LSD: The Athlete Addiction

For athletes that engage in prolonged, repetitive activity (cyclists, swimmers), LSD is great. Of course, not LSD the drug, but the concept of LSD. LSD in the world of performance training stands for Long Slow Distance. Long slow distance can mean any kind of activity that requires heavily taxes your oxidative energy system and lasts for a prolonged period (2+ minutes). By taxing your oxidative energy system for a prolonged period, several physiological adaptations occur, some good and some bad.

For athletes whose sport DOESN’T require prolonged repetitive activity, doing LSD almost guarantees an injury. The hormone in the body to blame for this potential catastrophe is Cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is the sworn enemy of testosterone. By having elevated Corstiol levels, testosterone levels are blunted, which means there will be limited anabolic adaptation. Have you ever seen a distance runner with more than 150lbs of lean mass? If you have, they probably aren’t running very fast times.

The take home message is this: If you’re an athlete that needs to be explosive and strong, you need testosterone to help repair damaged tissue and create an environment suitable for anabolic adaptation. This is a big reason why athletes complain about not getting stronger and more explosive. The problem doesn’t necessarily lie in the training or recovery program put together by the coach, but rather the LSD based activity being done when nobody is looking…