The 10 Step Plan to Recover from Adrenal Fatigue

You may find a point with your bodybuilding that seems like no matter what you do you seem to stay running in place.

What makes this feeling of being stale in the gym even worse is that it's not always just limited to the gym. It can follow you outside of the gym and into your daily life as well!

I see a lot of people trying to diagnose their own problems lately because their Doctor's can't. A lot of issues that stem from an over training and recovery effect go far beyond just being tired and not recovered.

I'm talking about depression, questioning your life, overall not happy with life despite whether it appears to be going good or bad, and a general lack of motivation.

In the quest for more muscles and better fat-loss the most common solution to this problem is that we need to work harder to achieve out goals, despite feeling like total shit!

If we can just reach our goals then all of our problems will magically disappear right? Wrong!

You will not achieve your goals in this state of mental and physical burnout and you will only drive yourself deeper and deeper into a hole. There are some things that drastically need to change in order to continue moving forward.

For starters you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is when your body stops responding to training because your “fight or flight” system is basically burnt out.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: restlessness, terrible sleep, irritability, loss of focus and concentration, feeling depressed, trouble waking up during the day and trouble sleeping soundly at night.

Adrenal fatigue can be caused by training too much, too long, and too intensely for too long. Yes, there can come a point where intensity can hurt you and not help you!

For someone with a strong work ethic and a will to make changes in their body appearance, this can be their own worst enemy sometimes!

I'm sure I've dealt with adrenal fatigue several times before myself and I've exhibited all of the symptoms I've explained in this article (far too many times).

So I decided to do my own research on re-sensitizing my body and figure out what sort of changes I would need to make to my workouts and diet. What I came up with were things I haven't done in years!

10 Techniques That Will Re-Invigorate Your Body & Recover from Adrenal Fatigue


For starters, you want to forget about whether the diet is low carb, low fat, high carb, or high fat.

You really just want to eat “a balanced diet” that isn't too deficient in one area or the other.

Also, don't be afraid to combine carbs, healthy fats, and protein all in the same meal!

Here is a sample breakfast change you could make while trying to re-sensitize your system;

Old breakfast; 9 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 cup of oats

New breakfast; 4 whole eggs, 1 serving cottage cheese, 2 slices of whole wheat toast w/ natural peanut butter


Intermittent fasting only gives results for so long. It's a great way to get started for someone who is extremely overweight, but if you were never hungry at breakfast time before, then why would you jump on a diet where you trained your body to continue to skip this meal?

You need to do the exact opposite of intermittently fast, you need to bang down a well balanced breakfast! You need to eat after 8 pm, and for God's sake please eat more than twice a day!

Intermittent fasting has it's place as a diet method for some people, but I urge you to drop this sort of diet if you've been doing it for any length of time and not getting results anymore!


Your body gets used to the same old foods you throw into it day in and day out. My advice is to switch up some of the food sources.

If you'd been doing natural peanut butter as a healthy fat source then switch one of your meals to flaxseed oil. If you have been eating ground beef for most of you protein intake from food then switch to fish.


No more bullshitting around on social media or playing with your phone at night; try to have your ass in that bed by a decent time each night!

Even if you're not sleepy still get in the bed. You'd be surprised at how you may just get sleepy if you were to lay the fuck down already and actually try!

The extra hour of sleep may be just what you need to help restore adrenal glands and training effect.


I like to use 5mg of melatonin each night and twice a week I'll use phenibut to help me sleep more restful.

Phenibut can definitely help with a better night's sleep, and when combining this with melatonin it makes a perfect recipe for falling asleep faster!


If you've been going with high reps for awhile then switch to sets of 5 reps. If you've been working out 6 days a week for awhile then drop it to 3 times a week.

If your workouts lacked cardio then cut your weight workouts in half and add in cardio instead. Cardio may also help you sleep better… it definitely helps me!

You can also do de-load type workouts where you don't take your reps to failure for awhile. Remember how I talk about taking 2 steps back to take another step forward in bodybuilding? Well this is doing just that!

Another tactic you can do is to focus on a few main areas you want to improve on the most, and either severely limit other areas or don't train them at all for awhile.

For example, I have hammered the absolute shit out of my biceps for quite some time now.

