his or her natural build/weight/health level. It isn't so great if you're trying to force your body to a place that isn't natural/healthy for it.

Though this may not be what you want to hear, it is entirely possible that YOUR body doesn't like working out that heavily, and isn't healthy below your current percentage of fat. Ask yourself "How do I feel? Do I feel good after a meal? Am I generally happy, if I don't count that whole "My body doesn't have the right numbers" thing? Am satisfied when I eat? Do I feel strong when I exercise? OR do I feel hungry all the time? Am I exhausted and cranky after a week of working out? Do I -make- myself work out more, and berate myself into finishing workouts, even when my body tells me it's spent?

Eating well should feel good, once we've gotten through clearing the poisons from our bodies and the bad information from our minds. Exercising should be joyful, and make us feel sore but accomplished when it's over -- and STRONGER and energetic within a day or so of doing it. The way you eat and exercise should, if you're listening to your body, help to normalize your moods... so even bad things happening or amazingly great things happening don't throw a person out of control.

It's taken me two years to get this balance right with a body that was severely damaged by the time I got here --- and a LOT of mistakes along the way, as I tried to push my body faster and further than it was ready to go. It wasn't until I finally -relaxed-,and trusted that my body knew what it's best felt like, what its worst felt like, and how to balance between the two that I really started making major progress.

I may never be what the tables say my "ideal weight" is. I've been extremely obese (55+% bodyfat) for a LOT of my adult life. The thing is, my body is finding balance and the things that are truly important to me, like being able to walk several miles at a time, throw a bale of hay up into the loft, haul buckets of milk, lift crates of vegetables, and live independantly are -finally- possible...

I don't mean to discourage you -- but you're so hung up on those body fat percentages... and it sounds like you've stopped listening to your -body- in favor of trying to reach some numerical ideal that sounds like "perfect" to you -- I am not sure, myself, that Paleo can do that... move a body beyond it's healthy, natural state to some generalized ideal.

Just my two cents... May not even be worth that to you. smiles

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on December 02, 2011
at 01:34 AM

Totally agree....

Medium avatar

(8239)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Excellent response, the general drift of which applies to a growing number of questions asked here at PH. The whole "I do X in order to experience Y, but instead I invariably end up with Z. Why oh why oh why?" When seeking to attain some external goal measured solely by external measures, interesting how happiness continues to fade away.

6
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:16 AM

If training and being an athlete was your job and you devoted the appropriate time to recovery, body work therapy, diet, recovery, and so on with an army of people devoted to that goal, I'm sure it is quite different from a desk jokey that already has high levels of work stress then tops it of with spiking cortisol and such every night chronically working out to "even out" all the arse sitting he does at his day job. And the desk jokey has no team of people working on every aspect of recovery with him.

4
9c215d66a663fbae3a16cf5515889d7f

(260)

on December 02, 2011
at 01:45 AM

Back in my cycling days I once got to do an easy 50 mile ride with a pro cyclist who went on to place 4th in the Tour de France later that year. I was a Cat IV level rider - i.e. a very mediocre amateur. He set the pace and we went slower than I usually went on my easy days. I've read similar stories elsewhere - when the pros recovered, they actually recovered.

It's been years since I watched "Pumping Iron", but I seem to remember scenes of the bobybuilders laying around in the sun quite a bit. I got the impression that these guys pretty much just lifted and slept.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 02:20 AM

In my 40s I found I had better endurance than many in their 20s and I did not have the "ripped" look they did but I was truly fit. I did everything at my own pace and (in addition to weeknight 20 mi rides) rode 78 miles every Saturday. When I started riding with others I found I performed better than many who worked much harder. Failure to allow recovery is a very common mistake by amateur athletes.

4
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on December 02, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Three things mainly:

Caloric deficit: Athletes are spending a lot of time training and when they're not training, they are out competing. Most likely they are probably a net negative when it comes to calories consumed vs calories burned.

DNA: Chad Johnson is a sick athlete, a lot of it comes down to genetics but you throw in training in the mix, not to mention the top strength and training staff and facilities at your disposal it's no surprise that Chad Johnson is completely ripped.

Cortisol conditioning: Most athletes have been walking around with high cortisol levels for most of their lives, taking the other two factors above their overworked adrenal glands have less of an impact compared to a 45 year old computer programmer that all of sudden is doing 6 days a week CF.

3
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:39 PM

I question the premise that professional athletes are by and large "lean." It depends on the sport. You have to consider if you can even determine what is cause and what is effect: is someone lean because they are a professional cyclist? Or have they made it as a professional cyclist because they are lean? How can you tell?

Professional athletes in SOME sports are prone to be quite lean when higher body fat percentage is a drawback (meaning that fatter folks who pursue those sports will not be able to rise to a professional level). In other sports, higher body fat percentage is not an issue. E.g. professional football players. Lean? Depends on what position they play. QB, maybe. O line, NOT lean. Professional baseball players. Frequently pretty out of shape even in their prime (think Edgar Martinez). Greco-Roman wrestlers. Discus throwers. Contrast sprinters to long-distance runners. Look at long-distance swimmers (especially cold-water swimmers). Also consider that eating disorders are prevalent in some types of sports--e.g. ballet dancers, Olympic gymnasts (whom I would consider to be professional calibre even if they're not actually being paid), and bodybuilders, suggesting that the leanness prized in these sports for aesthetic reasons is difficult to sustain by natural means for many.

