Low Cortisol & Program for Women & Overtraining

Hey crew, I am a 23 year old female and have been lifting for about 3-4 years now. I’m 137lbs 5’ 4” with somewhere between 17-20% body fat.

Just a quick history—I have had a variety of hormone issues, and thyroid imbalances that are finally now in check but looking to add more muscle.

But recently I had my cortisol come back rock bottom low, I think from overtraining but love hypertrophy .

Once I got on HRT I started actually making gains in doing higher volume work and my body responded really well. But I think I over did it. I followed “Most Powerful Program Ever” for about 12 weeks, did some random stuff in between and started it again. But over the past few weeks I’ve feel horrible. The gym is a drag which isn’t normal for me.

Lots of sessions to failure lots of volume for lots of weeks.

I enjoy being at the gym, and my primary goals are 1. Getting healthy 2. Adding size (legs + shoulders primarily) 3. Then adding strength.

I’m wondering what the ideal workout formula be to not do too much volume but just enough for growth. Possibly a 5x5 heavy compound and 2-3 isolation exercises after? Should I skip advanced methods and stick to maybe 4 days instead of 5?

In regards to nutrition—to not put on too much fat or cause too much other stress would you advise moderate carb and maintenance calories?

What do you think @Christian_Thibaudeau

Have you done any testing to verify that your cortisol is within baseline if you’re not overtrained?


Yes, recent morning m fasted testing was at 10 ug/dL

Ight well I typed out a near-500 word response and got fuck all so I’m out.

Good luck.

Sorry I didn’t respond Andrew, what you said was super helpful. Took notes on it and started implementing.

Thanks for the tips! Seriously!