What I may do in this situation is just train chest, legs, and back for a period of 6 weeks or so, and totally ignore my other muscle groups, or at the most just do them once a week for a simple set or two, just to stimulate them.

By ignoring every little accessory muscle and focusing on my larger muscles I'm going to do 2 things here:

  1. make the larger muscles better by still hitting them hard but allowing for full body recovery better by not doing as much of everything for awhile, and
  2. give the accessory muscles a break so when I do begin training them hard again they'll respond better.

A lot of what I'm talking about is much like the same way your body responds to cardio if you haven't done it in awhile, or training if you've taken a break, or diet food when all you've eaten is junk. It's just change that's all!


Another type of workout that you may benefit from while trying to restore a sensitivity to training again would be a total bodyweight workout 3x per week. If it cannot be done with a bodyweight lift then you're not going to do it.

This also helps improve joint issues that may have come from heavy lifting over the course of several months/years.

I have found exercises like push-ups, dips, bodyweight squats and pull-ups to give my joints a break while still being able to work out on a consistent basis.

This can also be beneficial to you if you have gotten away from bodyweight exercises for any length of time.


Training should be every other day and consist of;

Push-ups – 5 sets of as many reps per set as you can do

Dips – 5 sets of as many reps as you can do

Bodyweight squats – 1 set of 100 reps

Wide grip pull-ups – 5 sets of as many reps as you can do (alternate every other workout with chins instead of palms facing way to stimulate biceps too)


On your days off of weight training you can increase your cardio to 45 min – 1 hr. sessions.

The cardio will help with stamina and lung function and also help with flushing out muscle waste toxins and help to improve sleep and recovery.

Cardio will also help keep you lean by burning calories in a way that doesn't tax your nervous system like intense weight training can do.


You need to be honest with yourself if you've been having mediocre results in the gym. You want to look at everything as a whole first.

If you legitimately feel burnt out and in a fog during your day then I would try some of these tactics to help restore your sensitivity to weight training and possibly reverse adrenal fatigue that intense training can cause.

As mentioned before you may also want to consider changing up the diet to a more balanced and well rounded diet.

By combining some of the tactics I've mentioned in this article you can be on your way to making gains once again!

Remember, sometimes what we do today is what sets us up for more results tomorrow!

Recover hard!- JD


5 thoughts on “The 10 Step Plan to Recover from Adrenal Fatigue”

  1. This is good! In order for our brains to work properly when it’s taxed it needs good food. It’s interesting how you point out depression. You can be depressed and not even know it! For the longest time I thought I had chronic fatigue. I had zero motivation, I was so tired it was extremely difficult to cook and clean, let alone manage my jewelry business. I pretty much was in bed while my little kids played. My hubby picked up the slack. He was so patient! I went to the doc and she said some hormones in my brain were depleted. This new awareness woke me up for sure! I realized I needed to take better care of myself.

  2. This all makes perfect sense and I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks now. Maybe not your plan, but a lot of the stuff you outline above I implemented into my life. As a medical student and mediocre physique model I have ran myself into the ground. Nothing but clean food 24/7, late nights of studies with coffee, 5 hours of sleep, work 12 hour shifts on weekends and train. My body was feeling worse and worse. For awhile I just tried eating 3500kcals a day to see if that would help so I could stay energetic. However all it did was throw my endocrine system for a whirl due to all the fluctuating insulin. What finally helped was 2 weeks off the gym all together, eat a “normal diet” and sleep every chance I got. After 2 weeks I was able to break back into light workouts and after 4 weeks I was Crushing PRs and training again.

    Keep preaching brother

  3. Hi John,

    Just a question. I’ve been working out 3-4 times a week and while I’m getting good results, I always seem to feel like shit the day after? I work out from around 5-5:30 pm for 50 minutes. I do work from 8:30 to 4:30 pm, eating breakfast around 7:30 am, lunch at 1:30 pm and dinner around 6:30pm-7pm. My job is very busy and I get little time to snack, I eat around 2300 calories. Experiencing all of the symptoms mentioned above, could my adrenal fatigue be due to lack of calories? How many calories should I aim for to avoid feeling shit the next day? I do sleep fairly poorly after exercise as well.


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