Is lifting killing my sex drive?

For starters, I've been lifting seriously for several years, though I haven't been able to stay consistent that entire time because external life things happen. Lately I've been running PHUL, and I don't really think I'm at the point where I can't make more progress, but my workouts have been flooring me, and my dick isn't working as well as it used to.
This has happened before when running simple programs like Stronglifts 5X5, but I attributed the problem to the fact that I was criminally underweight and knew I should eat more, I basically just had an eating disorder. I've also gone through intense military training that's put me under much more stress with far less sleep, and I never had sex drive issues as a result of it.
These days, I eat enough, I get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, and I'm still running into libido issues. It seems to be unique to heavy strength training. I really don't want to stop lifting or have to run a program with less volume though, so I'm trying to troubleshoot what exactly is going on. I'm only 24, so I can't really attribute it to just declining testosterone levels with age either.
What should I do? What could it be?

  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    eat even more and maybe go a little bit lighter if that doesnt work
    are you eating enough red meat? greens? do you get enough zinc or magnesium? also hope youre married to be worrying about sex

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    yeah im not reading that

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >What should I do? What could it be?
    Its likely an training tolerance thing. Specifically poor tolerance to higher intensities. Meaning you are getting fucked up by lifting to failure/or to close to failure to much of the time. The solution to this would be to decrease the RPE you are lifting at, and then be more conservative with high RPE's/lifting to failure, and then expose your self to it in small amounts and let your body get used to it. The body adapts to these things and learn to handle it. There could also be that you are not taking deloads ever, it could be you have zero fatigue management and you don't actually know what you are doing. Its not advised to lift to failure/max out at all times.

    So to further troubleshoot, how long have you been training now on PHUL? Have you taken any deload/low stress weeks? What was your program like before you went on PHUL? How often do you max out and lift to failure? How close to failure do you go in general?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I've been hitting failure quite a bit. I've only run PHUL for a three-month cycle once before this and deloaded for two weeks, but it's possible I might just be at the point where I can't progress like I used to. Problem is I'm coming off a knee injury, so my squat has a lot of catching up to do.
      I've been kicking around the idea of 5/3/1 BBB, but I truthfully don't know many good programs.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >I've been hitting failure quite a bit.
        Dont do this. Specially on the bigger lifts like squat deadlifts and to some degree bench and ohp. Keep more reps in reserve on those.

        >and deloaded for two weeks
        This is more then what is necessary most of the time.

        > but it's possible I might just be at the point where I can't progress like I used to.
        I think the problem is you dont have any periodization, you dont have any auto regulation, you just go in lift to hard. This is often not sustainable ,at least for the people that tend to overdo it.

        Its probably better if you get on a program that follows some autoregulation, have you lifting at lower intensities and have some periodization so you learn to hold back and not max out, but also learn to pace your self in the short term and the long term, and lifting at lower intensities allow you to build tolerance to training in general. A programm like 531 could be a good idea or a step in the right direction, although that program isnt considered to be that good anymore by many but idk, another one is barbell medicine templates, you could try out their beginner template starting on phase 2 of it. I think doing that would learn you some good skills and mindset and build your training tolerance up. It looks like you dont quite got the fundamentals down yet and you are a little bit all over the place.

        If you only trained for 3 months then the program you are doing is not a good one for you because newbies have low training tolerance and PHUL is to much for you.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          also make sure you are eating enough and especially carbs are important too.

          I'm by no means a beginner when it comes to lifting; I was a competitive powerlifter in college, lifted hard among other types of training to train for a Special Warfare career field, did that training for about a year (I lost some strength because it was largely calisthenics, running and rucking) and have been lifting again since I washed out of it. I ran Greyskull for a few months to build back old strength, then did a 3-month cycle of PHUL. I think my two problems are:
          1. I'm trying to train with more volume for more muscle, and historically I haven't dealt with volume well, and
          2. I go balls out every single time I'm in the gym. I don't really know how to do anything else, it just feels like I'm not doing enough if I don't. That's how it was in SpecWar, too.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            ok i see.

