Life After Lockdown – Episode 2 / Hormone Tests and Covid 19
Having got off to a great start with my life after lockdown series from both a training and supplement point of view, I then proceeded to have a couple of issues derail me to some extent. I hurt my lower back doing some lifting, and then once I had started to recover from that, I came down ill. Long story short, I tested positive for Covid-19 and had to not only recover from it, I then had to completely self-isolate for the recommended duration afterwards. They do say these sorts of things come in three’s so now I am making sure no black cat crosses my path whilst I am out ha ha!! So, apart from some weight loss from being ill, I have not made the sorts of physical gains I had hoped for by this point. However, during this time I did receive the results back from my hormone tests, get a load of information on nutrition and supplements from the always brilliant Matt Lovell at Aminomatt.com and liaise with LQuinn training about what the initial plan of training is looking like until some normality returns to contact sports. So, a definite period of time to reflect and plan!!
There are a number of reasons why Matt suggested hormone tests as a useful addition to the blood works already discussed in the last post. Firstly, I had told him that I had been suffering from unnatural levels of fatigue whilst training in hard sessions. When I say unnatural, I mean that as someone who had been training all their life, I knew that something had been off recently with regards to how I felt mid session in anything but the mildest of training. As a result he wanted to test me for my levels of testosterone. Anyone who has low levels in this area will no doubt have issues with a number of different things, including that of endurance/fatigue.
Secondly, he wanted to check my levels of cortisol, melatonin and DHEA to ensure these were all functioning properly. The test he had me use was a home kit that essentially made me spit into plastic tubes at four different points in the day over a period of 12 hours. Apparently saliva is a much better way to test hormones as it is easier to see more exact amounts in this way. Also, it is more convenient for sometime to spit into a tube 4 times a day than it is to go for 4 different blood tests over the same timeframe.
Main Takeaways from Hormone Tests (Matt Lovell)
Stuart was stressed at the time of these hormone tests or generally.
He can mount a good stress response indicating the adrenals are functioning well.
He is producing quite a bit of melatonin.
T levels are mid-range so no issues there.
DHEA levels are decent as well so no issues there.
So any fatigue isn’t related to under functioning of his endocrine system.
Basically good news, but using the adaptogens, destressing, relaxation, breathing etc are all going to be useful to him for recovery and health.
Supplements (Matt Lovell)
In terms of the supplement solutions provided for Stuart;
Stuart was put on fish oils due to his omega 3/6 ratio being out of balance on a veggie / vegan diet.
I started him on Hema-plex (a very good iron supporting blend), which will have addressed his low ferritin (stored iron). This could have been contributing to the air fatigue and oxygen debt type feeling he was getting in training sessions.
Multi vitamin was there to support general nutrient and trace mineral deficit. Including B12, etc. Also to guard against any deficiencies not tested for.
Adaptacat provided for overall stress system support given his aforementioned symptom patterns https://aminoman.com/products/adaptacat-adaptogenic-herbs-powder?_pos=2&_sid=8573f7941&_ss=r
Small Steps make Large Gains
Matt always talks about making small changes and taking even the most minuscule of steps in order to progress forward and gain momentum towards achieving any specific goals. The 80/20 rule is something you may well have come across before. Make sure you check out this blog post from Matt on his site, which discusses this in-depth from the point of view of nutrition and health “The 20% change which gives you 80% benefit“. The more I understand where I am at both physically and mentally (the blood works, hormone tests, questionnaires, training markers ie One rep max, one mile run etc), the easier I will find it to formulate a better training plan, track it going forward and make any necessary small changes on the fly going forward.
Training Plan (LQuinn)
Even though I have had some obstacles to overcome since starting this series, I wanted to keep track of my body measurements. No one’s training is plain sailing so adapting around injuries etc is an important aspect of moving forward. As a coach myself, I know this all too well!!
Weight – 86kg
Body Fat est 24%
Hip / Waist – 88cm / 90cm
Arm – 35.8cm
Leg – 58cm
Chest – 107cm
I am now completely recovered from Covid-19 so am looking to get some consistent training time back under my belt. Apart from this, everything remains pretty similar to the last post because of the aforementioned period of time being derailed from doing anything. I am going to track data properly using the bracelet I have now received from Whoop and continue training mixing between Strength work with LQuinn and solo Martial Arts sessions ie bag work/conditioning etc on my own until the local restrictions lift and I can get back to normal group/one-to-one style drilling/sparring.
I have now had the results and feedback from both my blood works and hormone tests. I have also now got a template for vegetarian/vegan nutrition from Matt Lovell, which I will be following on the dietary front re Macros etc (which I will go over more in-depth on the next post). On top of that I will be sticking to utilising all the supplements still as listed below.
He also sent me
I also use CBD Coconut oil daily and Vegan Protein after training from Raised Spirit.
I originally set out on this case study to try and get back to a very subjective idea of feeling better physically and mentally. However, I know that is neither measurable nor an actual target. As such, over the course of this case study, I am looking to build lean muscle mass, lower my body fat percentage, correct any nutritional deficiencies I have, learn more about ongoing nutrition, improve my martial arts performance, improve my 5k run time and develop different methods to improve ongoing mental health.
Alongside Matt Lovell I will be learning about how nutrition and lifestyle can affect performance within any sporting or general environment. He will be monitoring both my progress and well-being throughout in order to continue guiding me on my path to developing elite performance.
I will be working with Lewis Quinn on my strength training, muscle mass/body fat goals and ORM targets.
I will be working with Panicos Yusuf and Steve Campbell on my Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu respectively both one-to-one and in group format (as and when allowed).
I will be using Whoop to track some of the key analytics I will be recording throughout.
I will be using supplements supplied by Matt for my specific deficiencies and to improve any aspects he feels need work. I will also be using supplements from Raised Spirit as part of my general well-being and recovery.
I will be visiting or speaking to relevant experts and coaches about different methods going forward as well.
I will be posting regularly about what I have been doing, any results I have and any new things I have learned or tried on this journey. On the next one I will write up my some of my specific training sessions, what I am doing in solo training and what nutritional changes Matt has had me implement because of my vegetarian diet. If you have any questions about anything I have written then please don’t hesitate to ask by getting in touch via my email – email@example.com
For further information on Matt Lovell or Amino Man, please check out his site direct at www.aminoman.com
For further information on LQuinn Training, please check out his site direct at www.lquinn-training.co.uk
For further information on Panicos Yusuf or All Powers Gym, please check out his site direct at www.allpowersgym.co.uk
For further information on Steven Campbell or Stealth BJJ, please check out his site direct at www.stealthbjj.com
For further information on Raised Spirit, please check out their site at www.raisedspirit.com
For further information on Whoop, please check out their site at www.whoop.com
If you have not read the first post from this series than you do so by clicking here “Life after Lockdown – Case Study Series on my next 6 months training in Martial Arts“.