TOO TIRED TO WORKOUT?
Over the last few articles I’ve covered some of the often-quoted issues and excuses for not fulfilling your potential in your search for a healthier, fitter version of yourself.
Today I want to explore the scenario of being “too tired to workout”
This isn’t an ‘excuse’ per say. This is something to be very mindful of. If you haven’t slept well or stress of the day has gotten the better of you and you are lethargic when you hit the gym, often pushing through regardless is the worst thing you can do.
I’m not saying you should do nothing, but just because you did 5 sets of 8 with 100kg on the bar last time, doesn’t mean you should be looking to match or beat that this time.
As a Personal Trainer, it is generally accepted that one of my responsibilities would be to push clients to their limit each time. However, that is not the case and trainers who follow that mantra for every session could be forcing their clients to regress.
Remember, your body reacts, grows or develops when you recover not when working out.
Therefore, you should always be looking to do the most work that you can optimally recover from. If you are in a depleted or fatigued state, your ability to recover is compromised, so you cannot put as much stress on your system and expect to develop. Not only that, but your form is likely to suffer making you more susceptible to injuries.
So, if I’m training a client, often my role is to rein them in and protect them from their own enthusiasm.
If their fatigue levels are particularly bad, I’ll look to change the workout entirely and do more of an activation workout to try and stimulate their CNS. Frequently this is enough to spark their intensity to a level allowing a phenomenal training session. Other times it will energize them enough to get through the rest of the day and promote a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, generates a much better intensity for the next session.
However, being too tired is never an excuse to do nothing.
You can always do some kind of workout. As I said above, it can often lead to a great training session or, at the very least, stimulate a better workout next time.
You should remember that improvement is not about individual workouts. As I stated in the article Lose Weight Fast – Playing The Long Game you should be looking for the cumulative effect of everything you do. So even if a day is not optimal, it is still a point on your development and should be considered as part of your overall progress rather than a day off.
So, next time you think you are too tired to train, just remember, you made a commitment, you made an appointment with yourself (you should have this appointment in your diary, it is as important as any other meeting). Remember that goal you set yourself, remember why you set it, re-connect with the emotion then go get started.
Listen to your body as you go.
Use your emotional connection with your result to push you to work as hard as you can, but if your focus is poor or you form is suffering, change up what you are doing. Look to use some plyometric training, some explosive work or, at the very least, go for a jog and get some oxygen flowing through your lungs. Then re-assess.
Do you feel more focused now?
If so, ramp up the level. If not, then you can go home, prep something healthy and nutritious to eat and ensure a good night’s sleep ready to give your all the next day.
If, however, you have the same issue several days in a row, then you have a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.
Start keeping a training log along with your food diary. See if there is any correlation between eating habits and fatigue. Make a note of how much sleep you are getting each night. Make a note of how often you are working late (this goes back to the too much work excuse and in particular, note each time you have a ‘too tired’ day.
Remember, your health is everything. Without it, your work will suffer, your home life will suffer, your mental health will deteriorate, your relationships will suffer and you increase your risk of permanent issues.
I’ll say it again, you cannot buy your health back. Your health and well-being should be your priority not a luxury.
So, if you need to put a stop to overtime for a few weeks, stop agreeing to nights out or maybe even stop yourself sitting up too late with the TV, Xbox or Online Poker, make a concerted effort to do so. Spend your time ensuring you are preparing healthy meals, training well and winding down for a good night’s sleep.
Make YOU your priority for a while.
Two or Three weeks should be all you need.
You may think you can’t afford the time, but really, you can’t afford NOT to give yourself the time.
Remember, training is a stress on the body that, through recovery, you respond and improve from. But if you fill your life with other stresses, you never recover and you are simply annihilating your nervous system.
You can train all you like, but your physique will never improve and you will not be able to undo the stresses of the day.
Stop living for other people and take some time for yourself.
The world won’t stop just because you have taken a step back and long term, every aspect of your life will benefit.
So, with another common excuse out of the window, hopefully you are running out and have taken the time to reflect on how they are affecting your progress. But there are many more extremely common restrictions to cover and we’ll get to a very big one next time around, that being the subject of carrying an injury.
In the meantime, find a way to increase your vitality and energy levels, to increase your training focus, which will improve your recovery, health and vitality, which will increase your energy levels. And the spiral continues. Re-affirm that commitment to change and go make some improvements starting today.
And as ever, I encourage you to leave your thoughts or associated problems or excuses below. Or perhaps your own views on how to deal with them.
The more excuses we can leave behind the more we all benefit and I very much appreciate the feedback.
If you missed the last article in this series, it was on the subject of exercise and nutrition choices you know you should do, but simply don’t like
You can check it out by clicking HERE
And if you want to jump on to the next article – the topic is dealing with an injury and whether you should workout or is it just another excuse?
Too Tired to Workout
Excuse by Mark Tiffney
Where do you stand?
If you feel too tired, do you tend to use that as a reason to skip your workout altogether or are you someone who pushes through to hit the numbers regardless?
How has it been working for you?
Let me know in the comments below.
I’ve been struggling with fatigue for the last few months – hopefully some of the points here will help me to try get over it!!
Fingers crossed Martyn – hope you find them useful. Let me know.