If you’ve been skipping the gym or your home workouts lately, you might be wondering what’s going on. Exercise, like most activities, takes time and energy to commit to–do it enough and you could wind up feeling burned out. Working out can take a toll on you physically and mentally, especially for those who have set exercise routines and schedules.
Whether you’ve been exercising for a while or you’re just getting started, exercise burnout is real and it can happen to anyone. By identifying the symptoms, you can easily get back on track and keep working on your fitness goals without missing a rep!
What is Exercise Burnout?
When you lose the motivation to exercise, the sensation is known as workout burnout. It can happen for a number of reasons, but it can lead to avoiding workouts you previously enjoyed. Similar to other areas of life where burnout occurs, it can lead to emotions such as shame or guilt for not being able to stay consistent.
Burnout hits everyone differently. If you’ve been avoiding the gym and your usual workouts lately, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. The following signs represent the most common symptoms of workout burnout and how to overcome them.
Common Signs of Exercise Burnout
1. The Enthusiasm & Motivation Just Isn’t There
Exercising isn’t always fun. When you notice your enthusiasm or motivation declining, you could be burned out. Working out is a commitment and it’s easy to overdo it or feel “tired” of your current exercise routine or schedule. When you lose your passion for exercise it might start to feel like a chore, leading to longer breaks or potentially quitting. When you’re just not in the right mindset or mood to exercise, consider adding some variety to your workouts to spark your enthusiasm.
If your perspective on working out shifts, it could be time to make some changes to your routine and to try something new. If you’re not feeling your usual workout, you can keep active in other ways. Go for a hike or sign up for a Group Fitness Class to get you moving in new ways!
2. You’re Exhausted or Fatigued–Even When You’re Not Exercising
Engaging in workouts can naturally be exhausting, but if you’re experiencing mental fatigue alongside physical exhaustion, it could be a sign of burnout.
Being tired after exercising is normal. Being tired all of the time, however, could signal you’re in need of a break. Taking 2-3 days off can be a great way to rest and recover from persistent exhaustion, especially if you haven’t been including rest days in your workout schedule.
3. You’ve Felt Irritable or Moody
When you’ve overtrained and are feeling overworked, you can become less tolerant of things around you, which in turn could make you feel even more frustrated. It’s important to remember that those feelings are completely normal and that you should treat yourself gently when evaluating the cause of your irritability.
Similar to physical exhaustion, irritability and moodiness are common signs of burnout. When feeling burnt out, it’s common to experience heightened sensitivity and irritability.
4. You’re Skipping Workouts or You have Gym Burnout
If you’re finding reasons to skip the gym or exercise, it could be a sign that you need a break. Skipping the gym could also mean your current gym isn’t meeting your needs, resulting in gym burnout. Whether it’s the equipment, amenities, or employees, your gym might not be cutting it anymore when it comes to inspiring or supporting you in your fitness goals.
If that’s the case and you’re in need of a new gym, then find an EōS Fitness near you. Discover our state-of-the-art facilities, expert Personal Trainers, and supportive community will reignite your passion for fitness.
5. You Feel Awful Post-Workout
One of the biggest red flags of exercise burnout involves experiencing any unusual pain or uncomfortabilty following a workout. Exercising should be an energizing experience, and despite the high-intensity workouts that can leave you feeling drained, you should feel better after a workout, not worse. It’s key to avoid overdoing it and hurting yourself, so if your latest session left you with more soreness than usual or so tired that you can’t move, it’s definitely time to take it easy.
How to Beat Workout Burnout
Understanding how you feel and acknowledging exercise or gym burnout is an important first step toward recovering your motivation. If you related to the 5 signs of burnout, here’s what you can do.
- Take time off. Before you start considering your post-burnout routine, take a few days to relax, reconnect with a friend, or do something non-workout related. Your body and mind will thank you later. The rest will not only do wonders for your muscles, but it could lift your mood and make re-engaging with exercise a much more enjoyable experience.
- Introduce yourself to something new. When exercising becomes stale or painful, changing things up could be just what you need to rekindle your passion. If you’ve been focusing on strength training, why not try out a cardio or water fitness class? You can always go back to strength training, but adding some variety to your fitness routine is important for maintaining your progress and keeping you actively interested in exercising.
- Don’t go at it alone. Find an accountability buddy to workout with, someone you can share your successes and hurdles with. Another option is enlisting the help of a Personal Trainer. Your trainer will be able to help you stick to a routine that works for you while keeping you on track toward your goals.
How to Avoid Exercise Burnout
Exercise burnout is totally fixable! Here are some tips to help you avoid getting burnt out with working out.
Set Realistic Goals
Having unrealistic goals or expectations can set you up for disappointment and lead to overtraining, especially if you’re also not factoring in the appropriate recovery time. To find your pace, it helps to develop a realistic idea of what you can do and achieve. With realistic expectations in mind, you’ll avoid overtraining and burnout. If you’re unsure about your expectations, a Personal Trainer can help you set realistic goals and help you better understand your limits.
Make Your Workouts Reasonable
It’s easy to see an athlete or workout and go all in to try to replicate results, but your workouts should be tailored to your fitness, health, and skills. That’s where reasonable workouts come into play. If you’re following someone else’s routine, you could easily overtrain–and that leads to workout burnout.
Include Rest Days and Recovery Time
If you love exercising, that’s great! But no one should be hitting the gym 24/7. Repeatedly pushing past your limits or not factoring in rest and active recovery time into your routine can lead to burnout, strain, or even injury. Your muscles need time to recover after they’ve been put through a workout, and so does your brain.
Trust Your Instincts–and Your Body
Trust yourself and how you’re feeling, both physically and mentally. If you’ve been burning out or are experiencing pain or exhaustion, listen to what your body is telling you and get some rest.
We Care as Much About Your Fitness as We Do Your Well-Being
Working on your fitness can lead to burnout just like anything else in life, but EōS Fitness is here to support you on your fitness journey. Claim your Complimentary 7-Day Pass for a change of scenery and pace, and rediscover what you love about working out.
Looking for more personalized support to get back into your exercise routine? Take advantage of our Personal Training services at EōS Fitness. Our experienced Personal Trainers will help you achieve your fitness goals while providing the motivation and accountability you need to succeed.