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Serious strength loss and fatigue, what might be causing it?

Posted by lsc91se

Here are the details. I am a 24 year old male that works on strength training 3 to 4 days a week and cardio once a week. I have developed a very serious problem. It is rather complicated but I will do my best to explain. In any given week I will randomly lose strength and ability to fight fatigue during my workouts. I can go in feeling like a champ however my mental status or how I feel seems to have no relationship with my ability to generate force. I am not in a state of overtraining, I am down to less then half the exercises per workout then I was at 7 months ago. My form is 100% as I have worked with some of the highest level power lifters in my state, and I know what I am doing with weights. I am not in the gym to set a personal record every time I go, my training weights are what I can handle with absolute form. I do not lift heavy often, even when I do 5x5 sets during the week I use what "Should" be light weights (aka weights I could do 8-9 reps or more). This is the problem. I will describe my workout that I did tonight. It was as follows:Bench press, flat bench 130 pounds by 12 reps145x 10 reps145 x 10 reps150 x 8 reps and 155 x 6 reps. Incline bench dumbell press25 x 1530 x 1535 x 1540 x 15I also had some other light weight accessory exercises that I did.

The weights I used are significantly under what I am capable of doing. Today was a form day and my goal was not to tear my muscles up.  With that said I had a significant problem doing the workout.  When I did my first set of 12 on the bench I felt good.  After the 2nd set of 10 my muscles started to feel like they were "disappearing" aka I started to feel like I was getting real weak.  When I did the final set of 6 i felt as though I couldn't do 1 pushup if I tried.  I could understand such feelings if I was going all out on a heavy set, but we are talking weights that are significantly lighter then what I am capable of.  Two weeks ago I was using 190 pounds on the bench for my final set of 6, and I still had more in me.  So we are talking weights that are 25% less then what I am capable of using in the workout. 


When I did the workout with the incline dumbbells it was far worse.  My first set at 25 pounds I felt as though I was using 1 muscle fiber to push the weights up, when I hit my 15th rep I had a significant sensation of being really weak.  I rested for 4 minutes and went ahead with my next set.  Same feeling for that set and the 3rd set.  When I did my 4th set of 40lb dumbells I honestly couldn't tell that the weights were 40 lbs, they felt the same as the 25 lb dumbells I started out with.  It was like I was fighting my body to do the reps with the weight, and it didn't matter what the weight was.  I sort of had a burning sensation in my muscles, but it was more of a complete lack of sensation.  Much like if your mind muscle connection was almost completely shut off.  I know I was not fatigued from my previous workout since I have had 7 days of rest since the last time I did an upper body workout.  Tonight I also had a hard time lifting my arms above my shoulders because they felt so weak after I was done.  I have never had this happen during a workout before, let alone on a light weight lifting day. This problem is not limited to upper body workouts.  I spend more time with leg and back strength, and I have the same problem with them.  On the deadlift and squat I have just as much trouble as I described with my chest workout.


Here is the even more complicated part.  This problem can and will hit me any day of the week.  It seems to be happening more is the last 2 months then it has in the past.  On a day I am not plagued with this problem I am able to handle any weight within my ability (light or heavy) and I don't feel close to what I do when I have this happen.  On a exceptional weight training day I am able to lift major weights for 4 to 12 rep range for 5+ sets with no hint of fatigue.  I can have a exceptional day on a monday (say bench press), and then if I go back on tuesday or wednesday (or even a friday) I might not be able to deadlift extremely light weights for reps. 


Like I said its really not like a fatigue, its more like my muscles have lost their ability to contract.  I find that often (like tonight) if I go slow with the reps I am able to meet the reps that I should do.  If I try to explode with power (Aka move the weight faster) it feels like my muscles are going to completely give out.  On a good day the more power I put behind the action the faster the weight goes, with no hint of weakness.  Also I know my problem is not just in my head (aka perceived weakness) because I have had my grip strength measured each day over a period of a few weeks and randomly I would lose 40 to 50% of my grip strength, regardless of any exercises related to grip muscles.  Another way to describe how I feel when I have this happen is if you could imagine just waking up from sleeping (you were really tired still), and then trying to lift a heavy weight.  Your body would struggle to do it and you would feel crappy.  I also very rarely feel muscle pain anymore as far as delayed muscle soreness.  I believe that is due to the fact I am often unable to use weights heavy enough to cause tears in my muscle tissues. 