            >1. I'm trying to train with more volume for more muscle, and historically I haven't dealt with volume well
            This in it self even if you where to do it on lower/appropriate intensities could lead to the problems as you are not used to high volume. Especially when you combine that with 2. its no wonder you are running in to troubles. In this case a percentage based training program like 531 might be a very good idea as you follow percentages and not max out. But the key to getting accustomed to higher training volumes is gradually building up to it over time. Months, YEARS. A lot of people train to light and need to learn to train harder, a lot of people train to hard and need to learn to train lighter.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous
  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    also make sure you are eating enough and especially carbs are important too.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    How often porn + jerk?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I truthfully watch porn like once every month or so. I'm against it, but sometimes I just say fuck it and regret it later. I jerk off without porn when I'm horny, I try not to be dogmatic about it.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Hmm sounds like low t or psychological issues. Get horomones + brain checked out bud

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        I watch porn every other day. The issue is do you fap or not? I only cum in pussy, mouth, or ass and lifting goes great.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Your LARP contributes nothing.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Facts are facts. Masturbation lowers test. Sex raises it. your whiney ad hominem does even less than nothing.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Lifting SHOULD be increasing your sex drive. Couple of potential problems...

    1. Overtraining, doing lots of junk volume -- you shouldn't be doing 20 sets, 6 days a week

    2. Undereating, if you're maintaining a super lean physique or have been in a deficit for an excessive period of time. Some guys just aren't going to perform their best cognitively, sexually, etc. at 10-12%. I'm one of them, so I stay in the 14-17% range.

    3. Terrible diet. Honestly, being deficient in a little thing here or there isn't the end of the world & if you're not eating like a moron, you should be okay. Obviously make sure that you're Vitamin D level is good.

    4. Shit sleep. Are you undersleeping? Obvious problem. Do you sleep more than 7 hours & still wake up feeling terrible? Lots of explanations & potential solutions here, but good sleep is paramount for gym & sexual performance.

    If none of those things apply to ya, you should seriously see a doctor.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I may be overtraining, but I know for a fact my sleep isn't sufficient. Never has been. I have no idea what the problem is, but I've always had trouble in that department.
      For example, in one course I went through, we were required to wear Oura rings at night, and we'd compare stats the next day before strength sessions, and despite getting a similar amount of sleep to my peers, I'd only get about 15 minutes of REM sleep max. Usually it was 0-5. Ironically, I think this is why I deal with sleep deprivation so well.

      ok i see.

      >1. I'm trying to train with more volume for more muscle, and historically I haven't dealt with volume well
      This in it self even if you where to do it on lower/appropriate intensities could lead to the problems as you are not used to high volume. Especially when you combine that with 2. its no wonder you are running in to troubles. In this case a percentage based training program like 531 might be a very good idea as you follow percentages and not max out. But the key to getting accustomed to higher training volumes is gradually building up to it over time. Months, YEARS. A lot of people train to light and need to learn to train harder, a lot of people train to hard and need to learn to train lighter.

      Sounds like the way to go then. Dubs also check out.

      It can certainly tired you out and burn you out. Anons are probably going to hop into this thread spouting some shit about Test levels, but frankly this entire board puts way too much emphasis on Test, especially when it comes to sex drive, where there are countless other neurotransmitters and hormones that can blunt or sharpen it--- dopamine, serotonin, prolactin, etc. I bring it up because while exercise may boost Test levels, that can have zero effect on your sex drive.

      You're not alone in finding that exercise can make sex more difficult afterward, and that is in part because exercise causes a prolactinergic / opioidergic response. You should try dialing back your intensity, maybe take a de-load week, or even a week off. You should be deloading regularly no matter what... give it a shot and see if your sex drive rebounds

      I was surprised by just how good my sex drive was when I deloaded about a month ago. I wound up sleeping with a barista on a whim, just because I had the time to hang at a coffee shop since I wasn't in the gym for two hours every night.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        If it's within your means, definitely try to get a sleep study done. Beyond the gym & sex, a life of bad sleep will cut your life 5-15 years short.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    It can certainly tired you out and burn you out. Anons are probably going to hop into this thread spouting some shit about Test levels, but frankly this entire board puts way too much emphasis on Test, especially when it comes to sex drive, where there are countless other neurotransmitters and hormones that can blunt or sharpen it--- dopamine, serotonin, prolactin, etc. I bring it up because while exercise may boost Test levels, that can have zero effect on your sex drive.

    You're not alone in finding that exercise can make sex more difficult afterward, and that is in part because exercise causes a prolactinergic / opioidergic response. You should try dialing back your intensity, maybe take a de-load week, or even a week off. You should be deloading regularly no matter what... give it a shot and see if your sex drive rebounds

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