Strength & Conditioning: Eva Twardokens – Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Cycle, Week 1, Day 1

This program is meant for the person who is not efficiently secreting cortisol and feels tired much of the time. It combines strength, sprints, walking, gymnastics, and a sport of your choice.

EDITOR’S NOTE: These workouts are designed by Eva Twardokens. Eva is a two-time Olympian in Alpine Skiing (Albertville and Lillehammer) and a twelve-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team. She also is a masters weightlifting champion. As a sought-after coach and consultant, she offers seminars, functional nutrition testing, and coaching to sustain training and optimize health. Learn more about Eva and her work at her website, Eva T. Strength and Conditioning.

The program is meant for the person who is not efficiently secreting cortisol and feels tired and flat much of the time. This person is also destroyed by hard workouts – initially feeling great, but hitting rock bottom a few hours afterwards. The athlete will also have a lot of soreness and unexplained aches and pains that no amount of rolling or mobility will fix. The significant reduction in cortisol secretion affects the body’s ability to reduce inflammation, and so recovery from workouts becomes difficult.

To help you recover from fatigue and get your cortisol levels back to normal, the program incorporates five elements:

  • Strength
  • Sprints
  • Walking
  • Gymnastics
  • Sport Day

The workouts will be posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. To learn more about the programming, you can read my article here. Enjoy the workouts and good luck in regaining your health and energy!

Week 1, Day 1

Warm up:

Your choice of run, row, or jump rope for 5 minutes. Then:

3 Rounds:

  • Floor back extension x10
  • Side planks x10 seconds each side

This should be your minimum. Add other warm up movements as needed. Do not overstretch your hamstrings on back squat, deadlift ,or Olympic weightlifting days. Please record your numbers.


This first week is all about assessment. Get these numbers in solidly and leave some room in the tank.

1. Back squat: work up to 3 sets of 3 reps. It might take about 4 – 5 jumps to get there.

Example: 3x bar, 95, 135, 155, 185, 185, 185. Done. Your final 3 sets are “work sets.” Take a 3 – 5 minute break between sets.

2. Press: work up to a set of 3×3.

Keep the glutes tight and finish overhead. Same protocol as the squat, although you may need to make smaller jumps. You might take 5 – 6 sets on the warm up.

3. 1 max set of strict pull ups, supine grip (palms facing you).

Cool down:

Your choice. I recommend a hip flexor and a shoulder/trap stretch as a minimum.