Now, someone who is a current professional athlete might be leaner than they would be otherwise--but how do you tell? Also, do you look at them over time? You might see them in only a couple of years of their lives when they are prominent. Do they fatten up over time?

I guess I find the question as posed to have assumptions that are so broad that the answers are meaningless.

3
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 02, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Back in my younger days, I was a mediocre-level professional athlete. I was definitely WAY overworked, particularly towards the end of my career. I mean, WAY overworked. I suppose I looked extremely fit and lean, which I was, but I was a mess inside...... trying to fall asleep with throbbing knees and chronic overall pain, only to wake up the next day and go at it again.

I didn't eat particularly well, and it didn't matter as far as how thin and fit I was. I was able to perform at a respectfully high level and looked the part. Remember, though, I was a mess inside. At one point, a doctor of mine suggested that I was working out so hard that I was losing calcium from my bones and it was leaking into my blood..... or something like that (it's been a while).

I'm 45 now and I think the accumulated aches and pains will stay with me in some form from here on out.

I guess my point is that being lean and fit isn't necessarily optimal in terms of leading a comfortable and healthy life.

I weigh virtually the same nowadays, though I don't look like an athlete. I'm just some 45 year old guy and I feel better than I ever did. (Granted, I never used any performance enhancing drugs, and many of my friends did..... they all recommended it strongly and promised that you have absolutely no aches and pains while you're on that crap.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Better change your user-name--you're definitely not a chump! Great answer.

2
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 02, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Because: The most important "symptom" of overtraining among athletes is not gaining bodyfat but losing lbm. The Tour de France is an annual pageant of overtraining on display, and despite the fact that many athletes use anabolic agents during the event, the stress still takes its toll:

http://www.physorg.com/news198778635.html

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/is-bicycling-bad-for-your-bones/

Of course there are other factors at work, too: Being very lean is a prerequisite for success in many sports and an advantage in almost all, so top athletes tend to be naturally lean and work at it assiduously; cortisol in overtraining athletes takes place in a context of high energy expenditure, etc.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 02, 2011
at 03:50 AM

Cortisol and other catabolic steroids do promote fat gain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prednisone but context is important.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:39 AM

I hear what you're saying, but I don't think we said that overtraining or stress would cause weight gain; rather, we said it might impede fat loss. Michelle wishes to achieve a very lean profile for competitive purposes.

2
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 01, 2011
at 09:53 PM

First of all, it's difficult to compare yourself to someone else because everyone reacts to stress differently. It is especially difficult if you are comparing yourself to an elite athlete....there are some serious genetics that allow for these elite athletes to push their bodies beyond the limits of us normal folks. Secondly, you have to look at your diet and lifestyle to see if it is supporting your stress level or simply making it worse. Most athletes are consuming adequate nutrition to allow them to recover and keep up with their workload and then also allow themselves significant amount of rest.

Training can definitely cause your weight loss goals to slow down or stop, but it is most likely because of the lack of adequate nutrition and recovery.

0
Medium avatar

(2338)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:15 PM

i don't know if this has been said in any of the previous answers (i apologize if it has, i was too lazy to read through all of them) but, the stress athletes experience from training is most likely a very different stress than the average human being experiences on a daily basis (ex. boss breathing down neck, kids, homework, etc.). On top of that a lot of these athletes get paid out the ass to play a sport they love. Imagine doing what you absolutely love most in the world, getting paid millions of dollars to do it, and getting fame and recognition for it... i don't think i'd be too stressed out. obviously this is a very simplified version of their life and they're bound to face stressors unknown to us common folk but i think it's pretty easy to see how professional athletes are lean and strong. i know this has been mentioned before but they also are working with professionals whose job is to get them to perform at their highest level and im sure that doesn't hurt the process. i find it pretty easy to understand athletes being lean.

0
645be4f772c65ed78832224d35222893

on April 22, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Doesn't surprise me that no one questions the new CW that overtraining and cortisol automatically equals fat.

Paleo dogma is still dogma, folks. Question everything.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:17 PM

I agree, in fact I question the premise that all professional athletes are lean.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:40 PM

GMTA, Cameron. ;-)

645be4f772c65ed78832224d35222893

(364)

on April 22, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Most NFL linemen are terrific athletes, but they're far from lean.

0
0f32ad570e3bf419432429d3ac842405

(235)

on December 03, 2011
at 07:37 AM

the difference between PROFESSIONAL athletes and the average joe who beats the hack out of him/herself doing crossfit, these days, is a twofold one

a) the athlete has been doing that for his/her whole life. he is conditioned to do it, because he started at a "low" level as a (pre-)teen

b) the athlete has his whole life streamlined out on what he is doing

and thirdly, cortisol is not bad. It is actually necessary to lose fat, chronically elevated cortisol with no / unnatural rythm is bad...

