I am hearing more and more lately from people about how their workouts are literally killing them and they are saying it like it is a good thing. I am all for high intensity workouts and training sessions, but what people have to realize is that they come with an expense. As training intensity continually increases, it has other effects on the nervous and hormonal systems. Yes, doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Crossfit training can be a good thing and cause increases in testosterone levels, it can also have some detrimental ones as well. If intensity levels are too high and done too often, they can also lead to unhealthy increases in cortisol. Chronically increased cortisol levels can have very detrimental effects on the body over the long run.

Here are some symptoms of increased cortisol levels:

  • Restless Sleep
  • Sugar cravings
  • Increased body fat
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Decreased Bone Density
  • Thyroid issues
  • Lethargy
  • Chronic Injury from Training Sessions


If you are training extremely hard and feeling any of the above symptoms, it is important to re-evaluate your training protocol. It is also very important that if you are partaking in high intensity training that you are eating enough carbohydrates. Low Carbing it plus high intensity exercise are a recipe for disaster. I have been a personal trainer for well over a decade and these symptoms seem to be coming through my doors more often. Since we specialize in corrective exercise they are usually asking us to help fix them. The sad part is many of these people coming to me were working at a Training facility or a personal trainer that continually felt it was their job to “destroy” them. As owner of Evolution Fitness Tucson, myself and my personal trainers love to train people hard and challenge the heck out of them, but always leaving something in the tank in your training sessions and not pushing to failure are 2 very important aspects of a strong training program.