Take 25 minutes to build to a 1RM snatch
Then, every minute on the minute for 7 minutes:
1 Snatch @ 70% of today’s 1 rep max
Post loads to comments and BTWB
What is cortisol and what does it have to do with my workouts? By Courtney “I’m not a doctor, I just play one on TV” Shepherd and The Adrenal Fatigue Solution For full article, click here.
What is Cortisol? Cortisol is a steroid hormone, known as a glucocorticoid, made in the adrenal glands and then released into the blood stream, which transports it all round the body. Almost every cell contains receptors for cortisol and so cortisol can have lots of different actions depending on which sort of cells it is acting upon. Cortisol is responsible for a wide range of processes within the body including immune responses, the regulation of metabolism, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also plays an important role in the way in which the body responds to stress.
The balance of cortisol levels in the body is important to our overall health. The effects of having too much cortisol in the body can include rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and severe mood swings that manifest in anxiety and depression. On the other hand, individuals who possess an extremely low amount of cortisol are susceptible to experiencing problems such as dizziness, fatigue, weight loss and a peculiar darkening in certain skin areas.
Cortisol levels are generally high in the morning as we wake from a prolonged period of sleep, with an increase of up to fifty percent in the twenty to thirty minutes after waking. This is known as the ‘cortisol awakening response’. Then, as the day progresses, our cortisol levels naturally begin to drop in a fairly constant and regular fashion that is termed a diurnal rhythm, ending up in low levels in the late evening. This allows the body to keep a regular sleeping pattern, with the cortisol level dropping for periods of sleep, then replenishing during the following morning. Interestingly enough the body can detect and change the timing and cycle of cortisol production and release for certain individuals. An example of this is individuals who work night shifts. In these cases, the pattern and timing of the release of cortisol is reversed to allow for higher levels throughout the late evening and early morning hours.
Cortisol levels are not just dependent on the time of day. Cortisol levels are heavily influenced by stress. The cortisol release response depends on the type of stress, whether its short-term acute stress or long-term chronic stress. For short-term stressors, like an argument or a fall or a workout (yep, a workout of high intensity is considered a stressor to your body), we will see a brief spike in cortisol. For longer term stressors like work stress or illness, we see a consistently higher level of cortisol at all times of the day.
Let’s talk about the effects of chronic high levels of cortisol in our body. Chronic stress will raise our cortisol levels for a while, but eventually our body is unable to continue producing cortisol in such high amounts. At this point we start to see declines in not only cortisol, but also key hormones and neurotransmitters like aldosterone, testosterone, epinephrine and more. Additionally the diurnal rhythm of cortisol production is often disrupted, resulting in late-evening spikes that cause insomnia. This dysregulation of hormone production is the ‘burnout’ that follows long periods of stress. The body is no longer able to regulate cortisol levels effectively, which leads to symptoms like fatigue, a lack of enthusiasm, insomnia, and a general lack of vitality. High levels of cortisol also partially shut down the immune system, causing those of us with high levels of stress to find ourselves also getting sick.
How can we reverse the effects of long-term stress and regain our energy levels? A combination of good nutrition, supplementation, and effective stress management techniques can quickly result in some significant changes. In the longer term, eliminating the causes of stress is crucial for a full recovery. Easier said than done, right? Some of you may be also asking, well if cortisol is released when I work out, is working out still an effective form of stress management? The answer is yes. There are ways we as athletes can resolve those acute spikes in cortisol after we workout, which I will talk about in next week’s blog.
So this Friday you have one job, get everything work related finished up, done, not to be thought about again until Monday. Then join a bunch of Ververs Saturday night at Ratio Beerworks on Larimer St at 7pm. Kick back, have a few drinks, and just let that stress and cortisol melt away.
**Verve is closed this weekend for a Level 1 Seminar. We will have a 7am WOD Saturday and Sunday morning only. CrossFit Lodo is kindly opening their doors this weekend to Verve members, to join their WOD at no charge. Here is the Lodo schedule:
Saturday September 5th
9am WOD at CrossFit LoDo @ RiNo, 3595 Wynkoop St
10:30am WOD at CrossFit LoDo, 2363 Blake St
Sunday September 6th
10:15am Yoga at CrossFit Lodo
11am WOD at CrossFit Lodo
12pm WOD at CrossFit LoDo
I will place a sign up sheet at the front of Verve with these classes listed, please sign up under the class you plan to attend so we can give them some numbers.
**Monday is Labor Day, Verve will have an abbreviated schedule, please see MBO.