8 Reasons You Feel Tired in Your Workouts
You might have noticed mental signs, like persistent thoughts of, "I can't do this," or lacking the general willpower to push yourself.
You also might be recognizing physical signs like sloppy form, slow movement or poor body language.
If you're feeling tired in workouts, don't worry, there's probably an easy fix, but you first need to identify the reason why. Here's a list of eight common culprits for feeling lethargic on gym day.
Training Intensity1 of 9
If you're going nuts every time you train, there's a good chance your body will stop performing as well over time.
Manage your training intensity by setting clear and realistic deadlines for your fitness goals. Instead of expecting to reach that ideal mile time as soon as possible, set an official date a few months down the road and slowly work your way there. Your body will be stronger for it.
Rest2 of 9
Are you on a regular sleeping pattern of eight hours or more a night? Could you do a better job of ensuring your recovery after a long day at the gym?
Rest is an essential part of making improvements and gaining strength, and without it, your workouts will feel like slow, monotonous torture sessions. To go hard, you have to be firing on all cylinders, and that means giving your body adequate time to recover.
Fuel3 of 9
Are you eating enough nutrient-dense food? If you're not including adequate protein, carbs and fat in your diet, you will have a hard time maintaining your energy levels.
A good rule of thumb: make sure to have a small, carb-heavy snack before your workout and finish with a protein-heavy snack post-workout. You'll need to experiment with what specifically works for you, but this basic formula will give you the energy to perform while supplying the nutrients you need for adequate recovery.
Hydration4 of 9
It may seem simple, but adequately hydrating before and even during workouts can have a noticeable effect on your energy levels. If you find yourself needing to down a full bottle of water immediately following a workout, you weren't hydrating properly.
Life Balance5 of 9
If life outside your fitness routine isn't in the best shape, it can creep into your time at the gym. For example, if you have an overly booked schedule, working out can feel less like a release and more like a chore.
Look at your overall schedule for any imbalances. Are you working late most nights or booked solid with social activities all week? See where you can decline a social invitation so that working out can be more enjoyable. Remember, staying active isn't just about being fit—it's an important way to prioritize your self-care.
Emotional Energy6 of 9
Emotional energy has a direct effect on your physical energy. So, if you feel emotionally exhausted, and your tank is running on empty, you won't be able to give your best effort during workouts.
Evaluate the most emotionally draining areas of your life and consider making some changes to free up that emotional space.
Weather Changes7 of 9
Believe it or not, even something as uncontrollable as the weather can have a direct effect on your workout.
If you run outside, extreme summertime heat will drastically reduce your pace and make you feel drained by the time you clock your first mile. Wintertime can have a similar effect. As the days grow shorter, darker and colder, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the energy or motivation to get in a workout.
You can't change the weather, but you can work around it. Plan any summertime workout sessions for the coolest part of the day, and during the winter, try and spend more time outside when it's still light, while also investing in quality, warmer workout clothing.
Inner Critic8 of 9
If you're constantly telling yourself you're not doing enough or could go harder, you'll eventually tire of your own inner bully. Plus, you'll start associating working out with feelings of inadequacy or disappointment—not an ideal situation for maintaining your fitness routine.
Monitor your thoughts closely as you workout. If you find you're constantly beating yourself up for not running farther or doing that extra set of reps, focus on what you have accomplished instead. A change of attitude can make a world of difference in your body's physical performance.