Originally Posted by 5kgLifter
Does cortisol impact after a certain length of time, no idea really; we see people that workout for a good number of hours and still make great progress and they can't all be the exception to the rule about the effects of cortisol. Do the length of breaks make a substantial difference as to how and when cortisol actually kicks in? Again, no idea, and I doubt there are any studies which have taken all these variables into account anyway.
Cortisol is a healthy part of our bodies reaction to stressors. It actually has some positive benefits and played a role on our survival as a species. When cavemen were running around sometimes they would get chased by an animal that wanted to eat them. They'd get stressed out then 5 minutes later they'd either be dead or out of danger and the stress response would go away. It's all a part of the flight or fight response.
The issue is that in our society people are stressed out either a little or a lot almost all the time. There are some people who have cortisol in their systems every second, and it destroys them. People don't know how to relax anymore. They go to a stressful job, then get time off for the holidays during which they are as stressed as ever, then they get a weeks vacation where they stress the whole time because they want to take advantage of the little time off they get.
It's a never ending cycle.
If someone is exposed to cortisol only a few times a week while still getting good, restful sleep, then it basically won't effect them. If we learn coping skills and don't stretch ourselves thin with our daily schedule then cortisol won't be a problem at all.
That being said
, as lifters we want to maximize everything that can help us and minimize things that can hurt us. Testosterone is very good, and cortisol really doesn't help us ith our specific lifting goals. The studies that have been done show that test is maxed out between 45-60 minutes into a lifting session.
In the end, you have to weigh the importance of everything. Maxing out test and minimizing cortisol are good things, but if you worry too much about doing those things then not only will you lose the benefits, you may actually hurt yourself.
People who train the way they want to train and get stronger tend to be happy people. They are also confident in themselves, which makes them less stressed out. The importance of these things cannot be downplayed, and don't we all want to be happier people? If someone gets a stress release from being in the gym, then spending 3 hours in there may actually leave them less stressed and more relaxed in the long run. It also may leave them MORE stressed if they feel like they have to squeeze everything within an hour and are worried about getting everything done.
. . .Just some things to think about. . .