I eat fairly healthy, however I have gained fat over the past 7 months without trying.  For a guy my size (290 pounds) and muscle level (I have 220 pounds of muscle) I should be eating a truckload of food a day.  Instead I eat a 4 to 5 meals a day for around 3,200 calories on a day I exercise.  For a while I thought my problem was a lack of calories, so I ate more, but it didn't seem to help (which might be why I put on fat).  I tried drinking more water, and it didn't help.  I am never really hungry at all, I just eat because I know if I don't I will have a problem.  I could easily go 24 hours without eating and I wouldn't feel much different then I do now.  A year ago I had a full set of blood tests done and nothing came back as a problem, including Test levels, thyroid levels, cholesterol levels, etc.  However a year ago I was not struggling with this problem as bad (although it has happened to me since I started weight lifting 3 years ago).


I thought it was a lack of sleep however when I increased my sleep it was unaffected.  I do sleep more then I should now (aka 10 to 12 hours) and if I get 8 hours of sleep I would feel like crap.  I do often wake up during my sleep for reasons unknown.  My girl friend claims I don't snore or gasp for air at all during the night.  I don't wake up because I have to go to the bathroom, maybe 1 to 2 times per month I will wake up because I have to go.  I know I am getting enough REM sleep during the night to adequately fill what I should get, and I have allowed extra time to recover from workouts.  I have also changed workouts so that my body isn't tore down as much.  I don't seem to be able to trace my problem to anything.


I am 2 weeks out from having lots of tests done because I have to know what the problem is.  I wanted to post this to get an idea of what might be the problem.  I have a family history of thyroid issues, but other then that I don't know of any issues.  I have read about thyroid issues online and they seem to describe what I deal with very well.  To a certain extent articles of diabetes describe what I deal with as well.  To sum up all of my symptoms to make it easy, here is a list:

 Things that happen randomly during every week when I workout:Loss of ultimate (Aka most weight I can lift 1 time with proper form) strength in the area of 20 to 30 %Loss of strength during workouts on the order of 20 to 25% compared to weights I should be able to use.  The weight I use seems to have little effect, on a bad day I could use 100 pounds when I would normally use 200 pounds and I would still have trouble.  No tolerance for extended periods of weight lifting (even despite taking weeks off and changing my training to include less of everything)Loss of grip strengthLoss of abdominal strength (pretty much my entire body is affected) What I tend to deal with every day:Excessive tiredness during the dayI sleep 10 to 12 hours per night and wake up oftenI am very sensitive to cold some daysNo appetite, I have gone 24 hours without eating without feeling much differentSometimes when I eat food I feel a bit better and my grip strength is better, but the effects don't last and seem to be more mental then physicalFat increased a fair amount over the past 7 months despite staying active and not eating much more food.Digestion isn't the greatest it seems.Sometimes I have a bit of nausea when I go from a cold environment to a warm environment (or vise versa)'My joints tend to be more "noticeable" on bad days.  By that I mean they tend to be looser and hurt a little bit depending on movements.  On a good day my joints are completely invisible to me.   

I really don't know what else to add.  I am sure there might be some questions and I will gladly answer any of them.  Like I said I am 2 weeks out from having some answers from doctors.  I am hoping its not a heart issue, or something very serious that I wont be able to control with medication.  I know I never get headaches, I never have chest pain/other body pain other then delayed muscle soreness.  It pretty much just hits me hard and I am unable to have the strength I should have considering what my training and muscle suggests I am capable of.  I will admit I am afraid of trying to eat more food since I have put on a fair ammount of fat previously, however if thats the issue I guess I will try it again.  I appreciate any help that can be given.  Thanks

Answers (1)
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Yo man ! Try take a three weeks vacation from all sorts of workout, if I workout the way you've been training, I'd be way overtrained, overworked, and absolutely weak!
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