Fit Tip: Overcoming Workout Burnout

Posted On Mar 6, 2019 By Amy Kiser Schemper

A fit woman in a gym sitting on a bench looking tired.

In my last post, New Year Renewal, I encouraged you to think of the New Year as a time of renewal, rather than a time to make resolutions. Despite that, I’m sure many of you made resolutions (and that’s okay!) Coming into February, how are you feeling now? I’ve seen many articles floating around stating how quickly resolutions fail, and many by as early as January 12th, often dubbed “Quitter’s Day.”

Why are we so prone to using words like “fail” or “quit” when it comes to fitness? Fitness is a lifelong journey, so there will be ups and downs, times when we are more active, and times when it’s tougher to get moving. Life happens, and motivation comes and goes. The key is how we react. In this season of #goals, the harder/faster/longer mentality tends to prevail, and we often start off strong, but can end up experiencing workout burnout.

It happens; usually because we’ve gone too hard, too fast or too often, or because we aren’t allowing ourselves any flexibility within our original goals and plans. Or maybe it’s because we are just plain tired. Here are a few tips to help overcome or prevent workout burnout.

Mix it up. Variety is key when it comes to working out, not just for our bodies but for our brains. Often when we make a big financial commitment, such as a recurring gym membership or that 20 pack of classes, we feel we must stick to the original plan. Change it up by getting outside or trying a workout at home.

Take a break! Yep, I said it! The drive and excitement we feel in January to work hard is great, but can often lead to fatigue and overtraining. Listen to your body and take days off when needed. Or add a day or yoga or meditation over that regular HIIT class.

Change your perspective. In January, as talk of making self-care dominates our news feeds, our plans and goals tend to revolve around ourselves. As we approach Valentine’s Day, remind yourself how your fitness benefits those you love. Having more energy to keep up with the kids, relieving stress, and being healthier for the long term are all ways exercise makes you a better parent, spouse, and friend.

Remember, less is more. Working multiple muscle groups at once with compound movements is a great way to maximize time and efficiency, and can make workouts feel more manageable. Check out the 5-minute dumbbell workout below for a quick circuit of compound movements.

The bottom line: it’s about consistency not intensity, quality over quantity. Fitness is just as much of a mental game as it is physical, and keeping your brain and body in check is key to long term health!

5 Minute Total Body Dumbbell Workout:

  1. Goblet squat, press and overhead tricep extension.
  2. Deadlift, wide row and bicep curl.
  3. Reverse lunge, twist and press.
  4. Close grip press, bridge and knee crunch.
  5. Popup squat and bicep curl.

Do each move for 1 minute each. Repeat for a longer workout.


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A fit man looking tired sitting on the floor.