Once your body becomes familiar with a training regimen the cortisol response is lessened.
A popular statement often made by the mainstream fitness media is You shouldn’t train over an hour because cortisol levels will be so high you will lose muscle, strength and performance will suffer. Let’s put that myth to sleep and never have to discuss it again. Many world-class athletes train multiple times per day in 2-3 hour blocks. My current training regimen consists of multiple sessions per day, 5-7 days per week (drug free). I am in the best condition of my life. I have had a few of the most conducive training sessions of my life after 37-hour fasts (more than likely my cortisol levels were relatively high). It would be very hard for athletes to fit in appropriate amounts of skill and conditioning work if they were limited to one-hour training blocks.
I'm proud to say that I have been telling people this was bull for years now!
Being max strength inclined it is especially frustrating. You can't race through strength work.
There was a blog post by a woman, Angie I think her name is, about fat loss and HIIT training. She was making the point that many experts are getting a bit precious (her word) HIIT versus low intensity and acting like you will just explode into a blob of fat if you ever do steady state, etc, and so on.
Here: http://blubberbegone.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/extending-your-intervals-with-steady-state/ (good blog chronical)
She was talking about Lou Schuller's Rules of Lifting and the idea of exending you interval training with a bit of steady state at the end. And she was right…many people will start shouting CORTISOL and all of that so I'm glad you posted this as I was just thinking about it.
Honestly I think many people get caught up in physiological details they don't understand and lose sight of PERFORMANCE. People are being led to start with the details before they get the big picture. I remember a couple years back Eric Cressey saying bascially you had to work out at a certain frequency because of "the timeline of proten synthesis". No doubt that came from John Berardi or some such. This kind of thing give rise to "you miss a workout and the sky falls" and people think that they can somehow optimize training by considering cortisol and protein synthesis? What about the results or lack thereof? A bit easier to put your finger on I think.
She talked about a post by Mike Boyle on Berardi (don't choke, Coach) where he imagined himself to be a fat loss expert because he had read Cosgrove Afterburn and Ballantyine Turbulence…
That got me going because the FIRST thing that a fat loss expert will mention is DIET. If they mention training before diet…they ain't no fat loss expert. I think the world of Mike Boyle but Boyle is not a fat loss expert.
I respond that many of these experts are getting a little precious about fat loss training in general. You can't work off a bad diet. So, in line with all of that..are you gong to post the next chapter?