0
4cef3e34563d751268a800eb9c110594

(273)

on December 02, 2011
at 05:49 PM

From a dietary standpoint alone, just a thought and something you may want to look into if you haven't already: Leangains.

I have noticed that by following an eating schedule on the Leangains protocol (14 hour fast/10 hour feed), that my stubborn bodyfat has finally begun to drop. I am on my 6th week of eating this way and Im still seeing consistent results. I will continue this (probably forever), as it suits my eating preferences and I feel the best I have felt, maybe ever!?

Perhaps this eating style is overlooked because it is easy to concern ourselves solely with WHAT we are eating as opposed to taking into consideration WHEN we are eating! By giving myself a feeding window AND choosing paleo foods, satiety comes more naturally and a calorie deficit is almost unavoidable. I do follow a strict paleo/primal menu...(raw dairy, dark chocolate, occasional corn or white rice and cane sugar included). However, I dont count macros/calories to the point of insanity, but I try too stay aware of rough estimates as well as occasionally plugging a day of meals into FitDay to make sure I am on track.

As for the training element, sometimes less is more and sometimes Crossfit is TOO MUCH! Assuming you understand that and are already training under smart programming, this dietary change could really help to regulate things for you. :)

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I have looked into leangains...and followed it for 2 weeks, but it became difficult w/ my work schedule to get in a meal when id start my feeding window. my work starts at 2 and would go to 830, my workouts could only happen at 12-1 after classes and in that hour id have to go home let the dog out then head straight out...so eating a meal became a once a day thing and i felt like straight crap during the fasting hours.

4cef3e34563d751268a800eb9c110594

(273)

on December 02, 2011
at 08:37 PM

Ouch, I can imagine that would get to be pretty tough! I forgot to consider that as being a possible factor for you.

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 02:27 AM

While I'm a rabid sports fan, I don't know that life expectancy of pro athletes compares favorably to the general population and, therefore, I don't know how closely you want to emulate their training/lifestyles.

I haven't seen any overall stats, but it sure seems that many of them die young. They are exposed to (and can afford) many unhealthy dependencies but they also seem to be prone to emotional instability that makes them vulnerable to unhealthy dependencies.

Mark Sisson writes eloquently about the costs of excessive training and so do many ex-pro-athletes.

71e078b9000a360364fd039bae64dabf

(125)

on December 02, 2011
at 10:11 AM

Sanchis-Gomar et al (2011) Increased average longevity among the "Tour de France" cyclists. International J Sports Med, 32, 644-47. "We found a very significant increase in average longevity (17%) of the cyclists when compared with the general population. The age at which 50% of the general population died was 73.5 vs. 81.5 years in Tour de France participants."

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Cool info! Thanks.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:01 AM

Nance...i love how you have answers for every one of my questions haha im not necessarily trying to emulate their training/lifestyle (or maybe i am...as id eventually like to compete in the crossfit games) but either way it was just a question sparked from someones comment about constant training affecting fat loss

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on December 03, 2011
at 08:34 AM

Varies a great deal from sport to sport. For example: http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=214717 With the example of cyclists, you have people who may or may not have a natural tendency toward longevity who do certain things that are likely to shorten life (overtraining) while abstaining from others that do shorten life (smoking, obesity for most of life)...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 02, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Hey, I'm all for you doing as much as you can do and be safe and healthy. :-)) My brother permanently damaged his health when he was a jockey and he was of course extremely lean. He suffers a lot now, as do many former athletes.

0
8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:38 AM

"hindering fat loss."

Many folks here probably started paleo + Crossfit to lean out, loose body fat, etc. Most athletes trained actively since childhood, and they never really have significant amount of fat on them in the first place. The amount of work they do is enormous and they more care about how to get enough calories rather than how to loose fat. "Athlete needs to eat as much as he/she can and a little bit more" - someone told me that once when I used to do freestyle wrestling. The usage of pharmaceutical that was mentioned in some comment is not necessary to relax and fall asleep. Most competitive athletes that you see are in their twenties, and people rarely have sleep problems in young age.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:52 AM

....im 19 and am stronger than most of the female athletes i go to school with/ work with (Im an athletic trainer) and after 6 months of Crossfit am keeping up with the ladies who have been doing it for 2/3 years it just throws me off how even people i know who hop on the elliptical for an hour 4/5 days a week lean out in 2 seconds and im sitting at 28% BF despite all my efforts to lean out...im more muscular than ive ever been BUT you would never know.

273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on December 02, 2011
at 12:50 AM

ive always been an athelete...ballet dancer from 3-15 and played lacrosse, soccer, swam, rode horses, figured skated and a million other things along with it...even when i decided to quit ballet i was still riding horses 6 days a week and running/lifting 5 days a week so ive never been out of training...while it never turned into college athletics for me (lets face it...i hated lacrosse which was where i couldve shone and horses in college REALLY?!) ive always trained hard and now crossfit is my next competitive goal (hoping to compete within the month and try to do the games in 2-3 years)....

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